Manor house with residential tower, Ślęza
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Manor house with residential tower

Ślęza

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The manor house with residential tower in Ślęza (Lasowo) is an example of a complex consisting of a late-medieval Gothic residence of the local knights and a Mannerist manor house which was remodelled on several occasions over the years.

History

Initially constructed between the second half of the 14th century and the 15th century as a Gothic residential tower (keep) surrounded with an earthen rampart and a moat, the building was originally covered with a hip roof and features wooden beamed ceilings. In the 1st half of the 16th century, the tower was extended upwards, receiving an additional storey with a decorative roof parapet, with the wooden ceilings on the ground floor and first floor levels being replaced with Early Renaissance vaulted ceilings with pronounced groins. Before 1618, a new, Mannerist wing was added alongside the south-eastern corner of the tower, featuring a gable roof and tall, decorative wall dormers. An ornate portal led into a vaulted vestibule which stretched from one end of the building to the other. The residential tower itself was also modernised, receiving fasciated window surrounds and portals, with both buildings being linked by a new staircase tower positioned in the corner. During the 18th century, a Baroque kitchen building was added, adjoining the western façade of the residential tower. The building, originally covered with a mansard roof, was demolished after 1974. Some of the interiors of the manor house have been redecorated, with painted decorations lending them a more attractive appearance. In the years 1857-1863, the building was modernised, with some of the windows being widened; the interior layout was modified through the introduction of new internal divisions, while the staircase tower was extended upwards. In the years 1863-1889, a new mezzanine level was added to the residential tower, which also received a new hip roof.

The Ślęza manor changed hands quite regularly, with its owners including the von der Lohe, Vogt, von Waldau, von Roth, von Königsdorff and von Rath noble families; later on, in years 1918-45, the building remained in the hands of the company known as Rath, Schöller & Skene.

During the postwar period, the manor house served as a penitentiary facility until 1972; later on, the mansion was taken over by the “Wysoka” Provincial Centre for Progressive Agriculture. In the years 1977-82, the building underwent restoration, with both the roof truss and cladding being replaced. Some of the ceilings were replaced as well, while the stonework decorations and other parts of the décor were subjected to renovation works.

From 1996 onwards, the manor house remains in private hands. In the years 2004-2011, the manor house was thoroughly restored and adapted to serve as the “Zamek Topacz” (Topacz Castle hotel. The renovation works were preceded by a period of archaeological and architectural research.

Description

The manor house with the former residential keep is located near a small park and retains spatial links with the nearby grange. It is located in the south-western part of the village. Remnants of the moat can still be seen south-west of the building.

The manor house was designed on an L-shaped floor plan, with a four-storey quadrangular residential tower with a mezzanine level and a two-storey, rectangular manor house. Both sections are linked by a seven-storey staircase tower. The former residential tower is covered with a hip roof; the manor house itself features a gable roof clad with ceramic tiles, with tall wall dormers crowned with Mannerist fractables; the staircase tower is topped with a butterfly roof. The façades of the manor house itself and of the staircase tower are covered with plaster, while the residential tower features exposed brick walls parts of which feature the use of overburnt brick. The windows are adorned with sandstone window surrounds as well as by profiled plasterwork bands. The front façade features a Mannerist sandstone portal adorned with rusticated quoins. The rear façade is adjoined by modern annexes. The interiors follow a single-bay layout; the vestibule, stretching all the way from the front to the back of the building, features a vaulted ceiling of the barrel type. The former common room on the first floor of the residential tower features a lierne vault supported by a number of pilasters and an engaged column with a chalice-shaped capital. A fireplace surround bearing the date “1618” and the coat of arms of Nicius, a burgher from Wrocław, can also be admired inside the room. Other surviving period features include the ground floor vaulted ceilings and fasciated sandstone portals.

Private property, hotel.

compiled by Beata Sebzda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 28-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Chorowska M., Rezydencje średniowieczne na Śląsku. Zamki, pałace, wieze mieszkalne. Wrocław 2003, pp. 136, 145, 147, 265, 279.
  • Degen K., Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Landkreises Breslau, Frankfurt am Main 1965, pp. 161-163.
  • Eysymontt K., Architektura renesansowych dworów na Dolnym Śląsku, Wrocław 2010, pp. 22, 343.
  • G. Grundmann, Burgen, Schlösser in Schlesien, Frankfurt am Main 1982, p. 137.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce. Seria Nowa, vol. IV, issue 2 Województwo wrocławskie, Sobótka, Katy wrocławskie, J. Pokora and M. Zlat (eds.), Warsaw 1991, pp. 135-137.
  • Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska. Warsaw 2005, pp. 342-343.
  • Różycka-Rozpędowska E., Późnorenesansowe dwory śląskie. Z badań nad sztuką świecką Śląska XVI-XVII w. [in:] Sztuka około 1600 r. Materiały Sesji SHS. Warsaw 1974, p. 262.
  • Sieber H., Burgen und Schlosser in Schlesien. Frankfurt am Main, 1962, pp. 88-89.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, pp. 845-846.
  • Różycka-Rozpędowska E., Studium historyczno-architektoniczne wieży mieszkalnej w Biestrzykowie, pałacu w Ślęzy-Lasowo i zamku w Jelczu. Part 1 Ślęza-Lasowo. Wrocław 1979, typescript available at the Regional Office for the Protection of Historical Monuments in Wrocław
  • J. Burnita, Cz. Lasota, M. Małachowicz, Ślęza - Dwór. Wyniki badań architektonicznych przeprowadzonych w 2003 r. Wrocław 2004. typescript. Regional Office for the Protection of Historical Monuments in Wrocław

General information

  • Type: manor house
  • Chronology: 2. poł. XIV-XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Ślęza
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district wrocławski, commune Kobierzyce
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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