Town hall, Obrzycko
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The town hall in Obrzycko, designed in the Baroque style, bears testimony to the former status of the town, linked to the renowned noble houses of Nałęcz (or the Obrzycko branch thereof, to be precise), Radziwiłł, Radomicki and Raczyński. The Renaissance decorative window surround embedded into the southern façade of the town hall deserves a particular attention, having been relocated here from a church in Batahla in Portugal, where it was acquired in 1843 by Atanazy Raczyński. The western façade incorporates a cartouche with the Nałęcz coat of arms of the Raczyński family and the date 1825, when the fee tail estate (known as the ordynacja in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) of Obrzycko was established. The brothers Edward and Atanazy Raczyński are commonly referred to as “the Medici of Poznań”. It is to them that the Greater Poland region owes the Raczyński Family Library, with its immense collection of books, as well as the Gallery of Art the paintings from which are exhibited today in the National Museum in Poznań as well as In Rogalin, Śmiełów and Gołuchów.

History

The first mentions of the town of Obrzycko date back to the 14th or 15th century. During those times, the town remained in the hands of the Obrzycko branch of the Nałęcz family. In years 1238-1390, a stronghold stood on the site of the town. First mentions of a settlement - merely a village at the time - date back to somewhere around 1580. In 1638, the town was chartered for the second time, under a charter granted by king Władysław IV to Krzysztof Radziwiłł, the great hetman of Lithuania. During the 17th-18th century, Obrzycko remained a significant textile industry centre. From the second half of the 17th century until 1738, the town remained the property of the Radomicki noble family; it was then acquired by the Raczyński family, who owned it in years 1738-1945. The Obrzycko fee tail estate was established in 1825. Along with the nearby Zielonagóra estate, located on the other side of the Warta river, as well as the estate in Gaj Mały, where the administrative centre of the fee tail estate was located, the town formed the property of the noble house of Raczyński. Its very last private owner was Zygmunt Raczyński. As a result of various issues within the family itself, during the second half of the 19th century, the entire fee tail estate passed on to a Germanised branch of the Raczyński family from Courland. In 1934, Obrzycko lost its municipal rights and had to wait until 1990 to become a proper town again.

The first town hall was constructed somewhere around the mid-17th century.

In 1739, the town hall - much like most other buildings in town - was lost to the blaze.

In 1757, the current, brick-and-stone town hall was erected. During the mid-19th century, the town hall was converted into a granary by the Prussians.

In 1960, the town hall underwent renovation works; its interiors were modified so that the building could serve its original purpose once again.

In 1973, the roof underwent a comprehensive restoration which involved the replacement of the roofing as well as partial replacement of the roof truss beneath. In addition, the brick parts of the town hall were subjected to conservation works, while the cornices were partially replaced.

Description

Obrzycko, a town located in the Szamotuły district, picturesquely located on the left bank of the Warta river, next to the Samica river mouth, lies about 12 kilometres to the north-west from the city of Szamotuły itself. In the middle of the town, in the centre of the trapezium-shaped market square, stands the town hall; its front façade facing the west. Residential buildings from the 19th and the early 20th century surround the market square.

The town hall itself, a brick building with exposed brick façades (only the foundation is covered with plaster) was designed on a square floor plan as a three-storey building, its tower flowing seamlessly out of the façade. In addition to its three storeys, the building also has a basement but no habitable attic. The cuboid body of the town hall is topped with a gable roof clad with roof tiles. The tower is a quadrangular structure with five storeys in total, extending out of the facade in the form of an avant-corps and covered with a hip roof featuring a wooden roof lantern crowned with a spire with a flag-shaped weathervane. String courses run across the façades, visually separating the individual storeys. Both the corners of the upper storeys and the corners of the tower feature decorative rustication. The windows on the third and fourth storeys of the tower are framed by pilasters. A decorative cherub’s head is placed above one of the windows. An external entrance to the basement is located on the ground floor level. The basements and ground-floor and first-floor vestibules feature double barrel vaults, with wooden ceilings being used for all other rooms. The town hall entrance leads through an arched doorway in the northern façade (the ground floor section of the tower). The windows are rectangular in shape; some of the windows have been some time after the building was erected - this applies particularly to the windows in the southern façade.

The tower features a clock, a sandstone cartouche incorporating the Nałęcz coat of arms of the Raczyński family - owners of the town for nearly two centuries - as well as the date “1825” with an inscription commemorating the foundation of the Obrzycko fee tail estate. Another truly remarkable touch is the Renaissance window surround, originally from a church in Batahla, Portugal, which was purchased by count Atanazy Raczyński in 1843 and embedded into the wall of the town hall. An inscription in German confirms that the decorative window surround was installed in 1857. The inscription also provides information on the origins of this decorative flourish, including information on the church which it used to form part of and the history of the foundation of the said church. A plaque commemorating the Greater Poland Uprising and the day of January 10, 1919, when a unit from Obrzycko marched out towards the front line, is embedded into the town hall wall.

The interior layout has been partially modified in the early 1960s. Having served as a granary for a hundred years, the town hall was finally able to perform its original purpose - that of the seat of the municipal authorities - once again.

The site is accessible to visitors. Interior tours available upon prior appointment.

compiled by Teresa Palacz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 5-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Łęcki Wł., Wielkopolska - słownik krajoznawczy, Poznań 2002.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Ruszczyńska T., Sławska A. (red.), t. 5, z. 23 pow. szamotulski, s. 9-12, Warszawa 1966.
  • Wielkopolskie ratusze, Maluśkiewicz P. (red.), Poznań 2004.
  • Powiat szamotulski na dawnej pocztówce (1897-1945), Szamotuły 2002.
  • Gałka W., Obrzycko - studium historyczno-urbanistyczne, t. I., II, Poznań 1990.

General information

  • Type: town hall
  • Chronology: 1757 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Obrzycko
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district szamotulski, commune Obrzycko (gm. miejska)
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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