Palace and manor farm complex, Kobylniki
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Palace and manor farm complex

Kobylniki

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The palace complex in Kobylniki is an impressive complex whose central element is the palace, in front of which there are a large courtyard and a driveway. The palace building, designed by Zygmunt Gorgolewski, intricate and picturesque, is surrounded by a magnificent landscape park. The Gothic Revival chapel being part of the complex was designed by the same architect. Gorgolewski’s participation in the design of the palace surroundings is evident in the well-thought-out concept and the stylistic homogeneity of the manor farm complex and the servants’ houses. All elements of the complex form an impressive and harmonious whole. The complex has retained its original layout, based on a central axis whose starting point is marked by the main entrance gate.

History

Kobylniki was mentioned by written records for the first time in 1218, when, along with Słopanowo, it was owned by a Cistercian monastery in Łekno. In 1415, it became the property of Mikołaj Kobylnicki. The lands remained in the hands of the Kobylnicki family until the mid-16th century. The next owners, the Kąsinowski family, lived in the nearby Kąsinowo. In c. 1760, Franciszek Kąsinowski sold Kobylniki and purchased Sady, Swadzim, and Przeźmierowo, located near Poznań. At the beginning of the 19th century, the lands were purchased by Dobrogost Twardowski of the Ogończyk coat of arms, a son of Jan Ludwik Twardowski, who also inherited the nearby Szczuczyn located next to Szamotuły. In 1859, Dobrogost’s son, Teodor, merged the two estates into an entailed estate.

The initiator of the construction of a new, impressive residence in Kobylniki was the next heir to the entailed estate: Teodor’s son, Tadeusz Twardowski, who enlarged the estate with another village — Wojnowo — purchased in 1906. The palace, which has survived to this day, was built in the years 1886-1887. It was designed by the already renowned architect Zygmunt Gorgolewski. The entailed estate was inherited in 1910 by Tadeusz’s son, Teodor, married to Helena née Binińska of the Łodzia coat of arms. The last owner of the entailed estate of Kobylniki was Tadeusz Twardowski, born in 1911 in Kobylniki. The estate remained his property until 1939, when it was confiscated by the Germans. After World War II, the estate became the property of the State Treasury; it was used as a State Agricultural Farm (PGR). The original plans and designs for a grand residence were not implemented. They are now stored in the archive of the Regional Monument Inspector in Poznań. The palace was to have been built in the so-called Northern Renaissance style, typical of Berlin architecture of the 1870s. The version from the years 1882-1883 was not approved by the owner. A much more modest version of the design, proposed in 1886, was implemented. In 1960, the palace roof was renovated. The roof covering was replaced in 1978 — the slate was replaced with sheet metal. In 1984, full-scale renovations to the interior were carried out, as the palace was being converted into a hotel and a restaurant. The complex has not been used for several years. The landscape park was established at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1925, it was modified and enlarged. The Gothic Revival chapel was erected in the late 19th century, after the completion of the palace. The manor farm complex, which was designed by Zygmunt Gorgolewski, just like the palace and the chapel, was built in the late 19th century and in the early 20th century.

Description

Kobylniki is located to the north-west of Poznań, by a road to Wałcz, 12 km to the north of Szamotuły, in the Obrzycko commune, near the village of Słopanowo. The components of the residence and manor farm complex are the only buildings in the village of Kobylniki. The palace and the park are located in the southernmost part of the complex. The northern and western parts of the complex are occupied by a vast farm yard. The complex is complemented by a group of residential buildings and a Gothic Revival chapel, located in the northernmost part of the complex.

