Townhouse, Stargard
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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A Late Gothic townhouse with lavishly appointed façade decorations that none of its counterparts in Western Pomerania - and indeed very few anywhere in Poland - can match, its outstanding design being the work of the atelier of Hinrich Brunsberg. The townhouse bears testimony to the wealth and opulence of the city of Stargard Szczeciński during the medieval period as well as the impeccable craftsmanship of the local architects and builders. It was one of the few historical buildings to survive the ravages of World War II and today ranks among the most valuable structures in all of Stargard.

History

The townhouse located on the former Wielka Młyńska street, habitually referred to as “the Protzen House”, was originally erected during the first half of the 15th century as a typical Late Gothic house of a wealthy patrician family. The initial design called for the owner’s apartment, workshop and currency exchange to be located on the high ground floor above which lay a three-storey granary section intended as a storage facility for various goods. The original gable followed a screen-like layout, with a horizontal top section punctuated by circular blind windows - a design reminiscent of the façades of the town halls in Lübeck and Stralsund. During the 16th century or in the first half of the 17th century, the townhouse was damaged, most likely during a fire, after which the gable crowning its front façade was reconstructed in the Renaissance style, with the circular blind windows at the outermost axes being removed and replaced with volutes, while a triangular pediment now graced the middle section of the entire structure. Documents dating back to 1627 refer to the owner of the townhouse - Laurentius Bolhagen, a doctor of laws and district administrator (Landrat) who went on to become the mayor of Stargard in the years 1622-1623 and who is also known to have performed the role of a city council member in 1623. In 1635, a great fire swept across the city, yet the house has managed to emerge unscathed, being one of only six buildings on Wielka Młyńska street to do so. It is believed that the lower attic level was converted to serve residential purposes in the mid-17th century, with the shape and size of its windows being modified in the process. Between 1696 and 1710, the townhouse remained in the hands of Johann Friedrich Küsel, an attorney-at-law of the Royal Court, director of the office for guilds and trade associations in Stargard in the years 1708-1710 and member of the Stargard city council in 1710. Later on, the ownership of the townhouse passed on to his widow, to whom references are made in the year 1720. Yet just one year later, she remarried, her new husband being Joachim Wilhelm Wagner (Wagener), a pastor based in Poczernin near Stargard, educated at the Szczecinek gymnasium as well as at the universities in Halle and Jena; from 1736 onwards, he served as a field preacher at the Anhalt-Zerbst ducal regiment, where he also has the opportunity to conduct religious classes attended by none other than the future Empress Catherine the Great. However, documents dating back to the years 1730-1740 indicate that the owner of the townhouse during that period was Johann Ernst Tirre, followed by Christian Lory (1750-1760), Gottfried Kobes (1780) and, finally, a man named Kolz (1787). During the years that followed, the successive owners of the townhouse on what was then known as the Große Mühlenstraße street were all brewers by profession - Johann Jacob Bodeutsch (1810), Dressler (1812), Zastrow (1831-1835) and Eduard Conrad Proeger (1841), suggesting that a brewery must have operated on the premises. From 1872 onwards, the townhouse remained in the hands of Carl Protzen, after whom the house was named the Protzen House (Protzen-Haus). It should be added at this stage that the owner of the premises was the member of the very same family as the painter Carl Theodor Protzen, who was born in Stargard in 1887 and died in Munich in 1956. Between 1911 and 1915, the townhouse was the property of Albert Heller, a man who generally lived off the interest from the property which he held; the ground floor level of the house served as a restaurant (“Gasthof zur Ratsquelle”), maintained by a man named Otto Koch between 1915 and 1925. During that period, the townhouse changed ownership yet again, having been taken over by the municipal authorities. From 1925 inwards, the townhouse at 8 Große Mühlenstraße served as an almshouse for the poor. Alterations were made inside the building throughout the 19th and the 20th century, reflecting the needs of its successive owners. In the spring of 1945, the townhouse was severely damaged, with the overall degree of the losses sustained estimated at 75%. All that remained of the structure were fragments of its peripheral walls and the front façade, which was secured against further damage in 1951. In years 1955-1959, the townhouse was restored and began to serve the needs of the State School of Music in Stargard. The design for its reconstruction was drawn up by K. Schnotale-Mróz from the Szczecin Branch of the Historical Monument Conservation Workshops State Enterprise (PP PKZ), which also executed the actual restoration works. The front façade of the tenement house was preserved and partially reconstructed in accordance with the available documentation; the side walls and interior, on the other hand, were rebuilt in a manner consistent with the new function of the building. In years 2011-2013, the building was modernised and restored. The needs of its new tenant - the Witold Lutosławski 1st and 2nd Degree State Music School - also necessitated certain extension works to be performed. A new building, designed to resemble a gablefront townhouse, now adjoins the northern wall of the historical monument. In the course of restoration of the front façade, a decorative tile from the Renaissance period was discovered. The tile was subjected to conservation works and donated to the Stargard museum, while an exact copy thereof was placed in the exact spot on the front façade where it was originally found.

