Palace, currently serving as the “Ptaszyna” (“Little Bird”) guest house - Zabytek.pl
woj. zachodniopomorskie, pow. gryficki, gm. Gryfice-obszar wiejski
In the process of construction and subsequent transformations of the palace, the following families have played a vital part: the Mildenitz family, the von Edling family as well as Ferdynand von Lettow and Fritz Röchling - a descendant of a renowned industrialist family from the Saar Basin - along with his wife.
In the process of construction and subsequent transformations of the palace, the following families have played a vital part: the Mildenitz family, the von Edling family, Ferdynand von Lettow as well as the lawyer Fritz Röchling - a descendant of a renowned industrialist family from the Saar Basin - along with his wife.
In the early 17th century, the village where the palace now stands was acquired by Christoph von Mildenitz, the president of the ducal court and member of the ducal council of the House of Griffins in Szczecin, who also performed the function of the canon of the cathedral in Kamień Pomorski. It was at his request that a manor house was erected here, its architectural form unknown due to the lack of reliable documentation; today, all that remains of this building are fragments of its brick and stone cellar walls which were subsequently incorporated into the structure of the basement of the existing palace. One may assume that its architectural may have been reminiscent of the Late Renaissance mansions located in the nearby villages of Niedysz and Buk. When the male line of the von Mildenitz family became extinct in 1669, Georg Friedrich von Edling became their legal successor through an advantageous marriage with Maria von Mildenitz.
The manor house remained in possession of the von Edling family for almost 90 years; the existing structure was transformed into an impressive, Baroque residence following a comprehensive redesign conducted in the 1720s. During that period, the manor remained in the hands of Bogislav Wilhelm von Edling, the alderman (starosta) of Gryfice. The Baroque palace was erected on a rectangular floor plan measuring 28 by 14 metres. It was a two-storey building with a basement, topped with a tall mansard roof and featuring a nine-axial front façade. The interior of the palace followed a two-bay layout. The surviving brick and stone basement walls in the front bay supported broad vaulted ceilings of the barrel type, following an almost semi-circular outline - a design typical of the Baroque period.
The next stage in the building’s history came somewhere around the mid-19th century, when at the request of its erstwhile owner, Ferdynand von Lettow, the palace was transformed into a distinctive, romanticised residence immortalised in a drawing forming part of the album produced by Alexander Duncker. The drawing shows a panoramic view of the western garden façade of the palace, a park meadow with a circular ornamental lawn and the nearby utility buildings. The main body of the palace was extended by a single axis towards the north, although the mansard shape of the roof was not affected in the process. The building’s status was emphasized through the addition of a tower which now adjoined the northern façade. The design of this three-storey tower contained clear references to the architecture of the Italian quattrocento; it was designed as a quadrangular structure, its façades punctuated by windows of various sizes, topped with round arches; the crenellated parapet and corner pinnacles provided the finishing touch. A series of lesenes topped with pinnacles jutting above the top section of the peripheral walls have been superimposed on the façades of the corps de logis of the palace, bound together by a crowning cornice designed to look like crenellation. A post-and-beam porch with a terrace on top was added to the garden façade, with the crenellation motif carried over to the design of the terrace parapet. The architectural forms applied were all intended to emphasize the age-long traditions of a gentleman’s country residence, its roots reaching all the way to the distant age of chivalry. The harmonious combination of the so-called round arch style (Rundbogenstil) and Gothic Revival as well as the decision to leave the Baroque outline of the palace unchanged all indicate the involvement of a reputable architect from the Berlin circle; so far, however, the identity of the man responsible for the romanticised redesign of the palace remains a mystery.
During the early 20th century, the palace was acquired by the lawyer Fritz Röchling, a descendant of a renowned industrialist family from the Saar Basin. The new owner ordered a thorough redesign of the palace in the years 1901 - 1903, with further works continuing right until the beginning of World War I. The architectural décor of the building’s façades and its interior have all been remodelled during that period. The main body of the palace was extended by a single axis towards the south, with the original mansard roof being replaced with as hip roof. The façade décor was enriched through the addition of various design motifs reminiscent of the English Gothic Revival style, with the windows of the front façade and garden façade avant-corps now being graced by Tudor arches; another newly introduced design touch was the introduction of hood mouldings above the building’s windows. The tower was likewise redesigned through the addition of a tall semi-circular staircase turret. Inside the ground floor section of the tower there was now a hall connected to the monumental Baroque Revival staircase positioned in the suite of rooms overlooking the gardens. The entrance was now preceded by a portico. The interior retained their two-bay layout dating back to the Baroque era, although their décor was completely remodelled, incorporating lavishly designed plasterwork decorations on both the walls and ceilings, decorative wood panelling, wall paintings, ornate tiled stoves and fireplace surrounds as well as sumptuously designed door and window joinery. At the request of the owners of the palace, the interior décor incorporated various motifs from both the Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo periods, thereby creating a combination which was referred to as the “Venetian style”. In front of the palace there was now a driveway with a Baroque Revival gate, separated from the utility buildings by a brick perimeter wall.
