Palace and park complex, Czerniejewo
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Palace and park complex

Czerniejewo

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The palace and park complex in Czerniejewo is one of the more important classicist residences in Greater Poland, retaining its original, Baroque spatial layout comprising a palace and its outbuildings. The palace is preceded by a forecourt and a cour d’honneur and surrounded by a vast landscape park. The axial arrangement of the palace and park complex, the avenue leading to it, and the urban layout of Czerniejewo is one of the few examples of still identifiable spatial layouts of this type dating back to the times of the Baroque which have survived to this day in Greater Poland.

History

The Late Baroque palace in Czerniejewo was built in the years 1771-1775 for general Jan Lipski of the Grabie coat of arms. The author of the design remains unknown. Two outbuildings were also built at that time. A stable and a carriage house were built in the years 1771-1779. It is believed that the designer may have been Ignacy Graff of Rydzyna. An Italian-style formal parterre garden was established at the same time as the palace itself.

The first major alteration works on the palace were carried out in the 1790s. It was an initiative of Józef Lipski, the son of Jan Lipski. The building was redesigned in the classicist style. A portico was built onto the central axis of the front facade. The central section of the suite of rooms overlooking the garden was modified through the addition of a three-sided avant-corps on the central axis of the facade, containing the so-called Pompeian Room on the ground floor and a two-storeyed ballroom on the first floor.

In 1823, the Czerniejewo estate was acquired by the Skórzewski family following the marriage between Marianna, Józef’s daughter, and Rajmund Skórzewski (of the Drogosław coat of arms); the palace remained in the hands of the Skórzewski family — who also owned the palace in Lubostroń, among others — until 1939. Around the mid-19th century, the Skórzewski family converted the Baroque garden into a landscape park, which, nevertheless, has retained to some degree the regularity which characterised the initial design. The pheasantry located on the north-west side of the palace was also built during that period. At that point, the residence was considered to be one of the finest of its kind in Greater Poland; the Skórzewski family gathered an impressive collection of books and various works of art in the palace, including a marble bust of Napoleon I by A. Canova and paintings by eminent artists such as Veronese, Dürer or Holbein („Tygodnik Illustrowany”, issue III, 1861, pp. 184-185).

During the early 20th century, a small bridge was built over the road connecting the palace complex and the Church of John the Baptist.

In 1911, Włodzimierz Skórzewski commissioned Kazimierz Ulatowski to create plans for the redesign of the palace. The plans included the construction of galleries that would connect the palace and the outbuildings. However, those plans were never implemented as Włodzimierz Skórzewski died in 1913. The palace became the property of his nephew, Zygmunt Skórzewski.

In the years 1926-1928, the palace was modified according to designs by Juliusz Nagórski. An east wing was added to the palace and one of the contemplated galleries, connecting the palace and the east outbuilding, was constructed. The main gateway leading into the complex and the wall surrounding the forecourt were also built during that period.

In 1939, the palace was confiscated by the Germans. In 1945, the complex became the property of the State Treasury and was converted into a state agricultural holding (PGR); the palace served as an orphanage until the 1970s. In 1977, it was adapted as a training and conference centre with hotel facilities. A year later, comprehensive restorations of the building were commenced. They were completed in 1985. It was during that period that a second gallery, designed by Juliusz Nagórski but not built, was erected, providing communication between the palace and the west outbuilding.

Description

The palace and park complex in Czerniejewo is located north of the town centre; Pałacowa Street, which runs along the north-south axis and connects the palace and the rev. Onufry Kopczyński Square where the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist is located, provides a link between the complex and the town. An early 20th century bridge is located halfway between the palace and the town centre; it features solid balustrades framed by volutes, surmounted by a pair of vases and adorned in the central section of the bridge with cartouches incorporating coats of arms.

The layout of the complex itself has Baroque features. The most important part of the complex is the two-storeyed palace, built on a rectangular floor plan. It is a brick building covered with plaster and topped with a hip roof with ceramic roof tiles. A portico resting on two pairs of columns projects out of the front facade; it is covered with a gable roof of sheet metal and flanked by two gable-roofed avant-corpses following a three-axis design. It also features a triangular pediment incorporating the coats of arms of the Lipski and the Koźmiński families (the Grabie and the Poraj coats of arms, respectively). The facade overlooking the garden is dominated by a three-sided, two-storeyed avant-corps originating from the late 18th century, crowned with a bracketed cornice and topped with a multi-faceted roof covered with cooper sheets. The east part of the facade features a three-axis avant-corps added during the extension of the palace in the years 1926-1928.

