Villa, Bielsko-Biała
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The villa is highly valuable on a regional scale from artistic, scientific, and historical points of view. It is an important example of the characteristic Gypsy Forest architecture of the cottage type with rich woodcarving details. The building used to be a summer villa of Adolf Mӓnhardt, a manufacturer from Bielsko, the owner of Fabryka Urządzeń Zgrzebnych (a machine and device factory) at the present Partyzancka Street.

History

The Gypsy Forest (Polish: Cygański Las) is inextrcably linked to the history of Bielsko-Biała. According to written records, the lands were handed over to the town residents by Mieszko I, Duke of Cieszyn, as early as in 1312. In the 19th century, due to its natural and landscape values, the area, serving as the town forest, was transformed into a leisure park, modelled after the Vienna Woods. The first spa houses were founded in the 2nd half of the 19th century; the buildings that followed, i.e. summer villas of local merchants and industrialists, were designed in the same idyllic, spa style, inspired by English architecture in the cottage style. The villa at 54 Laskowa Street was built in 1890 for a Bielsko manufacturer Adolf Erich Mӓnhardt. It became a characteristic element of the local landscape. After Mӓnhardt’s death, the building was inherited by his daughter Sydonia Wilde. After the war, it served as a multi-family house. During the 1970s, the building was transformed into a club of Fabryka Samochodów Małolitrażowych (a mini-car factory) in Bielsko. The interior layout was modified then (the partition walls on the ground floor and the second floor were pulled down). In the late 1980s, the building was managed by Spółka Fiat Auto Poland and functioned as hotel. Currently, the villa is privately owned; it underwent a series of renovations, for which it was awarded the title of “Modernizacja Roku 2009” (“Modernisation of the Year 2009”) and the General Monument Inspector Award.

Description

The villa is located in the southern part of the city of Bielsko-Biała, in the Olszówka Dolna District, at Laskowa Street. It is situated in the north-western part of the plot of land, surrounded by a garden having a naturalistic character, with an individuated driveway section. The whole site is enclosed with a fence.

The villa, made of brick and featuring wooden details in the cottage style, reflects the character of the spa district Cygański Las. It is a two-storeyed building made of brick, with a protuberant stone socle, built on a rectangular floor plan; it has a number of side annexes containing verandas and a triaxial avant-corps with a veranda situated on the east side, at the ground floor level. The two-ridge gable roof is covered with sheet metal. Distinctive elements of the design include the rustication at the ground floor level passing into simple corner pilasters at the second floor level, Renaissance Revival window surrounds with protruding sills on corbels with acanthus leaf motifs, and a simple, profiled string course. The gables feature numerous wooden details and woodcarving decorations. The ornamentation of the balcony and veranda balustrades is modelled on Tirol architecture. Due to numerous modifications, the villa has no original interior elements. The notable features include a marble floor in the staircase, wooden ceilings, and cellars partially covered with a barrel vault.

Private property. The building can be visited from the outside.

compiled by Agata Mucha, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 20-01-2014.

Bibliography

  • Karta Ewidencyjna Zabytków Architektury i Urbanistyki. Willa, oprac. AB OVO s. c., Kraków 2007
  • Chojecka E., Architektura i urbanistyka Bielska-Białej do 1939 roku, Bielsko-Biała 1994
  • Janoszek E., Wille cottage w bielskiej dzielnicy Cygański Las, [w:] Bielsko-Bialskie Studia Muzealne, T. IV, Bielsko-Biała 2005, s. 199-222
  • Krajewski J., Spacerem po Cygańskim Lesie, Bielsko-Biała 2013

General information

  • Type: villa
  • Chronology: 1890 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Laskowa 54, Bielsko-Biała
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district Bielsko-Biała, commune Bielsko-Biała
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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