Palace, Pławniowice
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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One of the most impressive and most valuable examples of late 19th-century residences in Upper Silesia, designed in the Dutch Renaissance Revival style with French Renaissance Revival influences, its designer being most likely K. Heidenreich. The palace was erected on the site of an earlier, 18th-century building, with the palace chapel forming part of the earlier structure being incorporated into the new edifice. The value of the palace is evident both when looking at its original, unchanged form, layout and the sumptuous architectural décor. In addition, the palace is accompanied by an impressive array of auxiliary structures from the fourth quarter of the 19th century as well as a revitalised park.

History

The Pławniowice manor, initially owned by the local knights and then of a large fee tail estate, changed ownership on numerous occasions between the 14th and the 19th century. The original palace was erected in 1732 for Sigismund Nikolaus von Görtz. The surviving chapel, incorporated into the south-eastern corner of the existing residence, originates from the very same period. In years 1882-1885, the 18th-century palace was superseded by a new structure, erected at the initiative of Franz von Ballestrem and designed in the North European Renaissance Revival style with numerous French Renaissance Revival influences, its designer being most likely Karl Heidenreich. It is believed that alterations were being introduced on an ongoing basis until 1895, as evidenced by the addition of a small turret adjoining the southern façade of the northern wing. The carriage house, located west of the palace, originates from the same period as the palace itself (1881), as does the cavalier house situated to the south-west of the mansion (1898) and the surrounding park complex. During the post-war period, the manor was allocated to the Catholic Church; the church authorities converted the palace chapel into a parish church, while the western wing of the building would now serve as a rectory. The remaining part of the former nobleman’s residence was converted into a convent of the Benedictine nuns and, later on, into an Augustine monastery. From 1978 onwards, the palace has served as the house of retreat of the Gliwice Diocese, having previously formed part of the Opole diocese. In 1993, a comprehensive restoration of the palace and the surrounding area began, with numerous conservation works also being performed. The roof truss and cladding was replaced, as were the ceilings inside the building. All interiors and façades were restored, the window and door joinery was either reconditioned or replaced, while the park complex was revitalised in the years 1998-2000.

Description

The palace and park complex is situated in the middle of the village of Pławniowice, south of the Kłodnicki Canal, at the intersection of Gliwicka and Nad Kanałem streets. The former manor farm complex, linked to the palace both in terms of design and function, is located south of the mansion, while the Renaissance Revival cavalier house lies to the south-west. The entire complex is surrounded by a stone perimeter wall. A Renaissance Revival building of the former carriage house is positioned west of the palace, within the boundaries of the complex, while the relatively small landscape park stretches east of the palace. The main entrance into the palace, positioned on the north-western side thereof, is preceded by a circular driveway with a fountain.

The palace is a brick building designed on a horseshoe floor plan. The body of the palace consists of three two-storey wings surrounding a small courtyard opening towards the park; the wings of the palace are covered with tall roofs with dormer windows, their design enlivened by the presence of numerous avant-corps, turrets, gables, oriel windows and a quadrangular tower, the latter forming the dominant visual feature of the entire palace. The multi-axial, highly diverse façades, designed in the Renaissance Revival style, are characterised by the presence of an overarching two-tone colour scheme, with red brick walls contrasting with the white architectural detailing and rusticated quoins adorning the corners. The front (south-western) façade is enlivened by three axially arranged avant-corps with ornamental gables, with the middle one incorporating the entrance preceded by a grand, lavishly designed portico. An impressive corner tower, designed on a square floor plan and topped with a tall, pyramid roof, adjoins the northern side of the front façade - an arrangement mirrored in the positioning of the octagonal corner tower clinging to the southern side of the palace. The façade of the so-called Marian Courtyard is enlivened by a central avant-corps in the form of a semicircular tower as well as a two-storey loggia projecting from the northern section of the façade. The interior layout of all wings of the palace consists of a single suite of rooms connected by a hallway running alongside the inner yard; the grand rooms on the ground-floor level of the main wing, arranged in an enfilade layout, form the sole exception to this rule. The main wing also incorporates the grand hall with its lierne vault, positioned on the middle axis of the palace.

A Late Baroque chapel from the second quarter of the 18th century is incorporated into the south-western corner of the palace, its current role being that of a parish church. This chapel is all that remains today of the earlier palace which was then superseded by the current one. The chapel, designed on a square floor plan, features a chancel with a semi-hexagonal termination. The interior of the nave features a stellar vault supported by corner pillars adorned with pilasters which support a mitred entablature above. The western and northern sections of the interior also feature arcaded niches containing galleries with ribbed groin vaults above.

The palace is surrounded by a relatively small landscape park which features the so-called calligraphic layout. The entire complex consists of geometric sections arranged in the vicinity of the palace as well as a more informal arrangement of walking paths positioned at the outskirts of the park; there is also a small pond, an Alpine garden and an exedra in the eastern part of the park. West of the palace lies the so-called garden salon with a central stone fountain, surrounded by the road reaching up to the palace itself. The so-called Marian Courtyard, located east of the palace, features a statue of the Virgin Mary with Child as well as a podium supporting the sculpted bust of the progenitor of the Ballestrem noble family. The park features numerous specimens of old trees, including lines of small-leaved lindens, pedunculate oak, common maple, sycamore, black locust, wych elm and champion oak; there are also specimens of unique red magnolia (in the north-western section of the park) and bald cypress (in the north-eastern section).

Limited access. The park can be explored during designated opening hours.

compiled by Agnieszka Olczyk, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 16-06-2015.

Bibliography

  • Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Kreises Tost-Gleiwitz, compiled by E. Kloss, Breslau 1943, p. 82.
  • Kozina I., Pałace i zamki na pruskim Górnym Śląsku w latach 1850-1914, Katowice 2001, pp. 109-110.
  • Record sheet, Former carriage house - outbuilding [in Pławniowice], compiled by E. Caban, 1999, Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VI: Województwo katowickie, issue 5: Powiat gliwicki, I. Rejduch-Samkowa, J. Samek (ed.), pp. 56-57.
  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, S. Brzezicki, C. Nielsen (eds.), Warsaw 2006, pp. 215.
  • Zespół pałacowo-parkowy w Pławniowicach. XII Gliwickie Dni Dziedzictwa Kulturowego, compiled by A. Kwiecień, Gliwice 2013.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 1882-1884 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Gliwicka 46, Pławniowice
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district gliwicki, commune Rudziniec
  • Copyright owner: National Heritage Board of Poland

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