Stallion Stud Farm building complex, Sieraków
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Stallion Stud Farm building complex

Sieraków

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The Stallion Stud Farm in Sieraków is the oldest stud farm in Poland. It was established in 1829. At that time, a complex of residential buildings and stables were constructed around a yard, on a site which was previously occupied by a castle farm. A palace was built in 1890; it was intended to serve as the residence of the director of the farm stud. The buildings are surrounded by a vast landscape park with valuable trees. Currently, the stud farm breeds horses, but also offers many attractions for enthusiasts of horseriding (riding lessons, instructor training, cart driving lessons, horse rides around Puszcza Notecka [the Noteć Primaeval Forest]) and tourists (accommodation in the historic building, visiting the stud farm and the Regional Chamber of Horse Crafts).

History

The history of Sieraków goes back to the Middle Ages. It was mentioned in written records for the first time in 1251; in 1388, it was referred to as a town. Most probably, Sieraków was granted municipal rights in 1358 (according to other sources — in 1334). King Władysław II Jagiełło confirmed its municipal rights in 1419. The town was private property. Before 1338-1450, it was owned by the Borkowics, the Zarembas, and the Sierakowskis of the Nałęcz coat of arms. In 1450, the Sieraków estate was purchased by a member of one of the most prominent families of Greater Poland — Łukasz Górka, wojewoda [voivode] of Greater Poland. In 1571, the Górka family sold the estate to the Rokossowskis. From 1591, Sieraków belonged to the Opaliński family of the Łodzia coat of arms. Under the Opalińskis, the town began to flourish. The family remained the owners of Sieraków until 1749, when it was purchased by Henryk Brühl. In the years 1789-1818, the town belonged to the Bniński family of the . Łodzia coat of arms. In 1818, it was purchased by Fryderyk Henryk Ernest von Kottwitz. In 1827, Sieraków became the property of Frederick III, King of Prussia.

From the moment when Prussian rule was imposed on Greater Poland, there were plans to establish a stallion-breeding farm in Sieraków. Following an inspection by Knobelsdorf, Grand Master of the Horse, made in June 1828, a decision was made on 8 September of the same year to establish the Poznań National Stud Farm (Posensches Land-Gestüt) in Sieraków. The first stallions from German horse breeding farms were brought to Sieraków in February 1829 and this year is regarded as the date of the establishment of the farm stud. The organiser and first manager of the farm was Maj. von der Brinken. Simultaneously with the establishment of the stud farm, a horse-breeding farm was established in Sieraków. It operated until 1883.

The stud farm buildings were constructed in 1829 (according to A. Nowicka-Posłuszna, they are the result of a full-scale modification of farm buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries). The buildings — stables, residential buildings, and a horse training facility — surround a vast yard on three sides. In order to meet the needs of the horse-breeding part farm, a complex of stables and utility buildings were constructed nearby the older buildings, around the so-called small yard, probably in the 1830s. After the horse-breeding farm was closed down, the buildings started to be used by the rapidly developing stud farm. In the years 1889-90, a farm manager’s residence was built (it replaced an older building).

In the late 1880s, the number of stallions in Sieraków was 302. They were kept in old and new buildings (the latter were built on the site of the former horse breeding farm). Shortly before the outbreak of World War I, another stable was built, referred to as “new stalls”. When the war was coming to an end, the Germans stole a large number of stallions. In July 1919, a new farm administrator was appointed by the Polish authorities — Count Stefan Sumiński, who undertook to re-populate the farm stallions. In 1929, the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the stud farm was celebrated in Sieraków.

During World War II, the stallions were moved to many different places. After the war, the horses returned to Sieraków in 1946. Until 1993, the stud farm operated as Państwowe Stado Ogierów Sieraków Wielkopolski [the State Stallion Stud Farm of Sieraków Wielkopolski]. Subsequently, it was taken over by the Agriculture Property Agency of the State Treasury. In 1994, it was renamed Stado Ogierów Skarbu Państwa Sieraków [the Sieraków Stallion Stud Farm of the State Treasury], and in 1997 — it started operating as Stado Ogierów w Sierakowie Wlkp. Sp. z o.o. [theStallion Stud Farm in Sieraków Wielkopolski — Limited Liability Company]. Currently, the stud farm is owned by Przedsiębiorstwo Rolniczo-Hodowlane Gałopol in Szamotuły and has approx. 200 horses. Purebred horses, cold-bloods, and koniks are bred there. The stud farm also pursues tourist and sports activities (riding lessons, horse rides, etc.). Moreover, Izba Regionalna Rzemiosła Końskiego [the Regional Chamber of Horse Crafts], with historic exhibits, a coach house, a blacksmith’s shop, a carpenter’s shop, and a harness maker’s shop, operates in Sieraków.

