Garden and park complex, Bożków
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The garden and park complex in Bożków is one of the few Silesian examples of the concept of a Baroque terraced garden maintaining compositional links with the nearby palace being successfully carried over into the late 18th century and the second half of the 19th century. Even today, the efforts of the landscape architects to maintain the stylistic unity of all the garden’s terraces are clearly apparent. The stonework balustrades present in the garden maintain an outstanding artistic value. The sentimental garden, established somewhere around the year 1800-1805, also has significant historical, research and artistic qualities, being one of the first designs of this kind anywhere in Silesia, with the garden in Bukowiec being one of its counterparts.

History

A Baroque garden complex is known to have accompanied the Bożków palace (pałacem w Bożkowie) as early as before the mid-18th century, consisting, among others, of a regular terraced garden. The southern part of the garden featured an embroidery parterre (parterre de broderie) and a decorative flight of steps leading up to the upper garden terrace, featuring a stone balustrade and a parterre garden. It was followed by an alley separating the two garden pavilions which flanked it. The garden was extended towards the east in the years 1787-1792 in order to establish compositional links with the enlarged palace. The section of the wall incorporating the stairs and the balustrade was extended accordingly. The old garden was merged seamlessly into the new one, with the northern part of the resulting garden complex being occupied by a parterre rose garden with a fountain, flanked by two garden pavilions - the older, western pavilion from the Baroque period and the eastern pavilion which was an almost identical copy thereof. Both pavilions were two-storey structures erected on a square floor plan, preceded by double stairs and covered with two-tier roofs, their walls adorned with painted decorations designed in the Neoclassicist style. Further to the north, a central orangery and two greenhouses were erected in the Late Baroque and Early Neoclassicism style, positioned on the axis of the rose garden. Later on, somewhere between the year 1800 and 1805, a small sentimental garden - an embodiment of the English garden theory - was created north of the aforementioned complex. A complex of watercourses with a number of cascades and a small pond and a labyrinth were also built, accompanied by a hermitage and an artificial, Gothic Revival ruin, the latter being located next to the pond and serving as a backdrop for a collection of antiquities amassed by countess Luiza, including 16 tombstones from the 16th and 17th century. The display of antiquities was a way of glorifying the aristocratic culture and history of Poland. Further alterations in the garden and park complex in Bożków took place in the years 1858-1864 in the western part thereof, with E. Petzold being responsible for the oversight of the works performed, most likely based on a design produced by J. Kittel, although this remains uncertain. The new driveway leading up to the palace received an appropriate backdrop of greenery; a gate with Neoclassical pillars was built and a new formal garden was created, with the part of the road which served as the western boundary of the palace complex being transformed into an alley. After 1871, the older garden was redesigned in order to appear more natural. In 1884, the balustrade of the Baroque terraces underwent renovation works, while in 1895 two front terraces were added - the upper terrace with stairs and Baroque Revival balustrades and the lower terrace with a pool and fountain. Further alteration works were also performed inside the park after 1911. Gatekeeper’s lodges were erected near the gates leading into the complex (today, only one of them survives). Figures of St Francis a Paulo and St Michael the Archangel were placed in the park back in the 1860s. The eastern gate and the fence separating the park from the village were built in the early 20th century. Apart from the main garden and park complex, the palace was also accompanied by other areas dedicated to leisure. A Gothic Revival observation tower was erected on the tallest summit of the Włodzice Hills, south-west of Bożków - a place chosen due to the commanding view of the surrounding area. The tower, erected in 1801 at the initiative of countess Luiza, is currently in a state of ruin. Before 1824, a now-vanished hunting park was established east of the palace complex. In 1847, a pheasantry was created in an area located west of Bożków; during the fourth quarter of the 19th century, a park was established in the surrounding area.

Description

The garden and park complex is located north of the palace itself. A decorative terraced garden is located ahead of the front façade of the palace, with the early 19th-century Romanticised sentimental garden located towards the north. West of the terraced garden lies the driveway and park section formed between 1858 and the period after 1871. Only the layout of the southern part of the formal garden remains discernible today, with vestiges of plantings, terrace retaining walls, stairs and balustrades being all that is left of its former glory. The northern part of the garden was taken up by a new school building the architecture of which follows no particular style. In the former Romanticised sentimental park located north of the garden, visitors can admire the remains of the watercourse system and the relics of an artificial ruin with a number of embedded tomb effigies from the early modern period. The surviving layout of the western part of the park has been partially disrupted when a school playground with a running course were built there. The layout of some of the pathways leading across the park has been partially altered and obscured; however, much of the old trees that had once populated the park have survived, including small-leaved lime trees, horse-chestnuts, red oaks, elms, red maples and copper beeches. Some of the trees have attained the status of natural monuments; other species present in the park include pedunculate oaks, Weymouth pines and the copper variety of common beeches.

The site is accessible all year round.

compiled by Iwona Rybka-Ceglecka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 26-08-2015.

Bibliography

  • Brzezicki S., Nielsen Ch., Grajewski G., Popp D. (ed.), Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006

General information

  • Type: park and garden complex
  • Chronology: Przed 1750 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Bożków
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district kłodzki, commune Nowa Ruda
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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