About the Film VABANK in the Hotel
The reference to the film “Vabank” is not accidental. The house renovated by the present owners used to be the seat of the National Bank of Poland. To preserve and emphasize the former function of the building, the historical gate to the vault has been restored in the basement.
The film “Vabank” accompanies hotel guests at almost every step. The picture-frame from the film with the safe-cracker, Kwinto, hangs in the lobby bar; in the elevator one can hear the soundtrack; the walls of rooms are decorated with originally illuminated frames from the movie. The atmosphere of the 1920s and 1930s adds charm and creates original climate of the hotel.
The history of the building of Hotel VaBank reflects the history of Golub-Dobrzyń in a nutshell.
This part of the Golub-Dobrzyń square dates back to the Middle Ages. Then the plot was laid out, which, as one of the very few, has survived in an unchanged shape to the present day.
The history of the building at 9 Rynek Street began, however, in the nineteenth century when the Jewish family Kiewe became the owners of the building.
At that time there was a corner building in this place, and it took probably about 2/3 of the current depth of the plot. One can, therefore, conclude that two buildings stood side by side along Zamkowa Street. They were merged before the outbreak of the First World War. The extension of the house was needed because the department store, which was located in the southern part, was too small.
The owners of the store were Moses and Abraham Kiewe. The department store existed until 1939 and was the biggest building of such kind in Golub and Dobrzyń, north and south of the Drwęca. During the occupation, the Germans used the building as a warehouse for chemicals.
After the war, the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul run the kindergarten in the building. In the 1950s, offices of Wood Industry Work Cooperative were placed in the tenement. In 1953 or 1954, a fire broke out and destroyed a part of the building.
With the formation of the first Golub-Dobrzyń district in 1956, the then authorities decided to place several institutions in the house at 9 Rynek Street: the National Bank of Poland, Agricultural Bank, General Insurance Company and the financial department of the district office.
PKO Bank functioned in the house until mid-March 2003. Afterwards the building was not used for several years. Its owners were two people ‒ descendants of the Kiewe family. One of them decided to give a half of the building to the city for a symbolic dollar. The second part remained in private hands. The whole house became the property of one person in 2009. Then the decision was taken to open the hotel. It received the name VaBank. The grand opening of the facility took place on October 7, 2011.
Originally the hotel building was a little bit different than today. A photograph from the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century shows a multi-storey neo-Renaissance facade. Triaxial system of architectural openings was highlighted by pilaster strips; on the axe it was crowned with semicircular cornice and a semicircular window. The decor was typical for the period ‒ one can see profiled cornices and bands, window frames, rustic bossage, and plaques of rosettes.
The house slightly changed after rebuilding. Firstly, its northern part (from the ramparts) was probably built onto and thus extended. The foundations discovered during the renovation of the building in 2010 showed it. After the extension, the characteristics of neo-Baroque with elements of secession gave the whole building an architectural design which has survived until now. Looking at the building from the front, one can see the symbols of the patron of commerce, Mercury, namely a winged cap ‒ petasos and sticks ‒ caduceus. From the Castle Street perspective, the reliefs of allegorical representations of animals and humans are presented.
by Szymon Wiśniewski
Hotel Vabank is located in the center of the historic Old Town of Golub-Dobrzyń, a town on the Drwęca river.
The hotel is situated at the foot of the Gothic-Renaissance castle, adjacent to the fourteenth-century defensive walls, just 36 km from Toruń.