A Small Palace of Henryk Sienkiewicz with a Historic Park and a Linden Alley - Zabytek.pl
woj. świętokrzyskie, pow. kielecki, gm. Strawczyn
This distinction (one of the three - Józef Ignacy Kraszewski and Maria Konopnicka were honoured in this manner as well) was a proof of recognition of the writer, whose works added strength to the Poles during the times of dependence and contributed to maintaining national identity and reinforcing the ties to the motherland divided by the partitioning powers.
The complex is characterised by a great degree of authenticity. It consists of an eclectic villa-style residence, a park and an impressive, four-row alley planted with limes, which were one of the gifts in celebration of Sienkiewicz’s anniversary of artistic creation. The palace interiors host numerous memorabilia of the writer and his family, such as furniture, portraits by Jacek Malczewski and Kazimierz Pochwalski, books, gifts, albums and anniversary addresses.
In 1900 the committee organising Henryk Sienkiewicz’s 25th work anniversary purchased the property in Oblęgorek and gave it as a gift to the writer. The palace was built in the years 1900-1902 by design of architect Hugo Kudera. The new residence incorporated slightly remodelled buildings of previous owners of Oblęgorek from the second half of the 19th century: the manor house of the Tarło family and the Halik family’s villa adjacent to it. Simultaneously, the works on arranging the landscape park, established around the residence in the second half of the 19th century, were taking place, partially under the supervision of Franciszek Szanior.
Sienkiewicz moved into the palace in 1902 and stayed there with his family mainly in the summer seasons. He finally abandoned Oblęgorek in August 1914, entrusting a housekeeper with care for the palace. She secured the equipment and some items and heirlooms for the time of war, owing to which the heirs to the writer were able to resettle there (Sienkiewicz died in 1916 in Switzerland, where he left after the outbreak of World War I). During World War II, the writer’s son and his wife, who resided in the palace at that time, were arrested for concealing members of the resistance from the Wilk’s group (Sienkiewicz’s son, Henryk Józef, was arrested twice). In the early 1945 soldiers of the Red Army stationed in the palace, while the Sienkiewicz family moved to the steward’s house. After the agricultural reform of March 1945 only parts of the land were granted to the Sienkiewicz family; they regained the dilapidated palace in 1949.
In 1956 the writer’s children - Henry Józef and Maria - bequeathed the residence and the park to open a museum. After some necessary repairs, in 1958 Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Museum opened in the palace. Initially, the recovered or purchased fittings and memorabilia were exhibited in a part of the ground floor, but the museum was gradually enlarged. In 1976 the museum became a branch of the National Museum in Kielce.
The park and the palace are located on the southern slope of Góra Barania, amidst meadows, arable fields and homesteads of Oblęgorek village in the Kielce district. The complex occupies around 2 hectares of land in the northern part of the village and is connected with the local road by means of an access alley several hundred metres long.
A four-row alley planted with lime trees goes upwards, through the intermediate gate, and further meanders to an entrance courtyard from the north. The palace is located in the middle of the complex. It is surrounded by an English landscape park with a rich and diverse flora. Traditional species prevail, such as oak, small-leaved lime and European ash, but there are also rare species such as tulip tree or London plane.
The eclectic palace is mostly made of brick, with fragments of wooden linings and décor. It is characterised by a complicated, irregular floor plan, resulting from the building’s history. The body is diversified by, among others, avant-corps, bay windows and a round tower offering a magnificent view of the surroundings from its top. From the south the palace features a loggia, from the south-west - terraces. The front façade of the building is embellished with stucco decoration showing, among others, Sienkiewicz’s coat of arms, and is crowned with a sculpture of a hussar as a reference to the “Trilogy”. The main entrance is preceded by a portico.
At present, at the ground floor level, there is a recreated Sienkiewicz’s apartment. In the drawing room, dining room, office and bedroom original, historical and reconstructed pieces of furniture and of equipment have been gathered and arranged in the style of the writer’s era, in line with memoirs and historical sources. On the first floor there is a biographical and literary exhibition and a multimedia display.
Category: residential comlpex
Protection: Historical Monument
Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_26_PH.15485