Yeast plant, currently abandoned, Kętrzyn
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Yeast plant, currently abandoned



The only preserved industrial plant of this type in the territory of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodeship. The yeast plant has significant artistic values - the building was built in the historicist style (neo-Gothic), most likely according to an architectural design prepared specifically for this purpose. It also has a research and historic value as it forms a part of the history of the town of Kętrzyn and of the industry of the former Eastern Prussia, currently forming part of the Warmia and Mazury region (fermentation and food industry).


The yeast plant was erected in 1887 by Hermann Wilke on the site of the former gardens purchased from the Jentzen family. The former house of the district governor (starosta), which was erected nearby in the mid-19th century was adapted for residential and office purposes (the house currently serves as the Castle Inn at 3a Struga street). H. Wilke managed the company until 1899, subsequently handing the management duties it over to his son, who managed the factory until 1934. The complex remained under the management of the Wilke family until 1940, when they sold the plant to Nord - West - Deutsche Hefe und Spritewerke - Aktiengeschelschaft, a joint-stock company from Hameln which operated in the same sector of industry. After the end of World War II, the yeast plant was nationalised, and in February 1946 it resumed its operations. During the subsequent period, the plant operated under the name of “Mazpiek” Mazury Centre of Baking Supplies; from 1989 onwards, the company functioned as a limited liability company (employing several dozen staff members). In 2002, the yeast plant was taken over by a French producer of baking yeast (Lesaffre Bio-Corporation) and from then on its operations were also connected with the yeast factory in Wołczyn in Lower Silesia. In March 2005, the Kętrzyn factory suspended production and was subsequently sold to private persons. The plant has remained in private hands ever since, although the owners thereof changed a number of times during that period. In 2010, the historic buildings of the yeast plant were entered into the register of historic buildings. Currently the buildings are not in use.


The complex of the yeast plant buildings is located between the Pocztowa and Andrzeja Struga streets; the complex lies adjacent to a medieval castle built by the Knights of the Teutonic Order which currently serves as a museum. The buildings are arranged in the form of the letter “U” and surround an internal yard. The historic complex of the yeast plant buildings consists of a bipartite production building, a brick chimney (the only surviving part of the now-defunct boiler station), a utility building (erected before the rest of the complex and not included in the register of historic buildings) and a residential and administrative building (the former house of the district governor (starosta), currently the Castle Inn, not included in the register of historic buildings). The complex also encompasses a number of contemporary buildings - the former boiler station (which has undergone numerous alterations and is now in a state of ruin) and a contemporary outbuilding built in place of one of the two boiler stations which existed on the site. The yeast plant buildings do not currently contain any historical industrial machinery or equipment. Some parts of the yard around the building are paved. The production building of the yeast plant, entered into the register of historic buildings, is a brick structure on a stone foundation, built on an L-shaped floor plan. The structure consists of two distinct sections and features a basement and a loft; it is covered with a gable roof clad with ceramic roof tiles. Decorative pinnacles grace the corners of the building, while its facades are partitioned by string courses. Most of the windows are topped with segmental arches (with the exception of the windows in the wall dormers projecting from the roof). The building retains some of the original period window joinery, including both wooden and steel industrial windows. The facade of the eastern section of the building is adjoined by an annex (the former boiler station which has been transformed in recent years); another annex containing the stairs leading into the basement adjoins the southern facade. The northern facade of the northern section of the yeast plant building abuts a stone retaining wall. Most of the window openings in the building’s facades are set into shallow recesses topped with pointed or segmental arches; the facades are also adorned with plastered blind windows and a cornice. Inside, the building features preserved original wooden stairs with profiled banisters, small fragments of the original flooring as well as numerous cast iron structural columns, some of which rest on riveted steel t-bars. The building features jack arch ceilings made of brick and supported by steel joists. The roof structure is made of wood. The interiors have been modified over the years in the course of activities connected with the production process (e.g. the installation of industrial equipment and a lift) and no longer exhibit their original layout. A notable feature of the complex is the surviving original brick chimney, reinforced with steel fastening bands. General technical condition of the buildings of former yeast plant can be described as satisfactory.

Private property protected by a fence. No admittance to unauthorised persons. The structure can be viewed from the outside.

Compiled by Adam Płoski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Olsztyn



  • Z. Licharewa, Z dziejów miasta i powiatu, Olsztyn 1962.
  • T. Korowaj, Rastenburg/Kętrzyn. Przewodnik historyczny po mieście, Kętrzyn 2005.

General information

  • Type: utility building
  • Chronology: 1887
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Pocztowa 3A, Kętrzyn
  • Location: Voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie, district kętrzyński, commune Kętrzyn (gm. miejska)
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


report issue with this site

Geoportal Map

Google Map

See also in this area