Hotel “Victoria”

Roman Duszek

Warsaw Symbols

For many years “Victoria” Hotel, one of the symbols of the “openness and modernity” of the Edward Gierek’s era, functioned as ersatz for Western luxury in the minds of Poles.


A pop rock music band Kombi released a hit song about the hotel and Lieutenant Borewicz of a popular TV series “Come in, 07” was chasing dangerous criminals in its corridors. Some 290 rooms and 52 five-star suites hosted local and foreign celebrities, party dignitaries, western intelligence agents, luxury prostitutes, and terrorists. It was here that in 1981 Mossad agents attempted to shoot a Palestinian terrorist, Abu Daoud, who was at that time in the Opera café on the first floor of the hotel.


The café was frequented by wealthy the Warsaw’s wealthy residents, while others preferred the green-and-gold décor of the bar located on the ground floor or the hotel casino. The building with the H-shaped design was erected at the Victory Plaza which gave it its name. The hotel was designed by a team of architects from Sweden and Poland. Its repetitive facades made of oblong white plates were inspired Swedish of ce architecture of the 1970s. In 2011, the characteristic “Victoria” sign was taken down from the main entrance and became part of an art installation in a public space in Lisbon.