Ritz Hotel – old memories charm
The initiative to build hotel came from Russian and French financiers. Carl Ritz agreed to brand this undertaking with his name. At that time Ritz already had a network of similar hotels in Europe’s biggest cities. It was a synonym of luxury in hotel industry.
This most luxurious hotel was created in Białystok at the beginning of XX century with the trades between West and Far East in mind. It may be hard to believe but in Białystok and surroundings a rapid industrialisation happened. It was started by introduction of customs border between Kingdom of Poland and Russia after the fall of November Uprising. The next force helping the industry was the creation of Warsaw-Petersburg railway in 1862. Majority of it was focused on cloth industry, which even caused Białystok to be called “Manchester of North” to differentiate from Łódź district.
Hotel was in direct neighbourhood to Branicki Palace at the connection of Niemiecka Street and Instytucka Street (today’s Killińskiego and Pałacowa Streets). It was built in 1912-1913 by Russian-French Ritz Stock Society from Petersburg-Tulsk Ground Bank funds with Białystok Commercial Bank mediation.
The building had three floors with excessively monumental form and amazingly magnificent from outside, intriguing with its art nouveau décor. Quickly hotel became city’s symbol and it brought fame across the country, as it was the only Ritz hotel in the country and one out of five functioning in Europe at that time.