House no. 21, currently Educational and Museum Center, Chrystkowo
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

House no. 21, currently Educational and Museum Center



An example of wooden Dutch architecture, characteristic for the areas of Żuławy Wiślane and Dolina Dolnej Wisły. Due to the arrangement of the body, the method of development of the facade and disposition of the interior constitute one of the most valuable historic structures of the Mennonite construction within the area of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship. This is the only structure within the entire area along the Vistula river protected in situ and at the same time made available for sightseeing.


Chrystkowo village was located in 1669 as one of the largest centres of Dutch settlement within the area of Dolina Dolnej Wisły. Chrystkowo farm no. 21, built in the second half of the 18th century was a classic integrated linear layout with a residential part and arcaded garret, stock part and a barn under one roof. In 1873 there was a large, free-standing barn in the farm. On the northern side an additional granary building with a coach house and a drying chamber for fruit was built. On the southern side, right behind the canal, a piggery was erected. The farm also included a house with a free-standing cowshed built right by the river, intended for farm workers. Subsequent changes took place at the turn of the 19th and 20th century, most probably after the fire of the stock part and the barn of the main building, when a large cowshed made of brick was erected. During the post-war period, firstly, the granary, then the drying chamber for fruit were destroyed, in the 1990s also the barn was damaged. From 1996 the Educational and Museum Center is located here for Chełmno and Vistula Landscape Parks, collecting  the household appliances and the remains of the Mennonite tombstones obtained from the devastated cemeteries. There are original ramps preserved in the cowshed, which were used during the flood for taking the animals to the attic. After the building was taken over by the Lower Vistula Valley Scenery Park, the drying chamber for fruit was reconstructed. In 2013 the renovation and maintenance works were commenced; they consisted in, among other things, changing the roof covering and restoration of stained glass windows.


Chrystkowo village is located approximately 15 km to the South-West from Świecie. House no. 21 is situated in the southern part of the village, by the Gruczno-Topolno road, on the vast utility yard. There are utility buildings neighbouring it from the South and West. House no. 21, erected on a rectangular floor plan (11 x 18 m), has a two-bay interior layout. Main entrances to the building are located in the northern and southern walls, closer to the stock part, under the arcade there is an entrance to the kitchen hall, turning into the hall communicated with the yard in the second bay. From the kitchen floor there is an entrance to the main room, from the hall in the second bay - to the “winter” kitchen, from the main room - to the chamber communicated with the yard (here are also the stairs to the attic). On the other side of the hall there is a chamber and additional room, both with an entrance from the hall, between them there is a corridor leading to the cowshed. The black kitchen has a niche with a hearth from the side of the kitchen hall. Under the suite with a kitchen and chamber, there is a basement. It is a single-storey building, with a basement under some of the rooms, covered with a gable roof. From the front on the axis the body of the building was enriched with a garret supported by five pillars. The roof of the garret has a traverse, gable roof ridge. The house built of wood, mostly as a log structure, only the fragments of the northern wall were made of brick. The gables and the garret are covered with wooden boards, the roofs are covered with ca. 25 cm thick cane thatch. The interior features beamed ceilings, there is a rafter and collar, queen post roof truss. There is a window frame woodwork, the oldest one preserved is from the second half of the 18th century (in the garret of the arcade), as a frame structure with a window pillar. Window sashes open to the outside, with panel-and-frame shutters also opened to the outside. Door woodwork in a panel-and-frame structure with a diversified form and different panel layout. Front (southern) facade is on a brick and stone foundation, it has seven axes, with axes demarcated by the window openings and a door opening in the middle. There is a facade on the axis enriched by a garret supported by five spindled pillars with decorative braces. Western facade is covered with wooden boards, single-axis, there is a door opening in the lower zone on the axis, above, in the gable part, there is a small window opening. Northern facade is a six-axis one, with axes demarcated by irregularly positioned window openings and one door opening. Eastern, three-axis facade is covered with wooden boards. The interior (partly reconstructed into two apartments) with a clear division into large room, front hall, kitchen hall and - in the middle - the room without direct lighting (black kitchen), with a tiled stove connected with a bottle-like extending chimney. In the interior, the very important elements are the preserved hearth and smoke exhaust device of the second half of the 18th century (in the black kitchen), made of brick in the hall at the turn of the 19th and 20th century kitchen stove with a hob and additional smokehouse in the attic. At the attic level in the chimney the hooks on which originally the meat preparations were hanged, were preserved.

The historic building is open to visitors. The structure is accessible all year round.

Compiled by Marzenna Stocka, National Heritage Board of Poland Regional Branch in Toruń, 24.06.2014.


  • Okoń E., Próba typologii budownictwa holenderskiego w świetle zebranych materiałów na terenie woj. bydgoskiego, „Materiały do Dziejów Kultury i Sztuki Bydgoszczy i Regionu”, vol. 1, Bydgoszcz 1996, p. 114.
  • Prarat M., Architektura chłopska Doliny Dolnej Wisły w latach 1772-1945 i jej problematyka konserwatorska, Toruń 2012, pp. 127-129.  
  • Warchoł M., Budownictwo olęderskie nad środkową i dolną Wisłą, „Przegląd Regionalny” 1996-1997, R. 2, no. 1, p. 51 and subseq.

General information

  • Type: cottage
  • Chronology: 2. poł. XVIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Chrystkowo
  • Location: Voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie, district świecki, commune Świecie - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


report issue with this site

Geoportal Map

Google Map

See also in this area