Former hospital of St Julius, currently serving as hospital no. 1, Rybnik
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Former hospital of St Julius, currently serving as hospital no. 1

Rybnik

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A valuable example of a hospital complex, one of the oldest in the region. Today, the entire complex remains important not only because of its historical value, but also because of the clear layout of the complex and the fact that the individual, free-standing buildings have survived to the present day without any major alterations; the free-standing hospital pavilions, erected in the second half of the 19th century and in the early 20th century, exhibit a mixture of different styles, including the Romanesque Revival, Gothic Revival, Eclecticism and Early Modernism.

History

The hospital of St Julius, initially conceived as a facility for women, was established at the initiative of duke Juliusz Roger from Racibórz, with the buildings being erected on a plot of land donated by the municipal authorities. The entire complex was erected in stages over the course of a few decades, with the oldest of all structures, i.e. the “Julius” and “Raphael” pavilions in the southern part of the complex, having been erected and opened to the public somewhere around the year 1869. Initially, the hospital remained under the administration of a charity foundation; later on, in 1871, the management of the entire institution was taken over by the Society of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in Silesia. The hospital chapel of St Julius was erected during the same period. In 1894, the funds obtained in the course of various fundraising campaigns were used for the purposes of purchasing the neighbouring plots of land, where new hospital buildings would later be erected. After the year 1900, the remaining pavilions were constructed, including the pharmacy on 3 Maja street, the future dermatological ward on Miejska street and the washhouse with kitchen, the latter dating back to the years 1911-1912. During the post-war period, an emergency ward adjoining the pharmacy pavilion was erected, while the boiler house was built in the 1990s. When the hospital was closed down in the year 2000, the entire complex was abandoned.

Description

The complex of the former hospital of St Julius is situated in the southern part of the Rybnik town centre and forms part of the city block located between the 3 Maja, Miejska, Klasztorna and Tęczowa streets. The individual pavilions were arranged along the boundaries of the complex, with the hospital courtyard located in the middle. The main entrance into the hospital was originally located on Klasztorna street, opposite the Ursuline convent, although it was later moved to Miejska street. The main hospital buildings, linked by a connecting section - the “Julius” and the “Raphael” pavilions - are located in the southern part of the complex, with the hospital chapel being located at the south-eastern corner. The former pharmacy building and the later addition in the form of the emergency ward are located on 3 Maja street, while the former dermatology ward stands in the vicinity of Miejska street. Deeper within the hospital courtyard, in the vicinity of the pharmacy, stands the former washhouse, adjoined by a modern boiler house. The buildings forming part of the hospital complex come in various shapes and sizes and bear the hallmarks of a variety of styles; this diversity is the direct consequence of their different functions and periods during which the individual structures were built. The most valuable and monumental buildings are the “Julius” and “Raphael” pavilions - large, brick buildings designed on an elongated rectangular plan, taking the form of compact, two-storey structures with gable roofs, the monotony of their façades broken by the projecting avant-corps, a turret with a cupola as well as subtle, restrained Romanesque Revival and Gothic Revival architectural detailing.

The chapel adjoining the eastern side of the “Julius” pavilion is a brick structure designed in the Romanesque Revival style, erected on a Greek cross floor plan and featuring a cuboid main body topped with a dome perched on an octagonal tholobate, adjoined by four short arms with gable roofs, one of which - the chancel - features a polygonal end section. The single, open interior space is designed in the eclectic style, with notable fixtures and fittings including the Romanesque Revival side altarpieces as well as Gothic Revival statues of saints standing in niches set into the walls. The early modernist pavilion of the former dermatology ward is a brick building designed on an L-shaped floor plan, consisting of two wings - a single-storey one and a two-storey one - covered with multi-pitched roofs. The building’s façades are enriched through the addition of a symmetrical arrangement of narrow windows as well as plasterwork architectural detailing. The brick pavilion of the former pharmacy, designed in the eclectic style, was erected on a short, rectangular floor plan. Topped with a hip roof, the building features tall chimneys and a pronounced wall dormer as well as a semi-circular staircase avant-corps adjoining its southern side. The former washhouse is a small building with a low, cuboid silhouette accentuated by restrained, historicist architectural detailing.

Limited access to the building. The structure can be viewed from the outside.

compiled by Agnieszka Olczyk, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 09-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Record sheets of monuments of architecture, prepared by R. Rajnich, 1993, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Katowice:
  • Zespół szpitala nr 1 w Rybniku (Hospital complex no. 1 in Rybnik, General record sheet)
  • Pralnia z budynkiem gospodarczym w zespole szpitala miejskiego nr 1 (Washhouse and utility building - part of the hospital complex no. 1)
  • Pawilon „Juliusz” (z przewiązkami) szpitala miejskiego nr 1 (the Julius pavilion with connecting sections - part of the hospital complex no. 1)
  • Budynek oddziału dermatologicznego szpitala miejskiego nr 1 (Dermatology ward - part of the hospital complex no. 1)
  • Budynek biura, apteki i oddziału pomocy doraźnej szpitala miejskiego nr 1 (office, pharmacy and emergency ward of the hospital complex no. 1)
    • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, S. Brzezicki, C. Nielsen (eds.), Warsaw 2006.

    General information

    • Type: public building
    • Chronology: 1869 r.
    • Form of protection: register of monuments
    • Address: 3 Maja, Klasztorna, Miejska , Rybnik
    • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district Rybnik, commune Rybnik
    • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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