Palace and park complex, Miłosław
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Palace and park complex

Miłosław

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The palace in Miłosław is an example of a Renaissance Revival residence formed as a result of the modification and extension of older buildings, which, however, are still identifiable in the floor plan and the shape of the building, reconstructed after 1945. The first component of the complex was a small residential building referred to as the “gazebo”, built for a prominent Greater Poland family — the Mielżyńskis — in the 1820s. It was designed by a renowned Berlin architect, Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The gazebo was modified in the period from the 1840s to the year 1870 by the contemporary owner of Miłosław, Seweryn Mielżyński (who also prepared the design of the building). It was converted into a more impressive residence — a villa-museum. The last extension works, during which the building was given the form of a grand Renaissance Revival palace, were carried out in the years 1985-1999; it was an initiative by Józef Kościelski. The residence is surrounded by a landscape park notable for the oldest statue of Juliusz Słowacki in Poland. Miłosław, both when it was owned by the Mielżyńskis and later, was famous for its collections of works of arts; it was visited by poets, writers, musicians, and painters, as well as participants in uprisings and political exiles.

History

Miłosław was mentioned in written records for the first time in 1314. It was a village owned by noblemen, the centre of a large array of estates. At that time, it belonged to the Miłosławskis of the Doliwa coat of arms. The village was granted municipal rights in 1397. From 1487 to the 17th century, the owners of Miłosław were the Górski family. In 1539, owing to the efforts of Piotr and Maciej Górski, Miłosław was granted a privilege reviving the municipal rights that it had been given before. After the Górskis, the estate of Miłosław was owned by the Grabski family, and then, in the years 1777-1895 — the Mielżyński family (the town of Miłosław itself had been a free town since 1833, in accordance with the new town law). During the Spring of Nations, on 30 April 1848, Miłosław was the site of a battle between insurgents and the Prussians, won by the former. Between 1895 and 1939, the estate was the property of the Kościelski family.

The residence in Miłosław has a very rich history. In the 18th century, the site was occupied by a small manor house of the Mielżyńskis. In the 1920s, a small residential building referred to as the “villa-casino” or “gazebo” was built nearby, probably for Józef Mielżyński. It was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The foundations and part of the walls of that building were incorporated into the central part of the present palace. The former villa was extended by the next owner, a well-known social and political activist, but also a painter, amateur architect, and collector — Seweryn Mielżyński, who returned to the Grand Duchy of Posen in 1841, after long exile. In 1842, he settled in Miłosław, where he also pursued economic and building activities. The extension project was prepared by Seweryn Mielżyński in the years 1843-1844. Initially, he wanted to construct a regular, symmetrical building with two towers, however, the design was modified during the construction works (which continued until 1870): the palace was given a more irregular form, with one tower, positioned asymmetrically. One of the new wings was to contain an art gallery. Beside the residence, planned and designed by Seweryn Mielżyński, a number of other buildings and structures were erected in Miłosław and its nearest vicinity at that time, e.g. a gardener’s house and a park gate, the bell tower of the local parish church, a school, a residential colony of the Bugaj manor farm complex, the Bagatelka forester’s house, and — possibly — also the Gothic Revival residential building nearby the palace. Seweryn Mielżyński also redesigned the early 19th-century French formal park surrounding the residence, transforming it into a vast landscape park.

Following the heirless death of Seweryn Mielżyński (1872), in 1895, the Miłosław estate was purchased by Józef Kościelski. The new owner modified the residence in the years 1895-1899, giving it the character of a grand Renaissance Revival palace. The name of the architect who redesigned the building remains unknown. The northern part was modified most radically: a colonnaded portico was constructed in its central part and side wings were added on both sides. Moreover, the west tower was made higher and its walls were topped with baluster parapets.

In 1945, the palace was destroyed by withdrawing German troops. It lay in ruins for many years. In the 1960s, it was reconstructed and adopted to serve as a school. Its general form and picturesque shape draw on the appearance that it had in the late 19th century. Today, it houses the Juliusz Słowacki Secondary School (Polish: Gimnazjum).

Description

The palace and park complex is located in the south-westernmost part of Miłosław, on the south side of Poznańska Street and the west side of Zamkowa Street. It comprises a landscape park, a Renaissance Revival palace lying in its north-eastern part, and a Gothic Revival residential outbuilding, situated to the east of the palace. The front façade of the palace faces the north. The main gate leading to a large courtyard with a driveway to the palace is located on the north side. By the gate, there is a small gardener’s house. The palace and park complex covers an area of 37.8 ha. To the south-east of the complex, there are outbuildings of the former Bugaj manor farm complex.

The palace has a fairly complex floor plan, shaped as a result of a number of modifications. The core part of the building is the so-called “gazebo”, having a rectangular floor plan. The rectangular rooms on the east and west sides of the “gazebo”, the east wing containing a former gallery, adjoining them on the south side, and the west wing along with the tower were constructed during the modification works carried out based on designs by Seweryn Mielżyński. In the front, there are rectangular avant-corpses: a central one, preceded by a portico, and two side ones, constructed as part of the extension works undertaken by J. Kościelski. The body of the palace is very complex. There are basements under all sections of the building. The particular component parts of the building have either one storey or two storeys; they are covered with flat ceilings concealed behind roof balustrades. The whole structure is dominated by a tall, four-storeyed tower in the south-west wing.

The walls are made of brick and covered with plaster. The roofs are covered with roofing paper. The basement rooms are covered with surbased vaults. The rooms on the higher storeys are covered with new reinforced concrete ceilings.

The façades are divided by means of profiled string courses and crowned with baluster roof parapets. The windows, rectangular or round-arched, are framed by profiled surrounds. The symmetrical front façade has eleven axes, with the entrance located on the central axis and preceded by a portico with fluted columns supporting an entablature and a triangular tympanum. The side avant-corpses have three axes each. The façade facing the garden has 18 axes. The east side façade has 5 axes and the west side façade has 8 axes. Originally, the palace had a two-bay layout, however, the interior was completely modified.

The residence is surrounded by a park. The relics of its oldest, French formal part are avenues lined with hornbeams. The present landscape park, partially wooded, covers an area in the shape of an irregular polygon. It is enclosed with a brick wall on the east and north sides. There is a large pond with three islets in the park. Water is supplied to the pond by means of four canals, spanned by picturesque small bridges. The main tree species are hornbeams, ashes, lime trees, and oaks; the park also features a plane tree, a maidenhair tree, and a swamp cypress. Deep in the park stands the first statue of Juliusz Słowacki in Poland, erected in 1899 — a work of Władysław Marcinkowski, a renowned Greater Poland sculptor.

The historic monument is open to visitors. Municipal property.

compiled by Krzysztof Jodłowski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 17-08-2015.

Bibliography

  • Durczykiewicz L., Dwory polskie w Wielkim Księstwie Poznańskim, Poznań 1912, s. 23.
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku, oprac. Hanna Wieczorkiewicz, 1989 r. Wieczorkow H.Wieczorkiewi
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. V, z. 29: powiat wrzesiński, Warszawa 1960, s. 10-11.
  • Ostrowska-Kębłowska Z., Siedziby wielkopolskie doby romantyzmu, s. 89-115.
  • Skuratowicz J., Dwory i pałace w Wielkim Księstwie Poznańskim, Międzychód 1992, passim.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 1895 - 1896
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Poznańska 1a, Miłosław
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district wrzesiński, commune Miłosław - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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