The palace, facing the west, is located in the centre of the park. The manner in which the space around the palace is organised is a combination of two concepts: that of a residence with a cour d’honneur and a driveway and that of a residence surrounded with greenery. In Kobylniki, the palace was located in the centre of the park, however, in front of it, there is a driveway defined by low walls. The palace was built according to a second design from 1886 as a free-standing, two-storeyed brick structure with cellars having segmental vaults. Built on a rectangular floor plan, it has avant corpses in the centre of the front and back façades and two towers: one, round, at the front, and the other by the north (side) façade. At the first floor level of the south façade, there is a terrace enclosed with a balustrade. The imposing body of the palace, decorated with avant-corpses, towers, and turrets, originally had roofs covered with slate, currently — with sheet metal. The brick walls, resting on a high socle, are not covered with plaster; only the corners feature plaster decorations. The windows are rectangular and have different sizes; they are framed by plastered surrounds. All architectural decorations using Mannerist ornamentation motifs were also made in plaster. The front avant-corps is topped with a sinuous gable. The tower adjoining it on the north side is topped with a conical tented roof surmounted by a spire and a flag with a date. The main entrance to the palace leads through the avant-corps; it is preceded by a type of loggia with an opening headed by a flattened arch in the front and a round-arched opening on the side. The upper part of the avant-corps features a three-arch loggia resting on piers. The wavy gable is crowned with a semi-circular pediment, topped with a stone sphere with a spire. On the tower, there is a sandstone panel with a cartouche incorporating the Ogończyk coat of arms of the Twardowski family and a ribbon with the inscription: “W pracy szczęście” (Work brings joy) and “Budowano R. P. 1887” (Built R. P. 1887). In the northern part of the front façade, there is a one-storeyed annex. The back façade features two avant-corpses, similar to the one on the front façade. In comparison with the first version of the design, the building was designed as smaller, both in terms of the surface area and the height. The two-bay interior includes a vestibule and a grand hall on the axis, however, they are lower, only one storey high. In the central part of the ground floor and in the southern part of the back suite of rooms, there were rooms intended for the eyes of guests. The northern part and the first floor contained residential rooms. The fittings in the hall, the wood panelling, the ceiling beams, and the stairs are the colour of dark oak wood. Originally, the walls were covered with cloth in their upper parts, just as it is the case in the drawing room. The drawing room, in turn, had a light colour scheme. The walls were also adorned with subtle stucco decorations in the upper parts.

The palace is located on the axis of the driveway running from the west, in the centre of the park, whose shape approximates a trapezium. In front of the palace, there is a large oval driveway. The access path does not run straight to the palace, but around an oval lawn with flower beds.. The park can also be accessed from the east and from the manor, i.e. from the north. In the northern side, by the farm yard boundary, there used to be a stable yard for horses. In 1925, new paths were made, including one leading to an islet where there used to be a wooden gazebo. In the north-eastern part of the park, there used to be a vegetable garden. In the southern part, there is a pond and a water canal spanned by 5 small bridges. The park trees are mainly deciduous, including oaks having the status of natural monuments and lines of hornbeams.

The northern part of the complex is occupied by farm buildings made of brick and cobblestone, not plastered. The buildings are arranged around a vast quadrangular yard whose central part used to be occupied by an enclosed area for horses. The Twardowski family bred horses on a large scale. The main driveway leading to the yard leads from the north, through a brick gate. The east boundary of the yard is defined by a modified building of a former stable, and the west boundary — by a stone and brick barn. Another stable, a larger one, extends along the southern boundary of the yard, by the park and a smithy. There is also an administrator’s building on the southern side of the yard. A granary, a cowshed, and a farm office building form the northern part of the manor farm complex.

In the northernmost part of the complex in Kobylniki, among the houses of manor farm workers, by the driveway leading to the farm yard, there is a small, Gothic Revival chapel. The building has a rectangular floor plan with a slightly lower and narrower apse, terminating in a flat wall. Its walls, supported with buttresses, are made of brick and plastered. It is covered with a high gable roof.

The historic monument can be visited from the outside. Visiting the building inside is only possible by arrangement with the owner (the office).

compiled by Teresa Palacz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 10-11-2015.

Bibliography

  • Skuratowicz J., Dwory i pałace w Wielkim Księstwie Poznańskim, Międzychód 1992 r., s. 102, 104.
  • Durczykiewicz L., Dwory polskie w Wielkim Księstwie Poznańskim, Czempiń 1912 r.
  • Strzałko M., Materiały do dziejów rezydencji w Polsce. Województwo Poznańskie, t. 1, s. 85-97, Warszawa 1991.
  • Wielkopolska. Słownik krajoznawczy, Łęcki W. (red.), Poznań 2002.
  • Kubiak G., W Poznaniu i w Berlinie. Edukacja Zygmunta Gorgolewskiego. Przyczynek do biografii. (w:) „Sztuka w Wielkopolsce”, Poznań 2013, s. 204-214.
  • Gieszczyńska-Nowacka K., Związki Zygmunta Gorgolewskiego z Wielkopolską. Przyczynek do biografii architekta. „Sztuka w Wielkopolsce”, Poznań 2013, s. 215-226.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 1886-1887
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kobylniki
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district szamotulski, commune Obrzycko
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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