The main body of the palace was communicated with its two outbuildings by means of two galleries — the east and west one — built in the years 1926-1928 and 1978-1985, respectively. The outbuildings were constructed on a rectangular floor plan and are preceded by ramps. Both outbuildings are cuboidal, two-storeyed brick structures with plastered walls, covered with hip roofs clad with roof tiles. The pseudo-avant-corpses positioned on the central axes of the front facades of the outbuildings have metal pent roofs from the 20th century over the entrances. The corners of the buildings are accentuated by decorative rustication.

There is a cour d’honneur in front of the main facade of the palace, surrounded from the west, south, and east side by a brick fence interspersed with wrought iron sections, positioned between brick posts surmounted by decorative vases. The main entrance is located on the south side, with two additional double gates on the east and west sides.

A forecourt (avant-cour) is located south of the cour d’honneur; positioned on the axis thereof, it originally served utility purposes. In the 1920s, it was enclosed with a solid brick wall covered with plaster, partitioned by vertical, rusticated lesenes. To the east of the forecourt, there is carriage house, built on a rectangular floor plan. It is a one-storeyed structure, cuboidal in shape; its brick walls are covered with plaster and adorned with decorative rustication. It is topped with a hip roof covered with ceramic roof tiles. The central section of the front facade features three wide entrances. The garret level features a single-axis wall dormer crowned with a triangular pediment with a solar clock in the centre. Its facade is decorated with panoply and festoon motifs.

On the opposite, west side of the forecourt, there is a former stable, built on an L-shaped floor plan. It consists of two cuboidal sections connected at a right angle; their brick walls are covered with plaster. The stable has a hip roof covered with roof tiles. The rusticated facades feature a wall dormer similar to that of the carriage house, projecting from the garret section of the building, with a dial clock on the tympanum.

The main entrance gate is located on the south side of the forecourt. Made of brick, it is covered with plaster and, just like the brick fence, originates from the 1920s. It incorporates a gate topped with a semicircular arch, flanked by two pairs of columns on the outer side of the gate; these are mirrored by two pairs of corresponding pilasters adorning the rear facade of the structure. The entire gate is framed by volutes in its upper section. The gate is crowned with an entablature supporting a triangular pediment. A cartouche incorporating the Drogosław coat of arms of the Skórzewski family, topped with a comital coronet with nine tines, is set against the background of the tympanum and the entablature. The forecourt reaches all the way to the carriage house on the east side and to the stable on the west side.

An extensive landscape park is located in the northern part of the palace complex. Initially a formal paterre garden, it was transformed into a landscape park sometime during the 1850s. The preserved traces of the earlier, formal layout include two garden terraces near the rear facade of the palace and the radial layout of the three alleys inside the park. Notable features of the park include two ponds and a pheasantry located in its north-western part - a brick building erected in the mid-19th century on a rectangular floor plan, featuring a mansard roof with dormer windows and wall dormers, as well as a colonnaded portico positioned on the central axis of the front facade, added at a later date.

The interior of the palace has a two-bay layout, with the rooms separated by a corridor running the length of the building on the ground floor. One of the most impressive rooms of the palace is the Ballroom on the first floor, featuring the original decorative parquet flooring. Another notable features are the door surround and the supraporte adorning the door leading to the Ballroom from the drawing room on the east side, as well as the painted decorations in the former Dining Hall and in the north-east guest room.

The palace and park complex in Czerniejewo is open to visitors all year round; it houses a hotel and a conference centre. More information is available on the website: www.czerniejewopalac.pl.

compiled by Anna Dyszkant, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 01-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Bardzińska-Bonenberg T., Założenie pałacowo-parkowe Czerniejewo, Poznań 2008.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. 5: Województwo poznańskie, z. 3: Powiat gnieźnieński, Warszawa 1963, s. 5-7.
  • Ostrowska-Kębłowska Z., Architektura pałacowa drugiej połowy XVIII wieku w Wielkopolsce, Poznań 1969, s. 85-86.
  • Strzałko M., (red.), Majątki wielkopolskie, t. 9/1: Powiat gnieźnieński, Szreniawa 2013, s. 51-58.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 1771-1775
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Gen. J. Lipskiego 5, Czerniejewo
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district gnieźnieński, commune Czerniejewo - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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