Headmaster House

The building at ul. Poniatowskiego 13 first caught my eye last year in March during a bike ride with T and M. I took a few quick shots at the time, thinking I would return to take better ones, and despite many bike rides throughout the city, it was only today that my biking destination was this building, formerly the Headmaster House for Viktoriaschule, a school for girls on Blücherstraße [Breslau].

I’m not including photos of the school itself, which (re)opened as Liceum Ogólnokształcące nr 1 in September, 1945, and is the oldest operating high school in Wrocław (at ul. Poniatowskiego 9). A woman who came out of the school building to request that M put a leash on Łapa invited us into the school to show us the memorial plaque to Edyta Stein who was a student at Viktoriaschule.

According to wikipedia (the link above should open the Google Translated page), Edyta Stein was born on 12 October 1891 in Wrocław and died approximately 9 August 1942 in Auschwitz II-Birkenau. Of Jewish origin, Stein was a German philosopher who was baptized in the Catholic Church on 1 January 1922, eventually taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. St. Teresa was canonized by Pope John Paul II on 11 October 1998. That Stein’s birthplace is listed (at least in the translated page) as Wrocław and not Breslau speaks to the difficulty of navigating the city’s history.

As for the buildings themselves, both the school and the Headmaster House bear markers establishing 1907 as the year of their founding. The woman who gave us the impromptu tour (as it were) said that the city of Wrocław had bought the Headmaster House two years ago and plans to renovate it as an apartment building. I’m hoping that the structure will be merely repaired and cleaned, the interior configured as necessary for apartments without losing too many of its original details. Of course, I haven’t been inside the house, so I wouldn’t know what might be lost. If I never get a glimpse of the inside, at least I’ll have these pictures and my imagination.

©Lisa Miyako. All Rights Reserved.

Approaching from the south on ul. Poniatowskiego.

©Lisa Miyako. All Rights Reserved.

My bicycle at the front (or sidewalk) door.

©Lisa Miyako. All Rights Reserved.

The Headmaster House from across the street.

©Lisa Miyako. All Rights Reserved.

A kind of bas relief plaque on the street-facing wall. Festung Breslau Wrocław calls this plaque a coat of arms, and I did not search further for when it was attached to the building. The “W” obviously stands for Wrocław, and I recall reading in Gregor Thum’s Uprooted that city officials debated the design which was changed at least a couple of times.

©Lisa Miyako. All Rights Reserved.

Windows with cool grills.

©Lisa Miyako. All Rights Reserved.

A bespectacled bust of (I’m guessing) the principal or headmaster with a raven on one shoulder and an owl on the other. Behind the head: 1907.

©Lisa Miyako. All Rights Reserved.

Door handle of the gate to the south door.

©Lisa Miyako. All Rights Reserved.

“1907” over the side or courtyard door. The sundial is on this wall, higher and to the right.

©Lisa Miyako. All Rights Reserved.

Sundial and window on the south wall.

©Lisa Miyako. All Rights Reserved.

The side–and south–wall of the Headmaster House. Leaves obscure the sundial.

©Lisa Miyako. All Rights Reserved.

The rear of the house from the high school grounds.

Note: “The school building was built in 1907, designed by German architect Charlot Cabanis,” per wiki.


[Photos taken 9 July 2015.]


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