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A guest house at the Warsaw-Vienna railway station, currently the Foksal villa - Zabytek.pl

A guest house at the Warsaw-Vienna railway station, currently the Foksal villa

railway infrastructure Grodzisk Mazowiecki

Grodzisk Mazowiecki, Bartniaka 2

woj. mazowieckie, pow. grodziski, gm. Grodzisk Mazowiecki-miasto

The building erected to the design of Teofil Schuller, a student of an outstanding architect Henryk Marconi, belonged to a group of stations erected during the construction of the first section of the Warsaw-Vienna railway line, put to use in 1846.

The original feature represents an example of 19th century utility architecture with Romantic features.


The building was constructed in the years 1845-1846 to the design of Teofil Schuller, a builder of the Warsaw-Vienna railway. It belonged to a complex of station buildings. It served as a guest house (as called in the 1850s) with a restaurant and a bar. Passenger handling took place in the wooden station pavilion located next to the discussed building. The station was destroyed in 1915. Afterwards, the building was dubbed “Foksal” palace or villa, which derives from the Russian word for a station “vokzal”. After the construction of a new railway station in Grodzisk in the years 1921-1922 the building lost its primary function for sure. Along with a surrounding park, it belonged to the Mokronowski family until 1917 when it was taken over by Count Branicki. In the years 1931-1940 it belonged to the Association for the Care of the Blind. In the years 1945-1970 it housed a hospital and an ambulatory and in the years 1977-1979 it was used by the Warsaw Geodetic Enterprise. Afterwards, the building was handed over to the Centre for Documenting Historical Monuments, currently the National Heritage Board of Poland, to serve as an archive. In the years 1986-1992 it underwent renovation and adaptation works.


The villa is located on the southern side of the railway tracks, in a wooded area surrounded by a metal openwork fence, neighbouring in the east and the south on the Skarbek Counts park. At the intersection of 1 Maja and W. Bartniak Streets, there is an entrance to the property with a gate and two wicket gates with four round posts crowned with conical roofs and decorated with semi-circular niches at the front.

The former guest house is a two-storey building made of brick, plastered, set on a rectangular floor plan with two extreme avant-corps on each of the longer sides and a cylindrical, three-storey tower in the west. Façades, partitioned by a plinth, string course and crowning cornice, have their corners accentuated by rusticated pilasters. Windows of different sizes, mostly segment-headed and semi-circularly on the avant-corps storey, are decorated with brick lintels. Triangular gables of avant-corps include oculi. On the longer façade, on the railway tracks’ side, the western avant-corps is shallower and a tower, whose slender silhouette dominates over the remaining part of the building, abuts on its corner. This avant-corps is distinctive for its decoration: rustication of both storeys and the crowning in the form of a roof parapet ornamented with arcaded niches and cubic cornice frieze. The tower with a tall plinth is partitioned by arcaded panels with narrow windows with semi-cicrular arches on the ground floor as well. Two upper storeys are adorned with striped rustication interrupted by small elongated windows of the staircase. The topmost storey includes four large window openings with semicircular arches, leading to balconies resting on cast iron, decorative supports. Beyond, there is a frieze reminiscent of medieval machicolations (defensive porches) and a row of small oculi above the frieze. The tower is crowned with a conical roof with an excessively protruding eaves. On the longer façade, on the park’s side and between avant-corps, on the ground floor, there is a porch covered with a shed roof, resting on cast iron posts with supports with a decorative motif. The building has gable roofs clad with sheet metal; the shallower avant-corps is topped with an envelope roof. A historic feature is called “a locomotive” by the locals, since the appearance of the tower brings about associations with a steam locomotive’s chimney.

The feature is accessible from the outside, and the interior upon the prior arrangement.

Compiled by Małgorzata Laskowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw, 26-08-2014.


Category: railway infrastructure

Building material:  ceglane

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_14_BK.172547, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_14_BK.32036