Regarded as one of Warsaw’s most notable buildings, we take a look at Dom Pod Orłami…
Taking five-years to build, Dom Pod Orłami (House Under The Eagles) was completed in 1917 to a design penned by Jan Fryderyk Heurich, an architect who would later be appointed the Minister of Art & Culture.
Already known for creating the city’s public library as well as what is currently the extravagant Konstancin residence of the Russian ambassador, Heurich’s project was built on the site of a mortuary and funeral chapel; in later years, it would not shake these morbid associations.
Infamously, during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising the car park that stands in front was used as a makeshift graveyard for insurgents, whilst in 1964 it was the stage for one of the country’s most notorious bank heists.
Taking place just a couple of days before Poland’s Christmas Eve celebrations, two robbers ambushed guards carrying money from the nearby CDT department store before they could deposit it inside the bank located within Pod Orłami. One guard was killed, another seriously wounded.
Making off with zł. 1.3 million, the robbers were never caught and the daring stick-up has since gone down in legend. According to some, the perpetrators were thought to be high-ranking officers employed in the secret service.
Such dramas aside, the building at Jasna 1 is equally known for its architectural merit, not least the eagles that cap its two front corners.
Sculpted by Zygmunt Otto, these have become the structure’s signature. Rebuilt after sustaining heavy damage in WWII, Dom Pod Orłami returned to the news last year when a developer was fined zł. 500,000 for carrying out renovation work without the required permit. Nevertheless, its sweeping glory remains unquestioned.
(Photos: Kevin Demaria)