Palace and park complex, Jarocin
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Palace and park complex

Jarocin

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The palace and park complex in Jarocin is one of the most exceptional residential complexes in Greater Poland, its design being the work of eminent architects. The palace, built in the English Gothic Revival style, was designed by the German architect Friedrich August Stüler, who was also responsible for many outstanding buildings that were erected within the territory of former Prussia. The palace - designed as the residence of the Radoliński noble family - is situated in a park the design of which is attributed to Peter Joseph Lenné, a distinguished landscape architect responsible, among others, for the design of park complexes in both Berlin and Potsdam. After 1897, a gardener’s house designed by A. Peyser was erected near the gate leading to the palace.

The oldest surviving parts of the complex next to which the palace and its garden were subsequently created are the Church of the Holy Spirit and the so-called Little Treasury. The Late-Gothic infirmary church, the remains of which can still be seen today, was erected back in 1516 and was linked to the activities of the Brotherhood of the Poor.

The so-called Little Treasury is a relic of the late-mediaeval castle of the erstwhile owners of the town of Jarocin which was built back in the first quarter of the 15th century. In 1894, the existing building was erected, designed, inter alia, to accommodate the Radoliński family archives.

History

The palace in Jarocin was erected in years 1848-1865 for Władysław Radoliński of the Leszczyc coat of arms; it was designed by the architect Friedrich August Stüler and erected on a new site, since the old mound where the castle had once stood were deemed unfit for the construction of the new structure.

The first stage of construction was completed in years 1848-1858, when the works on the palace (the basement and the first floor levels) came to an end. Later on, works on the interiors have commenced which lasted until 1865.

In years 1881-1910, the palace underwent alteration works. Most of these works were carried out on the palace interiors. The former orangery and the so-called “chapel” located alongside it were converted into a dining room and servants’ quarters. In addition, two-storey annexes with bathrooms were added to the eastern and western façades of the palace.

In years 1911-1914 the construction of the eastern wing of the palace took place.

In 1917, a fire engulfed the palace, resulting in the irretrievable loss of the extensive library collection as well as valuable fixtures and fittings. The palace never regained its former glory after the blaze.

The surrounding park was being created alongside the palace itself, with the works having intensified after 1857. It is believed that Peter Joseph Lenné cooperated with F. A. Stüler in the course of development of the park and garden surrounding the Jarocin palace, although this remains uncertain due to lack of evidence. Count Władysław Radoliński himself also made an undisputed contribution towards the design of the park. The park with a total surface area of nearly 30 hectares was established on the land forming part of the Bogusław manor. The southern part of the park was designed as a decorative garden, while the northern section became a typical landscape park. In the 1960s, an amphitheatre was erected in the park.

The oldest surviving buildings forming part of the palace and park complex in Jarocin are the Church of the Holy Spirit and the Fortalicium, also known as the Little Treasury. The Late-Gothic infirmary church, the remains of which can still be seen today, was erected as a brick structure back in 1516 and was linked to the activities of the Brotherhood of the Poor. Back in the years 1793/94, the church was still in use, although it was subsequently abandoned in 1833; today, the church remains in a state of ruin.

The so-called Little Treasury is situated on the mound and is a relic of the late-mediaeval castle (the Fortalicium) built by the erstwhile owners of the town of Jarocin in the first quarter of the 15th century. In 1791, the eastern wing of the old castle fell into disrepair. In 1894, the existing building was erected, designed, inter alia, to accommodate the Radoliński family archives. In 1958, the building was restored and currently serves as a museum.

In 1897, a gardener’s house with an apartment for the gatekeeper was built inside the complex, near the gate.

The Jarocin manor remained in the hands of the Radoliński family until 1945. After World War II, during which much of the original fixtures and fittings of the palace were lost, the building was used as a primary school, while from 1949 onwards it served as the local library and the Education Centre for Librarians.

Description

The palace and park complex in Jarocin is located near the centre of the town, north of the market square. From the south and the east, the palace grounds border with the Poznańska and św. Ducha streets, while the buildings forming part of the former manor are situated towards the north, right across the street. Kasztanowa street, from which the palace can be accessed, is located to the north-west. Footpaths from Poznańska and św. Ducha streets lead towards the Little Treasury and the ruins of the church as well as towards the palace itself.

The two-storey palace was originally designed on a rectangular floor plan, with the rectangular wings being added at a later stage. The palace is covered by multi-hipped roofs concealed behind the crenellated parapets which crown the building’s façades; the roofs themselves are clad with roofing felt, sheet metal and roof tiles. The projecting central section of the palace is significantly taller than the rest of the structure, forming a prominent avant-corps. A slightly taller turret was subsequently added to the body of the building in the north-western part thereof. The façades of the palace are covered with plaster and framed by corner buttresses. The front façade of the main building follows a 11-axis design. An annex topped with a terrace projects out of the main building and features a porte-cochère with Tudor arches, with the entrance door positioned on the axis of the building. Three large windows of the building’s main hall are visible above the terrace. The central window is significantly wider than the other two, framed with a surround in the shape of an ogee arch, with tondi incorporating the family coats of arms positioned above the side windows. The façade of the original body of the palace follows a nine-axis design and incorporates a three-axis avant-corps preceded by three-sided stairs. The side sections of the main body of the building follow a four-axis design. The wings of the palace were design to mimic the architectural décor of the main body thereof.

