Palace and spa complex, Nałęczów
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An exceptional example of a palace and spa complex having an outstanding historical, artistic and landscape value, encompassing a number of historical monuments dating from the period between the 18th and the 19th century.

History

The residential and spa complex in Nałęczów can trace its roots back to the times of Stanisław Małachowski, the alderman (starosta) of Wąwolnica, who purchased the Bochotnica Kościelna manor in 1751 and built his new country home there, based on a substantially modified and extended 16th-century manor house that had already been modified once, back in the 17th century. The new palace was erected during the 1760s, based on the design by the architect Ferdynand Nax, with the renowned sculptor Sebastian Zeisel also contributing to the final appearance of the building. The newly established town was named Nałęczów - a reference to the Nałęcz coat of arms of the Małachowski noble family. After Nałęczów was inherited by Antoni Małachowski in 1778, the newly discovered chalybeate (ferruginous) water springs were put to a good use, serving the healthcare needs of an increasing number of patients; as a result, the process of transformation of the residential complex into a spa has begun, with the first guest rooms being made available to the visiting patients. Other amenities - including sanitary facilities - have started to appear as well. The development of the spa town came to a grinding halt in the early 19th century due to the national uprisings which have taken place at the time; the entire project was ultimately put back on track by a company formed in 1878 by four physicians: Fortunat Nowicki, Wacław Lasocki, Konrad Chmielewski and Wacław Sipniewski, who have first held the site as tenants and have then purchased it from Michał Górski, an engineer, who was also the shareholder of the company. Somewhere around the year 1880, the existing buildings were renovated, with a number of new structures being erected as well, designed in a variety of styles by the architect Karol Kozłowski. The palace was extended upwards, receiving both a second storey and a turret incorporating a new staircase; formerly a typical country home, the palace would now serve as a sanatorium. The park was also redesigned, with the road leading from Lublin to Kazimierz being moved to Armatnia Góra. In the years 1957-8 the palace was restored and brought back to its original appearance; today, the palace serves a number of purposes, including that of the Museum of Bolesław Prus, a famous Polish writer.

Description

The palace and spa complex is located in the Bystra river valley, on the southern side of Armatnia Góra street. The complex encompasses the former Małachowski family palace as well as an ensemble of various spa buildings, including both historical and modern structures. The palace was designed in a mixture of the Baroque and Classicist styles; it is positioned on the axis of an alley lined with lime trees which leads towards the building from the direction of the city of Lublin. The palace was designed on a roughly square-shaped floor plan with rounded corners; it is a compact, two-storey structure with a mansard roof clas with sheet metal, pierced by a number of dormer windows. It is a brick building, its walls covered with plaster; some of the ground floor rooms feature original vaulted ceilings. The ground floor level originally featured a two-bay, tripartite layout with a hallway between the individual suites of rooms; this layout has been transformed at a later date, so that the interiors no longer reflect the original design. The representational first floor level was designed on an asymmetrical layout, featuring a ballroom in the north-western corner. The front (western) façade follows a seven-axis design, featuring a three-axial pseudo-avant-corps crowned with a semi-circular pediment incorporating an oculus in the middle of its tympanum, surmounted by sculptural decorations in the form of a cartouche bearing the Pilawa and Nałęcz coats of arms - the symbols of the Potocki and Małachowski noble families respectively - and surrounded by festoons held up by sculpted putti. The façades are partitioned by pilasters, a string course and a crowning cornice. The ground floor level is partially rusticated. The window openings are rectangular in shape, adorned by narrow window surrounds; the first-floor front façade windows are further embellished by ornate plasterwork decorations. Inside, the lavish sculptural and plasterwork decorations of the vestibule and the ballroom can still be admired by visitors. The outbuilding located near the palace, otherwise known as the old palace, dates back to the 16th/17th century, although it has been redesigned at a later date. It is a two-storey brick building designed on a rectangular floor plan, its walls covered with plaster; the façades of the building are divided by lesenes. The sanatorium was erected back in the late 18th century and subsequently redesigned in 1882. Designed on an elongated rectangular floor plan with a polygonal verandah adjoining its northern façade, the building is a three-storey brick building, its walls covered with plaster, the horizontal grooves running across the façade lending it a rusticated appearance. In the middle of the eleven-axial façade the building features two wooden balconies positioned above one another, with ornate fretwork decorations in the Swiss style - a typical feature of resort town architecture - gracing the building’s gables. The so-called hydropathy building, designed in the late 18th century, adjoins the sanatorium to the east. This building has seen two series of alteration works - during the 19th century as well as in the modern times. West of the sanatorium lies the small Greek house (ca. 1880), reminiscent of an ancient Greek temple with a Doric portico, as well as the Bishop’s house (1807), originally erected for Kacper Cieciszowski, the bishop of Łuck and subsequently adapted to serve as a pharmacy, and the bath house (1817-1820, redesigned in 1877), featuring a Doric portico preceding the front façade as well as a Renaissance Revival tower. East of the sanatorium lies the Gothic house (1879) - the so-called resort villa wherein doctor’s offices are located. The building, designed in the Gothic Revival style, features a complex overall shape dominated by a square tower. Near the south-eastern entrance one will find the main gateway (the so-called iron gateway), built during the fourth quarter of the 18th century, accompanied by a guardhouse with tower, erected in 1877 and redesigned in the early 20th century. The park has attained its current appearance in stages throughout the 19th century, formed out of the earlier parterre garden which was gradually being redesigned in order to bring it more in line with the “landscape garden” concept that was in vogue at the time. Designed on the east-west axis, the park stretches on both sides of the Bochotniczanka river (a tributary of the Bystra river) and features a pond in the middle; alleys lined with lime and chestnut trees lead across the park, passing by the lawns and flower-beds, with the entire complex appearing to flow seamlessly into the riverside meadows beyond.

