Castle complex, Osieczna
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The castle in Osieczna was erected in the 15th century and has been extended on numerous occasions by its subsequent owners, among whom were Andrzej Czarnkowski and Jan Opaliński of Bnin. Its current form dates back to the comprehensive alteration works performed in the years 1890-1908. A Mannerist portal dating back to about 1600 is preserved in the eastern façade of the western wing. The castle is located in a picturesque spot by the Łoniewskie Lake, inside a landscape park created in the 19th century.

History

The town of Osieczna was chartered in the year 1370 or thereabouts. In the second half of the 14th century and in the 15th century, it remained the property of the Pomeranian noble family of Borek-Gryżyński; its ownership subsequently passed into the hands of the Borek-Osiecki family; it was them who erected a brick and stone castle in the second half of the 15th century. In 1520, the town was acquired by Andrzej Górka. It remained in the hands of the Górka family until the 1590s. In 1592, Osieczna was acquired by Andrzej Czarnkowski of the Nałęcz coat of arms, at those initiative the existing castle was redesigned in years 1592-1601; the Mannerist portal in the eastern façade of the western wing, the two decorative plaques in the northern wing (one of them bearing the date 1601, commemorating the completion of the works) and a number of other features originate from this very period. In the first half of the 17th century, Osieczna was in the hands of the Przyjemski family; it was then acquired by the Opaliński family in the second half of the same century. In 1655, the castle was gutted by fire, although it was rebuilt shortly thereafter at the initiative of Jan Opaliński of Bnin; this fact is commemorated by a plaque set into one of the walls of the northern wing. During the 2nd half of the 17th century, Osieczna remained in the hands of the Skoraszewski family, which decided to sell the castle during an auction to a Berlin bank; the sale is believed to have taken place somewhere around 1797, even though other sources indicate this might have only happened in 1821. During the 19th century, the castle had German owners. In the 1860s, Heinrich Burghard Abegg had the southern wing redesigned in the Baroque Revival style. The last private owners of the castle (until 1945) were the members of the von Heydebrandt family. It was at their initiative that a thorough redesign of the castle took place in years 1890-1908, based on a design prepared by the Berlin-based architects Reimer & Körte. The southern part of the castle underwent the most dramatic change. A tall, massive tower now dominated the redesigned wing, projecting slightly ahead of the façade; the south-western corner received a semi-circular fortified tower which rose only slightly above the wing itself. The interiors in all of the redesigned parts of the castle have undergone alterations as well. These included the replacement of the supporting pillars in the oldest surviving hall - the three-bay hall in the ground-floor section of the western wing, originally built back in the early 17th century and accessible from the courtyard through the aforementioned Mannerist portal. The last of the pre-war owners of the castle was Heinz von Heydebrandt. After World War II came to an end, the castle was taken over by the State Treasury. The building was used by the Polish Academy of Science until 1953 and was subsequently converted into a state-owned sanatorium. Today, the castle houses a rehabilitation centre.

Description

The castle is located in the southern part of the town of Osieczna, to the south-west of the market square, amidst the surrounding landscape park. The Zamkowa and T. Kościuszki streets serve as the northern boundaries of the park complex. The entrance gate leading into the palace and park complex is located at the extension of the northern section of Zamkowa street. The shoreline of the Łoniewskie Lake serves as the southern boundary of the park. The western border of the park runs along the Samica river bank. The eastern border of the park is wedged into the space between Jeziorna street and the northern bank of the Łoniewskie Lake.

The castle itself is an eclectic structure incorporating elements of many different styles, with its contemporary appearance being the result of numerous redesigns carried out by its subsequent owners throughout the centuries. The building is irregular in shape and consists of three wings which surround an inner courtyard which opens towards the east. The most recent, southern wing of the castle is also the most irregular in shape. An avant-corps designed on a rectangular floor plan and preceded by an arcaded porch in the west, forms an extension of the southern wing of the castle on the western side thereof. A semi-circular turret abuts the southern façade of the avant-corps. The eastern part of this wing projects into castle courtyard, the boundaries of which are the northern and western wings as well as the western part of the southern wing.

