Prague's main thoroughfare

The Tenement Houses of Targowa Street

Targowa Street is the Praga’s main thoroughfare, running through part of Kamionek (Praga South) and Praga North.   It is one of the oldest surviving elements of Praga’s topography.   

Its individual sections changed their names over time, and the street itself its functions.   The buildings located here also underwent a transformation.   Originally, low, one-story wooden houses dominated; buildings were later made of brick, while commercial buildings and orchards could be seen from the distance.  Oxen were driven along the street (hence the old name of one of its sections – Wołowa), and pigs, and at one point in its history, goats were grazed upon it.  In 1881, changes were introduced to Targowa and Wołowa Street – the street market was limited and tidied up, and greenery was made to predominate.  The tenements next to them, meanwhile, began to resemble big-city buildings.  Currently, on Targowa Street, one can see buildings from various periods, representing many architectural styles: Historicism, (Neo-Renaissance)  Eclecticism, Art Nouveau, Early Modernism, Modernism and Art Deco, as well as contemporary buildings, including newly built ones, such as Targowa 23.

 Two tenements from the 1880s are noteworthy – 19 and 59 Targowa Street.  The first of them, at No.  19, was built for Wincenty and Eleonora Kwiatkowscy in two stages.   Much architectural detail has been preserved on the façade, giving evidence of what the building looked like at its height.   The tenement house was designed by the architect Jan Kwiatkowski, who gave it a neo-renaissance style.   In the interior, which is no longer accessible today, rich painted decorations have been preserved – within the gate, in staircases and in apartments.   The tenants of the house at 19 Targowa Street were mainly railway workers of Żelazna Nadwiślańska Road.   In the 1930s and 1940s, the famous Janusz Ciborowski’s famed  ‘Winkol ‘ restaurant operated here, offering sandwiches with tartare, caviar and king herring, as well as the lampreys which were so popular at that time.   Ciborowski also traded in wines and vodka at this address.   An interesting fact is that to this day there is a transverse annexe (one of the two annexes of Targowa 19), which was hit by a shell during the war and was intended for demolition.   The second tenement house, at No.  59, was built for Samuel Bersohn.   Currently unstyled, it has however preserved one of the most beautiful stairs in Praga in the form of its main staircase.   It comes from the Bliżyn factory; under the stairs, on the riser, one can see the heads of mythological satyrs.

The tenement house at 48 Targowa Street, which was built for Maks Patschke, dates back to the beginning of the 20th century.   Although few architectural details have been preserved on the façade, it is worth paying attention to the Art Nouveau balustrades of the balconies.   The Gebethner and Wollf bookstore operated where the wedding dress maker currently works.   Maks’s daughter married Jan Stanisław Gebethner, son of the bookseller Jan Robert.

Of the tenement houses of Targowa Street, the most often visited by tourists are the structures at No.  57 and 84.  The first of them was built for Izrael Halber and his sons: Józef and Abram.   It is typical of Art Nouveau and is famous for its circular staircase, which is the setting for many events and a favoured place to take wedding photos.   The early modern tenement house at 84 Targowa Street was erected for Adolf Dybicz.   It is distinguished by rich architectural details, including beautiful polychromes on the staircase, as well as the materials that were used to design the main staircase.   The steps are made of Carrara marble, which is a noble variety of white marble.


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Zdjęcie archiwalne


ul. Targowa 19, 48, 57, 59 i 84