Palace and park complex, Obrzycko-Zamek
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Palace and park complex

Obrzycko-Zamek

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The palace and park complex in Obrzycko-Zielonagóra is a valuable example of a XIX-century mansion. The entire complex consists of a palace erected in years 1856-1857 for the Raczyński family, the outbuilding and the coach driver’s house built in years 1870-1880 and a pheasantry erected in 1910. The palace itself can be described as eclectic, with numerous elements of the French Renaissance Revival style and Baroque Revival façades. The utility buildings, on the other hand, follow a style reminiscent of Swiss architecture, with post-and-beam upper sections of the walls and wooden decorations of the gable ends and eaves. All buildings are located in a picturesque landscape park sprawling across the elevated northern bank of the Warta river. The origins of the complex are linked to the Raczyński noble family. It is to the brothers Edward and Atanazy which 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 history of the palace and park complex in the village of Zielonagóra at the outskirts of Obrzycko is linked to the history of the noble families which had once owned the town itself. During the 14th and 15th century, the town belonged to the Obrzycko branch of the House of Nałęcz. In 1638, Krzysztof Radziwiłł ensured that the municipal rights that the town had hitherto held were reaffirmed. In 1720, the town was acquired by Władysław Radomicki, while from 1780 onwards it remained in the hands of Józef Mielżyński. Meanwhile, the Obrzycko demesne became the property of Leon Raczyński in 1742. A small manor house was erected in Zielonagóra by August Kamprad in the early 19th century. In 1824, Zielonagóra was acquired by Atanazy Raczyński. In 1825, the Obrzycko fee tail estate (known as the ordynacja in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) was established. The palace itself was extended in years 1856 - 1857; it was at that point that the central avant-corps, designed in the Baroque Revival style, was erected. The palace performed the role of a hunting mansion. The administrative centre of the Obrzycko fee tail estate was located in the village of Gaj Mały. The landscape park was created in the second half of the 19th century. The outbuildings and the coach driver’s house were constructed in years 1870-1880. The palace was extended once again in 1910, when the eastern section with a tower was added; it was also at that point that the park has been rearranged. The pheasantry was erected in 1910. In 1950, the interiors of the eastern and western outbuildings as well as the washhouse were converted to serve residential and office purposes. During the period between 1956 and 1957, renovation works were carried out on the complex, including the restoration of roofs and chimneys as well as the partial replacement of window joinery. The tower was restored in 1975. From 1989 onwards, the palace remained in the hands of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, serving as an artists’ retreat (the House of Creative Work). A comprehensive restoration of both palace and the utility buildings took place in years 2007-2008.

Description

The town of Obrzycko is situated at the northern edge of the Poznań Upland. Its distance to the town of Szamotuły is 12 kilometres. The residential complex with manor farm (the latter having been excluded from the entry into the register of historical monuments) is located on the elevated bank of the Warta river near the Sama river mouth, outside of town, in its former outskirts known today as Zielonagóra. The area is also known today as Obrzycko-Zamek.

The palace and park complex along with utility buildings is located in the eastern part of the entire manor, framed by two ravines in the west and the east; it consists of a palace, positioned on the main axis of the complex, two western outbuildings, the eastern outbuilding, the pheasantry as well as the coach driver’s house, located south of the main gate. The palace is situated near the riverside embankment and preceded by the grand courtyard and the complex of outbuildings. It was designed on a rectangular floor plan with a projecting, rectangular porch positioned on the building’s axis, with a pentagonal added section adjoining it from the west as well as the later eastern section with a tower, build on a reversed L-shaped floor plan. The two-storey brick building with a basement features plastered walls and a complex body covered by a roof clad with slate roof tiles. The avant-corps features a mansard roof. The portals feature stucco decorations. The façades feature rustication in their corner sections; a prominent feature is the tympanum attached to the projecting part of the terrace, incorporating the Nałęcz coat of arms of the Raczyński family and the inscription which says “to live in the pursuit of truth”, framed with acanthus scrollwork. The same coat of arms was also displayed on the Obrzycko town hall when the Obrzycko fee tail estate (ordynacja) was established. The lower part of the roof features dormer windows in three different styles. The tower is a four-storey structure with rusticated facade up to the third storey, with the walls above that level being adorned with pilasters. The roof of the tower is crowned by a steeple, with a pair of clocks positioned below - an ordinary clock on the northern side and a solar clock on the western side. A statue of a sitting female figure atop a plinth, created in 1862, is positioned in the centre of a flower-bed, on the axis of the palace. The inscription below the sculpture has been effaced.

The interior of the palace features a two-bay layout with a grand drawing room on the building’s axis. Fragments of original decorative plasterwork and wainscoting have survived in some of the ground floor rooms.

The outbuildings and the coach driver’s house were designed in the same style, with the lower parts of the walls being made of brick, surmounted by a post-and-beam upper section. Both the walls and the infills between the beams are covered with plaster and painted white. The white plastered infills are in stark contrast to the dark wooden structure. The outbuildings, flanking the grand courtyard from both sides, are designed on a rectangular floor plan; the bodies of the buildings are all cuboid in shape. The complex of the western outbuildings along with the nearby utility building form a separate inner yard. The pheasantry, located about 100 metres to the south-west of the palace, was designed on an irregular polygonal floor plan. The cellar and the ground floor section of the building are made of brick, while both the first floor and the dovecote are made of wood and features vertical clapboard siding. The structure is covered with a mansard roof; the onion-shaped cupola of the turret features sheet metal cladding.

The palace complex is situated in a landscape park with a surface of about 19 hectares. The part of the park surrounding the palace itself flows seamlessly into the informal wooded park which, in turn, borders on the edge of the Noteć Primeval Forest. The park, the overall shape of which is that of an irregular polygon, retains the layout from years 1901-1910. The area in which the park is located features an uneven, hilly surface and slopes downwards towards the Warta river. A purpose-built terrace and vegetation form a barrier on the river side of the park. A courtyard with a flower bed that features an arrangement of silver spruces and roses is positioned in front of the palace. Two deep ravines which are designed to allow excess rainwater to flow into the river are located behind the outbuildings. The two steel bridges spanning the ravines are surviving period structures. The western part of the park features a picturesque meadow with a fountain. This part of the park borders on the garden section with greenhouses, behind which stand the buildings forming part of the former manor. The park also features a surviving, original alley lined with lindens. A path leading from the eastern outbuilding, over the small bridge and through the park makes it possible to reach the bridge on the Warta river and the town of Obrzycko itself. Most of the trees - about 50% of all trees in the park - are deciduous trees such as lindens, maples, chestnuts, locusts, oaks as well as alders which grow near the ravines and alongside the Warta river. The wooded section of the park is dominated by pine trees. Originally, the park was surrounded by a brick wall. Today, only fragments of the wall remain, including the gate in the eastern part of the park.

Viewing of the palace and park complex is only possible upon agreement with the owners thereof.

compiled by Teresa Palacz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 14-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Anders P., Kusiak Wł., Puszcza Notecka, Poznań 2011.
  • Powiat szamotulski na dawnej pocztówce (1897-1945), Szamotuły 2002.
  • Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich, t. VII, s. 354-355 i t. XIV, s. 599, Warszwa 1895.
  • Gałka W., Obrzycko - studium historyczno-urbanistyczne, t. I., II, Poznań 1990
  • Jaśkowiak F., Województwo Poznańskie. Przewodnik, Warszawa 1967.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 1856-1857
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Obrzycko-Zamek
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district szamotulski, commune Obrzycko
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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