Lion Castle (Schwartzwald Family House), Gdańsk
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Lion Castle (Schwartzwald Family House)

Gdańsk

photo

It is a representative example of a Renaissance tenement house in Gdańsk. The work is attributed to architect Hans Kramer.

History

The first mention of the parcel dates back to the 2nd half of the 14th century. In the 15th century, the site was occupied by a Teutonic mint. The impressive tenement house (on the pass-through plot running from Długa Street to Ogarna Street) was built in 1569, most probably according to a design by Hans Kramer (the front façade is attributed to sculptor F. Vroom). The house had a lavish Renaissance décor of the entrance hall, known from the nineteenth-century graphics by J.C. Schultz. Since 1615, the tenement house was owned by lay judge H. Schwartzwald, then to his heirs. In 1636, it was visited by king Władysław IV Vasa. In the following centuries, the building often changed its owners. In the 19th and 20th century, the ground floor of the tenement house was used for service purposes (bookstore, restaurant) and was rebuilt to the detriment of the historic décor. In the 2nd half of the 19th century, after dismantling the stoop, the façade was decorated with two stone lions, from which the name “Lion Castle” is derived. In 1945, the house was destroyed; the surviving original parts include basements, part of the perimeter walls, fragments of the portal and stonework. In 1950-1953, the building was rebuilt according to a design by J. Bojarski (functionally combined with tenement no. 36). The front façade was reconstructed using preserved fragments of stonework (design by W. Zaleski). Today, part of the tenement is used by the Russian Centre of Science and Culture.

Description

The tenement house is located in the central part of the Main Town, in a densely built-up area of the southern frontage of Długa Street; its front façade faces the north. The Renaissance façade decorations are reminiscent of the Mannerist art of the Netherlands, which exhibited strong Classical influences. The tenement house was built on the floor plan in the shape of an elongated irregular quadrilateral (the front façade is narrower than the rear façade) with a narrow rectangular annex to the west. It features four storeys and basements and is covered with a gable roof. The tenement house is a brick structure with stone sculptural decorations; the basements are topped with ceramic barrel vaults, whereas the upper storeys with reinforced concrete ceilings; the roofs are clad with roof tiles. The building features a three-axial front façade with four storeys, crowned with a gable. The articulation is vertical and features superposed fluted pilasters (from Tuscan to Corinthian); the partitions are horizontal; the space between the storeys is filled with entablatures with cornices and friezes. The volute-shaped gable features herm pilasters, entablatures and a triangular tympanum, and the sculpture of Ceres as finial. The centrally located portal with a transom light is filled with a semicircular arcade of fluted columns; gargoyles and busts are placed on the plinths of the columns; rosettes were sculped in the intrados, whereas the figures of geniuses around the arches; the cornice features stone lions. The section covered with friezes extends along the axis of the portal and is adorned with an extended cartouche incorporating a coat of arms with a motif of a strapwork and scrollwork ornament and putti. The rear (south) façade has four axes and a gable framed by volutes and a tympanum. The interior is modern.

The monument is open to visitors.

compiled by Krystyna Babnis, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 27-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Barylewska-Szymańska E., Lwi Zamek, [w:] Encyklopedia Gdańska, red. naukowa B. Śliwiński, Gdańsk 2012, s. 592.
  • Friedrich J., Gdańskie zabytki architektury do końca XVIII w., Gdańsk 1997, s. 250-251.
  • Stankiewicz J., Massalski R., Ulica Długa nr 35, [w:] Katalog Zabytków Sztuki, pod red. B. Roll i I. Strzeleckiej, Miasto Gdańsk, cz. 1, Główne Miasto, Warszawa 2006, s. 189-190.

General information

  • Type: tenement house
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XVI w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Długa 35, Gdańsk
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district Gdańsk, commune Gdańsk
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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