On a bike ride along Promenada Staromiejska with T and M in April last year, I had seen beautiful buildings on ul. Podwale on the other side of the fosa miejska [city moat]. I had seen those stately buildings before and now wanted to explore the area behind them. (M said that the buildings lining the fosa were embassies. More on that in a future post. Probably.) The next street over from Podwale is ul. Zygmunta Krasińskiego, named for a Polish nobleman and “one of Poland’s Three National Bards — the trio of great Romantic poets who influenced national consciousness during the period of Poland’s political bondage. He was the most famous member of the aristocratic Krasiński family.” [See wikipedia: Count Napoleon Stanisław Adam Feliks Zygmunt Krasiński.]
That day, more than a year ago, I followed T through the passage at nr. 21/23 and could hardly believe what felt like a few steps back into time and an enchanting atmosphere of mystery. Yesterday, on a late afternoon bike ride, we came to ul. Krasińskiego again, and I had to take another look. This is my kind of rabbit hole.
A Google search for more information about this building found this blog post from August, 2011: Wroclawskie Kamienice, with many beautiful photographs. I felt a twinge of jealousy that the blog’s author had spoken to one of the tenants, obtaining information and access to one of the apartments (or, at least, views from a higher perspective, perhaps from a stairwell landing). Also, I learned that “the building was designed by master mason Steiner and Lindert” in 1899. At that time, Wrocław was a German city, known as Breslau.
In searching for more details about these architects, I found information only about Rudolf Steiner, who (if this is the same man, and it likely is) is a very interesting personage. According to wikipedia, “Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner (27(25?) February 1861–30 March 1925) was an Austrian mystic, philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist. Steiner gained initial recognition at the end of the nineteenth century as a literary critic and published philosophical works including The Philosophy of Freedom. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he founded an esoteric spiritual movement, anthroposophy, with roots in German idealist philosophy and theosophy; other influences include Goethean science and Rosicrucianism.” [wiki link]
Moreover, I found a website, Rudolf Steiner web, which shows a couple of buildings for which Steiner is renown.
If I had the means, I would buy one (or two, as long as I am dreaming) apartments in this building. I gleaned that renovation of Krasiński 21/23 is imminent, and I hope that the restoration work honors the original design and all its Gothic (Nouveau Gothic?) details. If only I had the means….
[Photographs taken 25 June 2015]