Castle complex, currently a conference centre and a hotel, Krasiczyn
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Castle complex, currently a conference centre and a hotel

Krasiczyn

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The feature is an example of an early modern castle in the fortified tower-round bastion system, which was transformed in the first half of the 17th century into a grandiose Renaissance and Mannerist defensive and residential estate surrounded by a vast landscape park. It belongs to the most magnificent magnate residences and the most prominent monuments of Polish Renaissance architecture. Its uniqueness is determined by the castle body with an extraordinary external form of fortified towers, sgraffito decorations of fortified towers and curtain wall as well as parapets that crown the building.

History

In the 3rd quarter of the 16th century Jakub Krasicki erected a wooden and masonry fortalice on a quadrilateral floor plan, which consisted of a masonry gatehouse, still forming a part of the castle’s northern wing, a wooden residential building as well as earthen ramparts and moats. Around 1580 the existing defensive complex was transformed, at the initiative of Stanisław Krasicki, into a masonry castle on a quadrilateral floor plan with four round bastions on corners, surrounded by a number of ponds. In the years 1596-1633 the then owner of the castle, Marcin Krasicki, carried out another full-scale reconstruction of the entire complex, transforming it into a Mannerist residential and defensive estate. At that time, curtain walls and fortified towers were extended upwards and equipped with decorative openwork parapets. One of the fortified towers was transformed into a chapel and covered with a dome, while a gate in the western wing was extended upwards by the so-called “clock tower”. A two-storey loggia was added on the courtyard side. Already in the 17th century a small Italian garden functioned on the eastern side of the castle. In 1787 the garden complex surrounded by a stone wall featured a pond, two pools and seven rows of trees. In the first half of the 19th century the existing park was expanded and transformed into a Romantic garden. After the fire of the castle of 1852, which had ravaged nearly through the entire development except for a Divine Tower, a full-scale renovation was carried out, during which a new gate in the eastern wing was erected. During World War I the castle suffered devastation. In the course of repair works conducted in the inter-war period under the guidance of Adolf Szyszko-Bohusz, the foregate was demolished and a parapet in the southern wing was removed. The park was enriched by, among others, a gazebo and a thuya maze. Due to high landscape and historical values, the park was covered with protection by the Regional Monument Inspector in Lvov already in the inter-war period. In the Autumn of 1918 the castle was taken over by the Red Army troops, its interiors were looted and deliberately destroyed and the park was completely devastated.

After World War II the castle was nationalised and at first housed a Forestry Technical School. In the years 1973-1995 the castle was used by the FSO Żerań (passenger car factory) and since 1996 the castle and park complex has belonged to Agencja Rozwoju Przemysłu S.A. in Warsaw. Currently, a conference centre and a hotel function in the castle complex.

Description

The castle complex is located in the San river valley, in the immediate vicinity of the river, on its right bank. The complex, with an area of approx. 15 ha, is limited on all sides by local roads and a Sanok-Przemyśl national road in the east.

The castle. The Renaissance-Mannerist castle was erected on a quadrilateral floor plan with a spacious yard in the middle. The castle is surrounded by remnants of a moat from the east and west. Four fortified towers on a circular floor plan are located on corners of the castle. Since the first half of the 17th century the have the following names: Royal (north-east), Noble (south-east), Divine (south-west) and Papal (north-west). The central part of the western wing of the castle features a gatehouse called Clock Tower, erected on a square floor plan and projecting ahead of the wall’s face. The castle body, with a basement extending underneath, features a dominating tall gatehouse in the western wing, a three-storey northern wing covered with a gable roof, a three-storey eastern wing topped with a shed roof and terminates in the west and south in curtain walls and archways crowned with parapets on the ground floor on the courtyard side. Cylindrical fortified towers on corners are crowned in a different way: the Royal Tower features a conical roof with a group of turrets, the Divine Tower has a cupola with a lantern, while Noble and Papal Towers are topped with parapets. The castle was made of stone and brick; on the lower storeys, the towers feature stone relics of roundels. Ceilings in the one-storey part of the eastern and northern wing are made of reinforced concrete, the staircase of the eastern wing features a brick infill ceiling, while the building at the Royal Tower includes groin and barrel vaults with lunettes. The Clock Tower contains barrel and groin vaults; the Noble Tower features cross-rib vaulting resting on a pillar. The roofs were covered with copper sheet.

