Wroclaw

Feniks Department Store

  ul. Rynek 31/32 ,   Old Town          (+48) 71 377 18 00     18 Apr 2019

Relive the glorious days of the People's Republic of Poland – or rather the nineties, after communism fell and goods like toilet paper, artificial flowers, and coffee mugs with faces became plentiful - in this still-functioning remnant of a state-run economy. Dating back to 1902, when it opened as the Barasch Brothers Department Store, Feniks was taken from its original owners in the mid-thirties as a result of anti-Semitic policies in what was then a part of Nazi Germany, and promptly made government property when Wrocław was transferred to post-WWII Poland. Prior to privatisation, domy handlowe (department stores) were the place to purchase your biannual pair of shoes using ration stamps or join a waiting list for some furniture amid chronic underproduction. And while the selection was moderate to put it mildly, in principle these establishments carried everything from clothing to electronics to jewellery to recreational equipment, items now commonly shopped for at glitzy malls and specialist stores.

That is still the case at Feniks, going strong due to its convenient location on the Main Square; each of its six floors is a different shopping department, crammed with all sorts of colourful, plasticky, occasionally tacky merchandise Polish nineties kids nostalgically remember from childhood shopping trips. Well recommended for the cultural and historical factor alone, but convenient for travel essentials as well. For a culinary blast from the past, grab a cheap and fast meal from the 'milk bar' (called Bar Feniks) on the ground floor.

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Open 06:00-22:00. Sun 10:00-18:00.

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