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Bristol hotel, currently a service and residential complex - Zabytek.pl

Kielce, Sienkiewicza 21

woj. świętokrzyskie, pow. m. Kielce, gm. Kielce-gmina miejska

It is the most impressive hotels in Kielce from the late 19th century and early 20th century and the only one that has retained the representative interior design and function; a representative example of eclecticism.


The property was part of a large plot of plant owned by the curate of the Kielce collegiate church, which was donated by town councillors to the Chapter in 1726. It occupied the area on the slope of the Castle Hill between the current Sienkiewicza Street and Kapitulna Street. Before 1811 the area was built up with a masonry multi-storey residential house, since the older wooden house was destroyed in a fire. In the 1st half of the 19th century, the property was rented to local officials. After the January Uprising under the law, as not used directly by priests, ownership of the property was acquired by the State Treasury, and then by Antoni Żołyński. The site was divided into four plots, which were sold to the next acquirers. The outermost part with the house of the Custody was purchased by Rafał Piwowarski, who erected there a front three-storeyed building on the frontage of Konstantyna (Ruska) Street, with an outbuilding wing facing the courtyard, which housed 44 hotel rooms. The house of the Custody underwent alterations that involved retaining the contour of outer walls, arranging there a grand concert and ball-room. It divided the site into two courtyards — the northern courtyard intended for the eyes of guests and the rear utility courtyard with an exit leading to Kapitulna Street. Construction works were carried out three years according to designs by architect Julian Włodzimierski from Kielce. The grand opening of the “Bristol” hotel took place on 1 August 1900. The hotel attracted visitors in the press by advertising its porcelain baths with showers and omnibus for all trains in the “Kielce Newspaper”.

Only a few years later the owner opened the “Rafał” restaurant which was full of exquisite brands of wine and spirits, where the Richter's orchestra from Kraków performed every evening. In 1902, the hotel was extended by a one-storey outbuilding to the east of the front courtyard. Since 1906, part of the hotel was rented by the Kielce civic club (Polish: resursa obywatelska).

The grand hall located in that part of the altered house of the Custody was a venue for balls, masquerades, gala dinners and painting exhibitions. In 1910, all rooms, restaurant and civic club were provided with electric lighting.

In 1920, the hotel at 21 Sienkiewicza Street was taken over by Kielecka Udziałowa Spółka Bristol; the site formerly occupied by stables facing Kapitulna Street was built up with garages. After World War 2, the complex was nationalised.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the central and western outbuildings underwent alterations, new cellars were built, part of the wooden ceilings were replaced, and a modern wing was added facing Kapitulna Street. The stucco décor of the ballroom, gate, staircase and sculpted joinery of the gates and front door underwent restoration and conservation. In 1992, the complex returned to private owners.


The historic hotel building located in the centre of Kielce occupies half the property between Sienkiewicza Street and Kapitulna Street, forming four wings around the courtyard. All buildings are masonry and plastered. The frontage three-storeyed building is situated on the densely built-up frontage of Sienkiewicza Street, with its roof ridge parallel to the street (side-gabled orientation). The exterior of the building has the form of an eclectic tenement house with a lavishly decorated six-axial front façade. The first axis to the eastern features a gateway with a carved wooden gate. The outermost sections of the remaining part are separated by means of shallow avant-corps. Almost flat rusticated front façade is adorned with decorations of window surrounds between partition cornices and surmounted by a massive entablature decorated with corbels. The avant-corps before the arcaded openings of the upper storey were fitted with balconies on volute corbels and column aediculae covered with triangular pediments. The walls and ceilings of the gateway are adorned with frame and ornamental plasterwork. The interiors on a trapezoidal floor plan have a two-and-a-half-bay layout with a corridor in the middle. Notable is also the central outbuilding, which consists of a two and a half storey in the uppermost part and is covered with a multi-hipped roof. Its façade in front of the entrance from a street is characterised by a rhythmic decoration including large narrow windows placed between lesenes and pilasters. It is surmounted by a double entablature. The entrance to the building was emphasised by an avant-corps and a column portico. The interior has a one-bay layout. The square room characterised by classicist architectural and stucco decorations and framed by Ionic pilasters on the upper storey features two original tile stoves with decorative finials.

Selected rooms used for various purposes can be visited during the opening hours.

compiled by Anna Adamczyk, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 12-12-2014.


  • Diocese archives in Kielce. Chapter of the Kielce Collegiate Church. NR PKK-28. Custodia, 1760; ibid. Consistory of the Kielce Collegiate Church, ref. no. PKK-13, k.106-114; National Archives in Kielce. Kielce Governorate Government, ref. no. 17 224.
  • “Gazeta Kielecka”, 1873, no. 10; 1898, no. 83; 1900, no. 42, 60; 1901, no. 53; 1903, no. 51; 106, no. 70, 82; 1910, no. 50; 1919, no. 50; 1920, no. 55; 1930, no. 76.
  • Adamczyk J.L., Wróbel. T., Kielce portrety zabytków, Kielce 2008, p. 48.
  • Urbański K., Miklaszewska H., Sentymentalne Kielce. Fotografie ze zbiorów Muzeum Narodowego w Kielcach, Kielce 2004, p. 14.
  • Wrońska-Gorzkowska R., Gorzkowski E., Album Kielecki. Starówka, part 2. Ulica Sienkiewicza, Kielce 1996, p. 77 et seq.

Category: public building

Building material:  kamienne, ceglane

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_26_BK.74942, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_26_BK.16852