The north façade, stretching between the Papal and Royal towers, rests on a plinth and includes four storeys. Windows have different sizes on all storeys; on the first and second storey they are irregularly arranged, on the ground floor they were cut out in a plain wall, on the second storey they are located in a wall decorated with a sgraffito rustication, while on the third and fourth storeys they follow a rhythmic pattern along 18 axes and are partitioned by pilasters reaching the cornice under the eaves.

The massive Royal Tower, including openings arranged along axes, partitioned by shallow cornices on four storeys, is crowned with turrets with a conical cover. Windows, except for the ones with the lowest position, are accentuated by profiled surrounds with semi-circular pediments; the façade surface is broken by a rustication-imitating sgraffito.

The east façade with three storeys is located between Royal and Noble towers; at the Royal Tower, in the north, it features an avant-corps. A passage gate is situated at the avant-corps on the lower storey. The walls are embellished with sgraffito creating a rustication effect. Windows, positioned along 11 axes, are surrounded on the first and second storey by a window header profiled by battens, while the third storey is partitioned by a sgraffito frieze with mythological scenes and floral and animal ornaments. Windows on the third storey are crowned with triangular pediments. A separate decoration in the form of cornices, pilasters, surrounds, window headers and a crowning cornice - blind aedicula was added to the three-axis avant-corps in the northern part of the façade.

The Noble Tower, with visible stone ashlars in the plinth, is embellished with a sgraffito drawing of stone blocks on the top and features window openings positioned on three storeys, accentuated by a surround a a semi-circular pediment on the uppermost storey, and is crowned with a two-level, lavishly arranged parapet.

The south façade is formed by a curtain wall extending between the Noble and Divine towers, partitioned by cornices into three levels and with windows positioned irregularly, along four axes in a three-storey part with avant-corps. Windows on the lower storey terminate in a semi-circle, while the third storey features rectangular windows. There is a projecting loggia on the Noble Tower’s side, with two storeys. Half-landing stairs with a stone balustrade - the first landing at the façade, the other passing over the moat in the form of an arcade - have their beginning in the loggia. There is a row of 11 embrasures on the third storey. A shallow balcony is located between the third and fourth embrasure. The façade is crowned with a profiled cornice and a combed roof parapet.

The Divine Tower has four storeys and features a drawing of ashlar stones and openings with semicircular arches on the first storey. The second storey is partitioned by Tuscan pilasters into segments containing Biblical scenes created by means of a sgraffito method. The third storey features slender Tuscan pilasters that partition panels containing alternate representations of Saints and slender windows with semicircular arches with lavishly sculpted surrounds. The fourth storey includes round windows located in fields embellished with sgraffito decorations. The façade is crowned with a profiled cornice surmounted with a cupola ceiling with a lantern.

The west façade of the castle is formed by a curtain wall between the Divine and Papal Tower and features three storeys separated by cornices. The second storey features windows positioned along 8 axes, with profiled window surrounds and window headers. The façade is crowned with a combed parapet, accentuated in the middle by a slender, seven-storey tower containing a passage gate terminating in a stone portal with an inscription above the passage opening.

The Papal Tower features window openings arranged along axes and three storeys partitioned by shallow cornices. The first storey is rusticated and contains window openings terminating in a segmental arch; above, two storeys include a sgraffito imitation of rustication and windows accentuated by flat surrounds surmounted by triangular pediments. It is crowned with a parapet with lavishly shaped teeth.

Façades around the courtyard. The east façade has twelve axes and two storeys and contains a passage gate and windows circumscribed by a wide batten. The west façade has two storeys; its lower part contains eight axes, while its upper part features nine axes and a gatehouse. Arcaded cloisters are located on both sides of the entrance gate. The gatehouse avant-corps has two storeys and features rusticated corners. The gate portal is formed by two pilasters with imposted capitals and a triangular tympanum. The south façade has three storeys and irregular axes. Four arcades of the cloister are found on the western side. The loggia is positioned along the fifth axis; windows are rectangular. In the east, there is a two-storey avant-corps with five axes.

Lavish stuccowork has survived in the interior of the chapel in the Divine Tower - the only one that survived the fire of 1852. Its architectural composition is formed by pilasters, cornices and strips of cupola-like partitions, animal and human masks, ornamental strips, garlands and festoons accentuating the wall, characteristic for the workshop of Giovanni Battista Falconi.

