Tavern, Toruń
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The tavern has continuously served its original purpose ever since it was erected in the medieval period. This fact makes it one of the oldest continuously operating establishments offering food and drink anywhere in Europe. Despite the severe damage sustained during World War II, the building retains its original, Baroque façade with the distinctive type of plasterwork decoration that enjoyed great popularity in the city of Toruń in the late 17th/early 18th century.

The building is situated in the area inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list which also forms part of the monument of history designated as “Toruń - Old and New Town District”.


The first masonry structures may have been erected on this parcel of land back in the 1420s; of these structures, however, nothing but the cellars remain today. In 1430, the owner of the land was Mattis Mockenwald. The very first confirmed mentions of the existence of a tavern in this location date back to the year 1489. However, one may assume that an establishment of this kind existed here at least from the 1450s, i.e. from the period when the owner of the premises was Simon Lanckener. It is exceedingly difficult to retrace the changes which occurred here during the early modern period due to the amount of damage which the building has sustained during World War II. It is believed that the edifice attained its Baroque appearance in the early 18th century. Its name, “Modry Fartuch” (the Blue Apron) also originates from the same period.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the tavern complex was extended through the addition of a new, front building located on the neighbouring plot of land on Ślusarska street as well as several new back buildings. During the earlier period, the neighbouring plot of land was occupied by utility buildings which surrounded a small courtyard, including a stable where the customers could keep their horses. In 1939, the ground-floor level contained two restaurant rooms, while the first floor served as a four-room apartment with a kitchen and a bathroom. The converted attic provided guest accommodation for visitors.

After 1942, a plan for a comprehensive redesign of the building was drawn up. All of the inner partitions were torn down during that period. However, the project was never to be completed, as the erstwhile owner, Kazimierz Jakubczak, faced expropriation in 1944.

The tavern, gradually descending into a state of ruin, was subjected to comprehensive restoration works in the years 1955-59, when the eastern façade was reconstructed from the level of the surviving foundations; the interior layout and décor from the Baroque era were likewise meticulously recreated.

According to local traditions, many eminent historical figures have stopped by the Blue Apron throughout the ages, including King Casimir IV Jagiellon, King John I Albert (Jan Olbracht) and Napoleon Bonaparte.


The tavern forms part of the southern frontage of the New Town market square, on a corner plot of land positioned alongside the exit from Ślusarska street.

The building was erected on a rectangular floor plan, its gable facing the market square. It was designed as a two-bay structure with a narrow rear suite of rooms in which the utility rooms were located, along with a narrow hallway with an exit leading out into Ślusarska street; the staircase leading up to the first floor was accessible directly from the restaurant hall.

The body of the tavern is compact in shape. The building is a two-storey structure with a basement underneath parts of its structure and a two-storey habitable attic. The entire structure is covered with a gable roof. The front façade features a curvilinear gable coping topped with a segment-headed pediment. The side sections of the fractable form tightly coiled volutes at the bottom, resting on short cornice segments. On the eastern side of the building there is an additional curvilinear section designed to conceal the eaves. A rectangular doorway is positioned at the ground-floor level, on the middle axis of the façade. The entrance door is flanked by rectangular windows, while the first-floor windows are roughly square in shape. In the middle section of the gable there are two windows, likewise roughly square in shape, above which there is a small, rectangular window providing illumination to the garret. Plasterwork festoons adorned with floral decorations can be seen beneath the windows of the first floor as well as underneath the gable windows.

The four-axial eastern façade is topped with a moulded crowning cornice. On the ground-floor level, there is a doorway with an overlight, positioned on the southernmost axis. The ground-floor level features rectangular windows, while the first-floor windows are roughly square in shape.

Accessible historic building. A restaurant continues to operate on the premises.

compiled by Piotr Dąbrowski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Toruń, 14-12-2014.

General information

  • Type: tavern
  • Chronology: 1489 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Rynek Nowomiejski 8, Toruń
  • Location: Voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie, district Toruń, commune Toruń
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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