The building of the Sokół (Falcon) Gymnastic Society, Brzozów
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The building of the Sokół (Falcon) Gymnastic Society

Brzozów

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The building forms an interesting example of a large “Sokolnia” (“Falcon’s nest” - a sports and gymnastics centre established by the Sokół youth movement) that was built in a relatively small community of Brzozów. Its main feature is the surviving exterior architectural decoration incorporating patriotic themes. It was designed by a renowned architect Jan Sas Zubrzycki. The architect responsible for the construction process was Stanisław Majerski, whose workshop also created the sculptural decorations on the building’s facade.

History

The beginnings of the “Sokół” (“Falcon”) Gymnastics Association in Brzozów can be traced back to 1892. The efforts aimed at the construction of a local Sokolnia, a building designed specifically to fit the organisation’s profile, began around the year 1905. In 1906, the community council provided the Association with a plot of land, while the diocese (Brzozów was the secondary seat of the Przemyśl diocese at that time) donated the timber to be used for the building’s construction. Jan Sas Zubrzycki, the designer of the building, created the plans for its construction in 1909, while another architect - Stanisław Majerski - would be responsible for the construction process itself. The building was erected in 1910. The sculptures and reliefs adorning the building’s tower were all made in the sculpture atelier in Przemyśl, run by Stanisław Majerski along with his father Ferdynand (a sculptor). The building suffered extensive damage during both World War I and World War II and was reconstructed on both occasions. In 1949, the “Sokół” Gymnastics Association was forced to disband by the communist authorities. In 1954, the building was refurbished and adapted for use as a District Community Centre. In 1972-1976 the auditorium was converted into a movie theatre.

Description

The building is located on one of the main streets of the town of Brzozów - ul. Armii Krajowej, in its southern frontage, near the junction with Pańki street. The building is oriented almost in parallel to the east-west axis. The “Sokół” Gymnastics Association building was designed in the eclectic style, based on a rectangular floor plan with a cylindrical tower on the north-western corner and a small additional structure abutting the western part of the southern facade. The aforementioned tower adds an element of variation to the monumental shape of the three-storey structure, being higher than the rest of the building by one storey. In addition, the northern facade of the building is intersected by two avant-corps; a third avant-corps juts out of the western facade. The main body of the building is topped with a hip roof, with gabled, half-hip and multi-hipped roof structures above the avant-corps. The addition abutting the southern wall features a shed roof. The tower is crowned by a roof shaped as an octagonal pyramid. The building material used for the construction of the building is brick. The brick facades feature a stone plinth which continues around the circumference of the building as well as decorations in the form of protruding, randomly scattered bosses made of overburnt brick and a crowning cornice at the top. The front (northern) facade is framed by an avant-corps in the east and the tower in the west. The central part of the facade features another avant-corps which serves to accentuate the entrance. A sculpture depicting an eagle standing atop a sphere crowns the central avant-corps. The main entrance is located in the tower; it is the tower that defines the architectural style and ideological expression of the building. Shallow niches are placed between the first-floor window openings, incorporating sculpted busts of Tadeusz Kościuszko, Queen Jadwiga and Kings Władysław Jagiełło and Casimir the Great positioned on corbels. The second and third storeys are visually separated by a rhomboid frieze. Three cartouches in bas-relief - the centre one being slightly larger than the rest - are set into the wall above the frieze, each incorporating a coat of arms. The central cartouche features the coat of arms of the Commonwealth of Three Nations (the Angel, the Pahonia and Archangel Michael) and is flanked by the Brzozów coat of arms to the north and the coat of arms of Galicia and Lodomeria to the south. The second storey facade features two plastered-over blind windows with faux embrasures. The interior features a preserved original staircase. An auditorium, a typical feature of buildings of this type, is located on the ground floor.

The building is available all year round and may be visited upon prior telephone appointment.

Bompiled by Bartosz Bodubny, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszów, 16.09.2014.

Bibliography

  • Karta ewidencyjna, Brzozów, Gmach „Sokoła”, oprac. Tondos B., 2000, Archiwum Wojewódzkiego Urzędu Ochrony Zabytków Delegatura w Krośnie.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. 13: Wojewódzwo rzeszowskie, z. 2: Powiat brzozowski, Warszawa 1974.
  • Piecuch A., Amatorski ruch teatralny w Brzozowie i okolicy w latach 1883-1968, [w:] Adamski J.F., Brzozów. Zarys monograficzny, Brzozów 1990.
  • Piecuch A., Towarzystwo Gimnastyczne „Sokół” w Brzozowie (1893-1949), [w:] Adamski J.F., Brzozów. Zarys monograficzny red. J.F., Brzozów 1990.
  • Zaborniak S., Na galicyjskim szlaku gniazd Towarzystwa Gimnastycznego „Sokół” (1884-1914), Rzeszów 2004.

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1910 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Armii Krajowej 3, Brzozów
  • Location: Voivodeship podkarpackie, district brzozowski, commune Brzozów - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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