Fawory

Autor: Joanna Porębska-Srebrna    

Fawory

The old manor that belonged to the Ghost of St Martin’s Ladies hospital was located on the lands of the Polków village, between the Vistula River and Powązki village north of New Town, between the Drna and Belcząca brooks. It was established due to subsequent princely investiture, hence the name probably comes from the Latin word ‘favor’ meaning grace. The manor included mills, fishing ponds, brewery, a brickyard, animal husbandry, vegetable gardens and fruit orchids.

The building of the barracks for the Royal Infantry Guards was commenced in 1725 on the area adjacent to the Vistula and leased from the hospital. An elegant avenue leading to the barracks was designated. Earlier there was a Gallows Hill with a Chapel of The Holy Cross where convicts to be hanged prepared for death.

The old Fawory manor was subdivided in the second half of the 18th century and the parcels of land were leased to wealthy gentry, merchants, bankers and nobility. Summer residences, manor houses and small palaces with picturesque gardens were located there. A street grid was designed. Also, a summer residence of the Piarist monastery was established and named joli bord, meaning a beautiful bank. The whole area adopted the name after it was polonized to Żoliborz. Fawory thus had transformed into a modern, wealthy and green district. In 1770 part of Fawory was included into the Lubomirskie Wały area. Zakroczymska and Marymoncka Streets led to the exit from the city in the northerly direction, where over time tollgates were set up. In the early 19th century also military buildings were built here. The Guards’ Barracks were renovated and named the Alexander’s Barracks after tsar Alexander I. The Cuchthauzu Reform Home building was converted into barracks and named the Mikołajewskie Barracks, after tsar Nicholas I. Industrial plants started to appear in greater numbers.

The building of the Warsaw Citadel commenced on the Fawory lands after the November Insurrection. Areas around Alexander’s barracks were expropriated, the buildings were demolished, and trees were cut down. The Citadel was established and later a ring of forts. An esplanade was designated around it – it was an area where it was forbidden to build permanent structures. Fawory disappeared forever, and the city’s development to the north was stopped for close to a hundred years. Only old street names, such as Fawory, Bitna and Gwardii have remained inside the Citadel that are reminders of the old green housing estate.

The project ‘Protecting the habitats of priority bird species of the Vistula Valley under conditions of intensive pressure of the Warsaw agglomeration’ (wislawarszawska.pl) has received a grant from the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+) and from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.