Palace, Kowary
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Constructed in several distinct phases, the palace started its life as a Renaissance manor house, the remnants of its structure still visible in both the general outline and some parts of the decorative detailing thereof. The history of the building remains inextricably linked with the von Schaffgotsch and von Reuss noble families. The palace constitutes an excellent example of the evolution of a mansion of the Silesian nobility over the centuries.

History

Originally erected as a manor house in 1570 by Caspar Schaffgotsch, the building served as the administrative centre of the Kowary manor from 1611, becoming the residence of the local burgrave (administrator). Having suffered severe damage during the Thirty Years’ War, in 1634 the building was confiscated from Hans Ulrich von Schaffgotsch, becoming the property of Hermann von Czernin (Prokop of Chudenice) in 1639. It would remain in the hands of the von Czernin family for more than a century, until it was gutted by fire in 1670. During the first half of the 18th century, a side wing and a gatehouse located next to the tower were added. In years 1826-1945, the building remained in the hands of the von Reuss ducal family. In 1861, the manor house was extended, followed by additional changes to its appearance after yet another fire which damaged the building in 1870. In 1878 the edifice was extended once again, with the addition of a number of new rooms designed in the English Gothic Revival style leading to its transformation into a palace. In 1913, the building was extended once again through the addition of a second residential wing, at which point the palace attained its current form. The palace underwent restoration in the 1960s, 1970s and towards the end of the 20th century. From 1996, it has remained a private property, serving as its owner’s country home.

Description

The palace is located at the outskirts of the town, in the northern part thereof, some distance away from the town centre; the palace is separated from the town proper by a park with a pond. In its current form, the palace is an example of the Gothic Revival and Renaissance Revival style, with vestiges of its Renaissance past still clearly evident. The residence consists of a pair of wings - a two-storey one and a three-storey one, both featuring habitable attic spaces - as well as a slightly taller, four-storey tower with gatehouse; the palace is accompanied by a number of outbuildings, including the carriage house. The body of the palace consists of several distinct parts clustered together in an additive fashion, covered with separate roofs, mostly of the gable type. The façades are covered with plaster, adorned with lesenes and topped with decorative gables with volute-shaped fractables. The rectangular windows are framed with fasciated surrounds with pronounced lintels. A fragment of a bricked-up loggia originally consisting of two arches supported by pilasters with Corinthian capitals can still be seen on the ground floor level of one of the palace wings. One of the arches incorporates an escutcheon of the von Zedlits noble family. A profiled stone portal is positioned on the ground floor level of the tower, its walls pierced with small windows in fasciated surrounds. The two-storey gatehouse features a wide passage framed with a portal with a Tudor arch, surmounted by a large, tripartite window framed with a profiled stone surround. The interior follows an irregular layout. Some of the ground floor rooms feature surviving groin vaults as well as barrel vaults with lunettes, while the northern wing also features sail vaults supported by structural arches. Flat ceilings are used for the first- and second-floor rooms. The building features original wood panelling from the first half of the 19th century.

The palace is surrounded by a landscape park established during the final quarter of the 19th century, with a total surface area of 4.71 hectares, fearturing many rare species of trees and shrubs. An orchestra pavilion designed in the Tyrol style is situated east of the palace.

The palace is private property. The building can only be viewed from the outside.

compiled by Piotr Roczek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 02-06-2015.

Bibliography

  • Słownik Geografii Turystycznej Sudetów. Vol. 5 Rudawy Janowickie, M. Staffa (ed.), Wrocław 1998, pp. 237-239,
  • Wojciech Kapałczyński, Piotr Napierała, Zamki, pałace i dwory Kotliny Jeleniogórskiej, Jelenia Góra-Wrocław 2005, pp. 84-88.
  • Łuczyński R., Zamki, dwory i pałace w Sudetach, Legnica 2008, pp. 270-275.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, p. 440.
  • Zamki i dwory obronne w Sudetach, Vol. II Księstwo jaworskie, Wrocław 2009, pp. 292-293.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 2. poł. XVI w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Zamkowa 1, Kowary
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district jeleniogórski, commune Kowary
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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