The Pod Małżeństwem (Under the Married Couple) tenement house, also known as Szafirowa (Sapphire) tenement house or the Ariewowicz family tenement house, currently serving as the Zamość City Museum, Zamość
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The Pod Małżeństwem (Under the Married Couple) tenement house, also known as Szafirowa (Sapphire) tenement house or the Ariewowicz family tenement house, currently serving as the Zamość City Museum



An outstanding example of patrician architecture of the 17th century, this house - one of the so-called Armenian tenement houses, is located in the part of the town which had originally been allocated to Armenian residents by the founder of the town itself - Jan Zamoyski. Its front façade features Mannerist decorations of extraordinary artistic value. Then uniqueness of the preserved façade decorations makes it the most archetypal of all of the Armenian tenement houses. The interior décor is likewise exceptional, with its beamed ceilings with painted friezes and its decorative stone window surrounds.


The existing tenement house can trace its roots back to the late 16th century, when, in 1591, it was noted in the associated documentation as being the property of one Aleksander, an Armenian merchant from Łuck who decided to settle down in Zamość. At that point, the building was a single-storey structure. In the 2nd quarter of the 17th century, the house received an additional storey as well as a decorative roof parapet. Throughout the 17th century, the house remained the property of the Foresz and Ariewowicz families, both of them Armenian in origin; later on, towards the end of the century, the ownership of the house passed to the Dominican monks. In the second half of 17th century and in the first half of the 18th century, the tenement house was extended yet again in the course of a redesign. From 1773 until the mid- 19th century, the house remained in the hands of the Skibiński family. From the second half of the 19th century until World War II, the edifice was owned by various Jewish families, including the Korn family. Before 1887, the decorative roof parapet (attic) was demolished, with parts thereof used in the course of the upward extension works. The first serious attempt at restoration was made in the years 1937-38 under the supervision of T. Zaremba, with subsequent works being carried out after World War II. In 1948, the tenement house was acquired by the museum. In 1957, the roof cladding, window and joinery and exterior plasterwork were all subjected to renovation works. The wall paintings were restored in years 1964-1965. A thorough restoration which involved a full set of conservation works, conducted on the basis of the design prepared by A. Kadłuczko and M.B. Pawlicki, took place in the years 1979-1989 and included, among others, the restoration of the decorative roof parapet. The most recent renovation works, performed in 2007, involved the restoration of the wooden elements of interior décor. Today, the building along with the annex continues to serve as the Zamość City Museum.


A patrician tenement house designed in the Late Renaissance style, located in the central part of the Old Town, forming part of the northern Great Market Square frontage. The various names given to the tenement house are derived from the original, sapphire colour of its façade, the original owners - the Ariewowicz family - as well as the two sculpted figures of a man and a woman - most likely a married couple - adorning the façade between the windows of the second storey. The building is an oriented structure, its front (southern) façade facing the market square. It was designed on an elongated rectangular floor plan, with a triple arcade in the ground floor section. The building follows a three-bay design, the third bay being divided into two sections, without a vestibule. The first and second floor layout are similar to that of the ground floor. A single-storey, rectangular annex adjoins the rear wall of the tenement house. The building is made of brick, its façades covered with plaster. It is a three-storey structure with a basement, covered with a gable roof concealed behind a decorative roof parapet rising above the front façade. The roof is covered with copper sheets. The façades follow a three-storey design, with the second- and third-storey façades (both the front and the back) featuring a four-axial, asymmetrical layout. The ground floor section features an arcaded walkway with semi-circular arches interconnected by decorative keystones adorned with foliate motifs, with a heavy, profiled cornice running directly above. The decorations of the upper storeys are evidently simplified in appearance, with the use of oriental motifs being clearly in evidence. The distinguishing features of the façade is the presence of a pair of friezes: the lower frieze adorned with geometric and interlacing patterns as well as the upper frieze with its flat, stylised foliate decoration which bears resemblance to a Moresque ornament. The windows are rectangular in shape, with the second-floor windows being larger than the rest and featuring decorative surrounds as well as cornices that run directly above them. In the middle of the façade, between the windows on the second floor level, there is a relief depicting a married couple set against the background of a foliate ornament. The tenement house is crowned with a decorative attic graced by herms and pilasters, parts of which had been used in the course of upward extension of the second storey. The current colour scheme of the façade is designed to be reminiscent of the original, sapphire colour, with the arcaded walkway being painted white. The main entrance doors in the front façade are framed with a profiled sandstone surround adorned with diminutive rosettes and topped with the symbol of an eagle. Inside, the layout and décor of the interiors has largely been preserved intact. In the grand hall in the back of the tenement house, covered with a beamed ceiling, there are four pillars with squat engaged columns designed in the Roman variant of the Doric style; these pillars are positioned alongside the wall from the courtyard side, flanking the windows and entrance doors. In addition, there are also fragments of a polychrome frieze with medallions and foliate ornaments.

Limited access to the historic building. The interiors can be visited during the museum opening hours or upon prior arrangement.

compiled by Ewa Prusicka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 20-10-2014.


  • Baranowska Z., Sygietyńska H., Kamienice rynku zamojskiego w XVII wieku, /in:/ Zamość i Zamojszczyzna w dziejach i kulturze polskiej, Zamość 1969.
  • Czterysta lat Zamościa, J. Kowalczyk (ed.), Wrocław-Łódź 1983
  • Fidecka U., Kamienice ormiańskie w Zamościu, Zamość 1989
  • Herbst S., Zamość, Warsaw 1954
  • Record sheet, The “Pod małżeństwem” tenement house (“Szafirowa”, “Ariewowiczowska” tenement house (...)). Zamość, compiled by J. Serafinowicz, B. Seniuk, 1997, Archive of the Regional Office for the Protection of Historical Monuments in Lublin, Zamość Branch; Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw.
  • Kędziora A., Dawna architektura i budownictwo Zamościa, Zamość 1990
  • Kowalczyk J., Zamość. Przewodnik, Warszawa 1975.
  • Pawlicki M. B., Kamienice ormiańskie w Zamościu, /in:/ Zamość miasto idealne, J. Kowalczyk (ed.), Lublin 1980
  • Pawlicki M. B., Kamienice mieszczańskie Zamościa. Problemy ochrony, Cracow 1999.
  • Zarębska T., Zamość - miasto idealne i jego realizacja, /in:/ Zamość miasto idealne, J. Kowalczyk (ed.), Lublin 1980

General information

  • Type: tenement house
  • Chronology: koniec XVI-XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Ormiańska 24, Zamość
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district Zamość, commune Zamość
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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