Grudziądz – a set of historic granaries with a panorama from the side of the Vistula River, Grudziądz
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Grudziądz – a set of historic granaries with a panorama from the side of the Vistula River

Grudziądz

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The value of the monument

Grudziądzis among the few Polish towns in which the granaries of medieval origin have been preserved. The set stretching across the entire old town is an important material testimony to the history of the centre and to the importance of theGrudziądzport for trade on theVistularoute in the Middle Ages and in the modern period.

This discussed project constituted a compositional closure of the city walls, forming an integral part of the town's defence system. This additional role did not negatively affect the functionality of the buildings; however, it influenced the choice of original solutions: thick (up to two metres) walls on the side of the river and a roof ridge position that is unusual for this type of building. The location of granaries’ foundations on the steep Vistula escarpment, which eventuated in a various number of storeys on the side of the town and on the side of the river, and demanded reinforcement with numerous buttresses, can serve as a proof of builders’ technical proficiency. As a result, a complex of buildings with unusual architectural and urban values was created.

A characteristic feature ofGrudziądzgranaries is the composition with the surroundings that has remained unchanged since their inception. The buildings are perfectly set in the landscape, thanks to which the design distinguishes itself by an exceptionally picturesque and unique panorama.

The great value of the complex lies in the continuity of architectural and technical ideas, consistently pursued since the fourteenth century. Over many centuries, these historic granaries were being destroyed, rebuilt and preserved, retaining the original form, and in some cases old bricks were reused. The granaries adapted in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for residential buildings also create a harmonious whole with the remaining ones, and their new function is an additional asset as a testimony of the town's history and economic changes.

History

From the middle of the fourteenth century,Grudziądzwas an important location on the commercial route on theVistulaRiverbetweenToruńandGdańsk, with a dozen or so granaries quickly becoming a grain trading centre for the northern parts of the Chełmno and Lubawa lands. The town owed its development to a favourable location on theVistulaRiverand privileges, the oldest of which was granted by the Teutonic Knights in 1291, wherebyGrudziądzgained the Chełmno Law which included the trade rights.

The origin ofGrudziądz’s granaries dates back to the first half of the fourteenth century. The first to be build was the granary of the merchant Bornwald identified with the granary at9/11 Spichrzowa Street. Until 1504, fourteen of them were erected, most of them made of bricks. In 1608, there were sixteen. As a result of the division of the original plots, until the 18th century, the number of granaries increased to thirty.

Over the years, the buildings were destroyed many times. In 1659, during the fights of Polish troops against the Swedes to regain the town, a fire broke out, out of which only six granaries survived. Apart from two of them, the buildings were rebuilt by the eighteenth century. In 1903, the fire destroyed five granaries again. Serious damage was also caused by the siege of the town in 1945 (roofs were damaged, in some buildings also the walls of the upper storeys). Post-war reconstruction as well as renovation and conservation works within the complex took place in the years 1946-1966.

Due to the construction of other trade routes, as well as the lowering of the level of the river which ceased to reach the base of granaries since the eighteenth century,Grudziądzlost its importance as a port town, and some of the buildings were adapted to new functions. Already in the nineteenth century, the adaptation of granaries for residential purposes began. Five other buildings are currently housing the Fr. Dr Władysław Łęga Museum.

Description

A complex of twenty six granaries inGrudziądzis located on theVistulaembankment in the western part of the town and includes the western frontage ofSpichrzowa Street, between Castle Hill and Water Gate. The buildings with their ridged roofs facing the street form a compact structure, discontinuing at theRatuszowa Street.

The buildings made of bricks are mostly un-plastered and covered with double sloping roofs. Due to the foundation on the high embankment, granaries have various numbers of above-ground storeys: two-three atSpichrzowa Streetand five-six at theVistula. Buildings onSpichrzowa Streetare small and cosy, with different facades. Granaries rebuilt for residential purposes have been given the character of tenement houses and were partially plastered. The remaining structures have retained their original appearance - with bare brick facades, partially cut through with small openings and with gates instead of doors. From the river side, the granaries create a monumental massif that reaches about25 min height. A string of adjoining similar, non-plastered facades, is enlivened by irregularly spaced buttresses.

The interiors of some of the buildings have preserved the storage character and the original wooden structures, in the form of beam ceilings supported on poles.

 

Prepared by the National Heritage Board of Poland

General information

  • Type: masterpiece of architecture and engineering
  • Chronology: XVI - XVII w.
  • Form of protection: history monument
  • Address: Spichrzowa , Grudziądz
  • Location: Voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie, district Grudziądz, commune Grudziądz
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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