The inhabitants of Wroclaw used to buy goods in the prewar department stores. The buildings and varied assortment testified to the power and welfare of prewar Wroclaw.

The department stores were the real work of art in the XXth century. In the Market Square the department store of Bausch Brothers (today “D.H. Feniks”) was built in the beginning of the century where in the past there had been a neo-renaissance, five-storey house with the cut, narrow and small tower that ranged the “Magazine News” of Moritz Sachs. The author of the project of this department store was Georg Schneider. The interiors which included brown, ceramic and glass elements were designed by Julius Koblinsky. At the beginning the central part of the building was a courtyard in the south part that was surrounded by stairs. In the east entrance of the building there was a nice winter garden. The next floors had the stands with goods for men, women and children. The café and the restroom were located on the highest floor. The most impressive part of the Barasch building was the huge globe that was supported by four sphinxs. Until the destruction  of the globe by a lightening, it was on the top of the narrow.

To 1929 the Barasch department store was the biggest and the most modern store in Wroclaw. In the thirties the leading position was taken over by the department store that belonged to Jewish-American Company Wertheim (today “Renoma”). The department store had 35 000 square feet and 6 entrances. In the interior there were two 4-floor courtyards that had glass roofs and that were decorated by wainscot. The customers could use the 4 elevators, the first in Wroclaw. The huge steel construction being a skeleton of the building and weighing 3,8 tons was made by “Karol” Ironworks in Wałbrzych. The most interesting and beautiful was the facade. To complete the exterior walls there were used glazed tiles which had different colours. Cornices and architectural divions got a dark brown colour, the other areas were covered with fair glazed. The building was lit up by gold-plated and decorative shaped heads. Besides the trading post the store included a hairdresser, a photo studio, a recreation hall, a restaurant and the winter garden designed by E.M. Lesser. The first architect of ‘Renoma’ was Hermann Dernburg.

Source: tuwroclaw.com

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