Description

The late-classicist building complex is situated in the north-eastern part of the town, on the south bank of the Warta River, between the river and a road to Wronki, on a site previously occupied by a manor farm. The central and at the same time oldest part of the complex is the vast yard referred to as “the grand courtyard”, situated at the termination of Zamkowa Street, leading to the stud farm from the town. The yard is surrounded on the east, south, and west sides by one-storeyed stables covered with gable roofs and two-storeyed residential buildings covered with tall hip roofs, located at the corners. At the north end of the west row of the buildings, there is a horse training building. On the north side of the courtayrd, there is the farm manager’s residence, referred to as the “palace”. Two large northern white-cedars grow in front of the farm manager’s residence; in the centre of the courtyard, there are four impressive oaks below which there is a boulder with a plaque commemorating the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the stud farm. The buildings surrounding the grand courtyard are arranged axially. The axis starts at the farm manager’s residence, goes through the centre of the courtyard, then through the gate between the stables along the south side of the courtyard, and then runs further to the south, along a road leading to a hippodrome situated across the road to Wronki. The complex is surrounded by a landscape park from the 1st half of the 19th century on the north and east sides. The park boasts a rich variety of trees, including oaks, lime trees, maples, ashes, elms, hornbeams, poplars, and chestnut trees. To the west of the grand courtyard, there is a veterinary centre (built in the 2nd half of the 19th century).

Approx. 250 m to the south west of the grand courtyard, there is the so-called small yard, shaped in the 1830s for the former horse-breeding farm. The buildings surrounding the yard generally come from the 2nd half of the 19th century. On the east and west sides of the yard, there are two stables, and on the south side is the so-called white cottage (formerly a school and currently a residential building). On the north side, there is a barn. To the west and south-west of the yard, there are another two stables. A mighty oak grows in the centre of the yard and two lime trees grow in front of the white cottage.

The farm manager’s residence stands out among the buildings of the complex. It has a rectangular floor plan with short avant-corpses on the south and north walls, a rectangular avant-corps on the west side, and a veranda on the east side. The compact, one-storeyed building is covered with a tall saddleback roof. The avant-corpses have separate dual-pitched roofs. The walls are made of brick and partially covered with plaster. The roof is covered with ceramic roof tiles. The ground floor rooms have surbased vaults and the rooms on the first floor have wooden ceilings with counter ceilings. The façades are divided by means of a string course. They are faced with brick below the sting course and covered with plaster above. The majority of the windows are rectangular; some are headed by semicircular arches. The windows at the first floor level are framed by profiled surrounds. They are decorated with cornice sections at the top and with rectangular panels at the bottom. The panels below the windows of the front avant-corps are decorated with round medallions which used to incorporate horse head reliefs (not preserved). The front façade has eleven axes. In front of the triaxial avant-corps, situated in the centre, there is a small porch flanked by pilasters supporting an entablature and a parapet adorned with palmettes. The most noticeable feature of the west façade is the veranda, having a decorative wooden structure.

The complex is open to visitors. More information about the Stallion Stud Farm is available on the following website: www.stadoogierow.eu.pl

compiled by Krzysztof Jodłowski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 09-10-2015.

Bibliography

  • Architektura niedostrzegana : budownictwo folwarczne Wielkopolski, red. T. Jakimowicz, Poznań1994, s. 29, il. 152, 153.
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku, oprac. A. Łęcki, 1990.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. V, z. 13: powiat międzychodzki, Warszawa 1968, s. 21-22.
  • Libicki P., Libicki M., Dwory i pałace wiejskie w Wielkopolsce, wyd. 3, Poznań 2003, s. 337-38.
  • Łożyński J. T., Kolejni właściciele Sierakowa nad Wartą. Najważniejsze wydarzenia - kalendarium, „Sierakowskie zeszyty historyczne”, 1, Sieraków 2008, s. 49-57.
  • Nowicka-Posłuszna A., Sieraków - Państwowe Stado Ogierów : 1829-1979, Poznań 1979.

General information

  • Type: utility building
  • Chronology: 1829 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Sieraków
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district międzychodzki, commune Sieraków - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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