Manor house and park complex, Kamesznica
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Manor house and park complex

Kamesznica

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The palace and park complex in Kamesznica, founded by Marceli Potocki and his wife Teresa, is a well-preserved example of a former manor park, its layout retaining an admirable clarity despite the passage of time. The landscape park and the historical buildings within present a considerable artistic and architectural value, making the complex a historical monument of regional importance. In addition, the surviving utility buildings form a significant example of traditional urban architecture in the Żywiec region. The overall quality and value of the entire complex are also emphasised by the presence of a multitude of tree species, leading to the entire park being afforded additional protection as a natural monument.

History

Kamesznica is one of the oldest settlements in the Żywiec district. The village, situated alongside an old trade route known as the “cesarka” (imperial road), was established in the 17th century on the site of the former shepherds’ colony. Following the death of the voivode of Cieszyn in 1720, the entire area became the property of the Żywiec court, with Franciszek Wielkopolski choosing it as the site of his new manor house accompanied by a grange. The complex attained its current appearance in the 1830s; in 1831, Kamesznica was acquired by Marceli Potocki and his wife Teresa from Marcin Badeni, a member of parliament. It was at that point that the picturesque manor house and park complex was formed, encompassing a brick manor house, the former chancellery building and the utility buildings erected in the mid- 19th century. In 1846, the Kamesznica manor was purchased by Karol Ludwik Habsburg, who transformed it into the administrative centre of the Kamesznica Forestry District. The manor served the needs of the local forest administration until 1939. In 1851, the chapel of Our Lady of the Scapular was erected north-east of the manor house. The chapel, originally known as the chapel of St Theresa, was subsequently extended in the 1950s. Today, the historical buildings are private property, while the park is open to the public, serving as a recreational space for tourists and local residents alike.

Description

The palace and park complex in Kamesznica is located in a small river valley which lies east of the Barania Góra nature reserve. The site remains the property of the Węgierska Górka Forest Administration and forms one of the four local nature and forest trails known as the “Manor Park in Kamesznica”.

Designed on a roughly rectangular, elongated plan with the longer side running alongside the north-south axis, the park occupies an area of more than 7.5 hectares. The entire complex, known for its intriguing layout, originally consisted of a manorial garden of a more formal nature, containing

numerous enclosed spaces and terraces and seamlessly connecting with the landscape park which stretched north of the manor house and chancellery building.

The residence itself - the Classicist manor house designed on a rectangular floor plan and featuring a subtle avant-corps in the front façade - was accompanied by the chancellery building, a brick structure with a quadrangular wooden clock tower crowned with a bulbous cupola, located in the south-western part of the park. Originally, both buildings could be reached by taking a path leading alongside the nearby Dworkowa street; today, however, the course of the path has become obscured and is difficult to trace in the surrounding terrain. According to the historical study of the park as well as the site plan dating back to the year 1844, the manor house was also accompanied by well-defined green areas in the form of a floral garden, a vegetable garden and an orchard, while east of the manor house stood a small orangery, which has later been converted into a storage building. North of the decorative garden one will find ruins which are believed to be the remnants of the Potocki family mausoleum. The utility buildings - the shed, the stables and the pine cone drying shack - are situated in the south-western part of the complex.

The landscape park stretching north of the buildings was arranged to fit in harmoniously with the nearby Janoszka, Złatna and Czubkowa streams, with the entire composition of the park being enriched by the presence of artificial watercourses shaped to resemble natural streams, a pond located west of the manor house as well as a number of water springs with stone casings. The picturesque paths are accompanied by clumps of trees and view corridors opening up towards the nearby arable fields. Numerous old specimens of various tree species can be admired in the park, including the Weymouth pine, birch, chestnut, maple, ash and spruce; the entire complex enjoys additional legal protection as a natural monument. According to the available source materials and the traces still extant on site, one may conclude that numerous gazebos had once stood in the park back in its heyday. The chapel of Our Lady of the Scapular is located east of the park, with the stream flowing near the structure being considered by the local residents as possessing the power to heal.

The park is open to the public; the individual buildings, on the other hand, are private property and can only be viewed from the outside. The chapel of Our Lady of the Scapular is open on the parish festival day, i.e. on July 16.

compiled by Agata Mucha, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 12-10-2015.

Bibliography

  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. I woj. krakowskie, J. Szablowski (ed.), issue 15 powiat żywiecki, compiled by J. Szablowski, Warsaw 1951, p. 4
  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce, Inwentarz Topograficzny III, J. Szablowski (ed.), pow. żywiecki, woj. Krakowskie, compiled by J. Szablowski, Warsaw 1948, pp. 62-65.

General information

  • Type: manor house
  • Chronology: 1833 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Parkowa , Kamesznica
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district żywiecki, commune Milówka
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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