The plastered façades feature stone detailing. Windows and doors feature varying sizes and shapes; they are framed by profiled surrounds and topped with window heads in the form of cornice sections which follow the rectangular shape of the upper parts of the windows.

The interiors of the palace follow a two-bay or two and a half-bay layout and feature a spacious hall in the front part of the middle section and a grand drawing room facing the garden. The hall, which originally featured a lavishly designed wooden ceiling resting upon four massive pillars, formed the centrepiece of the palace interior. From 1892 onwards, the hall featured stained glass windows incorporating a heraldic design which portrayed the origins of Hugon von Radolin Radoliński. The stained glass windows were manufactured in Paris. Unfortunately, the most valuable parts of the interior fixtures and fittings were lost to the blaze in 1917. The only surviving parts of the original fixtures can be found in the eastern wing.

The palace is surrounded by extensive grounds which, today, perform the function of a municipal park. The surface of the park is 27.34 hectares; the park is included in the register of historic monuments. The section of the park which is situated to the north-east of the palace was designed by P.J. Lenné. The area surrounding the Little Treasury and the church - the remnants of the medieval castle that once stood there - was also incorporated into the park. The Little Treasury, rebuilt in 1894 and subsequently refurbished in 1958, is an example of the Historicist style. The castle pond and the Lipówka river as well as the path running alongside the ruins of the Gothic church of the Holy Spirit form a viewing axis leading towards the castle. The gardener’s house is situated next to the main entrance to the park, accessible from Kasztanowa street. The palace outbuilding is also located in this part of the park. The park in Jarocin is characterised by its picturesque layout, featuring an informal arrangement of paths, a diverse collection of tree species, extensive, grassy meadows and a system of watercourses and ponds. One of its undisputed highlights is one of the longest hornbeam paths anywhere in Europe as well as another path, lined with oaks, which runs alongside it.

The ruins of the Late Gothic church of the Holy Spirit are situated east of the old town, at the edge of the park, on the northern side of the św. Ducha street which used to serve as the main road towards the town of Toruń. Although oriented towards the east, the building is in fact situated visibly off the axis, deviating towards the north; the structure is now in a state of ruin - what is left of the original building are its peripheral walls, which have survived almost to the level where the facade had once met the roof. Both the roof itself and the ceilings are gone. The Catholic House of St Joseph was erected in 1904, on the site of the former infirmary for the poor. The church is a single-nave brick structure with a three-bay layout, designed on a floor plan the shape of which approximates that of a rectangle. The chancel, incorporated into the overall shape of the church rather than being a distinct section in architectural terms, its floor plan being in the shape of a section of an almost-regular octagon. A polygonal turret which had once housed the staircase is situated on the north-western corner of the building, while a small sacristy adjoins the chancel. The overall shape of the church is compact, supported by single-stepped buttresses; the church was once covered with a tall gable roof.

The exterior of the palace as well as the park (currently serving as the municipal park) in Jarocin - as well as the ruins of the Church of the Holy Ghost - are open to visitors throughout the year. The Little Treasury can be explored during the opening hours of the museum; the interiors of the palace can be explored upon prior request.

compiled by Teresa Palacz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 07-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Kąsinowska Róża, Pałac w Jarocinie. Dzieje rezydencji i jej właścicieli, Jarocin 2012.
  • Günter H., Peter Joseph Lenne’, Berlin 1985.
  • Jaroszewski T., O siedzibach neogotyckich w Polsce, Warszawa 1981.
  • Karwowski J., Historia rodu Leszczyców z Radolina Radolińskich, Jarocin 2010.
  • Kostołowski A., Park Radolińskich w Jarocinie - szkic do historii, „Zapiski Jarocińskie”, 2006, nr 4(5), s. 18-25.
  • Ostrowska-Kębłowska Z., Architektura pałacowa drugiej połowy XVIII wieku w Wielkopolsce, Poznań 1969.
  • Skuratowicz J., Dwory i pałace w Wielkim Księstwie Poznańskim, Poznań 1981.
  • Strzałko M., Wielkopolskie zamki, Poznań 2006.
  • Kasprzak K., Sobczak J., Żerkowsko-Czeszewski Park Krajobrazowy, Poznań 2009.
  • Karta ewidencyjna. Foratlicium, tzw. Skarbczyk, ob. muzeum w zespole pałacowo-parkowym, Stanisław Małyszko, 1990.
  • Karta ewidencyjna, pałac, Krzysztof Jodłowski, 1997.
  • Karta ewidencyjna, Kościół szpitalny, ob. filialny p.w. św. Ducha (ruina), Krzysztof Jodłowski, 2000.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: XV-XX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Poznańska , Jarocin
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district jarociński, commune Jarocin - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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