Palace complex, Kraczewice Prywatne
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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An example of a palace designed in the Art Nouveau style, having virtually no counterpart in the region and very few anywhere in Poland.

History

The palace in Kraczewice, designed in the Art Nouveau style, was erected in 1913 by Henryk and Władysław Gerlicz, members of a family of industry tycoons from Lublin who purchased the estate along with an old, wooden manor house back in 1855. Their new country home, designed as a summer residence, was erected on a different site and surrounded by a landscape garden which was designed from the ground up. The palace itself, while retaining, to some extent, the traditional overall shape, was designed in the fashionable Art Nouveau style - a highly unusual move given that this architectural movement gained very little popularity among the landed gentry. In the end, this decision has made the palace a truly outstanding example of architecture of this kind both in the Lublin region and, indeed, on a nationwide scale.

The Gerlicz family, however, was never meant to enjoy their new country home for long, and even before the agricultural reform came into force, they had to leave the Kraczewice manor forever. For a long time after the war, the palace was put to diverse uses indeed, having served as office, commercial and residential space throughout its long lifespan. In the 1980s, the process of revitalisation of the entire complex finally began, the intention being that the palace would now serve as an educational facility for children’s artistic ensembles of various sorts; in 1988, the palace became known as the House of Music.

Description

The palace complex is located on the western edge of the village, on the southern side of the local road.

The Palace. The palace was designed in the Art Nouveau style. The front façade of the building faces the east. The edifice consists of two sections - a single-storey corps de logis and a two-storey side wing with basement towards the south, positioned perpendicularly towards the main body of the palace. The interior, divided into a multitude of rooms, follows an asymmetrical layout, with a two-bay layout being used for the main body of the palace. The bays in the southern section are divided by a hallway. The hall (also known as the billiard room) is positioned on the central axis of the edifice, in the front bay, while the dining room is located in the section overlooking the garden. Next to the dining room lies a spacious, corner drawing room with a door leading out into the terrace. The palace is a brick building, its walls covered with plaster. Both sections of the edifice feature gable roofs clad with sheet metal. The front façade follows an asymmetrical layout, with a single-storey corps de logis and a two-storey southern wing appearing in the guise of an avant-corps, with an attic and a tall basement level extending partially above the ground. The corps de logis of the palace follows an eleven-axis design. The main entrance is preceded by an enclosed porch accessible through a broad, horseshoe-shaped arch and crowned with a segment-headed parapet wall flanked by two stout, quadrangular pinnacles.

This design motif is carried over to the gable wall of the main body of the palace, the façade overlooking the garden as well as both gable walls of the side wing, all of which incorporate trademark Art Nouveau oval windows divided by thick mullions. The remaining windows and doors are rectangular in shape, topped with segmental arches and framed with decorative surrounds. The first floor of the side wing features doors leading out into the balcony, flanked by narrow windows and set against the background of an extravagant plasterwork surround, designed in a typical Art Nouveau shape. Small terraces protruding out of the front and rear façades of the palace and feature balustrades which protect the occupants against an inadvertent fall. All the façades of the palace are crowned with a cornice adorned with a dentil frieze, showing clear Classicist influences; the linear plasterwork decorations of the walls themselves, however, are pure Art Nouveau in their delicate outlines. Inside, the palace features surviving original tiled stoves and decorative plasterwork in the form of ceiling rosettes incorporating Art Nouveau motifs.

The Art Nouveau park, divided into a multitude of intimate areas, follows an asymmetrical design and incorporates a series of alleys, hedges and lines of trees, its flora being of great abundance and variety. A representational driveway with a large, formal lawn stretches ahead of the front façade, while an alley lined with hornbeam trees positioned on the axis of the portico separates the landscaped garden from the former utility orchards located towards the south.

The monument is accessible, currently serving as the “House of Music”.

compiled by Bożena Stanek-Lebioda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 09-30-2014.

Bibliography

  • Architectural monument record sheet. Palace and park complex [Kraczewice], compiled by A. Mulak, 2001, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Lublin; Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw.
  • Architectural monument record sheet. Palace and park complex - palace [Kraczewice], compiled by A. Mulak, 2001, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Lublin; Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw.
  • Kseniak M., Secesyjny zespół dworsko-ogrodowy w Kraczewicach jako dzieło sztuki modernizmu, (in:) Dwór polski zjawisko historyczne i kulturowe, Warszawa 2000, pp. 299-311.
  • Kurzątkowska A., Secesyjny pałac w Kraczewicach, “Spotkania z Zabytkami”, 1983, no. 3, pp. 37-38.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 1913
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kraczewice Prywatne
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district opolski, commune Poniatowa - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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