Palace and park complex of the Kotuliński family, Czechowice-Dziedzice
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Palace and park complex of the Kotuliński family

Czechowice-Dziedzice

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The palace and park complex in Czechowice-Dziedzice, listed among the most important residential sites in the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia, is an example of an entre cour et jardin complex, which emerged in the 18th century. It is integrated into the historic layout of the village, in which the land was divided into farms along a road running in the middle, and is linked spatially to a neighbouring manor complex, a parish church, and an array of greenery and ponds. One of the distinctive features of the palace of the Kotuliński family is its original form, essentially unaltered since the 18th century, simple and typical of that period, combining the classical, subtle exterior decoration with a symmetrical layout featuring the largely preserved original Rococo interior design.

History

The village of Czechowice was most probably founded by the Czelo family at the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century. A major part of the palace and park complex, which has been preserved to this day, was built in the 1st half of the 18th century by the Kotuliński family, who took possession of the Czechowice landed property, which included the feudal farm of the 16th century manor house of the Wilczek family, in the fourth quarter of the 17th century. The complex is integrated into the layout of Czechowice Górne, in which farms were arranged in rows along a road running through the village. After the Kotuliński family completed the construction of the Baroque entre cour et jardin palace in the 1730s, the manor house of the Wilczek family was modified and turned into a granary. After the Kotuliński family completed the construction of the Baroque entre cour et jardin palace in the 1730s, the manor house of the Wilczek family was modified and turned into a granary. The Kotuliński family, who at that time were one of the most prominent Silesian families, managed the property in the years 1675-1765. The precise date of the completion of the palace is unknown, however, it is supposed that the construction works were commenced after the Parish Church of St Catherine, founded by the Kotuliński family, was completed in 1729. At the same time, a four-section palace park was created on the south-east side; a complex of facilities, linked functionally to the palace and including four-flat residential buildings, a stable, a barn, a carriage house, a granary, and a brewery, as well as an array of ponds were build on the east, north, and south sides. When the complex was owned by the next owners, the Renard family, who managed the property in the years 1765-1856, the palace was given its present exterior and interior design. A central avant-corps was built onto the palace on the park side; it was given romantic features in the 1830s. Moreover, two side outbuildings, . They were connected to the palace by means of decorative gates on the cour d’honneur side. Further major alterations to the complex were made in the 1870s, when it was owned by the Zipser family. In the west part of the farm facilities, an administrator’s building was erected, and the buildings from the 18th century were substantially modified, modernised, and made uniform in terms of exterior design. At a later stage, a weigh house, a cowshed, and a small barn were built. Probably at the beginning of the 20th century, an annex containing sanitary facilities was built onto the west façade of the palace, and a two-storey component part containing a winter garden was added to the avant-corps facing the park.

In 1946, the whole complex was nationalised and the palace was used as the building of an agricultural vocational school. The construction and repair works carried out in the postwar period were ad hoc in nature and were related to the adaptation of the object for educational purposes. A number of adverse changes were made to the surrounding areas. The changes affected negatively the transparency of the historical layout of the complex and the state of conservation of particular buildings. A historic driveway avenue leading to the palace and a substantial part of the historic linden tree avenue running in the direction of the parish church were destroyed as a result of the construction of a road in the farmyard. Part of the park area started to be used for farming. Moreover, a number of chaotically arranged facilities were built in proximity of the palace for the purposes of a State Agricultural Farm that was operating there at that time. At the same time, part of the historic structure was dismantled due to its poor technical condition. In 2006, the complex became private property. As a result, comprehensive repair and restoration works combined with the conversion of the palace into a hotel were carried out in the years 2007-2011. The activities were undertaken in respect of the palace, both outbuildings, the bowling alley, and the area of the park and the cour d’honneur. The works included the renovation of the roof trusses and the replacement of the roof covering. Waterproofing insulation was installed, the staircase was reconstructed in connection with the introduction of a lift shaft, and the ceilings on the ground floor were reinforced. Moreover, all exterior plaster was replaced. At the same time, the architectural details and the original paint colours were restored and the window and door woodwork and the floors and parquets were replaced. Maintenance works of the main portal and the architectural details in the vestibule were carried out. The details on the ceiling in the staircase and some gypsum supraportes (overdoors) were renovated. The wall paintings in one of the rooms on the first floor, in the terrace, and in the west part of the corridor were restored. Due to their poor technical condition, both palace outbuildings were dismantled; the west outbuilding was extended and connected with the palace by means of a glass connector. Works aimed at preserving the historical arrangement and emphasising the eclectic, chronologically stratified outlay were carried out in the park.

