Palace, so-called Lower Castle, currently the Municipal Office, Otmuchów
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Palace, so-called Lower Castle, currently the Municipal Office

Otmuchów

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The Baroque palace was founded by the Bishops of Wrocław, whose presence in Otmuchów dates back to the 13th century. Since 1741, when the Upper Castle was shelled during the First Silesian War, it served as the bishop's seat in Otmuchów, and since 1821 it was inhabited by Wilhelm v. Humboldt. Formal solutions used by designer Michał Klein can be found in his projects executed in Nysa.

History

The initiation of the constructions and founder of the new palace at the foot of the bishops' castle in Otmuchów was Bishop of Wrocław Franz Ludwig von Pfalz-Neuburg (1783-1732). He commissioned Michał Klein (architect of the town of Nysa since 1697, who served as the architect of the bishop's residence since 1714) to design the palace. The contract concerning the commission dated 25 September 1706 has been preserved to this day. The palace was completed in 1707.

Since 1810, the bishops' property in Otmuchów in the form of the Upper and Lower Castle and pheasantry was taken by the Prussian state, and 11 years later it was returned to Minister Wilhelm v. Humboldt. The baron and his family settled in the palace, because the technical condition of the castle did not allow for its use.

In that century, the palace was extended by an avant-corps with a terrace to the south and a western annex. During adaptation of the palace for use as a school in 1927, the interiors on the ground floor underwent alterations.

Wilhelm's son, Bernhard Humboldt-Dachröden, sold the castle with the palace and pheasantry to the town in 1929.

The building housed a primary school in the 1960s and a nursery in the 1970s. Currently, the Lower Castle is the seat of the Municipal Office in Otmuchów.

Description

The palace is located on the north-east slope of the castle hill, south of the Market Square. The area of the palace is fenced: a fence in the form of iron grates stretching between masonry and plastered pillars.

The two-storey building with a basement is covered with a tall hip roof clad with roof tiles. The main entrance leads from the north through stone stairs. The body on a rectangular floor plan was extended to the south on the axis by an avant-corps with a terrace on the upper storey and a multi-storey annex with a terrace to the west.

The façades of the Baroque palace are set on a tall base course and arranged symmetrically; on the ground floor they are adorned with rustication. The central axis of the front façade with a portal surmounted by an arch is accentuated with pilasters in the so-called giant order, with Ionic capitals. At the first floor level, which is separated by a cornice beneath the windows, the front facade is divided by lesenes. The portal with a rusticated archivolt is surmounted by a keystone. Rectangular windows on the ground floor are fitted with profiled surrounds, and on the first floor they are embellished with pilasters with Ionic capitals, surmounted by a broken segmental pediment with volutes. The remaining façades are designed in a similar fashion.

The interior was divided into two bays, and the middle part is occupied by a hallway. The rooms on the ground floor are vaulted. As a result of the alterations associated with the change in the function of the building, the palace interior lost its former imposing décor.

The structure can be view from the outside; viewing of the interior is possible by arrangement with the owner.

compiled by Joanna Szot, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 19-08-2014.

Bibliography

  • Bandurska Z., Otmuchów. Studium hist.-architektoniczne zamku i pałacu biskupów wrocławskich, Monument Conservation Workshop, branch office in Wrocław, 1975, vol. I-II, typescript.
  • Biller L., Neisse, Ottmachau und Patschkau, die Städte am Mittelauf der Glatzer Neisse (Veröffentlichungen der Schlesien Gesellschaft für Erkunde E.V. und des Geographischen Instituts der Universität Breslau, H. 15), Breslau 1932.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. VII: Województwo opolskie, issue 3: Powiat grodkowski, prepared by T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, Warsaw 1964.
  • Steinborn B., Otmuchów, Paczków (Śląsk w zabytkach sztuki), Wrocław 1982.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, p. 662.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: pocz. XVIII
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Zamkowa 6, Otmuchów
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district nyski, commune Otmuchów - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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