Before the onset of World War I, the palace was extended through the addition of a new wing adjoining the northern façade, its architectural form incorporating motifs carried over from those present in the building’s corps de logis. The new wing was designed on an elongated rectangular floor plan, with a quadrangular tower in its north-eastern corner. The new wing of the palace was designed to accommodate the kitchen and living quarters for the servants. In 1916, the palace received an electrical installation.
The palace emerged from the years of World War II without taking any damage. Along with the surrounding manor, the palace was nationalised. In the years 1962 - 1974, the first floor interiors of the building served as a primary school. Later on, however, the palace stood abandoned, facing an increasing risk of damage and vandalism. The ruined palace and the surrounding park were purchased by Mr Józef Zając in 1992. The works intended to secure the main body of the palace against further damage followed by a thorough restoration took many years to complete; from 2005, the palace has served as a guest house, with the ground floor rooms being used for concerts, exhibitions, conferences and various other events.
The manor and park complex is located in the middle of the village, on the south-western side of the village green. The palace is preceded by a courtyard, its façade facing the east. The boundaries of the courtyard towards the north and the south are marked by sections of a brick perimeter wall as well as by the gateposts of the main entrance gate, positioned alongside the road. The trees and shrubs that grow on both sides of the main driveway also separate the courtyard from the road. A park stretches behind the palace, its total surface measuring ca. 5 hectares; the complex, exhibiting certain features of a landscape park, is adjoined by a small lake to the west.
The palace itself was erected on a rectangular floor plan, its size being 35 x 14 m. The main body is adjoined by pseudo-avant-corps positioned on the middle axis of the front and rear façades, with the front avant-corps being adjoined by a porch, while the one projecting from the western façade features an arcaded portico. The corps de logis of the palace is a two-storey structure with a basement, covered with a hip roof clad with slate. The tower adjoining the northern façade is a four-storey structure topped with an observation deck. The front (eastern) façade and the garden façade both follow an eleven-axial layout, with the southern façade featuring a two-axial design. The northern side of the main body features no windows at all. The façades of the palace are accentuated with pilasters topped with octagonal pinnacles and partitioned by profiled cornices, with the crowning cornice designed to resemble a crenellated parapet. The coat of arms of the von Lettow family is incorporated into the front façade, on the axis of the central pseudo-avant-corps. The windows vary in shapes and sizes; those of the front porch and the central avant-corps are topped with Tudor arches, whereas the windows of the ground-floor section of the main body are rectangular in shape. The first-floor windows are topped with segmental arches. The façades of the tower feature an irregular arrangement of windows and are partitioned with decorative cornices. The semi-circular turret adjoining the southern side of the tower was designed to accommodate the staircase; its walls feature a smooth finish, with the octagonal top section in the form of a crenellated parapet providing the finishing touch.
The ground-floor interiors retain the two-bay layout dating back to the early 20th century, with a vestibule positioned along the middle axis of the structure. Surviving period fixtures and fittings include the decorative, Baroque Revival staircase as well as a fragment of the plasterwork decorations in the former ballroom. The first-floor layout was designed in the modern times, with no references being made to the historical arrangement of the rooms. The first floor currently serves as guest accommodation. A restaurant and a bar can be found in the palace cellars.
The palace may be visited upon contacting its owners.
compiled by Anna Walkiewicz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznań, 02-12-2014.
- Kozłowska L., Rybokarty. Pałac, karta ewidencyjna zabytków architektury i budownictwa, Szczecin 1999
- Kalita-Skwirzyńska K., Kościół i pałac w Rybokartach, in: Trzebiatów - spotkania pomorskie 2010, Trzebiatów 2011, pp. 156 - 163.
- Walkiewicz A., Rybokarty - pałac, in: Zamki i rezydencje na Pomorzu, Klita-Skwirzyńska K., Kus E., Makowska B., Pawlicki Z., Prync-Pomerencke E. (eds.), Szczecin 2006, pp. 95 - 100.
- Walkiewicz A., Rybokarty/Ribbekardt, part of the series: Zamki i ogrody w województwie zachodniopomorskim no. 3, Szczecin 2013
Protection: Register of monuments
Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_32_BK.113721