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History of The Building

History of the building is as interesting as its architecture.

hostel warszawa marszalkowska 1 historiaThe building was constructed between 1912 and 1913, on a uniquely shaped land piece, in what was then the outskirts of Warsaw. The name of the architect remains unknown, but the construction of the building was funded by a merchant, Stanislaw Kowalski, and the next owners were the Kacperski brothers.

The Kacperski Brothers tenement house, by Varsovians also called "the Iron", stands at the fork of Marszalkowska and Polna streets and is the city's highest heritage building with the smallest well-shaped courtyard which is 2x8x4 meters.

The space in the front of the building, at that time called "Mokotowski Square", soon gained prestige and was surrounded by huge city-like houses. Construction of such big buildings was possible after increasing the pressure in Warsaw's water supply system and therefore, the dwellers of "the Iron" enjoyed running water as high as on the 8th floor. Other luxuries of "the Iron" included gas cookers, central heating, central vacuum systems and three elevators.

The tenants and apartment owners told us that before the Second World War, what is now Planet Hostel, was then an officers' mess. During the war one of the apartments was the seat of the Information and Intelligence Service of Poland's Armia Krajowa, the Home Army. In 1943 the place was discovered by the Gestapo, Nazi secret police, which led to arrests of many members of the Polish underground. Luckily, the Iron was one of the few buildings that was not destroyed during the bombings and only its roof suffered a little. After a complete refurbishment in the years of 1955 and 1956 the city authorities arranged here a canteen for the ZOMO, communist paramilitary police. Around 1970 the courtyard was covered with a glass roof, which formed an exceptional skylight and gave the whole interior an extraordinary character that all our guests may enjoy today.