History

The Artist’s House is a place of creative work with a rich history spanning over 120 years. The early days of the building date back to the period from 1893 to 1899. In 1908, Count Franz von Ballestrem of Pławniowice (the President of the Reichstag from 1898 to 1906) bought the building together with the adjacent forest and pond (almost 11 ha (27 ac)) and used it to create the Forestry School (Waldschule) for the children of his employees and miners working for the Ballestrem family. Count Franz von Ballestrem attached great importance to social and health issues. There was also an inhalatorium built nearby, which helped people suffering from asthma, tuberculosis and anaemia. The school was run in the children’s centre, which the children of Silesian employees aged between 12 and 14 used to visit from May to October for two weeks in groups of 40. In the 1920s, the centre became available to nuns who ran the Caritasheim St. Theresia orphanage. After the Second World War, the building was taken over by the the Worker’s Holiday Fund (Fundusz Wczasów Pracowniczych) in which it ran a holiday resort under the name “the Miner” (“Górnik”) and then “Calmness” (“Zacisze”). Since the 1980s, the building has been empty and decaying. In 2014, the Benevolens Foundation was given the building for use in order to carry out its statutory activities, provided that it is rebuilt and an open space is created for wider social groups.