Railway station complex, Biesal
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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An example of a complex of rural railway stations characteristic of the region, consisting of a complex of buildings as well as an accompanying access road and greenery. An example of architectural forms characteristic for the early days of rail transport in the territory of former Eastern Prussia, currently the Warmia and Mazury region. The defining artistic feature of the buildings within the group (with the exception of utility buildings) is their lavish architectural form. In addition, the water tower represents a rare type of structure - a so-called “two-module column” with preserved original equipment in the form of surviving water tanks. The historical value of the complex also stems from the degree of preservation of the authentic historical substance of both individual structures and of the complex as a whole, including the original spatial layout.

History

The railway station complex in Biesal was erected in 1871-1873 in connection with the construction of the railway line known as the Toruń - Wystruć main line which, among other places, led through Toruń, Iława, Ostróda, Olsztyn, Korsze, and Wystruć (currently known as Chernyakhovsk). The fact that the train station complex in Biesal was put into service is the consequence of the opening of a section of the above route between Ostróda and Olsztyn on 15.08.1873. It is believed that, for practical reasons, the first installation to be completed was the water tower along with the pumping station. The railway freight forwarding building was erected in around 1918. The piston pumps used in the water tower were replaced by centrifugal pumps propelled by an electric motor in the 1930s. Until 1945, according to the nomenclature that remained in use at the time, the railway station in Biesal was classified as a third-class train station. The Biesal train station complex has managed to survive the period of World War II. The railway lines were taken over by Polish administration on 15 August 1945. In the following years ongoing renovations works were being carried out inside the buildings. The buildings continued to serve their original intended purpose. In 1990 the water tower was excluded from use. In 1992, toilet facilities for passengers were installed inside the tower. The pumping station building was equipped with a deep well water pump, making it possible to draw water straight from the well, without the need to use the water tank in the tower. In 2012 the railway station complex was entered into the register of historic buildings. Today, a part of the station building is used for residential purposes; a ticket office also continues to operate on the premises. The water tower remains disused. Other residential and utility buildings are used in accordance with their original intended use; they are managed by the Polish State Railways (a company controlled by the State Treasury).

Description

The railway station complex entered into the register of historic buildings consists of the station building (Biesal 9), water tower with a pump station and warehouse, a well, the freight forwarding building, houses with utility buildings (Biesal 10, 11), an access road and the accompanying greenery, situated near the railway station building and the water tower and near the railway crossing where the railroad and the road from Biesal to Podlejki intersect (including both lines of trees and individual plantings).

The railway station complex is located about 500 m to the south-east from the centre of the village, on the western side of the Biesal-Podlejki road. The complex is arranged in parallel with the railway tracks, on the southern side thereof. In the central part of the complex stands the railway station and the freight forwarding building; in the eastern part there are residential buildings, while the water tower with pumping station and warehouse as well as the well are located in the western part. The tower remains the dominant feature of the complex which is divided into two sections by an access road leading to the railway station.

The railway station building is made of brick and positioned on stone foundations; it features a rectangular floor plan with an annex which was originally used as the signal box. The asymmetrical body, consisting of a number of distinct sections, is covered with a gable roof and small pulpit roofs. Decorative detailing and a wooden arcade enliven the facade. The building’s interior features surviving wooden doors and windows, the original staircase as well as decorative, cast iron columns and wooden panelling in the waiting room.

Other distinctive parts of the complex include the three-storey water tower designed in the historicist style as well as the accompanying pumping station and warehouse. Inside, the tower features an original period staircase, wooden doors and windows as well as riveted steel water reservoirs. In the freight forwarding building, situated in the centre of the complex, one can still see the preserved original wooden doors and windows, including four sliding wooden gates. Residential buildings (a two-family building and a multi-family building) are located in the eastern part of the site; the building No. 11 features a decorative porch; several half-timbered utility buildings are located nearby. The buildings are accompanied by purposefully arranged greenery (lines of trees - maples and arborvitaes as well as single plantings) as well as by an access road paved with field stones.

Limited access to the historic building. Interiors of the buildings may be visited upon consultation with the owner and users of individual structures, except for the railway station whose ground floor is freely accessible.

Compiled by Adam Płoski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Olsztyn, 22.10.2014.

 

Bibliography

  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytków architektury i budownictwa, wodociągowa wieża ciśnień-kolejowa, oprac. L. Budych, A. Broniewska, 1997, archiwum Wojewódzkiego Urzędu Ochrony Zabytków w Olsztynie,
  • Decyzja 85/2012 w sprawie wpisania zabytku do rejestru zabytków z dnia 2 kwietnia 2012 r. 
  • Inwentaryzacja historycznie zachowanych obiektów budownictwa i infrastruktury kolejowej na terenie powiatu olsztyńskiego, Olsztyn 2008, maszynopis, archiwum Narodowego Instytutu Dziedzictwa Oddział Terenowy w Olsztynie

General information

  • Type: railway infrastructure
  • Chronology: 1871-1873
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Biesal
  • Location: Voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie, district olsztyński, commune Gietrzwałd
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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