Description

The townhouse at 13 Kazimierza Wielkiego street is located in the centre of the Stargard Old Town, right behind the town hall and the guardhouse. The house forms part of the eastern frontage of the street; originally, it remained a part of a tightly clustered line of buildings, but today it is a semi-detached structure, its front façade facing the west. The buildings positioned north and south of the townhouse are all new, postwar structures. The two-storey gablefront townhouse was designed on a roughly rectangular floor plan, its shorter sides facing the street and the yard behind the building. The townhouse features a basement underneath parts of its structure and is covered with a gable roof. The townhouse is a brick structure, with the front wall being made of Gothic brick laid in the so-called Gothic bond, whereas the remaining walls are all contemporary structures made of both modern and salvaged historical brick, their surfaces covered with plaster. The ceilings and stairs are made of reinforced concrete, while the roof is clad with beaver-tail roof tiles.

The townhouse was originally erected during the Gothic period. The ground-floor section of the front façade follows a four-axial layout with an impressive, asymmetrically positioned pointed-arch portal. The gable, separated from the ground-floor level by a brick cornice, is a five-axial design with a row of larger windows on the first-floor level and mostly blind windows on the upper levels. The main portal features splayed, archivolt reveals adorned with profiled glazed bricks in four different shades. The ground-floor windows are topped with segmental arches and positioned inside semi-circular blind windows, the southern one being significantly wider than the northern one. Two small blind oculi can be seen above the portal. The decorative gable is partitioned with lesenes; between them, on the first-floor level, there is a row of rectangular windows which were added at a later date. Above them, the areas between the lesenes are punctuated with paired, pointed-arch niches separated by vertical bars. Within each of these lancet-shaped niches there are small attic windows or blind windows, distributed across three storeys of the gable section. The edges of the lesenes, the middle bars inside the niches as well as their surrounds are all made of profiled bricks. On the three middle axes, the arches topping the vertical recesses are surmounted by large blind oculi, with the outermost sections of the façade being topped with small volutes. The entire design is crowned with a series of small pediments or gablets, with the semi-circular one in the middle being flanked by a pair of slightly lower, triangular ones. The lesenes are topped with sphere-shaped finials. An identical finial rises above the middle gablet. The remaining façades of the building are of contemporary design, their detailing limited to plain window surrounds and a cornice running above the ground-floor level. The rear façade follows a four- and five-axial layout on the ground floor and the first floor respectively; it is topped with a triangular gable with windows arranged on two levels. The interior design is the work of the modern age.

The structure can be viewed from the outside. The interior, devoid of period features, is open to visitors during the opening hours of the school and with the consent of its authorities.

compiled by Maciej Słomiński, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 22-07-2015.

Bibliography

  • Adreß-Buch für Stargard in Pommern, Stargard i. Pomm. 1917
  • Allgemeiner Wohnungs-Anzeiger nebst Adreß- und Geschäfts-Handbuch für Stargard i./Pom., Stargard 1872, 1874, 1876, 1893
  • Architektura gotycka w Polsce, T. Mroczko and M. Arszyński (eds.), vol. 2, Katalog zabytków, A. Włodarek (ed.), Warsaw 1995, p. 212
  • Kalita-Skwirzyńska K., Stargard Szczeciński, Wrocław, Gdańsk 1983
  • Ober M., Stargard Szczeciński, Warsaw 1988, p. 39
  • Pilch J., Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków architektury Pomorza Zachodniego i Ziemi Lubuskiej, Warsaw 2012, p. 170
  • Stargarder Adreßbuch, Stargard i. Pom. 1925, 1937
  • Architectural monument record sheet, compiled by K. Kalita-Skwirzyńska, 1984, typescript available at the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Szczecin
  • The history of the townhouse was compiled on the basis of unpublished materials which have been made available by Marcin Majewski, Ph.D., director of the Archaeological and Historical Museum in Stargard.

General information

  • Type: tenement house
  • Chronology: 1. poł. XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kazimierza Wielkiego, Rynek 13, 27, Stargard
  • Location: Voivodeship zachodniopomorskie, district stargardzki, commune Stargard (gm. miejska)
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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