Description

The complex is located in the south part of Czechowice Dziedzice, within the historical Czechowice Górne, at the intersection of the present Kotulińskiego Street, Zamkowa Street, and Kopernika Street. The complex, integrated into the historic layout of the village, in which the land was divided into farms along a road running in the middle, and linked in terms of arrangement to the premises of the nearby parish church, is situated on a hill which is surrounded by ponds on three sides an by the Stream Czechówka on the north-west side. The Late Baroque palace of the Kotuliński family of the entre cour et jardin is situated in the centre of the complex, on the very top of the hill, surrounded by a four-section park and a small cour d’honneur, which was originally connected with the main driveway running through the farmyard. The palace is accessible from the cour d’honneur by means of decorative gates with small outbuildings, rebuilt in their original positions.

The palace is built of brick, has the form of a two-storey cuboid with a semi-hexagonal avant-corps on the axis on the garden side, and is covered with a mansard roof with lunettes. The particular façades of the palace are characterised by classical, symmetrical design with subtle architectural decoration consisting of panels between the storeys and a profiled crowning cornice. On the north-west side, the facade features a small avant-corps on the axis, surmounted by a triangular pediment with a cartouche with the coat of arms of the Renard family, and lateral pseudo-avant-corpses. The main entrance features a stone portal with a closed segmental pediment. The façade facing the garden (on the south-east side) is decorated with a semi-hexagonal avant-corps on the axis, extended at the beginning of the 20th century with a narrower and slightly lower winter garden avant-corps with porte-fenetre windows, framed by columns supporting a profiled cornice at the upper storey. The symmetrical layout of the palace rooms consists of two suites of rooms separated by a corridor running in the centre. On the ground floor, in the front suite of rooms (on the north side), there is a an elegant vestibule embellished with the original Rococo moulding decorations, separated from the corridor with three arcades. Further, in the south suite of rooms, there is a spacious dining room with rounded corners and a ceiling decorated with plafonds having plant and geometric motifs. To the right of the drawing room, there is a reconstructed two quarter landing staircase covered with a sail vault, with decoration similar to that of the vestibule. Some of the rooms in both suites of rooms are covered with barrel vaults with lunettes. The room arrangement on the first floor is identical to that of the ground floor. The so-called green room, featuring a rosette with Rococo motifs on the ceiling and gypsum supraportes, is located over the vestibule. Further, in the south suite of rooms, there is a vast room with the original moulding decoration on the ceiling, double wooden door with decorative supraportes, and the original cartouche with the monogram of Andreas Renard (in an avant-corps).

The palace is surrounded by the remaining part of a small, Late Baroque French park with a flower garden. The layout of the park, having a rectangular floor plan, consists of the main alley running in a straight line from the central axis of the palace and two hornbeam alleys on the sides, which divide the park into parterres having the form of geometric quarters. Deep in the park, there are fragments of a colonnade and a portal, built in the modern times and reminiscent of the historical, no longer existing articifical ruins from the beginning of the 19th century.

The monument is open to visitors. The complex contains a hotel.

compiled by Agnieszka Olczyk, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 9-02-2015.

Bibliography

  • Chromik G., Czechowice-Dziedzice i okolice. Monografia historyczna (do roku 1918), Czechowice-Dziedzice 2001.
  • Chromik G., Feudalni panowie Czechowic, Czechowice-Dziedzice 1997.
  • Chromik G., Zabytki Czechowic-Dziedzic, Czechowice-Dziedzice 1993.
  • Dąbrowska M., Zespół pałacowo-parkowy Kotulińskich w Czechowicach-Dziedzicach - prace remontowe i konserwatorskie w latach 1945-2011, [w:] Wiadomości konserwatorskie województwa śląskiego, T. 6, Dom - zabytkowa architektura mieszkalna, red. A. Borowik, Katowice 2014, s. 19-48.
  • Karta ewidencyjna Założenie folwarczne z rezydencją [w Czechowicach-Dziedzicach], oprac. I. Winder, E. Strut, b.d., Archiwum NID.
  • Karta ewidencyjna Zespół pałacowy [w Czechowicach-Dziedzicach], oprac. E. Pytlarz, 1987, Archiwum NID.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, T. VI: Województwo katowickie, z. 2: Powiat bielsko-bialski, red. I. Rejduch-Samkowa, J. Samek, Warszawa 1967, s. 55-56.
  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, red. S. Brzezicki, C. Nielsen, Warszawa 2006, s. 224-225.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 1. poł. XVIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Zamkowa 2, Czechowice-Dziedzice
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district bielski, commune Czechowice-Dziedzice - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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