The building of the Bank of Poland and the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The work of the master Antonio Corazzi

The time of the Congress Kingdom (1815-1830) was one of the best periods for Warsaw architecture and urban planning. The newly established authorities, with their extensive administrative system, needed many public buildings. This sparked a building boom whose outstanding works we can still admire today. One of these is the building of the Bank of Poland and the Stock Exchange on Plac Bankowy

The construction of the building, designed by Antonio Corazzi and with the co-operation of Jakub Gay, began in 1825. In the same year, a pavilion was added along Elektoralna Street. The dominant feature of the edifice is the great corner rotunda of the stock exchange hall with its dome. Its drum is decorated with bas-reliefs of winged celebrities by Ludwig Kauffmann. The figures in their hands hold a horn of plenty and a caduceus – symbols of peace and trade

“The perspective of the street is opened up by the former building of the Polish Bank – now home to the Museum of the Polish Workers’ Movement.” – the photo (scan) comes from the weekly Stolica no. 47 (1666) 25.11.1979

Gmach Banku Polskiego

The building underwent numerous transformations in the 19th century, including the bricking up of part of the arcades in 1876 to create additional office space. The building underwent restoration in 1919-1921 under the direction of Marian Lalewicz. It was burnt down in 1939. The reconstruction of the building under the direction of Piotr Biegański lasted from 1950 to 1954, at which time the rich interior decoration was abandoned. Today’s plan of the building does not fully reflect the historical divisions. The dome is higher and forms a direct pallet of the outer dome. The cloisters on the ground floor have also been restored. Since 1989, it has housed the John Paul II Collection Museum, which originated from the collection of Western European art amassed by Janina and Zbigniew Porczynski


Read also: Architecture | Monument | Palace | History | Warsaw | Interesting facts

The building of the Bank of Poland and the Stock Exchange in 1938 and today. Source: Digital National Library Polona and whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski

The burnt down building of the Polish Bank and Exchange in 1940 and today. Source: National Archive in Warsaw and whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski

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