Palace and park complex, Koszęcin
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Palace and park complex

Koszęcin

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The palace and park complex in Koszęcin is one of the most significant Classicist residences in the region, serving as an example of a complex of buildings which attained its final form in the first half of the 19th century, following the period of the gradual remodelling of an old castle, dating back to the early 17th century. Both the clarity of visual links between the palace and the relatively unchanged utility buildings located east of the residence as well as the presence of the surviving landscape park, surrounding the palace from the south and the west, contribute to its unique value, especially when compared to other complexes of its kind.

History

The very first masonry residence to be erected in Koszęcin came into being in the early 17th century, at the initiative of the Kochcicki comital family, superseding an earlier, wooden manor house erected by Jan Kochcicki from Kochcice, which was lost to the blaze. The entire complex consisted of a chapel, a three-storey fortified keep and a small building which stretched to the east and the west of the tower, whose cellars are believed to have survived beneath the northern part of the existing palace wing. What is certain is that during the period in question, the castle contained the library of Andrzej Kochcicki, believed to be one of the most impressive in all of Central Europe at the time. In years 1647-1691, the chapel underwent a redesign, while the tower was extended upwards through the addition of two new storeys. In the 18th century (no later than in 1784), the existing residence was transformed into a palace and park complex at the initiative of its erstwhile owners - the Sobek noble family. It was during that period that the southern section of the single-storey western wing was erected, as was another building in the south-eastern part of the complex, designed on an L-shaped floor plan, and a theatre, the exact location of which remains unknown. It is believed that the existing landscape park was established in the area located to the south and west of the palace in the early 19th century. Having been acquired by duke Fryderyk Ludwik Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen from Sławięcice in the early 19th century along with the entire Koszęcin manor, the palace was redesigned in the Classicist style in the years 1828-1830, based on the design produced by Albert Roch. The entire redesign scheme, intended to ensure the uniform appearance of the entire palace consisting of a number of different sections constructed at an earlier date, called for the demolition of an 18th-century section of the southern wing, the upward extension of the northern wing, which received one additional storey, as well as the extension of the western wing through the addition of a new, north-eastern section and a grand, representational entrance section on the western side of the palace. It is believed that the utility building complex, located east of the palace and preserved intact to the present day, was also erected during the same period. Notable structures forming part of the complex include the two outbuildings, two semi-detached servants’ quarters for four families each and a single detached house, all of them positioned alongside the Sobieskiego and Powstańców streets, the utility building, former carriage house and residential building on Zamkowa street, located deep within the complex, as well as the manor farm located east of the Sobieskiego street, comprising stables, cowsheds, utility and residential buildings as well as the administrator’s building. In the second half of the 19th century, the northern wing of the palace was extended upwards once again, while both the ballroom and the dining room underwent a redesign. In the 1930s, the ballroom was remodelled once again; the eastern wing and the drawing room with the large fireplace also underwent a redesign during that period.

Description

The palace and park complex is situated in the northern part of Koszęcin. The representational part of the complex, consisting of the Classicist palace of the Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen comital family as well as the landscape park stretching to the west and the south of the palace, is positioned on the western side of the Sobieskiego and Powstańców streets, with the space between the streets and the palace itself being occupied by a chaotic ensemble of utility buildings. The main entrance into the mansion originally led from the south; today, however, the access road leads from the east, i.e. from Sobieskiego street. The expansive landscape park is characterised by an informal arrangement of walking paths in its southern section as well as the view corridor leading towards a small pond located in the western part of the complex, flanked by two walking paths radiating away from the middle axis. The palace itself is a brick building consisting of three irregular, two-storey wings covered with gable roofs, arranged around a courtyard opening towards the south. The multi-axial façades of the palace, designed in the Classicist style, are accentuated by a pronounced socle and divided horizontally by string courses and a crowning cornice, with the windows being framed with decorative surrounds topped with window headers in the form of cornice segments. The main entrance into the palace, forming part of the representational western façade, is accentuated by a five-axial avant-corps partitioned with pilasters supporting an entablature and a triangular pediment. The main, western wing of the palace consists of two sections erected in different phases - the narrower southern section, designed as a two-storey structure with an additional storey in its eastern part, featuring a small avant-corps at the south-eastern corner and a single-bay interior layout comprising rooms featuring vaulted ceilings of the barrel type (with lunettes), and the two-storey northern section, featuring a two-bay layout with a hallway between the individual suites of rooms and an avant-corps at the south-western corner; the ground-floor level of this section of the palace is home to the great pillared hall above which lies the spacious, tall ballroom with an impressive fireplace and an added gallery which was constructed at a later date. The two-storey northern wing (the so-called connecting section), designed on a rectangular floor plan, contains an enfilade arrangement of rooms and a gateway near its eastern end. The two-storey eastern wing, designed on a roughly rectangular floor plan, contains two suites of rooms, some of which feature vaulted ceilings of the sail type. The individual rooms are accessible from a hallway running along the middle axis of the structure. The eastern wing is adjoined by a three-storey tower designed on a square plan, positioned at the north-eastern corner and crowned with a reconstructed roof lantern. A 17th-century former castle chapel adjoins the northern side of the wing; designed on a rectangular floor plan, the chapel features a semi-hexagonal apse at its eastern end. The interior of the chapel features a vaulted ceiling of the barrel type, with lunettes, its appearance enlivened through the addition of stucco roll-mouldings flowing seamlessly into the engaged pillars lining the walls. The western part of the chapel is occupied by the organ gallery, supported by a trio of arches resting on sturdy pillars and featuring a convexo-concave parapet. A rectangular doorway in the southern wall of the chapel leads to the former patrons’ gallery, located in the neighbouring tower.

Notable structures forming part of the utility building complex dating back to the first half of the 19th century and located east of the palace include the two outbuildings, two semi-detached servants’ quarters for four families each and a single detached house, all of them positioned alongside the Sobieskiego and Powstańców streets, as well as the utility building, former carriage house and residential building on Zamkowa street, located deep within the complex. Remains of the former manor farm, left beyond the scope of the inscription into the register of historical monuments, are located east of Sobieskiego street. The buildings are arranged around an easily discernible utility yard and include preserved cowsheds, stables, utility and residential buildings as well as the former administrator’s building.

The historic monument is accessible to visitors. It can be visited during the opening hours of the museum.

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

Bibliography

  • Goszyk E., Panowie na Koszęcinie. Od dziejów najdawniejszych po Zespół „Śląsk”, Koszęcin 2008.
  • Harkawy A., Krupa S., Pałac w Koszęcinie. Badania historyczno-architektoniczne na potrzeby rewitalizacji zespołu pałacowo-parkowego, [in:] Wiadomości konserwatorskie województwa śląskiego 2: Zamki. Pałace, G. Bożek (ed.), Katowice 2010, pp. 127-142.
  • Record sheet, Palace, park and manor farm complex [in Koszęcin], compiled by W. Zaleski, 1992, Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland
  • Record sheet, Palace [in Koszęcin], compiled by W. Zaleski, 1992, Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VI: Województwo katowickie, issue 8: Powiat lubliniecki, ed. I. Rejduch-Samkowa, J. Samek, Warsaw 1960, pp. 17-20.
  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, S. Brzezicki, C. Nielsen (eds.), Warsaw 2006, pp. 434.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: pocz. XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Zamkowa 3, Koszęcin
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district lubliniecki, commune Koszęcin
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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