Tenement house (the so-called Celejowska tenement house, currently serving as a museum), Kazimierz Dolny
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Tenement house (the so-called Celejowska tenement house, currently serving as a museum)

Kazimierz Dolny

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The tenement house (the so-called “Celejowska tenement house” is an exceptionally valuable example of Renaissance and Mannerist patrician architecture of the second quarter of the 17th century, combining local traditions with Italian and Dutch influences. One particularly notable manifestation of this fusion of styles is the decorative roof parapet (attic) which crowns the tenement house - one of the most lavish structures of its kind anywhere in Poland.

History

The tenement house was erected before 1635 for Bartłomiej Celej (hence its name), although it has also been referred to as Czarna (the black tenement house), Biskupia (the bishop’s tenement house) or “Pod św. Bartłomiejem” (St Bartholomew tenement house). The tenement house was plundered in years 1678-1679 and rebuilt shortly thereafter.

The house remained in the hands of Bartosz Celej’s successors - the Chomicki, Borowicki and Górecki families - until 1737, when it was acquired by the Ulanowski family, in whose hands the house remained right until 1920. However, despite the continuing efforts of its owners to the contrary, the house has continued to dilapidate as years went by. During the late 19th and early 20th century, the house served as a tannery. In 1915, the building was set on fire by Russian troops. In 1920, the surviving parts of the structure were purchased by the State Treasury. The restoration of the building began in the 1920s owing to the efforts of the Society for the Preservation of Historical Monuments. The man responsible for the oversight of the works was Jan Koszczyc - Witkiewicz. During the 1930s, the building houses the collection of exhibits gathered by the Society of the Friends of Kazimierz Dolny. After World War 2, the house served as a design studio led by Karol Siciński, who headed the reconstruction efforts in Kazimierz Dolny. From 1964, the building housed the Regional Museum, while from 1987 onwards it served as the Vistula Riverside Museum. During the 1970s, the building underwent further restoration, with the façade undergoing renovation works both in years 1994-1995 and in 2006.

Description

The tenement house is located on Senatorska street, which runs alongside the local watercourse known as Grodarz. The house itself is situated in the middle section of the street’s western frontage. It is integrated with the adjoining tenement house no. 13, which was added as an annex during the mid- 18th century).

The tenement house is a two-storey building with a basement underneath parts of the structure; designed on a rectangular floor plan, its interior follows a two-bay layout, with a vestibule in the northern part of the house leading across the entire width thereof, while the southern part of the ground floor contains a pair of rooms. The tenement house is covered by a butterfly roof concealed behind a decorative roof parapet (attic), its design following the principles of the so-called Lublin Renaissance style, which is a local mixture of the Renaissance and Mannerist architecture.

The building is made of limestone, its walls covered with plaster. Inside, the house features barrel vaults with lunettes as well as wooden beamed ceilings. The queen post roof truss is made of wood. The window joinery is likewise wooden, with each casement window featuring two lights divided into three panes each. The doors used throughout the building are of the single-leaf type, planked or panelled. The building features single-pass wooden winder stairs. The floor inside the vestibule is made of clinker brick; the floors inside the other main rooms are painted white.

The rusticated front façade follows a two-storey design and is topped with a pronounced cornice and a Polish Renaissance attic (known as the comb attic due to the shapes incorporated in its design) adorned with Mannerist sculptural decorations. The building, which formerly served residential purposes, is now used as an exhibition space. The windows are rectangular in shape, framed by lavish window surrounds and topped with cornices adorned by double volute-shaped scrolls, rosettes, acanthus leaves, volutes, draperies, reliefs depicting birds and winged putto heads as well as pinnacles. The entrance door, topped with a semi-circular arch, is accentuated by a portal with a pair of pilasters supporting the entablature as well as a pediment formed by foliate volutes and pinnacles flanking the hierogram of Christ in a radiant aureole. The attic consists of two distinct areas, with a broad base section formed by a row of conch-like niches separated by Ionic pilasters whose shafts are adorned by an ornament formed by overlapping circles. The top section of the attic consists of three main sections, with the side sections incorporating decorative arcaded niches with the sculptures of St Bartholomew and St John the Baptist; a pair of identical niches is also used for the central section, incorporating the figures of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary; the niches themselves are also adorned with lavishly sculpted representations of griffins, gargoyles and other fantastic creatures in bas-relief, with obelisk-like pinnacles providing the finishing touch.

The interior is generally devoid of the original decor and fittings. On the first floor there is a room in which one may still admire an original column separating the windows, topped with a composite capital.

The building currently belongs to a branch of the Vistula Riverside Museum. The building is accessible to visitors during the Museum opening hours:

  • from May 1 to September 30, Monday to Thursday as well as Sunday between 10 AM and 5 PM, Friday and Saturday - between 10 AM and 6 PM.
  • Between October 1 and April 30, the Museum is open between 9 AM and 4 PM.
compiled by Anna Sikora-Terlecka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 11-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Husarski W., Kamienice renesansowe w Kazimierzu Dolnym, Lublin 1950, pp. 39-47
  • Kazimierz Dolny. Przewodnik po mieście i okolicach, Z. Nestorowicz (ed.), Lublin 2014, pp. 183-184
  • Architectural monument record sheet. The Celejowska Tenement house, compiled by J. Teodorowicz-Czerepińska, Kazimierz Dolny 2003, Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Lublin
  • Siennicki J., Kamienica Celejowska w Kazimierzu, Warsaw 1929
  • Teodorowicz-Czerepińska J., Kazimierz Dolny. Monografia historyczno-urbanistyczna, Kazimierz Dolny 1981, pp. 57-58

General information

  • Type: tenement house
  • Chronology: 1632
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Senatorska 11, Kazimierz Dolny
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district puławski, commune Kazimierz Dolny - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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