Stanisław Staszic Municipal Park, Kielce
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Stanisław Staszic Municipal Park

Kielce

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One of the oldest municipal parks arranged on remains of a crop and decorative garden from the 17th century, in the residential complex of bishops of Cracow; a park of significant landscape qualities, free composition, reminiscent of English parks, with a set of sculptures and monuments.

History

The Municipal Park in Kielce is situated on areas belonging to the palace complex of bishops of Cracow, nationalised in 1789 — the former kitchen crop and decorative garden, part of manor farm and a pond on the river Silnica. The garden was used by the officials of Mining Directorate which took it over in 1818. Ten years later, authorities of the Kingdom of Poland permitted to earmark the garden for public purposes. 5 morgens of the garden was official donated to the city in March 1830. The area covered only the eastern part of the current park and was separated from the pond by a fencing with metal spans. In the garden, there were a brick and stone gazebo and freshly planted trees. In 1821-1830, the conceptual axis of the garden was constituted by an alley delimited along it, with smaller alleys radiating from the main one in the eastern section. After the garden was taken over by the city, a fence was built from the present Jana Pawła II Street, in a form similar to the one existing today. The openings between brick spans were filled with metal grates (transferred from the fence built earlier from the pond). In the eastern fence, the former gate from the northern walls along the collegiate church of Kielce was reconstructed. In 1835, stone sculptures were brought from the Cistercian abbey in Jędrzejów — inter alia two sculptures of St. John of Nepomuk. In the garden, only vases and one of the sculptures of the saint were put — in the corner, at Rogatka Krakowska (currently it is placed in front of a seminary). The second sculpture was placed on the other side of the pond. Before 1838, the layout of alleys was somewhat changed, and the former radial composition was replaced with a free arrangement of alleys crossing the main promenade. The garden became a popular strolling place. In 1873, a "summer auditorium" was built of timber framing on its western side, housing a restaurant, and next to it — a gazebo selling mineral waters. After 1878, the course of side alleys was slightly reduced according to a design by Stefan Daszewski. Although the nearby pond had belonged to the city since 1850, half of the century was not sufficient to clean it properly. The reason was the river feeding it absorbed foul waste from the entire city.  This state of affairs was finally changed by the irrigation works carried out in 1905 according to a design by Teodor Chrząński. The pond was decreased and deepened, and from that moment on it was fed only by a stream flowing from the nearby source (currently Źródło Biruty). The water is discharged through a channel under Ogrodowa Street — to the river Silnica. The river bed via which waste was still flowing was dug through on the western borders of the garden, separating the bed from the pond by a wide causeway. In 1906, in the eastern part, a monument according to a design by Stanisław Szpakowski was erected, devoted to Stanisław Staszic (in 1922, the park was named after him). After the World War II, in 1953, following the construction a monument of Stanisław Żeromski, the park was in turn dedicated to him. In mid-1960s, construction of a roundabout on the south-western part of the park and widening of Ogrodowa Street slightly changed the outskirts of the park. In 1986, the patron of the park was changed (once again, the park was named after Staszic). After 1997, revalorisation works were carried out, and in 2008, the Grand Gate from the 18th century was reconstructed in the southern walls of the palace complex (the northern walls of the park), which restored the former traffic route between this areas.

Description

The park is located on the southern slope of Wzgórze Zamkowe between Jana Pawła II, Ogrodowa, Paderewskiego, Śliska, and Zamkowa Streets, and walls separating the park from its northern neighbourhood. Its area ranges to ca. 7 ha, of which 1.1 ha are occupied by the pond. It is overgrown by Norway maples, small-leaved lime, field elms, and aesculuses. The park is comprised of two rectangular parts perpendicular to each other. The eastern, older part, elongated latitudinally, features a main alley running in its central section, along its longitudinal axis. Aesculuses are planted along it and on the south — there is an obelisk with bust of Staszic in stone surrounds. From that alley, smaller curved alleys radiate in a free arrangement. The fence from Jana Pawła II Street is comprised of brick and stone spans with arcaded openings, alternating with spans with metal rods. The main entrance is located here, between two pillars topped with vases. In the second, western part of the park, elongated meridionally, there is a pond fed with water from the source springing at the feet of Wzgórze Zamkowe, which constitutes the central point of the park landscape. Along the western border of the park, the river Silnica flows. On a wide causeway between the pond and the river, there is a late-Baroque stone sculpture of St. John of Nepomuk, attributed to Jakub Kornecki. The outskirts of the hardened square nearby Zamkowa Street are occupied by a concert shell.

Compiled by Anna Adamczyk, 14.12.2014.

Bibliography  

  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, vol. II: Województwo kieleckie, eds. J. Z. Łoziński, B. Wolff, fasc. 4: Powiat kielecki, oprac. T. Przypkowski, Warszawa 1957, pp. 41-42.
  • Adamczyk J. L., Szczepański J., Park Miejski w Kielcach, Kielce 1983.
  • Adamczyk J. L., Wzgórze Zamkowe w Kielcach, Kielce 1991, pp. 90-92, 121.
  • Adamczyk J. L., Wróbel T., Portrety zabytków Kielc, Kielce 2004, pp. 23.
  • Urbański K., Miklaszewska H., Sentymentalne Kielce. Fotografie ze zbiorów Muzeum Narodowego w Kielcach, Kielce 2004, pp. 31, 38-42.

General information

  • Type: park
  • Chronology: 1830 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kielce
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district Kielce, commune Kielce
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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