Palace and park complex, currently: Creative Work House of UAM, Ciążeń
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Palace and park complex, currently: Creative Work House of UAM

Ciążeń

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The palace complex Ciążeń is one of the most interesting complexes representing Rococo palace architecture in Greater Poland.

History

The first documents mentioning the existence of Ciążeń date from the 2nd half of the 13th century. Before 1260, Przemysł I granted the ownership of the village to the Poznań bishop.. A residence of Poznań bishops used to be located there; it was the centre of their oldest estate, referred to as klucz ciążeński [“Ciążeń array”, literally: “Ciążeń key”]. The village, destroyed in 1331 by a raid of the Teutonic Order, was rebuilt in the early 14th century. The bishop residence is Ciążeń was visited by guests like Duke Przemysł II and King Casimir the Great. In the years 1378-82, Bishop Mikołaj of Kórnik moved the residence to its presence location. In 1504, the bishops were granted permission to establish a city, however, the village did not receive municipal rights due to competition from the nearby town of Pyzdry. In the 17th century, the bishop castle was destroyed. In the years 1723-32, Bishop Jan Tarło built a small palace in Ciążeń; the remains of its foundations can still be seen. After 1758, Bishop Teodor Czartoryski commenced the construction of the present residence. According to a design by Józef Sacco, it was to be a multi-building complex with two cour d’honneurs. In 1768, the palace, along with a residential outbuilding and a gallery, had been constructed, but not completely finished. The construction and finishing works were only completed between c. 1794-1818, when the office was held by Bishop Ignacy Raczyński. In 1818, the village was confiscated by Russian authorities and handed over to Wacław Gutakowski, an adjutant of Tsar Alexander I. It remained in the hands of the Gutakowski family until 1860. Subsequently, it was owned by the Golcz, Dąbski, Zakrzewski, and Gerlicz families. In 1924, the estate of Ciążeń became the property of the State Treasury. The palace housed a primary school in the years 1947-64. In 1969, due to the deteriorating condition of the building, it was taken over by Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. A branch of the University Library and the Creative Work House were established here.

Description

The palace and park complex in Ciążeń is situated in the western part of the village, on the high bank of the Warta River, by a road leading to Pyzdry. The main view corridor is oriented towards the south, through the palace garden down to the river, and towards the north, through the courtyard, up to the access road from the village of Dąbrowa. The palace is surrounded by a landscape park on the north and east sides. In the park, there is an earth mound from the early 18th century, called Stone or Tatar Mountain, from which the surrounding area can be observed. On the south side, there is a regular garden whose design takes advantage of the natural topography, descending in three terraces down the slope of a valley of the Warta River.

The palace, being a residence of Poznań bishops, was built as an impressive brick building having a rectangular floor plan and three storeys and covered with a tall mansard roof. The palace faces the north. The corps de logis communicates with the west wing, comprising a residential outbuilding and an adjoining utility building, by means of a simple, short gallery.

The high level of architecture and the excellent execution manifest themselves in the appearance of the façades. The back façade is decorated with flat pseudo-avant-corpses in the centre and on both sides, with basket-arched or triangular pediments filled with reliefs. The façades are divided by means of giant order pilasters spanning the whole height of the walls. The windows have decorative surrounds. These subtle, linear, nearly graphical elements contrast with the sculptural contours of the pilaster capitals, adorned with Rococo ornaments and motifs. The rooms on the two lower storeys of the palace are arranged into two enfiladed suites of rooms; the rooms on the third storey are connected by a corridor.

The original palace fittings have not been survived to this day. Fragments of Rococo stuccowork have been preserved in some rooms. Magnificent stucco decorations can still be seen in two drawing rooms on the elegant storey which was intended for the eyes of guests, at the top of walls and on the edges of ceilings. They feature Rococo motifs and ornaments combined with landscape and architectural motifs.

The 18th-century palace in Ciążeń houses Masonry collections of the University Library in Poznań — the largest collection of this type in Europe. The collection, comprising approx. 80,000 items coming from Silesian and Pomeranian libraries of Masonic lodges, was found and secured in Sława near Wschowa in Autumn 1945. It was subsequently transported to Poznań. Since 1959, it has been the object of studies conducted in the Masonry Collection Study of the Adam Mickiewicz University Library. The oldest part of the collection are 17-century works of Rosicrucians. The collection also includes several thousand items dating from the 18th century. The great majority of the items come from the 19th and 20th centuries. Most of them are publications in the German language, as well as in the French and English languages. In the 1970s, the collections were moved to Ciążeń, where they can be used in a specially adapted reading room.

The park is open to the public. The palace may be visited by prior arrangement. At present, the palace houses the UAM Creative Work House and guest rooms.

compiled by Beata Marzęta, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 22-10-2015.

Bibliography

  • Barokowe dwory i pałace w Wielkopolsce, Poznań 2006 s. 28-39
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. V: Województwo poznańskie, z. 22, Powiat słupecki, Warszawa 1975, s..2-4
  • Libicki M., Libicki P., Dwory i pałace wiejskie w Wielkopolsce, Poznań 2003, s..
  • Maluśkiewicz P., Województwo konińskie, Warszawa-Poznań, 1983, s. 136-138

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 1723 - 1732
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Wolności 33, Ciążeń
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district słupecki, commune Lądek
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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