“The Polish Home”
This beautiful and impressive building is an architectural symbol of Polish affairs in Olsztyn. In the first half of the 20th century, it served as a centre for Polish patriotism. Today, the premises are occupied by the Research Centre of Wojciech Kętrzyński and the Institute of National Remembrance.
Strictly speaking, the current building is derived from the 1980 reconstruction of the authentic building which was demolished in the early 70s of the last century. Fortunately, the copy from the outside is faithful to the original, which once was not so obvious. The prototype was built in the years 1890-1892 in an eclectic style. For many years, the two-storey, corner building housed hotels such as “Reichshof”, “Centralhotel”, “International” or “Concordia”. In 1919, the Polish government bought this building and put here the offices of the organizations that dealt with the preparation of activities related to the plebiscite in Warmia and Mazury, such as the Warmia People’s Council. After losing the plebiscite, the People’s Bank became the building’s owner. Up until 1939, various Polish organizations still officiated in here: the Union of Poles in Germany, a kindergarten, a school and a library, scout troops, and a puppet theatre “Fairy Tale”. It was at this time that the name “Polish Home” was strengthened.
The building has belonged to the Research Centre since 1968. Its sudden demolition in the 70s was a surprise. Even a bigger shock came when it turned out that this place was to be replaced by
a modern building. The protests prompted the authorities to reconstruct the original block. The interiors of the Polish Home can still be visited during the working hours of the institutions that are now located here.