Town hall, Brześć Kujawski
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The only Classicist town hall in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie province designed by Henryk Marconi.

History

The town of Brześć Kujawski can trace its roots back to an early medieval hillfort and settlement, located in what is now known as the village of Stary Brześć. In the 13th century, the town remained the seat of the dukes of Kuyavia. The town obtained municipal rights in 1250 and was chartered in a new location. The very first town hall was erected on the town’s Market Square. The silhouette of the now-vanished town hall can still be admired in the town’s panorama created by Erik Dahlbergh (1657), with the two-storey structure visible to the west, its gables facing the north and the south. A three-storey tower topped with a cupola with roof lantern adjoined the eastern side of its rectangular main body. Ironically, the town hall was lost to the blaze in the very same year that it was immortalised by the renowned draughtsman, when the Swedish forces lay siege to the town. Its remains are known to have existed until the year 1820.

The current town hall, designed in the Classicist style, was erected in 1824 in the north-western part of the Market Square, based on the design produced by Henryk Marconi. The Market Square was later renamed as the Władysław Łokietek Square, taking its name from King Ladislaus the Elbow-high. The building is positioned on the north-south axis, its front (eastern) façade overlooking the square. The western façade, on the other hand, faces an expansive courtyard stretching all the way to Parkowa street in the west. The building continues to perform its original function, serving as the Municipal Office.

Description

The building is located in the centre of what had once been the original, chartered town, standing among a tight cluster of buildings, at the extension of Narutowicza street. The front (eastern) façade forms part of the western frontage of the market square, with the building being positioned at the western edge thereof. The town hall is a brick building designed on a rectangular floor plan and featuring a basement underneath the entirety of its structure. The walls of the town hall are covered with plaster. The foundations of the building are likewise made of brick. A monumental colonnaded portico takes pride of place in the middle of the façade, its triangular pediment positioned at the level of the building’s roof. Above the portico rises a two-storey tower designed on a square plan, topped with a flat roof which doubles as a terrace. The building is covered with a gable roof with copper cladding.

The front façade follows a nine-axial layout with a three-axial middle section partitioned with pilasters and preceded by a grand portico with four giant order Ionic columns supporting the entablature crowned with a triangular pediment framed with a dentilled cornice and incorporating a representation of the town’s coat of arms in the middle. At the ground-floor level there is a central entrance topped with a semi-circular arch and framed with a profiled surround, flanked by similarly disposed, albeit slightly lower niches. The rectangular ground-floor windows feature no additional decoration, save for the rusticated pattern covering the entire façade. The first-floor windows, on the other hand, are framed with moulded surrounds and surmounted by simple window headers in the form of cornice segments.

The width of the tower corresponds to that of the portico below; the tower, designed on a square plan as a two-storey structure, is topped with a profiled cornice. Another, similar cornice separates the lower and upper storeys of the tower. The corners of the tower are adorned with faux plasterwork quoins. At the top of the tower there is a terrace surrounded with a balustrade as well as an entrance with a fanlight. The rear (western) façade follows a nine-axial layout, with a single-storey annex covered with a flat roof adjoining it on the fifth axis; the walls of the annex are covered with plaster, just like the rest of the building. The individual storeys of the rear façade are separated by a strip of bright plasterwork, with a simple cornice running below the eaves providing the finishing touch. The rectangular windows are plain and unadorned, with no moulded surrounds. The western façade of the tower, jutting out of the roof ridge below, is flanked by a pair of chimneys, with the surface between the chimneys being adorned with a rusticated pattern; at the very top of the façade runs a dentilled cornice, above which rises the metal balustrade positioned between the chimneys which rise above the rooftop terrace. The rear entrance into the building is located on the third axis of its façade (counting from the south).

The interior follows a two-bay layout, with an octagonal vestibule and a staircase in the middle; the rooms forming part of the front suite of rooms feature vaulted ceilings of the barrel type. An additional staircase is located in the rear suite of rooms, next to the rear entrance.

The monument is open to visitors. Viewing of the church is only possible by prior telephone appointment.

compiled by Mirella Korzus, Historical Monument and National Heritage Documentation and Popularisation Department of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Cultural Centre in Bydgoszcz, 26-11-2014 - 8-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Record sheet, Town hall, Brześć Kujawski, compiled by Chodkowska W., 1988, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Włocławek; Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw.
  • Kuliński S. Monografia Brześcia Kujawskiego, Włocławek 1935 p. 90, (reprint, Włocławek 2010)
  • Dzianisz P. Powstanie styczniowe na Kujawach. Bydgoszcz 1966, p. 139.
  • Jerzy Z. Łoziński J. Z, Miłobędzki A., Atlas zabytków architektury w Polsce. Warsaw 1967, p. 45.
  • Monografia Brześcia Kujawskiego, Włocławek 1970. p. 192
  • Zabytki architektury województwa bydgoskiego. Bydgoszcz 1974
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, vol. 11, Dawne województwo bydgoskie, issue 18, Warsaw 1988.

General information

  • Type: town hall
  • Chronology: 1824 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: plac Władysława Łokietka 1, Brześć Kujawski
  • Location: Voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie, district włocławski, commune Brześć Kujawski - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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