Castle, later a palace and park complex, today a museum and hotel, Kurozwęki
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Castle, later a palace and park complex, today a museum and hotel

Kurozwęki

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The Kurozwęki castle is one of the few historical buildings of a defensive function in Poland that allows the tracking of style changes centuries as a result of several reconstructions spanning over six centuries. Its spatial transformation perfectly illustrates the evolution of the idea and architectural forms of a Polish aristocratic residence: from a knight's castle, through a fortified manor to a Baroque and classicistic mansion.

History

The castle was built by the Porait family of the Rose coat of arms, probably in the 2nd half of the 14th century, perhaps in the place of a small wooden motte; a document dated 1400 refers to it as castrum Curoswank. The castle, built on a holm among the marshy flood waters of the Czarna River, was encircled with an oval, stone wall with the entrance, probably from the south. The internal buildings were wooden, replaced by brick-and-mortar structures in the following centuries, among them a four-sided tower with an overhanging wooden loft with the residential and sentry functions. More significant development works came with the successive owners, the Lanckoroński family, and consisted in the re-arrangement of the in-castle buidlings. Further, 17th-century transformation led to the integration of the dissimilar edifices in two east and west palace wings of a residential and representational function. At the turn of the 17th century, two-storey arcade cloisters on the south, west and north side of the courtyard and a passage was made in the east wing, later known as the Black Gate, most probably of secondary function. In 1752 the castle went into the hands of Maciej Sołtyk, a Polish army general, from 1774 the governor of Sandomierz, who thoroughly rebuilt the castle in the years 1768-1772, transforming the former residential and defensive complex into a Baroque and classicistic palace with a representative hallway and staircase leading up to the ballroom on the first floor. The old chapel and ballroom received decorative illusionistic painting. Probably in the 1780s two garden pavilions were erected, and in the years 1811-1825, thanks to the initiative of Anastazja Sołtykowa nee Rudnicka a spacious scenic park was planted, probably designed by the Czech gardener Zulauf. Next owner, Paweł Popiel of the Sulima coat of arms, undertook a thorough reconstruction of the interior, without altering the main body of the castle. Last reconstruction and modernization of the palace took place after 1918, according to the design drawings of the architect Franciszek Mączyński. After many years of abandonment and devastation, the early 1970s saw the beginning of comprehensive research and maintenance works. In 1991 the castle and park returned to the heirs of the last owners. They took the effort to restore the former splendor of the complex.

Description

The palace and park complex is located in low-lying, north-west part of Kurozwęki, once a small town, in the area of flood waters of the Czarna River. The complex is dominated by the former castle and then residential building of a five-axis front façade. The front façade, rusticated and supported by buttresses covered with cartouches with a Rococo decoration, was topped with a pediment with panoplies and medallions with the Rawicz and Sołtyk coat of arms. It dates back to the reconstruction of the castle in the 1670s by Maciej Sołtyk. Almost every side of the building reveals the remains of the 14th-century oval wall of the defensive complex and the elements of its later reconstructions. The courtyard, its shape being the result of a reconstruction at the turn of the 17th century, is enclosed with two-storey cloisters. The interior of the basement, although originally from the 14th century, is largely the outcome of the works carried out by Paweł Popiel at the beginning of the 20th century. The representative first floor with a two-storey ballroom is decorated with paintings from the 1770s. The castle chapel, transformed by Maciej Sołtyka, features well preserved Rococo paintings with the representation of the Transfiguration and scenes from the life of the patron saints of the Sołtyk family, Anna and Matthew. Before the main building, the two sides of the driveway are closed by two, originally identical, garden pavilions erected during the conversion of the castle in the 3rd quarter of the 18th century. The vast scenic park was finally formed in the years 1811-1825 thanks to the initiative of Anastazja Sołtykowa nee Rudnicka.

The complex is available, also inside, at fixed sightseeing times.

Compiled by Jerzy Zub, 16.12.2014.

Bibliography

  • Guerquin B., Pałac w Kurozwękach. Badania wstępne (w:) Biuletyn Historii Sztuki i Kultury, t. III, nr 3, 1935.
  • Gawęda S., Możnowładztwo małopolskie w XIV i w pierwszej połowie XV wieku. Studium z dziejów rozwoju wielkiej własności ziemskiej (w:) Zeszyty Naukowe UJ , T. 141, Prace historyczne nr 18, 1966.
  • Tatarkiewicz W., Opole i Nałęczów - Merlini i Nax (w:) O sztuce polskiej XVII i XVIII wieku. Architektura. Rzeźba, Warszawa 1966.
  • Jaroszewski T. S., Nurt późnobarokowy i rokokowy w architekturze polskiej doby Oświecenia (w:) Rokoko. Studia nad sztuką 1. połowy XVIII w., Warszawa 1970.
  • Grzybkowski A., Zamek w Kurozwękach, Warszawa 1981.
  • Brykowska M., Pałac w Kurozwękach, (w:) Materiały na sesję naukową Architektura rezydencjonalna historycznej Małopolski, Łańcut 1982.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 2. poł. XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Zamkowa 3, Kurozwęki
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district staszowski, commune Staszów - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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