Jan Böhm’s townhouse
Mikołaj Chopin and Justyna Krzyżanowska were married in Brochów church in June 1806. For the next few years, their mutual fate was linked to that of their employer and guardian, Countess Ludwika Skarbek. From 1807 to 1810, they moved with the countess between Warsaw (where their firstborn, Ludwika, came into the world, in a house on ul. Przyrynek, in the New Town district of Warsaw, in April 1807) and Żelazowa Wola, where Fryderyk Chopin was born, in late February or early March 1809 or 1810 (we cannot be sure).
The Chopins moved to Warsaw permanently in the autumn of 1810, when Mikołaj started working at the Warsaw Lyceum as a French teacher. Their first apartment in the city was situated at what is now ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 7, where their third child, Izabella, was born, in July 1811.
The Chopins immediately established there a small boarding school for boys, which was to become famous over the next few years. The house was erected at the end of the eighteenth century on land that had previously belonged to the Chamberlain of King Stanislaus Augustus, Walenty Sobolewski.
The Chopins’ first charges included Piotr Dziewanowski, whom the twenty-year-old Chopin would fondly mention in a letter to Tytus Woyciechowski regarding ‘his beloved Pietruś’ and beginning with the words ‘Revolting Hypocrite’.
Bolesław Prus set Stanisław Wokulski’s shop here in his novel Lalka [The doll]. To commemorate this, Jan Böhm’s former townhouse now houses an academic bookshop named after the author.