Secrets of the Inn in the Jurydyka of Grzybów


Sit amongst worthy companions in the olde Inn in Grzybów that even amid the reign of the House of Vasa and king John III Sobieski was renowned in the Commonwealth. Fancy the wondrous taste of meats served here and savour a pint of delightful beer; listen to the stupendous tales of the place where the most eminent men turned up.

Breadth of tales springeth to minds of olde storytellers.

It hath been over three hundred years since the first utterance of the inn in the jurydyka of Grzybów. The place was befitting an inn – a brief horse ride to the royal abode and close to the election field at Wola, where the nobility decided upon a new king.

King John’s splendour

In those times Grzybów was a true capital of trade and beer. In the 17th century as much as
28 breweries had operated here! And where there is beer there is delight and fair maidens as
well. The inn in Grzybów was always bursting at the seams, renowned both for the volume of
drawn beer and savoury food. Many diverse nations gathered here.

Beer and the roast meat were requested in many tongues, each one native to the requester:
nobility from the Crown and Lithuania, Cossacks from Ukraine, Tartars and Hungarians in the
service of magnates arriving for sejms and elections, hired royal officers: Frenchmen, Germans,
Scots, Swedes, Irishmen, all heavy drinkers; even foreign envoys arrived at the inn. Their
numbers here were great, even subjects of the great Turkish sultan, who held half the world in
chains, fancied Grzybów.

Here was an Armenian bazaar, Jewish traders over the border – make a few trades and heaven
can wait! They drank, ate and sang many a song in their tongues, ‘twas always most splendid
and tumultuous at the inn, not one soul bothered another.

Secrets of Sir Morsztyn and the Royal Blood of the House of Stuart

Good men came to charm maidens of many nations, told nary a soul of their arrival in
Grzybów.
If thou doth not believe, read sir Morsztyn... he himself drank beer in our inn to cleanse his
mind clouded with passion and wrote epigrams:
‚... Thou laugh, maiden, when fooled around with on the bench / And then you cry when ‘tis all
over

Why is that? Dost thou regret the pawing? / Or that ‘twas just once? ...Splendid was our inn at the time of renowned sir Andrzej and his companions, oh splendid,
merriness and mischief by the amply supplied table went without end.
Finally sir Morsztyn did settle down and married fair Catherine Gordon of Huntly (fifteen
years younger than he)... a Scotswoman related to the royal House of Stuart. He brought his
fair Catherine here, to taste Polish meats and praise the inn to her royal kinship. Thus the
table bursting with flavours from the inn in Grzybów gained renown... in distant England and
Scotland.

Dost thou know what happened in the inn a hundred years later? Drink the beer, lest thou fall
from the bench!

The Duel of Casanova and Branicki

In the year Anno Domini 1765, the most renowned seducer in the history of men – Giovanni
Giacomo Casanova – arrived in Warsaw. Warsaw during the reign of king Stanisław was
splendidly joyful; the high society was having no deficit of beautiful ladies for romance. Thus in
early 1766 the renowned Casanova got himself into a heap of trouble. Naturally, it was all
about a woman – a charming Italian actress fancied by a known reveler and swashbuckler,
general of Lithuanian artillery – Franciszek Ksawery Branicki. Tension between the men ended
with mutual offence and... a challenge for a duel. In the morning of 5th March 1766 the men,
accompanied by an honorary witness – general Czapski – took a carriage to the Wola gardens
looking for a proper place for the duel. They chose handguns. Shots were fired. Casanova was
shot in the arm but did not fall. Branicki however fell covered in blood. The bullet hit him on
the right side of the stomach; the exit wound was right under the last rib on the left side. The
wound seemed fatal. The general’s subjects wanted to hack Casanova with sabres immediately,
but the general intervened. They carried him to the nearest inn and it just so happened that
‘twas the inn in Grzybów, where thou savour the food and beer right now. Wounded Branicki
whispered:

Thou killed me, Sir. Run away from here or thou wilt be hanged, do not waste time and run!

He said that and tried to give Casanova a purse filled with ducats, however Casanova did not
accept the money and immediately left the inn. He met a peasant who took him on his sleigh
and drove him to Senatorska street, where wounded Casanova hid in the Franciscan
monastery. During this time friends of general Branicki arrived at the inn due to the news of
his fatal condition spreading. The whole city was in uproar. However the barber surgeon who
had arrived at the inn at the intersection of today’s Waliców and Grzybowska streets had been
successful in bandaging the wounds. The bullet did not damage important organs and the
general survived. The duel of a seducer known in all Europe with a Polish magnate and king’s
friend became a sensation in the high societies everywhere on the continent. ‘Twas talked
about in Paris, Venice, Vienna, in Rome, Moscow and London. If thou doth not believe or art
curious about further details, read memoirs of Casanova or other famous men of that age. The
king himself was very much interested in the duel and carefully listened to general Czapski’s
account.

The Famous Bench of Branicki and Captain Kościuszko

Curious people constantly came to the inn in Grzybów to see the bench stained with Branicki’s
blood, then they stayed for a savoury meal. Officers from the renowned Corps of Cadets came
here for a pint of beer and meat, including capable young Tadeusz Kościuszko, who celebrated
his captaincy in the year 1769 at the young age of twenty three. Unfortunately, worse times
came and renowned patrons went to the field of battle. The inn, along with its famous bench,
burned down on the year to remember – 1831 – during the November Uprising when the
Muscovites captured Wola, defended by the old general Sowiński. But that is a subject for
another tale...

Restored inn is teeming with life today. Rejoice, eat, drink, live like a king, for we have
everything thou might ever want and, like a goodly length in times past, we wish to entertain
all nations in the Old Polish way, rejoice and sing in many tongues.

 

Long Live Our Guests!