The oldest theater for children

The Baj Theater

Walking down Jagiellońska Street, one can see many architecturally interesting buildings, including the Baj Theatre at No. 28. However, before the building housed the theatre, the place was connected with the Jewish community.

The Educational Building of the Warsaw Jewish Community, designed by Henryk Stifelman, was erected on the lot in 1913-1914.  The patron of the building was Michał Bergson, an entrepreneur, social activist and philanthropist.  Bergson was also the great-grandson of Szmul Zarówka, who gave the area Szmulowizna its name.  As the president of the board of the Jewish Community in Warsaw, he initiated the construction of an orphanage for 800 children.  There were: 3 four-year schools for boys and girls, an orphanage, a day nursery for children aged 2-5, a prayer house (in the right wing), a school museum, and, what is more, apartments for teachers and school service-people, as well as offices of the district charity department and auxiliary rooms.

The early modernist building was erected on the plan of the letter ‘U,’ with a perpendicular wing adjacent to it from the side of the courtyard, on the plan of the letter ‘L.’ It is worth paying attention to the architectural details of the front elevation, on which one can find plant and zoomorphic motifs.  The panel in the shape of the tablet of the Ten Commandments is particularly eye-catching.

The Baj Theatre moved to 28 Jagiellońska Street at the end of 1953.  Thus, Praga North has become the new home of the oldest puppet theatre for children in Poland, established in 1928.  The activities of the theatre do not only focus on performances, but on broadly understood theatrical education and the implementation of cultural and social projects.

In 2017, renovation and restoration work began.  While this was being done, in one of the rooms, the inscription ‘Hall named in memory of / Mina Rotblatowa / deceased on November 9, 1919’ was discovered, which is now located above the main entrance of the kindergarten operating next to the theatre at the same address.  After the renovation, the Baj Theatre gained two modern auditoria – the main one with 180 seats for spectators and the small one for 25 people.  The walls of the Baj Theatre, along with the main hall, are decorated with Ludzieńki – pastel Marionettes that are said to came to life.  Ludzieńki were conceived in the mind of the painter Dariusz Twardoch.  There is a smaller-scale exhibition space in the theatre, the Puppet Gallery, where one can see the puppet protagonists of past performances at the Baj Theater.  There are puppets, marionettes, Javanese, hand puppets and tintamarresques here

The Baj Theater is one of the most magical places in Warsaw on the right side of the river.


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ul. Jagiellońska 28