The Civic Brewery, Tychy
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The Civic Brewery complex has an immense historical, research and artistic value, forming an excellent example of a historical brewing facility with very few alterations having been made on its site throughout the ages. The brewery buildings are a representative example of late 19th/early 20th-century industrial facilities; the social and administrative buildings, with their lavish architectural detailing, are particularly worthy of attention, their distinctive appearance immediately defining the landscape of the facility. The immediate surroundings of the brewery, including the small workers’ housing estate, remnants of a sports and recreational complex as well as the accompanying park, likewise contribute to the overall aesthetic and architectural quality of the entire site.

History

In 1895, the company known as Brieger Stadtbrauerei purchased a large swathe of land in the vicinity of the railway station and pond in Tychy, its intention being to begin the construction of what would later become known as the Civic Brewery. The facility was intended as a direct competitor to the Ducal Brewery which had existed in Tychy for many years; the company was no newcomer to the business either, having already owned the municipal brewery in the town of Brzeg, lying on the left bank of the Oder river. The Civic Brewery was erected on the basis of a consistent design, with the primary manufacturing facilities commencing their operations as early as 1897. In years 1914-1920, a number of additional, auxiliary buildings were erected, including the barrel washing facility and the hammer forge. In 1898, both of the breweries operating in Tychy entered into a price-fixing agreement to maintain a uniform price of beer; however, it was only following the acquisition of a 90% stake in the Civic Brewery by its rival, the Ducal Brewery, in 1918 that the competition between the two facilities finally came to an end. Due to the substantial debts owed by the company to the State Treasury, in the years 1934-1938, the administration of the facilities was taken over by a special limited partnership. In 1939, John Henry XV, the duke of Pszczyna (Pless), his son as well as the director of the municipal bank of Katowice founded the joint-stock company known as Browary Książęce S.A. (Ducal Breweries) in Tychy. In 1945, when the war finally drew to a close, the manufacturing plant was nationalised and taken over by the State Treasury. In the 1950s, the erstwhile administration came up with the initiative to modernise the entire complex; as a result, in the years 1960-1997, a flurry of investments took place, including the modernisation of the beer filtration process and the wort cooling process as well as the replacement of the oakwood beer kegs and vats with metal vessels and tanks. The brewery was closed down in 1999; today, some of the buildings continue to serve various manufacturing and service functions, while the rest remains abandoned.

Description

The buildings forming part of the Civic Brewery complex are located on the shores of a pond situated west of the main railway station, in the north-western part of Tychy, at 7 Browarna street. The complex, constructed on the basis of a comprehensive design, is a compact ensemble of buildings consisting of two main sections dedicated to the manufacture of beer and malt respectively, accompanied by auxiliary structures such as the switching station or the hammer forge, erected during the second phase of the project. The constituent parts of the complex are as follows:

1. The former malt house complex situated in the front part of the site and instantly defining its appearance. The malt house is a four-storey brick structure erected on an irregular plan, consisting of a cluster of rectangular sections, its walls mostly covered with plaster. The western segment is covered with a flattened gable roof, while the eastern section features a number of flattened roofs of varying shapes. The avant-corps projecting from one of the façades of the building is topped with a three-sided roof. Another notable feature of the edifice is the quadrangular tower positioned in the north-eastern corner thereof.

2. The complex of the former brewhouse, machinery hall, fermentation, lagering and racking (fining) complex and barrel washing facility, consisting of the following sections:

  • the brewhouse, designed on a rectangular floor plan and featuring exposed brick walls, with an elongated section positioned along the north-south axis, its silhouette formed by a cluster of smaller sections, the tallest of which are four storeys high. The roof of the building is a complex design, its low pitch lending it a flattened appearance. The most distinctive feature of the building is the tower in its northern section, topped with a tall hip roof;
  • the machinery hall - a rectangular building with exposed brick walls, its compact, single-storey body covered with a mono-pitched roof and abutting on the north side of the boiler house;
  • the fermentation, lagering and racking (fining) complex - a large building situated in the southern part of the site, its walls mostly covered with plaster. Designed on an irregular, roughly rectangular plan, the building consists of several distinct sections, most of which are covered with gable roofs except for the three-storey northern segment with a mono-pitched roof; shed roofs of a similar kind are likewise used for a row of single-storey annexes in both the northern and the southern part of the complex;
  • the barrel washing facility, which had originally served as the wood tar factory. Designed on a roughly square plan, it is a timber-framed edifice with exposed brick infills, its compact, symmetrical, single-storey silhouette covered with a barrel roof.
3. The former barrel manufacturing plant - a building situated between the fermentation and lagering building and the malt house. Designed on a rectangular floor plan, this two-storey brick building with is covered with a gable roof, its walls partially covered with plaster.

