The first tavern or inn - an eating, drinking and sleeping place - in Katowice was established at the crossing point of the Rawa River in the centre of Katowice, in the now market place, where the Skarbek building is now.
The road from Gliwice came along the northern side of the river then turned south at the present day Rondo, went along the dam, along the line of the present day Korfantego street before turning east at Rynek (market place) going in the direction of Krakow along the line of Warszawska Street.
This was a natural resting place for travellers along this important trading route between Gliwice and Krakow. It appears to have been established before 1816 near the Bogucka blacksmith's Forge - which goes back to 1397 - so it is likely that the inn could go back hundreds of years, although perhaps not the same building. It would have had stables and there is evidence that it also had a brewery. An unknown visitor in writing a letter in 1832 reported that the tavern towered over the thatched houses as he approached it.
Unfortunately, the tavern, which appears to have been a wooden building, collapsed in 1864 - just before Katowice officially became a town. Six years earlier the more substantial Hotel Welt was opened in 1848. In 1850 Johann Strauss played there with his orchestra.
The hotel Welt was burned down in 1945 by invading the town Red Army.The Zenit department store now stands in its place.