Preachers’ House, Gdańsk
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The Preacher’s House is a valuable example of Dutch Renaissance and is characterised by the multiplication of the module of a typical front façade.

History

The structure was erected in 1599-1602 as the house of the St Catherine’s church’s pastors. The design of the house is attributed to Anton van Obberghen, author and builder of the Great Armoury. Over the next centuries, the house was connected with the church and served as living quarters. In the 19th century, it housed a parochial high school; a new tenement house was added to the western façade in the 2nd half of the 19th century or in the early 20th century. In 1945, the house was severely damaged, but its front façade luckily survived. The ruin was secured in 1965 and the reconstruction was completed in 1970 (medical centre). During the post-war reconstruction, the ternary historic building was enlarged to the west by the interior of the neighbouring building, in which the main staircase was installed. Since 2008, the building has been in possession of the Order of Carmelites; complete renovation to the building began in 2011.

Description

The structure is situated within the Old Town, in the immediate vicinity of the St Catherine’s Church, in a densely built-up area of the southern frontage of Katarzynki Street (An der Katharinenkirche); its front façade faces the north. In stylistic terms, the building is one of the most interesting examples of Dutch Renaissance. The house has three segments and was built on the floor plan of three rectangles joined together. The interior features a two-bay layout and a transverse corridor separating the bays. The building is compact, consists of three storeys, basement (with a stoop), and is covered with three parallel gable roofs and tall gables to the north and south. The front façade is preceded by a low wide stoop with three strings of straight stairs. The house was built of brick; its ceramic ceilings rest on steel beams; the roof is clad with roof tiles. The front façade is faced with brick and features stone architectural and sculptural decorations. Each of the three segments (tenement houses) was separated with own gables, but the partitions (cornices between the storeys and the crowning cornice with a frieze) are common. The frieze incorporates the inscription reading “DIE AVF DEN HERRN HARREN KRIEGEN NEVE KRAFT DASS SIE AVFFAHREN MIT FLVEGELN WIE ADLER (Iz, 40. 31)”. The rectangular window openings (two axes in each tenement house) are surmounted by shallow blind windows with a basket-handle arch accentuated by three stone voussoirs; profiled window sills extend under the stone windows. Three identical portals are located along the outermost (western) axes of each segment: the opening is topped by a basket-handle arch with three stone voussoirs (keystone incorporates the motif of an angel’s head). Geometric decorative battens (strapwork) are the dominant feature of the gables with profiled S-shaped edges; triangular pediments on slender plinths topped by metal pinnacles with flags serve as finials. The stoop features a forged balustrade with finial pinnacles and a frieze with foliate scrollwork; the stairs adjoin three pairs of stone profiled posts. The rear façade has no partitions, is crowned with three gables with a simple outline; the face incorporated the preserved characteristic blind windows with basket arches. The interior is modern and does not feature any historic furnishings.

The monument can be viewed from the outside.

compiled by Krystyna Babnis, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 04-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Friedrich J., Gdańskie zabytki architektury do końca XVIII w., Gdańsk 1997, s. 287.
  • Karta ewidencyjna, Kamienice, tzw. Dom Kaznodziejów, oprac. Maciej Sieniawski, Gdańsk 2011, Archiwum OT NID w Gdańsku

General information

  • Type: residential building
  • Chronology: koniec XVI w. - początek XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Katarzynki 1-3, Gdańsk
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district Gdańsk, commune Gdańsk
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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