4. The smithy, workshop and old wood tar factory - a brick edifice erected on an irregular plan consisting of several adjoining rectangular sections, its walls covered with plaster. The single-storey structure is covered with a gable roof, with the exception of the side annex, which features a mono-pitched roof instead.

5. The old electrical switching station building - a brick structure designed on a symmetrical plan, consisting of two adjoining square sections: the single-storey western section and the two-and-a-half storey tower in the eastern part of the building.

6. The former hammer forge - a brick building designed on a roughly rectangular plan, featuring a narrow southern annex. The two-storey main body of the building features a plaster finish and is covered with a barrel roof, whereas the annex has a mono-pitched roof instead.

7. The management building - a brick structure designed on an asymmetrical plan and featuring a number of avant-corps projecting from individual façades as well as a notched section in the south-western corner. The walls of the building are covered with plaster. The building has an asymmetrical silhouette, its main section covered with a gable roof.

8. The casino building - a brick building designed on a roughly square plan with a number of projecting avant-corps, its walls covered with plaster. The asymmetrical body of the building is covered with a complex roof structure, with the main section of the roof being of the gable type. The tower, positioned in the northern part of the building, features a pyramid hipped roof, whereas the north-eastern section has a mono-pitched roof.

9. The former stables, garages and carpentry workshop complex, designed on an irregular plan and consisting of several rectangular brick buildings, their architectural decorations covered with plaster. The stables and the warehouse are positioned in the middle of the complex and are designed on a T-shaped plan. The edifice features a complex silhouette, its various sections covered with gable roofs, mono-pitched roofs and flat roofs.

10. The porter’s lodge - a brick building with distinctive timber framing at the attic level, its first-floor level walls covered with plaster. The building was designed on a symmetrical plan consisting of two adjoining rectangular sections, its asymmetrical silhouette topped with a complex roof structure comprising a conventional gable roof in the western part, with a jerkin head above the front façade, as well as a mono-pitched roof above the eastern section.

11. The deep water well - a single-storey brick building designed on a circular plan, its compact silhouette topped with a flattened roof.

Virtually all of the buildings forming part of the complex are made of clinker brick. The complex features numerous references to castle architecture, including towers as well as brick detailing in the form of arcaded friezes, crenellated parapets and lesenes.

The site forms part of the Industrial Monument Trail and may be explored daily during the summer season.

compiled by Agata Mucha, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 14-08-2014.

Bibliography

  • 1897-1997. 100 lat Browaru Obywatelskiego w Tychach, collective work, Tychy 1997.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Sławomir Brzezicki, Christine Nielsen, Grzegorz Grajewski, Dietmar Popp (eds.), Warsaw 2009, p. 894.
  • Zabytki techniki województwa śląskiego. Przewodnik po wybranych obiektach, G. Bożek (ed.), pp. 75-76.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The cooperage building, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The management building, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The casino, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The hammer mill building, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The porter’s lodge, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The switching station building, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The former wood tar production facility, later converted into a barrel washing facility, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The water well building, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The forge, workshop and wood tar production facility building, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The boiler house, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The machine hall, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The brewhouse, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The warehouse and service centre complex, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The fermentation, lagering and racking (fining) complex, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The carpentry workshop, stables and motor garage complex, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture. The Civic Brewery complex. The malt house and drying facility buildings, prepared by Movi Atelier Wyry ul. Pszczyńska 1, 2002.

General information

  • Type: industrial architecture
  • Chronology: 1897 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Browarna 7, Tychy
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district Tychy, commune Tychy
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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