Palace complex, Surhów
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An example of a well preserved Classicist palace (although the term “manor house” would probably be more appropriate), dating back to the early 19th century and exhibiting outstanding architectural features, its design being attributed to the renowned architect of the Classicist period, Jakub Kubicki. Inside, the palace features period wall paintings by the Italian painter Mikołaj Monti.

History

The existing 19th-century palace complex was erected on the site of a number of previous residences, the last of which was the wooden manor house of the Brzezicki family. The Classicist palace which could more accurately be described as a single-storey manor house was erected in years 1813-1819 by Paweł Cieszkowski - a deputy to the Polish Sejm (parliament) and an eminent horse breeder; he acquired the land following his marriage to Zofia Kicka, whose dowry included the Surhów manor. The quality of the design points to the work of a skilled architect; it is now believed that the architect in question may in fact have been Jakub Kubicki. In years 1818-1820, the interiors of the palace received their fine painted decorations by an Italian artist Mikołaj Monti who was brought in all the way from Italy specifically for the purpose. Yet the Surhów manor would not serve as the country home of the family for long; August Cieszkowski, an eminent philosopher, economist and politician who later inherited the house, resided mostly in Wierzenica in the Poznań region; his son August, an agronomist, philosopher and philanthropist, also chose the same location as his place of residence. The Surhów manor, on the other hand, was occupied by various tenants and have later been acquired by Zygmunt Skolimowski, who was the final tenant of the manor house. During both World War I and World War II, the palace suffered damage. It was restored during the interwar period, although not to a full extent, since the plasterwork decorations of the pediment above the portico, originally incorporating an escutcheon surrounded by cornucopias, have never been reconstructed. It is probably also in the course of these renovation works that the French windows on the second-outermost axes of the front façade as well as on the first floor of the avant-corps overlooking the garden were bricked up and replaced by a more conventional design. In years 1949-1954, the palace was restored and adapted to serve as a residential care home. In the 1960s, the surviving wall paintings underwent restoration, while the original wood shingles on the roof were replaced with sheet metal cladding. The palace and the surrounding park underwent successive renovation and modernisation works over the years.

Description

The palace and park complex is situated some distance away from the village, on a small hill towards the east. It is surrounded by an extensive landscape park.

The Palace. The palace was designed in the Classicist style. Built on an elongated rectangular floor plan with front façade facing the north, it is a single-storey building with a two-storey avant-corps in the middle and basements beneath parts of the structure. The interior, divided into a multitude of rooms, follows a two-bay layout with a hall and drawing room also known as the “white room” both positioned on the axis of the building; the individual bays of the palace are partially separated by hallways that run between them. The palace is a brick building, its walls covered with plaster. Inside, the edifice features wooden ceilings, with barrel vaults used for the basement. The main body of the palace is covered with a hip roof, while the middle avant-corps features a gable roof; all roofs are clad with sheet metal. The front façade follows an eleven-axis design, with pronounced outermost sections in the form of pseudo-avant-corps. The two-storey middle section follows a three-axial layout and features a recessed Ionic portico in giant order, with two columns in the middle and two rectangular pillars on both sides. The portico is topped with an entablature and a triangular pediment, behind which rises an unadorned, rectangular parapet wall. The rear façade follows a thirteen-axis design with a rather restrained, three-axial avant-corps in the middle, topped with a stepped gable. The ground floor section of the avant-corps features a triple French window leading out to the terrace, with a Palladian window positioned directly above, on the first floor level. Each of the axes positioned right next to the outermost axis on each side of the building is accentuated by a shallow niche incorporating windows framed with fluted Doric columns. All façades are crowned with a lavishly profiled cornice and dentilled frieze. The windows are rectangular in shape; the windows on the outermost axes of the front façade had originally been wider than they are now, having since become disfigured due to alteration works. The windows are framed with plasterwork surrounds and topped with a simple, segmented cornice. The side façades feature a number of blind windows, their overall design matching that of the front facade windows. Inside, the palace features surviving period décor in the form of architectural wall partitions, plasterwork decorations and wall paintings incorporating Biblical, mythological and historical themes as well as elements of trompe l’œil architectural motifs.

The landscape park, designed in the English style, features an extensive ornamental lawn preceding the front façade, with numerous surviving compositional links between the former utility gardens as well as the natural woodlands and riparian vegetation of the river valley. The plant species present in the park are mostly domestic in origin, a few of the old trees having the status of natural monuments.

The palace is partially accessible to visitors, currently serving as a residential care home.

compiled by Bożena Stanek-Lebioda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 02-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Aftanazy R., Dzieje rezydencji na dawnych kresach Rzeczypospolitej, Vol. VI, Województwo bełskie, ziemia chełmska województwa ruskiego, issue II, Wrocław (…) 1995, pp. 359-368.
  • Jaroszewski T. S., Dwory i dworki w Polsce (przewodnik, część druga), Warsaw 1999, p. 110.
  • Architectural monument record sheet. Palace in the palace and park complex, currently serving as a residential care home for adults (Surhów), compiled by B. Lebioda, K. Słowik, 1992, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Lublin; Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VIII: Województwo lubelskie, R. Brykowski and E. Rowińska (eds.), issue 8 pow. krasnostawski, inventory prepared by T. Sulerzyska. F. Uniechowska and E. Rowińska, Warsaw 1964, pp. 54-57.
  • Omilanowska M., Polska. Pałace i dwory, issue 2 (updated and supplemented), Warsaw 2005, pp. 100-101.
  • Tarnas W., Kraśniczyn. Dzieje gminy i okolic, Lublin 2006, pp. 481-489.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 1813-1820
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Surhów
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district krasnostawski, commune Kraśniczyn
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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