Palace (currently serving as a therapeutic and rehabilitation centre), Kamieniec
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Palace (currently serving as a therapeutic and rehabilitation centre)

Kamieniec

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A representative example of a small Baroque Revival magnate’s residence, erected in the Upper Silesia region in the early 18th century and subsequently transformed and extended on numerous occasions until the early 20th century. The value of the historical monument stems from a variety of factors, including the original Baroque Revival exterior which has seen few transformations from the moment of it was first completed as well as the preserved historical interiors and fixtures and fittings dating back to the early 20th century.

History

Back in the 15th and the 16th century, the site of the current palace was occupied by a castle of the von Kokorz noble family; little more can be said of the castle, however, except that it was accompanied by the so-called Mouse Tower, most likely erected in the 16th century. This tower, standing on the eastern side of the castle itself, is believed to have originally served as the gatehouse. The remnants of this structure are believed to have been used in the course of construction of the new residence, designed for the Löwenckron family and built in the early 18th century, its appearance known today from the lithograph created by A. Duncker. In 1767, the Kamieniec manor was taken over by the von Strachwitz family. In years 1872-1873, the existing palace was redesigned at the initiative of the counts von Strachwitz, with Karl Lüdecke being responsible for preparing the actual design. The transformation works involved the addition of a tower positioned at the north-western corner of the cuboid main body of the palace, covered with a mansard roof, as well as the redesign of the façades and exterior décor in the Renaissance Revival style. The functions of the individual wings of the palace were also changed during the period in question. The vestibule in the northern wing now contained a staircase leading up into the representational interiors of the palace, whereas the existing western wing now served as the private quarters of its owners. In 1887, the so-called Mouse Tower was also redesigned, with the existing outbuilding being added on the northern side thereof. In 1910, the palace was redesigned in the Baroque Revival style at the initiative of its new owner, count von Stolberg. A small eastern chapel was added, as were the decorative gables; the interior décor was likewise changed to suit the taste of the new owner of the manor. After World War II came to an end, the palace became a rehabilitation centre.

Description

The palace complex is located in the centre of Kamieniec, near the parish church, on a terraced hill located on the northern bank of the Drawa river, towering above the road from Pyskowice to Tarnowskie Góry. The palace itself is situated in the eastern part of the once-expansive landscape park. The access road leading to the residence, preceded by a circular driveway, is located in the northern part of the complex. The so-called Mouse Tower along with the accompanying outbuilding is situated east of the palace, while a stone retaining wall serves as the southern boundary of the upper terrace.

The palace itself is a brick structure with stone foundations, designed on a floor plan consisting of two intersecting rectangles, accompanied by numerous annexes and avant-corps. Its main body consists of both single- and two-storey sections, both of them covered with mansard roofs with dormer windows, adjoined by cylindrical staircase towers to the east and the south-west; the chapel, designed on a circular floor plan, adjoins the eastern side of the palace, its roof taking the form of a bulbous cupola with a roof lantern. Another salient feature of the palace is the quadrangular tower adjoining the north-western side of the edifice, topped with a bulbous cupola, likewise featuring a roof lantern. The northern façade of the palace is preceded by an impressive pillared portico, while a terrace adjoining the southern façade offers a commanding view of the park and the Drawa river valley.

The multi-axial, asymmetrical façades are characterised by a restrained use of Baroque Revival architectural detailing in the form of profiled cornices between the individual storeys, the crowning cornice, pilasters as well as rusticated quoins adorning the corners. In addition, the gables of the palace are also graced by volute-shaped fractables and profiled cornices, with lintel cornices above the windows and stone portals surrounding the doorways.

The front (northern) façade, adjoined by a three-storey tower to the west, is accentuated by the central portico as well as the Baroque Revival gable. The arcaded portico supported by rectangular pillars and built using massive stone blocks, is topped with a balustrade spanning the spaces between the sculptures of lions at the corners, brandishing heraldic cartouches. The western and southern façades both feature a similar, rigidly symmetrical design, accentuated by the axially positioned Baroque Revival gables. The eastern façade features a rather different approach, with a stepped gable and a circular chapel, its walls adorned with paired stone pilasters supporting the entablature above. A notable feature is the presence of numerous heraldic cartouches and inscription plaques, including the late-16th century plaque embedded in the eastern façade, adorned with a two coats of arms supported by a pair of human figures and carrying the inscription which reads “Jan Kokorz of Kamecze, Katerzina of Kinigsfeld”, the heraldic cartouche of the von Löwenckron displayed on the western façade (first quarter of the 18th century), the inscription plaque telling of the redesign of the palace by count von Strachwitz (years 1872-73) as well as the von Stolberg foundation plaque embedded in the façade of the chapel.

The interior layout of the ground-floor level consists of a row of rooms arranged in an enfilade layout around a spacious hall, the northern part of which houses the grand staircase illuminated by a skylight above. The vestibule leading into the palace features a vaulted ceiling of the barrel type. The marble half-landing staircase is accompanied by an authentic, period marble fountain adorned with an ensemble of sculptures portraying the Greek god Zeus locked in mortal struggle against the Titans. The dining room positioned on the middle axis of the southern suite of rooms features surviving Renaissance Revival décor, original wainscoting as well as period fixtures and fittings. On the first floor, visitors may find the representational billiards room with sumptuous plasterwork ceiling decorations and original wood panelling. The first-floor hallway space is graced by a pair of stone Ionic columns supporting the crossbeam above, along with the engaged pilasters standing against the nearby walls. The former library likewise contains a few period items, such as the large, closed bookshelves.

The interior of the chapel is graced by the Baroque Revival plasterwork decorations in the form of pilasters supporting the entablature adorned with Regency ornaments as well as the sculpted figures of angels brandishing ornate festoons, adorning the surfaces of the intrados.

A Late Baroque chapel from the second quarter of the 18th century, currently serving as the parish church, is positioned in the south-western corner of the palace. Today, this chapel is all that remains of the earlier palace which had stood here before the existing edifice was constructed. The chapel, designed on a square floor plan, features a chancel with a semi-hexagonal termination. The interior of the nave features a stellar vault supported by corner pillars adorned with pilasters which support a mitred entablature above. The western and northern sections of the interior also feature arcaded niches containing galleries with ribbed groin vaults above.

Limited access to the historical monument. The interiors may be explored upon prior arrangement with the administrator of the site.

compiled by Agnieszka Olczyk, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 19-06-2015.

Bibliography

  • Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Kreises Tost-Gleiwitz, compiled by E. Kloss, Breslau 1943, pp. 71.
  • Duncker A., Die ländlichen Wohnsitze, Schlösser und Residenzen der ritterschaftlichen Grundbesitzer in der Preussischen Monarchie, Berlin 1862-1863, Vol. 5, fig. 279.
  • Kozina I., Pałace i zamki na pruskim Górnym Śląsku w latach 1850-1914, Katowice 2001, pp. 80-81.
  • Record sheet, Palace [in Kamieniec], compiled by A. Kwiecień, 1998, Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VI: Województwo katowickie, issue 5: Powiat gliwicki, I. Rejduch-Samkowa, J. Samek (eds.), pp. 28-29.
  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, S. Brzezicki, C. Nielsen (eds.), Warsaw 2006, pp. 376.
  • Zespół pałacowo-parkowy w Kamieńcu. XII Gliwickie Dni Dziedzictwa Kulturowego, compiled by A. Kwiecień, Gliwice 2013.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: pocz. XVIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Polna 2, Kamieniec
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district tarnogórski, commune Zbrosławice
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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