The overall shape of the castle is complex and varied, consisting of a number of cuboid components of varying height, further enriched by several avant-corps. The northern wing is a single-storey structure with a gable roof rising above the corps de logis; the eastern gable features a jerkin head. The western wing is a two-storey structure with a gable roof; the northern gable features a jerkin head. These two wings constitute the oldest surviving part of the castle, dating back to the 16th century and the period between the late 16th and early 17th century respectively; it was in those times that the castle was redesigned at the request of Andrzej Czarnkowski, the erstwhile owner of the castle. The southern wing of the castle, on the other hand, attained its current shape in years 1890-1908, when it was redesigned at the request of the Heydebrandt family. It is a three-storey structure with a multi-pitched roof, with the western gable featuring a jerkin head. A three-storey semi-cylindrical turret with a multi-faceted roof rises on the first and second axis of the southern façade (counting from the west). A tall, five-storey tower rises on the fifth and sixth axis from the west, projecting beyond the façade in the form of an avant-corps. The tower features a tall tented roof with small overhanging turrets on the corners, each of them topped with a conical roof. A three-sided oriel window with a separate, three-sided roof extends out of the tower’s façade on the second-floor level. The western avant-corps of the southern wing is preceded by a two-storey arcaded porch which features a covered terrace on the second-floor level; the entire porch structure is covered with a multi-faceted roof.

The castle is a brick structure, with timber framing used for a section of the western gable end as well as for the eastern façade of the southern wing. The walls are covered with plaster. The roofs are covered with ceramic roof tiles.

The southern façade of the southern wing, designed in years 1890-1908, is clearly the most impressive of all - a three-storey structure following a thirteen-axis design, it features a three-storey, two-axis turret in the western section and a five-storey, two-axis tower positioned on the fifth and sixth axis from the west. The eastern part of the ground floor level as well as the corners of the southern wing feature decorative rustication. The ground floor is separated from the upper section of the facade by a broad string course. The windows feature varying shapes - some are purely rectangular, while others are topped with semi-circular or segmental arches. The façades overlooking the courtyard are austere in appearance and feature none of the lavish architectural detailing seen on the outer façades. One exception is the impressive Mannerist portal on the first axis of the eastern façade of the western wing (counting from the north); the portal is preceded by a flight of steps and leads into a large first-floor hall. The splayed reveals of the semicircular doorway are framed by pilasters adorned with panoplies, masks and lion’s heads surrounded by a Baroque scrollwork. The upper part of the door reveal is likewise splayed and features two rows of coffers with rosettes. The corner sections above the arched doorway incorporate two half-lying female figures with cornucopias; above them rises an entablature adorned with putti and a strip of acanthus scroll. The portal is surmounted by a cartouche incorporating the Nałęcz coat of arms of Andrzej Czarnkowski, framed by a scrollwork ornament.

The main entrance to the castle, preceded by an arcade, is situated in the western, gable end façade of the southern wing. The interiors of the northern and western wings follow a single-bay layout, while the southern wing features a one-and-a-half-bay layout in the western section and a two-and-a-half-bay layout in the eastern section. The northern section of the western wing - one of the oldest surviving parts of the castle - features a large hall with an impressive double barrel vault with lunettes.

The original interior fittings of the castle can be admired in the reception room in the south-western corner, where period wainscoting and fireplace have survived. Intricately carved wooden benches and chairs survive inside the vestibule, in the large hall in the western wing as well as in the western hall of the southern wing; all these pieces of furniture remain affixed to the walls of the building. In addition, original wooden balustrades can still be found on the staircases.

The castle is located in a landscape park established in the 19th century, with a total surface area exceeding two hectares. The Samica river runs through the western part of the park, flowing into the Łoniewskie Lake in the south.

Limited access to the site. The castle is currently used as a rehabilitation centre. The park is open to the public.

compiled by Anna Dyszkant, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 24-07-2015.

Bibliography

  • Jakimowicz T., Zamek w Osiecznej, „Biuletyn Historii Sztuki” 1970, nr 3/4, s. 404-407.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. V: Województwo poznańskie, z. 12: Powiat leszczyński, oprac. T. Ruszczyńska, A. Sławska, Warszawa 1975, s. 58-60.
  • Libicki M., Libicki P., Dwory i pałace wiejskie w Wielkopolsce, Poznań 2003, s. 255.
  • Majątki wielkopolskie, t. IV, Powiat leszczyński, oprac. M. Jarzewicz, Szreniawa 1996, s. 117-119.

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: 1890-1908
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Osieczna
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district leszczyński, commune Osieczna - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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