Royal Presidium of the Police Force, currently the building of the Voivodeship Police Headquarters, Szczecin
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Royal Presidium of the Police Force, currently the building of the Voivodeship Police Headquarters

Szczecin

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Building of the former Royal Presidium of the Police Force is characterised by a high architectural and artistic level, constituting one of the more interesting examples of the mature historicism building in Pomorze Zachodnie, the forms of which refer to the north-European Gothic, among others: native and of the Pomorski region. As one of the few buildings in Szczecin it preserved the paintings in its interior, the author of which was a once popular painter and decorator in Szczecin - Adolf Dittmer.

History

The building was erected in the years 1902-1905. The design was created in the Ministry for Public Works under the supervision of the secret general construction counsel - Oskar Launer. Construction works were conducted by Asta constructor under the supervision of the construction and governmental counsel - Roesener and under the supervision of local construction officials - construction counsel - Mannsdorf and poviat construction inspector - Saegert. Moreover, a sculptor from Berlin - Emil Cauner and a painter from Szczecin - Adolf Dittmer, as well as numerous enterprises and many other craftsmen from Szczecin in Berlin took part in the construction works.

The ground floor was destined for the registration office, guardhouse, telephone exchange, rooms for the vice squad, military office and also the service accomodation for the prison inspector, caretaker or stoker. On the first floor the home of the president and coachman, conference hall, president’s office, central bureau, cashier’s and chancellery were placed. Criminal police rooms were located on the first and second floor. Third floor housed the police unit which was called Polizeiinspektion. Moreover, on the second and third floor various other functional rooms were located, such as registry and service accomodation for the average-level officials, which could be changed into functional rooms if needed. Northern wing was intended for prison.

From 1946 the building was the seat for the Voivodeship Headquarters of the Citizens’ Militia and Voivodeship Office of Public Security. In the years 1956-1983 Security Service was functioning here, in the years 1983-1990 - Voivodeship Office for Internal Affairs. From 1993 it houses the Voivodeship Police Headquarters. The exact function of the respective rooms is currently unknown due to the binding secrecy. In 1945 as a result of acts of war the upper storey of the tower and the gables by the southern facade were destroyed. In 1964 the restoration was carried out, adding additional storey in southern wing. Minor changes were made inside the building, where the former paint layers were covered. In 1970, during the events of 17 December, the building was attacked by the protesters and partly damaged. In the years 1972-1973 the structure was modernised. The former stable and carriage house building was extended and transformed into massive wing. A new single-storey building was erected in the centre of the courtyard, where the powerhouse was placed. Decorative lawns were removed. In the years 2001-2002 a partial restoration of the interior was carried out and the paint layers of the hallways were reproduced. In the near term the restoration of the meeting room decor is planned.

Description

The building located at 47 Małopolska street, in the vicinity of the Old Town, in place of former fortifications, which at the end of the 19th century were levelled and developed in the first quarter of the 20th century.

It was erected in eclectic forms, referring to Medieval Romanesque and Gothic styles, as one of several structures of this type of designed and developed under the supervision of Oscar Launer at a place of the then German Empire (in Wiesbaden, Kassel, Kiel, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Aachen, Berlin-Schoeneberg). Respective buildings of this group differ stylistically from one another, referring to historic forms, most typical for a given region.

Police headquarters building in Szczecin was made of brick. The plinth at the facades from the side of the street is covered with basalt, the higher parts of the ground floor - with shell limestone from the Saxon Oberdorl. Cladding of the upper storeys is made of handmade bricks in the attic form and of glazed green-coloured moulders. The size of brick are reminiscent of a Gothic brick. Plinth at the courtyard facade is clad with granite, higher facades are clad with handmade brick, but smaller in size. The facades are partly plastered. The roof is covered with roof tiles in a “monk-nun” configuration from the side of the street and with beaver tail tiles from the courtyard. Ceramic ceilings and vaults divide the building into respective storeys.

The building is designed in a three-wing layout, with an inner courtyard. The stable and coach house adjoined the southern wing. Courtyard on the western and northern side was closed with a curtain wall. A front garden was established from the street and it was surrounded by a fence in the form of wrought-iron grid spread between the stone and brick pillars. Four-storey building with massive five-storey tower in the corner of the streets was covered with high gable roofs. A picturesque building was diversified by a spiky, polygonal dome with a spire crowning the tower, numerous shallow avant-corps with high lavishly decorated gables and bays. Assymetric facades with diverse articulation in the form of pointed-arch windows and blind windows, and lavish architectural details: crenellations, machicolations, decorative gables, rosettes, niches filled with traceries. Pointed-arch entrance portal developed in detail, crowned with a figure of Roland the knight made by a sculptor - Emil Cauner.

The interior of the wing from Małopolska street is two-and-a-half-bay one with a corridor in the centre, a wing from S.Starzyńskiego street and the prison wing - one-and-a-half-bay one with a corridor at a side. Main entrance was situated from the current Małopolska street, where the small vestibule was leading to a large hallway with the main staircase. Communication was ensured by three staircases located in three wings. The president’s apartment had a separate entrance from a separate staircase.

The interior had a lavish architectural and pictorial décor. Representative character was a feature of an entrance hallway, corridors, staircases, conference hall and former apartment of the police president. The most monumental character was given to a hallway which was covered with a massive lierne vault. Reveals of door openings, pillars and arches were covered with artificial stone imitating blocks. Walls and vaulting of the hallway was covered with paint layers. Conference hall was decorated with wainscoting, allegorical figural paintings and stained glass windows.

Limited access to the historic building.

Compiled by Radosław Walkiewicz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 02.07.2014.

Bibliography

  • Walkiewicz R., Gmach Wojewódzkiej Komendy Policji przy ul. Małopolskiej 47 w Szczecinie, dawne Królewskie Prezydium Policji (Königliches Polizei-Präsidium), Szczecin 2013 [typescript in the collection of the Municipal Monument Conservator in Szczecin].

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: początek XX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Małopolska 47, Szczecin
  • Location: Voivodeship zachodniopomorskie, district Szczecin, commune Szczecin
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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