Former Dominican monastery, currently Museum, Bochnia
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Former Dominican monastery, currently Museum

Bochnia

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The building is one of the most valuable historic monuments of Bochnia, a town associated with the Salt Mine.

History

A former Dominican monastery, today it is the seat of a Museum. The oldest architectural elements show that the building may date back to the 16th century. However, the building is not the original seat of the monastery, established in Bochnia by Jan from Brzeg in the second half of the 14th century. The monastery buildings were placed near the eastern line of town fortifications, where currently the eastern wing of the District Court is located. On the western side of the monastery complex, a three-nave church of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built, to which in 1622, a chapel of the Rosary was added. The remnants of the latter were discovered in the 1980s. In the chapel, there was a miraculous painting of Our Lady of the Rosary from Bochnia. After the church and the chapel were demolished, the painting was transferred to the parish church of St Nicholas, where it remains also today. As a result of fires, particularly in 1447 and 1561, the monastery was devastated. A wealthy burgher from Bochnia, Stanisław Kowaliński, donated his house, located at the Market square to the monks. In the new seat, they modernised the Gothic tenement house and joined it with the neighbouring one. The traces of this modernisation are still visible today in the layout of the Museum’s basements. After the fire of 1751, a decision was taken to liquidate the monastery. The monastery was officially liquidated in 1777. The post-Dominican building was taken over by Austrian salt mine authorities. The building was thoroughly modernised and adapted for its new functions. In 1840, a sanitary turret was added, in 1870 one säteri roof was installed—one over the body and the side wing, in the place of separate roofs. Until the early 1960s the building was used for administrative purposes. It was a seat of the district authorities, Bochnia starostwo, tax office and other district administration units. In 1969, the building was earmarked to serve as a seat of the Museum. In the years 1969-1973, a comprehensive renovation was carried out.

Description

The building is located on the corner, southern plot of land, in the eastern section of the Market Square in Bochnia. In its current form it is late Baroque in style, with elements of an earlier structure. It has two wings and was built on a “L” shaped floor plan. The south-western corner is supported by a massive buttress. The building has two storeys and is covered by a säteri roof. The building is made of brick and stone, and its roof is covered with tiles. In the basements, there are barrel vaults made of brrick and stone, and in the go-through hallway at the ground floor level—there are barrel vaults with lunettes. In the rooms of the southern bay—there are two-bay sail vaults on an arch, and in other rooms—wooden roofs with profiled beams. The front façade is sgraffito type, with frame partitions. It was reconstructed in the years 1969-1973 in line with the conditions as of 1730s. In the yard façade, there is a wooden porch of profiled beams, with a balustrade. The present entrance to the Museum from the Market Square, on the axis of the façade, was made before the World War II. In the wall enclosing the yard from the east, there is a late Baroque wicket gate from the end of the 18th century, in a semi-circular archivolt, flanked with pilasters and topped with a skirt roof.

The structure can be accessed from the outside all year round, and inside in the opening hours of the Museum.

compiled by Olga Dyba, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Krakow, 23-03-2015.

Bibliography

  • Flasza Jan, Bochnia, przewodnik po mieście. Bochnia 1998, s. 36-40.
  • Bochnia dzieje miasta i regionu. Red. Kiryk F., Ruta Z., Kraków 1980.

General information

  • Type: monastery
  • Chronology: XVI w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Rynek 20, Bochnia
  • Location: Voivodeship małopolskie, district bocheński, commune Bochnia (gm. miejska)
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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