House of the Pelplin Abbots, Gdańsk
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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House of the Pelplin Abbots

Gdańsk

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It is an example of a typical tenement house in Gdańsk, with a Mannerist front façade.

History

The tenement house was erected in the 1st quarter of the 17th century. The design is attributed to Abraham van den Block. According to the records of 1623, the earliest owner of the house was Peter Henningk. In 1686, Władysław Łoś, Pomeranian Voivode, purchased the tenement for his brother Ludwig A. Łoś, abbot of Pelplin. The house was converted into an inn with rooms for clergy and laity. After the dissolution of the monastery in 1823, the inn continued to operate under the name “Pelplinische Herberge”. In 1837-1860, the house was owned by innkeeper P. J. Schewitzky. During that time, the interior of the house was converted into a suite, the outbuilding underwent alterations, and the stoop was demolished. In 1843, the front façade was plastered and part of the stonework detail (heads) was replaced. The next owner, Philipp Schmidt again renovated the front façade, commissioned the maintenance of the portal and wooden staircase, and divided the hall into two storeys. In 1911, the municipal authorities acquired ownership of the tenement and adapted it for administrative purposes. The building was renovated, the front façade underwent maintenance, and a new outbuilding was erected under the supervision of R. Daehne, municipal building inspector. The house has survived the war in good condition; the destroyed outbuilding was rebuilt after the war. Since 1995, the structure has been the property of the University of Gdańsk and has housed the Institute of Art History of the University of Gdańsk.

Description

The tenement house is located within the Old Town, in the eastern frontage of Elżbietańska Street, on the exposed corner plot bordering on the Radunia Channel. The Mannerist front façade was modelled on the ornaments of Hans Vredeman de Vries. The house was built on a rectangular floor plan, has three storeys, basements, usable attic, and features a three-bay layout. It is covered with a gable roof with dormers. It is built of brick; part of the foundation incorporates large stones. The façades are faced with brick and are characterised by stone sculptural detail; the ceilings are made of reinforced concrete. The roof rests on a wooden truss and is clad with ceramic S-shaped tiles. The front façade is faced with brick, has three storeys, three axes, and is crowned with a gable; the axes are separated by large rectangular windows embedded in shallow niches topped with a basket arch; the central axis is pierced by a stone portal with a fanlight. The storeys are separated by friezes (stone busts) and pronounced cornices. The portal features an arcade terminating in a basket-handle arch; it is surmounted by entablature and a rectangular fanlight; the relief frieze incorporates a motif of the grotesque; the jambs feature masks and bunches of fruit; the section of the fanlight incorporates half-herms and a cartouche. The gable of the tenement house is lavishly decorated in the Mannerist style (batten-shaped partitioned, S- and volute-shaped corners, pinnacles shaped as obelisks) and crowned with a pediment with an eagle. The side façade has many axes and is topped with a profiled stone cornice. The interior is characterised by a tall hall (restored in 1912) on the ground floor and a staircase with the original wooden Renaissance balustrade, herm pillar and relief panel depicting a scene of Susanna and the Elders in middle bay. The preserved furnishings made in 1912 include wainscoting, window sills, swing doors (hallway) and wooden relief frieze (rear bay of the third storey).

The building can be viewed from the outside.

compiled by Krystyna Babnis, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 23-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Friedrich J., Gdańskie zabytki architektury do końca XVIII w., Gdańsk 1997, s. 285-287.
  • Mallek A., Dom Opatów Pelplińskich, [w:] Encyklopedia Gdańska, red. naukowa B. Śliwiński, Gdańsk 2012, s. 233-234.

General information

  • Type: tenement house
  • Chronology: 1 ćw. XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Elżbietańska 3, Gdańsk
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district Gdańsk, commune Gdańsk
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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