Palace, Karpniki
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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A palace erected in several stages, incorporating parts of an earlier, moated castle from the Renaissance period. One of the most notable aristocratic residences in Silesia, with links to both the von Schaffgotsch noble family and the Hohenzollern royal family of Prussia, the palace is surrounded by a landscape park which lends its location a picturesque quality.

History

The building was erected in the 15th century as a castle, with first mentions thereof in written sources dating back to 1438. Initially, the castle consisted of a residential building inhabited by the local feudal lord, surrounded by a quadrilateral complex of perimeter walls with a cylindrical tower in one of the corners. In years 1476-1550, the castle remained in the hands of the von Schaffgotsch family, who commissioned the construction of a two-storey residential building and a single-storey utility structure, positioned perpendicularly towards one another. Having been damaged by fire in 1593, the complex was rebuilt in 1603 at the request of Christoph Friedrich von Kanitz, becoming a Renaissance structure consisting of four wings surrounding an asymmetrical, cloistered courtyard, with a tower in the south-western corner.- The castle was redesigned once again in the mid-18th century. In 1822, it was purchased by prince William of Prussia, brother of the king Frederick William III, who intended the castle to become his summer residence; in years 1844-46, it was transformed into a Gothic Revival palace; it is speculated that the renowned architect Friedrich August Stueler may have been involved in the redesign. The tower was extended upwards and a new southern wing with entrance gate was erected. The older wings were likewise extended upwards by a single storey, topped with a crenellated parapet. The addition of new, overhanging cloisters has altered the appearance of the inner courtyard significantly, with even more changes taking place inside the palace. After William’s death, the palace remained in the hands of the von Hessen-Darmstadt ducal family right until 1945. In 1956, the mothballed palace was converted into an orphanage. The building underwent renovation works in 1962, but was subsequently abandoned in 1973. Today, the palace is in the hands of a private owner who performed further restoration works in 1995. The park surrounding the palace was designed after 1822, most likely by a landscape designer named Walter who is known to have been active in the area of Bukowiec at the time, although both prince William, his wife princess Marianna as well as countess Friederike von Reden of Bukowiec are also believed to have made contributions to the overall design.

Description

The building is located in the southern part of the village, some distance away from other village buildings. Surrounded by a landscape park, the palace stands on an artificial islet surrounded by a moat. In its current form, the palace is an example of the Gothic Revival style, with vestiges of its Renaissance past still clearly evident. Designed on an asymmetrical quadrilateral floor plan, the palace is a three-storey structure with an inner courtyard, covered with gable roofs with dormer windows. A cylindrical tower adjoins the south-western side of the palace, its uppermost section being octagonal in shape and crowned with a crenellated parapet. All façades are topped with battlements supported by a narrow, profiled cornice, partially obscuring the shape of the roofs beyond. The corner pinnacles designed as low, polygonal turrets provide the finishing touch. Both the bottom plinth and the ground floor level are separated from the rest of the structure by string courses in the form of roll-mouldings. The southern wing features a gate with a Tudor arch, leading across a pentagonal avant-corps positioned on the axis of the front façade. Another portal with an inscription plaque dating back to 1603 adorns the northern façade. The rectangular windows vary in size and proportions, some of them featuring profiled or chamfered stone surrounds. The interiors of the individual wings follow a single-bay or two-bay layout, with the rooms being arranged in an irregular manner. Original lierne vaults and barrel vaults with lunettes can still be admired on the ground floor level, with Gothic Revival beamed ceilings used for the upper storeys; remnants of even earlier ceiling structures, adorned with Renaissance-era stencilled decorations, are known to have survived above those ceilings. There are also surviving fragments of sculpted portals from the Renaissance period, decorative plasterwork on the vaulted ceilings in the eastern wing as well as fragments of Renaissance painted decorations which were discovered after the year 1995. Some of the Gothic Revival interior décor has likewise survived intact, including the fixtures and fittings of the library (cabinet, wood panelling and a pair of marble fireplace surrounds) as well as the decorative panelling in the castle chapel. A single-span stone bridge leading up to the main palace gate is located north of the palace.

The palace is private property and is currently being restored and adapted to serve as a hotel. The building can only be viewed from the outside.

compiled by Piotr Roczek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 02-06-2015.

Bibliography

  • Słownik Geografii Turystycznej Sudetów. Vol. 5 Rudawy Janowickie, M. Staffa (ed.), Wrocław 1998, pp. 136-140,
  • Wojciech Kapałczyński, Piotr Napierała, Zamki, pałace i dwory Kotliny Jeleniogórskiej, Jelenia Góra-Wrocław 2005, pp. 68-73.
  • Łuczyński R., Zamki, dwory i pałace w Sudetach, Legnica 2008, pp. 174-183.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, pp. 387-388.
  • Zamki i dwory obronne w Sudetach, Vol. II Księstwo jaworskie, Wrocław 2009, pp. 104-111.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Rudawska 1, Karpniki
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district jeleniogórski, commune Mysłakowice
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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