The complexes of multifamily housing buildings for staff and inspectors of the former mine „Dębieńsko”, called familoki(family block), which survived in Czerwionka, are extremely precious and distinctive part of the urban buildings of the district and town Czerwionka-Leszczyny. These housing complexes were built in stages in 1898-1916 with the development and growth of the mine, which resulted in changing the character of the former village Czerwionka into the town district. The most valuable of them is the period working-class housing estate, located in the central part of Czerwionka between the streets: Szkolna, Wolności, Słowackiego, Hallera, Kombatantów and Mickiewicza. It includes the area of about 15 hectares. That is why, it is the biggest area of family blocks in Silesia that survived. As a cultural achievement, it has been entered in the national register of historic monuments in 1995.
There are 84 one-storey and two-storey buildings, built in red brick with some parts of ornaments made of white, glazed brick, elements of half-timbered wall, fragments of smooth, sandy plaster and other distinctive ornaments of elevation.
Those are detached buildings which ridges, in ceramic roof tiling, are situated parallel to the street. On the edge of the complex from Wolności Street, there are one-storey houses with mansard roofs above the partly used attics. The complex includes two-storey buildings, which are built double-sided in the streets: Słowackiego, Hallera, Kombatantów and Mickiewicza with interesting and diverse architecture and design of elevation. The perspective closure of crosswise streets with the view in the direction of Wolności Street are emphasized by bigger buildings with more interesting and richer architecture than other buildings along Wolności Street.
The entrances of the buildings are placed mainly at the back or from the side. The family blocks contained 4,6 or 8 flats which included kitchen and 2 rooms. Working-class flats took up from 40 to 70 m2,depending on the standards. Clerical flats were bigger. The buildings had modern infrastructure. They were equipped with tiled stoves, water supply system and electricity from the mine grid, local sewage system. The residents were able to use a basement and an attic. Next to the each residential building there were outbuildings for small farming. The complexes of outbuildings also contained toilets for residents. Single, family, farming gardens took up about 250 m2 of each. Entirely, in the whole complex of former settlement, the gardens took up about 6,7 hectares – almost 50% of space of the whole former complex.
Apart from residential buildings and outbuildings, the family blocks contained a laundry building and a bakery (at present it is the building of Municipal Culture Centre at Wolności Street, significantly changed in the 70s), elementary school (the oldest, period part of the building is situated from Szkolna Street with the preserved former entrance) and nursery for children (building at Wolności Street 11, by which a new, modern kindergarten has been extended). The urban arrangement of the family blocks estate has quite well kept, distinctive street greenery. Some species of trees were planted near them. At Słowackiego Street, there are preserved the doubled-lined avenue of old limes, at Hallera Street and Mickiewicza Street the avenues of formed acacias, at Wolności Street rowan trees, and at Szkolna Street limes, chestnuts and beeches. The urban arrangement of the estate with the buildings is preserved in a good condition, despite the changes that were made. The important value of this complex is unusual variety of architecture, forms and details of particular buildings and at the same time the maintenance of the whole arrangement.
On the period estate, among 84 buildings, there are as many as 40 of their types. Because of the high architectural and urban value of the period residential complex and its location, lately, in the centre of Czerwionka intensive work has been carried on, that aims at revitalization of the complex in order to restore its proper town function and to promote it as an tourist attraction on a town and district scale.
Chamber of Tradition
The Tourist Information has the Chamber of Tradition with perfectly reproduced, traditional Silesian equipment of a workers’ apartment.
Ul. Mickiewicza 10
Telephone number: 32 44 00 479 – we speak English
Mondays – closed
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 10.30 a.m – 4 p.m
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays 10.30 a.m – 5 p.m
Historical Workers’ Housing Estate of the “Dębieńsko” Mine in Czerwionka – Leszczyny can be visited individually and in groups.
We recommend starting the tour with the Chamber of Tradition, located at the Tourist Information Center in Czerwionka (ul. Mickiewicza 10).
Individual or group tours of the Familoki estate without a guide, are free of charge.
Visits for people with disabilities
The Tourist Information along with the Chamber of Tradition is also made available to people with disabilities through an external mounted vertical hydraulic lift (dimensions 2m x 1.6m, capacity 385kg), the bathroom is equipped with handles and handrails. Parking spaces for people with disabilities are separated in the immediate surroundings of CIT and within the estate.
In the Tourist Information you can buy souvenirs, postcards, books, gadgets related to the Familoki estate and the town of Czerwionka–Leszczyny.