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Kamienica Szara Kraków

Grey Tenement House in Kraków

Kamienica Szara na rogu ul. Siennej i Rynku Głównego w Krakowie. Obok niej spacerujący ludzie.

Rynek Główny 6, 30-001 Kraków Tourist region: Kraków i okolice

tel. +48 124211525
fax. +48 124211308
tel. +48 124321810
This is one of the largest and most characteristic tenement houses at the Main Market Square in Kraków, located on the corner of Sienna Street. Currently, the beautiful building houses elegant shops, a restaurant and an art gallery.

Built in the 13th century, the buildings of two neighbouring plots of land were merged into single one in the 14th century. Its owner may have been Mikołaj Wierzynek, a friend of King Casimir the Great, after whose mistress, Sara, the house got its name. By the middle of the 16th century, it was already a magnificent patrician palace with vaulted halls on the ground floor and representative rooms on the ground floor, covered by a recessed roof with an attic. From the middle of the 16th century, the residence was successively owned by many wealthy families. In 1574, it hosted King-elect Henry III of France. When it fell into decline after the Swedish Deluge, the ground floor was rented to Jewish merchants from Kazimierz. In the 17th century, the tenement was rebuilt to be more functional and was rented to tailors and haberdashers. After 1787, the tenement house passed into the hands of the Żeleński family, who hosted King Stanisław August Poniatowski, and by the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries it had become a tenement housing commercial businesses.

In 1864, the house was bought by Stanisław Feintuch, a Jew, and modified into a colonial goods store. One of the best in Galicia, his firm soon changed its name to Szarski and Son (Szarski i Syn). At the beginning of the 20th century, Henryk Szarski gave the building the shape of a monumental six-axis tenement house, which it has retained to this day. Before the Second World War, it was home to the National Party and the All-Polish Youth. Since 1993 it has belonged to the 'Grey House Szara Kamienica' Foundation, has been renovated and houses offices, flats, luxury shops, a gallery and the 'Grey House' ('Szara') restaurant, awarded a Michelin star in 2019

The tenement consists of a front building and an outbuilding on Sienna Street. It is notable for its immense size, lacy attic, high pilasters, powerful corner buttress, neo-romantic façade from Sienna Street, Baroque portal from the 17th century – the work of the Castello brothers – as well as stonework details and rococo ornamentation. In the interiors, Gothic ribbed, polychrome vaults and Renaissance wooden coffered ceilings decorated with polychrome have been preserved; the ceiling of the ground floor room was decorated with polychrome by Józef Mehoffer.

There are commemorative plaques on the façade, one memorialises Tadeusz Kościuszko's headquarters located here during the Polish Uprising of 1794, the other referring to the headquarters of the National Government during the Kraków Uprising of 1846.

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