Water tower, Śrem
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The water tower, which was built at the beginning of the 20th century, has been preserved up to this day in an unchanged form. It is an excellent example of the 19th-century vision of technology which places aesthetics ahead of function. The architect drew upon the iconographic models of medieval defensive architecture by creating a monumental work which freely transformed its historical forms and was close to the Romanesque style. The tower in Śrem is a prime example of historicism in the waterworks architecture of the early 20th century and a dominant feature of the local landscape.

History

The problems with drinking water supply which plagued the town of Śrem back in the 19th century led to the decision on the construction of a central waterworks complex. The project was entrusted to the company owned by civil engineer Xawier Geisler, who had previous experience with building a central waterworks in Swarzędz. The spring of 1908 marked the beginning of the construction of a waterworks comprising: deep water wells at Farna Street, a water treatment station and pumping station at Franciszkańska Street and a water tower at Mickiewicza Street. The waterworks system underwent expansions throughout the 20th century, but the water tower remained unchanged. After being placed out of service, the tower started to fall into ruin. In 2009, protective, maintenance and adaptation works began. The concept of tower adaptation includes the creation of 9 storeys serving various cultural, entertainment and educational purposes (e.g. “The Tower” Gallery, “The Tower” café club, music club, Internet café, art studio, theatre club, stand-up comedy venue and observation deck, etc.).

Description

The water tower is located in the left-bank part of Śrem at Mickiewicza Street, at one of the highest spots in the town, approx. 2 km away from the water treatment station and pumping station at Franciszkańska Street, and approx. 300 m away from the new pumping station as Zamenhofa Street.

The 43.7-metre tall tower was built from brick on a square floor plan. The four-storeyed tower body is crowned with a pronounced machicolated cornice. Above it, there is the last top storey, which is wider than the body. The top section stands out with its flat, stepped gables placed upon the façade and its overhanging octagonal towers which project beyond the edge and are covered with eight-faced roofs. The entire structure is covered with a tall hipped roof, which is clad with ceramic tiles and crowned in the middle with an octagonal structure topped with a steeple. The base of the tower body is faced with stone, and the symmetrical, axial façades are clad with clinker brick. Diverse window shapes adorn each of the storeys of the tower body. The northern façade features a decorative neo-Romanesque portal which leads inside the tower.

The site can be visited from the outside.

compiled by Beata Marzęta, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 14-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Dzieje Śremu, /red./ S. Chmielewski, Warszawa-Poznań 1972
  • Zenon Pałat, Studium historyczno-urbanistyczne miasta Śremu, Poznań 1982, PP PKZ, NID OT Poznań

General information

  • Type: industrial architecture
  • Chronology: 1908 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Mickiewicza 2, Śrem
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district śremski, commune Śrem - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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