The site is open to visitors.

compiled by Bożena Stanek-Lebioda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 11-05-2015.

Bibliography

  • Jaroszewski T. S., Architektura doby Oświecenia w Polsce. Nurty i odmiany, Wrocław 1971, Wrocław 1971, pp. 59-61.
  • Karpowicz M., Sztuka Polska XVIII wieku, Warszawa 1985, pp. 124, 258.
  • Kurzątkowska A., Nałęczów, “Spotkania z Zabytkami”, 1982, no. 9, p. 8.
  • Łoza S., Architekci i budowniczowie w Polsce, Warszawa 1954, pp. 156, 212.
  • Nałęczów i jego okolice: przewodnik informacyjny dla leczących się i lekarzy, Warsaw 1897.
  • Nałęczów: źródło szczawy żelazistej radyoaktywne, ca 1900.
  • Nałęczów minionych lat czyli uzdrowisko na starych pocztówkach, [selection of postcards and texts: Tarka-Łukiewicz E., Tarka S, współpr. Lipniewski J.; compiled and edited by Olkowicz A.], Nałęczów 2003, passim.
  • Omilanowska M., Polska. Pałace i dwory, Warsaw 2005, pp. 83-84.
  • Przegalińska-Matyko, Skarbek A., Park w Nałęczowie - uzdrowisko czy kolonia kulturalna?, “Czasopismo Techniczne. Architektura”, 2010, vol. 13, p. 209-215.
  • Rolska-Boruch I., Siedziby szlacheckie i magnackie na ziemiach zwanych Lubelszczyzną 1500-1700, Lublin 1999, pp. 125-126.
  • Tarka M., Dzieje Nałęczowa, Nałęczów 1989, passim.
  • Tatarkiewicz W., Opole i Nałęczów - Merlini i Nax, “Biuletyn Historii Sztuki”, 1956, vol. 2, pp. 240-270.
  • Z dziejów dawnego i współczesnego Nałęczowa, Kożuchowski Z. (ed), collective work, Warsaw 1925.
  • Żywicki J., Architektura neogotycka na Lubelszczyźnie, Lublin 1998, pp. 267-269.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: XVI – XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Nałęczów
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district puławski, commune Nałęczów - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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