Nobleman’s palace, from 1933 serving as the headquarters of the Convent of the Shepherd Sisters of Divine Providence, Jabłonowo-Zamek
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Nobleman’s palace, from 1933 serving as the headquarters of the Convent of the Shepherd Sisters of Divine Providence

Jabłonowo-Zamek

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An example of a Gothic Revival palace, enjoying the status of a regional landmark.

History

Throughout the years, the successive owners of the village (which only attained the status of a town in 1962) would build their mansions on a great hill at the western edge of Jabłonowo, with the very first structure having been erected there back in the Middle Ages. In 1845, the manor was acquired by Stefan Narzymski of the Dołęga coat of arms (1807-1868) and his wife Otolia Narzymska née Karwat, of the Murdelio coat of arms (1815-1867). It was at their initiative that the Gothic Revival palace was erected in the years 1854-1859. The design for the palace was produced by Friedrich August Stueler, a Berlin-based architect, disciple of Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The task of supervising the actual construction works was entrusted to Karl Lorenz, also an architect by profession. In years 1914-1920, the palace was seized by the German troops, plundered and devastated. Later on, the mansion served as the outpost of the local Grenzschutz, a German paramilitary established to prevent the eastern territories of the Weimar Republic from seceding. In 1931, the erstwhile owner of the palace, Helena Narzymska, sold the manor to the State Agricultural Bank in Warsaw. Two years later, under the terms of the agreement concluded with the bank, the palace was entrusted to the Convent of the Shepherd Sisters of Divine Providence., which have turned it into their headquarters. The palace was converted into a convent soon afterwards. In the early days of World War II, the nuns were evicted, with the building itself serving as a Germanisation camp for resettled persons between November 1939 and June 1943. The partition walls of the conventual cells were taken down in order to create larger, more spacious rooms. Once the camp was abolished, the prisoners were replaced by the German Wehrmacht troops; in February 1945, the palace was briefly seized by the operatives of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD). However, the nuns were allowed to reclaim their property at the end of that same month, after which the period of the necessary refurbishment began, followed by further renovation works in 1958.

Description

The palace, designed in the Gothic Revival style with Romanesque Revival and Renaissance Revival influences, is a two-storey brick structure with a tall semi-basement, its walls covered with plaster. It was designed on an irregular plan, its front façade facing the west; the central section of the edifice is polygonal in shape and features four multi-storey towers as well as three pavilions linked by a semi-circular curtain wall on the northern side. The rectangular corps de logis features a three-sided avant-corps positioned in the middle of the front façade. The main body is flanked by two side wings - the shorter northern wing and the longer southern wing, the latter adjoined by an elongated, single-storey annex, its end section taking the form of a low, hexagonal tower, adapted to serve as the conventual chapel in 1934. A rectangular tower with truncated corners rises above the south-western section of the main body, at the junction with the southern wing. A second, rectangular tower with overhanging bartisans adjoins the southern wing of the palace. The eastern façade is flanked by two corner towers: a cylindrical southern tower and an octagonal northern one. The main body and the towers are topped with crenellated parapets, obscuring the view of the low, hip roofs. The windows are rectangular in shape, some of them topped with semicircular arches, with many window openings adorned with Tudor-style cornices. The uppermost storeys feature an extensive use of Romanesque Revival paired and multiple windows. The interiors of the palace follow a two-bay layout, while the wings of the palace mostly feature a single-bay layout, modified in the course of adaptation works performed when the edifice was transformed into a convent. Yet in spite of all these changes, the grandest, most representational rooms have been preserved almost perfectly intact. The most notable interiors include the former ballroom, designed on an oval floor plan, the dining room in the central, octagonal section, the antechamber with its ornate tiled stove, the main staircase leading up to the first floor as well as the former conservatory, which currently serves as a chapel. Other components of the palace complex include free-standing utility and residential buildings forming part of the former manor farm located on the northern side of the palace, most of them dating back to the third quarter of the 19th century; these include the administrative building, the semi-detached residential building for eight families, a four-storey granary and the stables. The entire complex is surrounded by an English-style landscape park with numerous specimens of old trees. A Baroque Revival pavilion designed as a summer house, erected in the second half of the 19th century, is situated at the western edge of the park, by the pond. The single-nave parish church of St Adalbert, located at the foot of the palace hill, also forms an integral part of the complex. The building was erected in the years 1859-1866 and was accompanied by a clergy house and a morgue, with the funds for their construction provided by Stefan Narzymski and the local parish. The design for the church was produced by the architect Friedrich August Stueler from Berlin.

The palace can be viewed from the outside. The conventual chapel may be explored upon prior appointment with the nuns.

compiled by Lech Łbik, Historical Monument and National Heritage Documentation and Popularisation Department of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Cultural Centre in Bydgoszcz, 9/12/2014.

Bibliography

  • Buze E., Mikulski K., Nowosad W., Wojdyło S., Jabłonowo, gmina Jabłonowo Pomorskie. Zespół pałacowo-parkowy, Toruń 1958.
  • Chodyński A. R., Rezydencja Narzymskich i Ogińskich w Jabłonowie Pomorskim w 2. połowie XIX i na początku XX wieku, “Materiały do Dziejów Kultury i Sztuki Bydgoszczy i Regionu”, issue 16, 2011, pp. 84-104.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, vol. XI: Województwo bydgoskie, issue 2: Powiat brodnicki, Chrzanowski T. and Żurkowska T. (eds.), Warsaw 1971, pp. 34-36.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 1854-1859 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Jabłonowo-Zamek 19
  • Location: Voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie, district brodnicki, commune Jabłonowo Pomorskie - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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