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palace complex - Zabytek.pl

Klęka, 2

woj. wielkopolskie, pow. średzki, gm. Nowe Miasto nad Wartą

The palace and park complex in Klęka is an example of a German manor house established in the second half of the 19th century in the part of Wielkopolska that remained under Prussian rule.

Modelled on contemporary Berlin villas, the palace refers to the concept of Palladian architecture, aesthetically and functionally corresponding with the landscape park located to the north and east.

History of the structure

The village of Klęka was first mentioned in the “Annals or Chronicles of the Famous Kingdom of Poland” by Jan Długosz, who mentions that in 1299 King Władysław Jagiełło met there with King Wacław II of Bohemia. In 1578, the village belonged to Kacper Nowomiejski, and in 1618 it became the property of the castellan of Śrem, and later on it was part of the Nowomiejski estate. At the beginning of the 11th century it belonged to the Grabski family, who sold it with the rest of the Nowomiejski estate to Mosze Alexander in 1834. In 1840, the entire estate was purchased by Lieutenant Hermann Kennemann.

The palace in Klęka was erected in 1872, probably in the place of an earlier manor house, for the then owner of the estate, Hermann Kennemann, who was later the founder of the German Eastern March Association (Deutscher Ostmarkenverein), commonly called Hakata from the first letters of its founders’ names (Ferdinand von Hansemann, Hermann Kennemann and Henryk von Tiedemann). The main goal of the Association, founded in 1894 in Poznań, was the Germanization of Polish lands under the German Empire rule, which was achieved primarily by encouraging Germans to resettle in Wielkopolska region, buying land from Polish hands, and supporting the development of German schools, bourgeoisie, and craftsmen. Born in 1815 in Myśliborz, Herman Kennemann was active as a nationalist long before the Hakata was founded - e.g. he was the initiator of the Union for the Advancement of German Interests and the economic association of the Junkers. He died in 1910 in Klęka, remaining an active Hakata leader until the end of his life. After his death, the estate was taken over by his son-in-law, Max Jouanne, a Germanized Frenchman. At the beginning of the 20th century the palace in Klęka was expanded with a lower western wing. In 1945 the estate was taken over by the state treasury. Next, it was used by the processing plant of the United Organic Industry in Łódź, and then by “Herbapol”, which ran a herbal plantation and processing plant in Klęka. In the mid-1960s part of the ground floor of the main body of the palace was adapted for a kindergarten with a canteen located in the connector, while the interiors of the west wing were converted into apartments. The roofing was repaired in 1979-1980. Currently the palace is the palace property of the Commune Office in Nowe Miasto upon Warta.

The palace park was established in the second half of the 19th century, probably after the construction of the palace, using the relics of the earlier manor park in the form of a dozen or so trees, estimated at 80 years old at the time, associated with the previous manor. Simultaneously with the park two access alleys were created, leading from Nowe Miasto and Wolica. The park was surrounded by a high brick wall. The park and the palace garden were looked after by gardener Hetscher, who first lived in a house near the greenhouse, located in the park, and then, after the Polish peasant Walkiewicz was expelled, in his former house, located near the palace. At the beginning of the 20th century the governor’s house, located to the south of the palace, was demolished and rebuilt to the east of the newly established palace garden. In the interwar period, gardener Opitz expanded the palace garden to include the area north of the park. In addition to planting new orchards, a nursery of ornamental trees and shrubs was established for new plantings in parks that are part of the Klęka estate. At that time, the park was also expanded to include a forest adjacent to the northwest. During the German occupation, the caretaker of the park, a Volksdeutsche Marciniec, built a small rock garden (alpinarium) on its grounds. After 1973, the first revitalization works were carried out in the park. In the following years, the park pond was cleaned and dead trees were removed.

Description of the structure

The palace-park complex in Klęka with the area of 5.6 ha is located by the Poznań-Jarocin road, 2 km from Nowe Miasto upon Warta. The palace is located in the southern part of the complex by the village road running from west to east. It was built on a plan of three adjacent rectangles: the main body crowned with a polygonal lantern and a connector and wing adjoining it from the west. It is a brick building with a brick and stone foundation, plastered, two-storey, cellared, covered with a flat roof. The cellars have segmental vaults, while the ground and first floor storeys have flat ceilings, partially decorated with stucco. The eastern part of the ground floor rooms of the main body has a barrel vault. The interior of the body has three sections with a spacious staircase covered with a lantern in the middle section. The wooden stairs of the staircase are distinguished by the richly carved decoration of the balustrade. The rusticated facades of the palace are decorated with stucco. The window and door openings are rectangular, in some parts they are topped with a segmental arch. The southern 8-axis front elevation of the main body is decorated with a small avant-corps. In addition, a quadrilateral bay window is located in its eastern axis. The 9-axis north elevation is analogous to the south one. In the eastern 5-axis elevation of the palace body there is a one-storey loggia closed with 3 arcades. Adjoining the main body from the west, there is a lower connector, with a 6-axial southern elevation and 7-axial northern elevation. From the west, there is a higher western wing, with a 3-axial southern elevation with an entrance in the middle, 6-axial western elevation and 2-axial northern elevation.

The western border of the park is marked by the Poznań-Jarocin road, the northern border is marked by the Wolica-Klęka road, the eastern border is marked by the area of the former distillery and the adjacent farm buildings, and the southern border is marked by the former farm yard, which is now the backyard of the Phyto Pharm herbal processing company. The park is surrounded by a high brick wall, except for the southern part of the vegetable garden (metal mesh fence). In front of the palace there is a semicircular driveway with small garden architecture (benches, stairs, walls) built during the revalorization works in the 1970s. In the western part of the park behind the gardener’s house there is a former palace garden. To the east of the palace there is a playground for kindergarten children. At the eastern border of the park are the remains of the park’s farm buildings, and greenhouses. The central dominant of the park is a large clearing with a pond, located to the east of the palace and surrounded by old trees (lime trees, maples, plane trees, chestnut trees, ash trees). Surrounding it is a younger stand of trees, introduced to the park in the 1930s, composed of specimens of Douglas fir, suburban pine, red oak, maple, and birch. At the same time, a birch avenue led from the northeast corner of the park to the north, connecting the residence with the Jouanne family cemetery in the nearby woods. In the interwar period, the Polish authorities did not give permission for burials in this cemetery, only after 1939, during the German occupation, the exhumed corpse of Max Jouanne’s daughter was moved to the cemetery. Moreover, during this period, the deceased Germans from Klęka were buried there. The cemetery has a clear layout of burial plots accentuated with planted rows of birch and privet.

Visitor access. The complex buildings can only be visited from the outside.

Author of the note: Tomasz Łuczak, 28.12.2017


  • K. Z. Awzan, Inwentaryzacja parku pałacowego w Klęce, Warsaw 1983
  • E. Callier, Powiat pyzdrski w XVI stuleciu, Poznań 1888
  • Klęka – pałac, Record sheet of monuments of architecture and construction, compiled by H. Wieczorkiewicz, 191, Archive of the Voivodeship Heritage Protection Officer in Poznań
  • J. Skuratowicz, Dwory i pałace w Wielkim Księstwie Poznańskim, Poznań 1981.
  • Wielkopolska. Słownik krajoznawczy, ed. Łęcki Włodzimierz, Poznań 2002, p 135.

Category: palace

Building material:  ceglane

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_30_BK.167857, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_30_BK.50584