Palace, Samotwór
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The palace in Samotwór is one of the earliest of the Silesian Classicist residences in existence, inspired by the Palladian architecture of England as well as by the French variant of Neoclassicism. It was designed by the eminent architect Carl Gotthard Langhans, the designer of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

History

The Classicist palace was originally erected in the years 1776-1781 based on the design produced by Carl Gotthard Langhans at the request of Gottlob Albrecht von Saurm and his wife Maria Francisci Clairon d'Haussouville. The palace was erected on an artificial elevation located inside the meander of the Bystrzyca river; together with the relatively small landscape park which accompanies it, the palace is a truly picturesque sight to behold. The initial layout of the piano nobile level was based around a central axis marked by the vestibule with staircase in the front suite of rooms as well as the oval drawing room in the rear suite of rooms, the latter overlooking the river that flows at the foot of the hill. The drawing room décor and façade detailing are the works of Johann Peter Echtler, a plasterer from Wrocław.

In 1836, the palace and the surrounding manor in Samotwór was acquired by Karl Mauritius von Zedlitz-Trützschler und Falkenstein as a dowry when he married Albertyna Henrietta, the granddaughter of Gottlob Albercht von Saurm. From the year 1900 onwards, the manor remained in the hands of the Jedsiński family, who commissioned modernisation works in 1919, with Erich Grau, an architect from Wrocław, taking it upon himself to create a design which would suit their expectations. The alteration works covered, among others, the roof and the western portico; the shape of the vestibule was altered, the staircase moved to a different location, while the interior received a new layout and divisions. The palace also underwent renovation works in 1973, when the drawing room was refurbished and when various works were performed on the hitherto neglected terraces, as well as in years 1983-1984, when the layout of the rooms in the semi-basement was changed. The current owner adapted the residence to serve as the “Pałac Alexandrów Wrocław Airport” hotel and conference centre. Renovation and adaptation works have been performed on an ongoing basis since 2007.

Description

The palace is located on an elevation which lies inside the meander of the Bystrzyca river; a relatively small park overgrown with old trees lies north and south of the palace. The front façade is preceded by an ornamental lawn in the middle of an expansive courtyard surrounded by former manor farm buildings.

The palace itself is a three-storey brick structure, its walls covered with plaster. It features a tall semi-basement, a grand piano nobile and a mezzanine, topped with a mansard roof punctuated with dormer windows. Designed on a rectangular floor plan, the palace features a pair of shallow avant-corps projecting from the front and rear façades, incorporating recessed colonnaded porticos which follow the shape of a Palladian window. The front façade portico is decorated with medallions incorporating the personifications of Harmony and Moderation as well as the coat of arms of count Karl Mauritiu von Zedlitz-Trützschler und Falkenstein, the latter having been embedded inside the triangular pediment after 1836. The portico of the garden façade, which was redesigned in 1919, is adorned with the coat of arms of Gottlob Albrecht von Saurm (positioned inside the pediment) as well as a supraporte with sculpted scenes from the life of Hercules (the slaying of the Lion of Nemea and the Hydra of Lerna) in bas-relief. The façades of the palace are partitioned by a cornice running between the storeys, taking the form of a plain, profiled strip, as well as by a corbelled crowning cornice. The piano nobile windows feature plasterwork window surrounds with decorative panels above the lintels, adorned with panoplies and laurel festoon The front façade portico is preceded by a tall flight of steps, mirrored by the terrace which adjoins the rear façade. The interior follows a two-bay layout, with a rectangular vestibule positioned on the building’s middle axis; behind the vestibule lies the drawing room, designed on the floor plan of an oval within a rectangle. The walls of the drawing room are graced by a profusion of Classicist stucco decorations from ca. 1780, designed to reflect the earlier design of the interior. Pairs of Ionic columns flank four corner annexes and support the entablature with a corbelled cornice, above which rises the oval ceiling. Elongated decorative panels topped with medallions grace the walls between the columns, flanking the supraportes positioned above the doors; originally, there were four different doors leading into the drawing room. The bas-relief images incorporated into the medallions and the supraportes depict the personifications of Peace, Concord, Plenty, Authority, Fidelity, Happiness, Strength, Prudence, Valor and Health. A Neoclassical fireplace surround now occupies the spot where the eastern door had once been, having been added in 1919.

The historic monument is accessible to visitors; it is currently a private property and serves as a hotel and conference centre.

compiled by Beata Sebzda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 29-01-2015.

Bibliography

  • Degen K., Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Landkreises Breslau, Frankfurt am Main 1965, pp. 247-248.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce. Seria Nowa, vol. IV, issue 2, Województwo wrocławskie, Sobótka, Kąty Wrocławskie i okolice, J. Pokora and M. Zlat (eds.), Warsaw 1991, pp. 90-92.
  • Kos J.K., Carl Gotthard Langhans 1732-1808. Architekt z Kamiennej Góry. Jelenia Góra 2008, pp. 15-17.
  • Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska. Warsaw 2005, p. 300.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, p. 765.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: l. 1776-81
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Samotwór
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district wrocławski, commune Kąty Wrocławskie - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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