Palace and park complex, Opole Lubelskie
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Palace and park complex

Opole Lubelskie

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One of the most intriguing Classicist palaces from the 1780s anywhere in Poland, built for Aleksander Lubomirski based on the design by a relatively little-known architect Franciszek Degen and surrounded by a landscape park redesigned by Walerian Kronenberg in 1905.

History

The palace and park complex in Niezdów was built on the site of an old manor dating back to the 16th century. The relatively small palace was erected for Aleksander Lubomirski, who was brought up by Antoni Lubomirski and Zofia Lubomirska née Krasińska, the owners of substantial amounts of land in the Opole region. Initially designed for periodical sojourns rather than permanent habitation, the palace was erected in 1787, after Aleksander married Rozalia Chodkiewicz. The designer of the palace was a relatively little-known architect named Franciszek Degen, although the design was in fact attributed to the famous Dominik Merlini for quite some time before the facts were ascertained. In 1806, the palace was inherited by Aleksandra Rozalia, the owner’s daughter and the wife of Aleksander Rzewuski. In 1831, she moved parts of the impressive collection of paintings and books from her palace in Opole to Niezdów, before the said collection was sold to the state authorities; it is believed that it was at that point that the two outbuildings behind the palace were also erected. In 1847, the Niezdów palace was purchased by Kazimierz Wydrychiewicz, the administrator of the manor who commissioned the partial redesign of the palace in years 1847-69; as a result, the building received a low additional storey (mezzanine), while the outline of its roof was lowered. The front avant-corps was redesigned, as were the staircases inside the building. Following Wydrychiewicz’s death, the manor came into the hands of his distant relatives, only to be acquired by Franciszek Kleniewski and his sons in 1871; one of the new owner’s sons, Władysław, later chose the Niezdów palace as his permanent residence. In 1905, the park surrounding the palace was redesigned by Walerian Kronenberg. In 1923, the owner’s daughter Olcha - who was a member of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent De Paul and of the Order of Non-habited Nuns of the Blessed Honorat Koźmiński - donated the Niezdów manor to the Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. After World War II, the manor was nationalised and divided, with the outbuildings and the adjoining garden being used by the congregation, while the abandoned palace awaited renovation; that moment finally came in 1957, when the palace adapted to serve as a children’s summer camp and, later on, as a school. In 1992, the nuns regained ownership of both the palace and the two outbuildings as well as parts of the surrounding park. In 2005 the palace was sold to a private individual.

Description

The palace and park complex is located in the former village of Niezdów, which currently forms part of the town of Opole Lubelskie. Located at a distance of approx. 2 kilometres west of the town centre, the complex consists of the palace surrounded by a park as well as of two outbuildings positioned behind the palace in a symmetrical arrangement, flanking the former utility courtyard.

The Palace. The palace is designed in the Classicist style. The front façade of the building faces the north; the building is a two-storey structure with a low upper storey (mezzanine), designed on a rectangular floor plan and featuring a front avant-corps preceded by a portico with two pairs of columns. The interior follows a two-bay layout and is divided into four distinct sections; the layout of the first floor mirrors that of the ground floor. A circular vestibule is positioned on the axial line of the front suite of rooms, with a grand staircase adjoining it to the west. On the first floor there is a two-storey drawing room with a cupola ceiling, positioned directly above the vestibule. The building is made of brick, its walls covered with plaster; the hip roof which crowns the entire structure is clad with sheet metal. The front façade follows a seven-axial, three-storey design with a representational first floor (piano nobile) and a mezzanine concealed within the pronounced entablature which crowns the façade. The three-axial avant-corps in the centre is preceded by stairs and a colonnaded portico with two pairs of Ionic columns in giant order supporting a triangular pediment adorned with a cartouche which incorporates the Szreniawa coat of arms. A black marble portal designed in the Late Baroque style takes pride of place on the middle axial line, featuring a decorative surround with label stops. The portal is flanked by two doorways topped with semicircular arches, framed by profiled archivolts with keystones in the middle. On the first floor there is a small balcony with an iron balustrade, flanked by niches designed to accommodate the sculptures of women whose attire is clearly reminiscent of the designs worn during the period of Classical antiquity. The rear façade is also a seven-axial, three-storey design with a terrace and a balcony. The windows are rectangular in shape, the first floor windows being adorned by decorative surrounds and topped with cornices resting on small corbels. The walls on the first floor level are also adorned with horizontal rustication. The individual storeys are separated from one another by string courses and topped by a 19th-century dentilled cornice. A few of the rooms of the palace still feature the original plasterwork designed in the Classicist style, incorporating a lavish selection of motifs which evoke the decorative traditions of ancient Greece and Rome. The walls of the representational, circular drawing room are adorned by fluted engaged columns in the composite order, supporting an entablature above which rises the coffered cupola ceiling adorned with rosettes.

The two outbuildings both serve residential purposes, their design being almost exactly alike; the two-storey buildings are designed on a square floor plan and follow a two-bay, bipartite interior layout. Both buildings are made of brick, their walls covered with plaster, and feature hip roofs clad with sheet metal. The front façades follow a three-axial design and are partitioned by elaborate string courses and crowning cornices.

The park was originally a formal design which followed a strict axial layout with a driveway up front; this, however, has changed when the park was redesigned by W. Kronenberg in 1905, attaining the features of a landscape park. The front section of the park features an oval arrangement of alleys with a view towards the ponds in the western part of the complex.

Limited access to the historic building. The palace is private property, while the outbuildings remain in the hands of the nuns. The park is owned by the municipal authorities.

compiled by Bożena Stanek-Lebioda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 09-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Kasiborski A., Pałac w Niezdowie -problematyka badawcza, “Wiadomości Konserwatorskie Województwa Lubelskiego”, Vol. 11, Lublin 2009, pp. 247-254.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VIII: Województwo lubelskie, issue 13: Powiat opolski, compiled by Winiarz Z., Wiercińska J., Warsaw 1962, pp. 8-10.
  • Sołtys A., Pałacyk Aleksandra Lubomirskiego w Niezdowie, “Kwartalnik Architektury i Urbanistyki”, Vol. XLVI, issue 4, 2001, pp. 363-373.
  • Toth M., Pałac w Niezdowie pod Opolem Lubelskim, “Rocznik Historii Sztuki”, Vol. VI, issue 4, 1957, pp. 131-143.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 1787
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Opole Lubelskie
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district opolski, commune Opole Lubelskie - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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