The European Hotel, currently known as the Europe, Lublin
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The European Hotel, currently known as the Europe

Lublin

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The hotel is the most representational public building from the second half of the 19th century in Lublin, its design bearing the hallmarks of the Renaissance Revival architecture. From the moment of its construction in years 1865-1867 until the present day, the building continues to perform its original function, namely that of a hotel.

History

The European Hotel, subsequently renamed as the “Europe” Hotel, was erected in years 1865-1867 according to the design produced by Ludwik Szamota, the lead architect of the governorate at the time. It was erected on two pieces of land which had originally formed part of a garden that accompanied the Czartoryski palace (locally known as “The Bestiary”, which were purchased by Marcin Kobyliński in the early 19th century. In 1864, the entire site was purchased by Franciszek Chobrzyński and Chaim Forszteter, who intended to build a hotel there. Soon afterwards, the project was implemented on a scale hitherto unseen anywhere in the city of Lublin. Some of the materials used in the course of its construction, such as brick and timber, originated from the Kozłówka manor, owned by count Jan Zamoyski. The very best companies and craftsmen were chosen to complete the individual parts of the hotel. The interiors were painted by renowned artists from Lviv. As a result, Lublin has gained one of its most impressive public buildings, modelled after the European Hotel in Warsaw designed by Henryk Marconi. The three-storey building with a belvedere crowning its corner section was designed on an irregular, almost horseshoe-shaped plan. The interiors followed a two- or three-bay layout and used many state-of-the-art solutions; the hotel could pride itself on its luxurious bathrooms as well as the elegant restaurant and confectionery. In the second half of the 19th century, the property remained in the hands of the family of Roman Okulicz Kozaryn and was later acquired by Jan Michelis. In 1918, a significant part of the property was inherited by the Charitable Society of Lublin, with the remaining part of the land being owned by Zofia Michelis. From the year 1940 onwards, throughout the entire period of Nazi occupation, the hotel and its restaurant and bar were German-only zones. Some of the hotel rooms were adapted to serve as the offices of the German Government Financial Authority. In 1944, the south-western corner of the hotel was severely damaged during an air raid, with the northern side of the building being destroyed by the explosion as well. The building was renovated in the years 1944, 1949 and 1954. After World War II, the building remained in the hands of the State Treasury and was under the administration of the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society (PTTK) which became its legal owner in 1992. Having suffered a period of neglect, the building was finally restored in 1999. The design documentation prepared by Professor Wiktor Zin PhD, Eng. and Professor Andrzej Białkiewicz PhD, Eng. was intended to ensure that the original form and the original function of the hotel would be preserved. In the year 2000, the restoration of the interiors began, with particular emphasis being placed on the conservation of architectural detailing and the renovation of the façade. The works were finally completed in the spring of 2002. The receipt of the Conservation Laurel Award in 2003 served as a culmination of the entire effort as well as a confirmation of the quality thereof.

Description

The “Europe” hotel is located in the Lublin city centre at 29 Krakowskie Przedmieście street. The building occupies the corner of the Krakowskie Przedmieście street and the Litewski Square. The front façade of the structure faces the south. The hotel was built in the Renaissance Revival style.

Its walls are made of ceramic brick and covered with plaster. It was designed on a roughly L-shaped plan, with a rounded south-western corner and a perpendicularly positioned outbuilding adjoining the main body thereof to the east. For the most part, the interiors follow a two-bay layout, with individual suites of rooms being divided by a hallway. The hotel features a vestibule running across the building and an oval main hall in the south-western corner, accessible through the main entrance. The outbuilding features a single-bay layout and is accessible from the inner yard.

The building is a three-storey structure with a basement, covered with gable roofs and featuring a belvedere with a flattened roof at its corner. The hall and the staircase feature a flattened barrel vault. The other rooms feature flat ceilings.

The building has two main façades with rounded corners. The façades follow a three-storey layout with a pronounced plinth at the bottom and are topped with a corbelled frieze followed by a profiled crowning cornice. The ground floor section is adorned with decorative rustication, its walls pierced by large, segment-headed display windows. The upper floors feature rectangular window openings adorned with decorative surrounds. At the first floor level, these surrounds take the form of aediculae; the windows at the corner are also accentuated by giant order pilasters. A parapet wall rises at the very top of the corner section; above the roof parapet rises the belvedere, featuring paired arched windows accentuated by pilasters. The architectural detailing of the façade includes sculpted heads in medallions as well as foliate and oeil-de-boeuf motifs.

Inside the hotel, on the staircase landings, visitors can admire decorative medallions, each of which incorporates a sculpted human visage.

The building is open to visitors all year round, with some of the rooms - the stores, the confectionery, the currency exchange - being accessible during opening hours of the respective establishments.

compiled by Anna Sikora-Terlecka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 03-02-2015.

Bibliography

  • Record sheet, the European Hotel, compiled by: Bortkiewicz Ewa, Studziński Jacek, Lublin 1992, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Lublin, Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw
  • Kawałko Piotr, Nestorowicz Zbigniew, Lublin. Przewodnik, Lublin 2012, p. 196.
  • Michalska Grażyna, Hotel Europejski. Kamienica przy ul. Krakowskim Przedmieściu 29 w Lublinie. Rozpoznanie historyczne i wytyczne konserwatorskie, Lublin 1993, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Lublin, file no. 4703
  • Nowak Bernard, Lublin. Przewodnik, Lublin 2000, pp. 169-170.
  • Żywicki Jerzy, Urzędnicy: architekci, budowniczowie, inżynierowie cywilni …, Lublin 2010, pp. 169-170

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1865 - 1867
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Krakowskie Przedmieście 29, Lublin
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district Lublin, commune Lublin
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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