Factory owner's villa, currently a cultural centre, Prudnik
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Factory owner's villa, currently a cultural centre

Prudnik

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The villa is linked to the activity of the Fränkel family, a Jewish family of entrepreneurs, humanists, art patrons and philanthropists. The factory S. Fränkel Tischzeug-, Leinwand- und Frottierfabrik, founded by Samuel Fränkel around 1840, gave rise to the textile industry, for which the town was famous in the second half of the 19th century and until the 1930s.

It is also an example of a factory owners' villa that is considered extraordinary in this region because of its style reminiscent of Italian palaces, with a partially preserved exceptionally rich interior décor.

History

The villa was built by Hermann Fränkel, one of the sons of Samuel, in 1883. In subsequent years, work was continued on its décor (fresco in the hall on the first flour was made by Eugen Hanetzog in 1886).

In the first quarter of the 20th century, the building was transformed twice: around 1900 the interior layout was slightly altered, and around 1920 the south-western part underwent alterations involving removing a terrace facing the garden and replacing the round corner bay with a three-sided avant-corps. At the same time, the loggia arcades were glazed.

After World War 2, the building belonged to Frotex S.A., operating in the former Fränkel's plants (Samuel's descendants were forced to emigrate in 1938), and served as a Textile Worker's House (Polish: Dom Włókniarza) consisting of a company's dayroom and club. Work carried out in the 1960s and 1970s were connected with the deteriorating technical condition of the building (replacement of wooden ceilings and roof truss with new ones made of reinforced concrete) and adaptation of the villa for new public functions (including the construction of another staircase).

Since 2007, the building is owned by the Prudnik commune which opened the Cultural Centre of Prudnik in the restored villa.

Description

The villa is located in the centre of Prudnik, on the southern side of Kościuszki Street. It was erected right next to a Baroque Capuchin monastery, demolished at the end of the 19th century and replaced with an Evangelical church (also no longer existent). The seventeenth-century cellar, which extended from the south-western corner of the monastery towards the west and reached a columned portico of the villa, has been preserved and joined with its basements.

In front of the building, there is the original forged fence which was also renovated in the early 21st century. The villa can be accessed from a semicircular driveway. The building adjoins a garden to the south.

The Renaissance Revival villa is reminiscent of Italian city palaces. It is built on a rectangular floor plan and consists of avant-corps, four storeys, and is covered with a hip roof. The main entrance leads through a monumental columned portico. The building is made of brick. The façades are plastered and decorated with rustication and stucco work. A distinctive feature of the garden façade is a loggia opened through arcades, which is also reminiscent of Italian Renaissance. In the arcades, there are English windows which were installed at a later time (now restored).

Inside, the rooms are arranged around a vestibule intended for the eyes of guests, adorned with lavish carved decorations of the stairs, wainscot and ceiling covered with murals and pierced by a skylight, with stained glass doors and windows. Wood carvings have been also preserved in the hallway. On the upper storey, on the southern wall there is a large-format signed painting depicting the scene of the Finding of the Moses. The interior of the villa was fitted with two fountains: one on the ground floor in the centre of the hall (with a statue of a woman on a pedestal, holding a five-arm lamp, in an oval trough decorated with four frogs) and an Art Nouveau fountain on the upper storey, by the western wall (cast iron statute of a woman on the background of a round mirror, leaning over a source of water which flows into a semicircular bowl, the bottom of which is covered with a colourful mosaic).

The building is open to visitors during the openings hours of the Cultural Centre of Prudnik; further information: http://www.pok-prudnik.pl/

compiled by Joanna Szot, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 10-06-2014.

Bibliography

  • Orzeczenie techniczne o stanie budynku świetlicy P.Z.P.B. w Prudniku ul. Kościuszki Nr 1, prepared by Engineer Koziarkiewicz, 1961, resources of the Voivodeship Monuments Protection Office in Opole.
  • Baron A., Max Pinkus. 1857-1934. Śląski przemysłowiec i mecenas kultury, Opole 2008.
  • Chrząszcz J., Geschichte der Stadt Neustadt in Oberschlesien, Neustadt 1912.
  • Kulczyk P., Rzepiela U., Prudnik na dawnej pocztówce, Opole 2002.
  • Rathmann R., Neustadt in Oberschlesien, Berlin 1929.
  • Rzepiela U., Szymańska-Seyler S., Prudnik lat minionych. 1895-1935, Opole 2006.
  • Solisz I., Kowalik-Kociszewska D., Prace konserwatorskie i adaptacyjne willi Fränkla w Prudniku, "Wiadomości Konserwatorskie" 2013, no. 35, pp. 29-40.
  • Solisz I., Kowalik-Kociszewska D., Prace konserwatorskie i adaptacyjne willi Fränkla w Prudniku. Okiem konserwatora wojewódzkiego. Okiem konserwatora kierownika prac konserwatorskich, [in:] Opolski Informator Konserwatorski, E. Molak, A. Strzoda, K. Spychała (eds.), Opole 2012, pp. 55-70.

General information

  • Type: villa
  • Chronology: 3 ćw. XIX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościuszki 1a, Prudnik
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district prudnicki, commune Prudnik - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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