The outbuilding, the so-called Swiss House, is located in the immediate vicinity of the castle, at its north-eastern tower, and is linked to it by means of a connection passing over the moat in the form of an arcade. It is a small building erected on a rectangular floor plan, with a cuboidal, two-storey body with a basement, covered with a gable roof with a deep eaves, diversified in the north by a long platform with a balustrade on the ground floor, a balcony on the eastern gable and a connection with a balcony in the western part. The building was made of brick to the level of ceiling over the ground floor, while a log structure of walls is embedded above. The roof was clad with interlocking sheet. On longer, north and south façades the openings are rhythmically arranged on two storeys; horizontal articulation of the façade is emphasized by a pronounced plinth and contrasting colours and materials of two storeys above the ground level. Decorations include ornamentally cut wooden beams protruding ahead of the wall face and decorative wooden stairs.

Stables for work horses are located in the north-eastern part of the complex. They were erected on a nearly U-shaped floor plan, with the front facing to the south. The building has two storeys on the front side and one storey elsewhere and its body is composed of a front wing with an upward extension in the middle part, articulated by side avant-corps and deep, albeit low avant-corps on gables, covered with a gable roof in the one-storey part and a multi-hipped roof with a fractable over avant-corps in the two-storey part, as well as cuboidal wings covered with gable roofs. Façades with horizontal articulation, accentuated by a stone plinth, strips in plasterwork and cornices, including an intermediate cornice on the window level and a crowning cornice, braced by rusticated blocks. The two-storey front of the building is decorated on the ground floor with strips of rustication and windows in arcaded niches and above, with a forged balustrade on supports and surrounded windows with a window header and a window sill. Other, one-storey façades feature rhythmically arranged windows and, beyond the intermediate cornice, the rhythm is repeated by niches in simple surrounds.

As regards the park - one of the most valuable landscape complexes in Poland - it includes tree stands from three planning phases: residues of an oak forest from before the castle location, traces of formal gardens established parallel to the construction of the castle and plantings in the landscape style, planned by the Krasicki family in the first half of the 19th century and the Sapieha family between the second half of the 19th century and the 1930s. Age-old oaks, lime tree and thuya alleys, a pond with an island, viewing clearings as well as richness of species of plantings draw particular attention as a result of inventiveness and passion for travelling exhibited by the Sapieha family.

The historic monument is accessible.

compiled by Mieczysław Kuś, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszow 16-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Aftanazy R., Dzieje rezydencji na dawnych kresach Rzeczypospolitej, t. 8, Województwo ruskie. Ziemia przemyska i sanocka, Wrocław 1996, s. 362-385.
  • Frazik J. T., Zamek w Krasiczynie, w: Zamek w Krasiczynie, Przemyśl 1971, s. 9-34.
  • Guerquin B., Zamki w Polsce, Warszawa 1984, s. 183-186.
  • Marszałek J., Katalog grodzisk i zamczysk w Karpatach, Warszawa 1993, s. 123-125.
  • Platowska-Sapetowa I., Kaplica w baszcie Boskiej zamku w Krasiczynie, w: Przybyszewski B., Adam Stefan kardynał Sapieha. Pasterz dobry, książę niezłomny 1867-1951, pod red. I. Platowskiej-Sapetowej, Łańcut 2002, s. 383-416.
  • Proksa M., Studia nad zamkami i dworami ziemi przemyskiej, Przemyśl 2001, s. 272-273.
  • Wajdowicz M., Zabytki architektury rezydencjonalnej i obronnej województwa rzeszowskiego, w: Architektura rezydencjonalna i obronna województwa rzeszowskiego, w świetle badań naukowych prowadzonych w 25-leciu PRL, red. M. Bujnowska, Łańcut 1972, s. 31-33.
  • Piórecki J., Zabytkowe ogrody i parki województwa przemyskiego, Rzeszów 1989, s.81-85
  • Polakowski S., Pozostałości założeń dworskich województwa podkarpackiego, Krosno 2012, s. 318-322

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: ok. 1580 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Krasiczyn
  • Location: Voivodeship podkarpackie, district przemyski, commune Krasiczyn
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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