Hunting palace complex, Kobiór
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Hunting palace complex

Kobiór

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The hunting palace in Promnice is one of the most representative and valuable structures of its kind in Poland. The mansion, which had once formed a vital part of the domain owned by the dukes of Pszczyna and was linked to the nearby Pszczyna castle by a wide avenue for many years, was known for its sumptuous fixtures and fittings and interior décor, as witnessed by the numerous noble guests which had crossed its threshold throughout the years, including the German Emperor William II as well as the Prussian king William I Friedrich Ludwig von Hohenzollern.

History

The very first mentions of the village of Promnice date back to the 16th century, when the Duchy of Pless (Pszczyna) was acquired by Baltazar von Promnic, the erstwhile bishop of Wrocław. In the years 1548-1765, the area remained under the administration of the Promnic family and was subsequently acquired by the Anhalt family. From 1855 onwards, it formed part of the domain of the Hochberg ducal family of Pless (Pszczyna). The hunting palace designed by the royal architect Olivier Pavelt was constructed in the years 1861-1867 at the request of Jan Henryk XI Hochberg. The building was originally intended to supersede an earlier hunting mansion located near the Pszczyna castle, destroyed in 1830. The newly erected hunting mansion was constructed on the site of another manor house, designed by Jan Jahne from Żary in 1766 and erected at the request of Jan Adam Promnic. When this manor house was finally torn down in 1861, it had already been in a state of ruin for many years. The construction of the new hunting palace was completed in 1867; lamentably, within just a few months, on September 22, 1867, the building was lost to the blaze. The reconstruction efforts began one month after the fire, based on the drawings supplied by Asser, a master carpenter, with the task of supervising the construction process being entrusted to a man named Boehm. All of the carpentry was done by Fryderyk Rehorsterm, another master carpenter, who acted in strict compliance with the guidelines provided by the architect of the palace. The contract provided for the interior decorations to be made of larch, while the inner doors were to be made of pinewood. A separate contract was then concluded with a man named Plischke, a modeller and sculptor from Świebodzice, who executed a number of interior decorations, including the fireplace surround in the Great Hall, two smaller fireplaces as well as numerous sandstone supports. Once the reconstruction effort was completed in 1868, the palace regained the overall appearance of the original, albeit with numerous changes to both the façade decorations and the interiors. The additions made during that period included, among others, four first-floor oriel windows as well as small, decorative turrets with small window openings. The structure of the building itself was likewise changed, for instead of a wooden building, it was now a brick edifice with timber cladding design to give it the appearance of a half-timbered structure. Inside, the interior layout was modified to accommodate a representational spiral staircase leading to the first floor. The hunting palace in Promnice formed the centre of a complex which also encompassed a stable, a carriage house and a forester’s lodge. In 1868, a sculpture of St Hubertus with a stag, created by Balthasar Janda, was placed in front of the palace. Originally, the hunting palace was linked to the Pszczyna castle by an avenue created in the 1870s. Towards the end of the 19th century and in the early 20th century, the interiors underwent a comprehensive modernisation, including the installation of electrical wiring. The building changed owners on numerous occasions since the 1930s. In the 1990s, the palace remained the property of the Lędziny coal mining facility, which commissioned a comprehensive renovation of the building, adapting it to serve as a hotel and restaurant - a function which the palace retains to this day.

Description

The complex is located in the middle of a large, fenced plot of land with a total surface area of more than 2 hectares, lying on the shores of the Paprocańskie lake in Promnice. The hunting mansion is surrounded by a forested area reminiscent of a typical landscape park, blending seamlessly into the surrounding woodlands where numerous specimens of old trees can still be found. The Gothic Revival palace, heavily influenced by the architecture of Switzerland, was designed on a roughly cruciform floor plan based on the design produced by Olivier Pavelt. It is a three-storey brick building, its walls featuring a combination of plaster finish and timber cladding designed to mimic the appearance of a half-timbered structure. In addition, the façades of the building also feature typical timber-framed sections with brick infills. The compact silhouette of the palace is enlivened by the addition of an octagonal turret at the north-western corner. The five-axial front façade features a pronounced central avant-corps flanked by a pair of turrets positioned in the corners between the roof of the main body and the avant-corps gable. The design of the rear façade is similar to that of its front counterpart. The main body of the building features a gable roof with a wall dormer and a number of dormer windows providing additional illumination of its upper storey. Inside, the building features a representational, grand vestibule and an ornate spiral staircase inside the main hall. The period wainscoting, decorative family crests, stained glass windows and stag heads emphasising the hunting lineage of the palace all create a unique interior ambience.

The historical monument is open to visitors, functioning as a hotel and restaurant.

compiled by Agata Mucha, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 22-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Kruczek J., Trofea myśliwskie na zamku pszczyńskim, [in:] Materiały Muzeum Wnętrz Zabytkowych w Pszczynie V, Pszczyna 1988, pp. 59-79
  • Kruczek J., Zamek myśliwski Promnice, [in:] Materiały Muzeum Wnętrz Zabytkowych w Pszczynie V, Pszczyna 1988, pp. 80-108
  • Lachowska M., Pałacyk Myśliwski w Promnicach, [in:] Wiadomości konserwatorskie województwa śląskiego, Vol. 3: Architektura Drewniana, G. Bożek (ed.), Katowice 2011, pp. 187-202
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, S. Brzezicki, Ch. Nielson, G. Grajewski, P. Popp (eds.), Warsaw 2006, p. 419

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 1868 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kobiór
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district pszczyński, commune Kobiór
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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