Tenement house, Trzebiatów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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One of the few surviving gablefront tenement houses from the Baroque period in Western Pomerania, forming part of the market square frontage in the town of Trzebiatów.

History

The town of Trzebiatów was originally chartered according to Lübeck law in 1277 by Barnim I, the duke of Pomerania. Shortly thereafter, the street grid was drawn up, centred around a square-shaped market place in the middle. Different plots of land were also designated so that the construction of new houses could begin. Lot no. 13, located along the Market Square, is one of those original, medieval parcels of land. The very first masonry townhouse may have been erected here as early as the 15th century, although the absence of an in-depth architectural analysis makes it difficult to confirm its existence with any degree of certainty. Based on the surviving archival photographs, one may conclude that the tenement house was either erected from scratch or significantly remodelled in the Baroque style in the year 1720. This conclusion is based on the presence of iron digits forming the said date which had once been displayed on the building’s façade above the first-floor windows, anchored into the wall beneath. Above the date there were also the letters “DWB”, evidently forming the initials of a so far unidentified person. By analogy with similar structures one may also suspect that the gable had once been adorned with a volute-shaped fractable and that the windows had been framed with plaster surrounds. However, all of the hallmarks of the Baroque décor - including the volute-shaped coping - were removed in the third quarter of the 19th century. They were replaced by a rather two-dimensional decorative rustication, with the windows receiving new, architectural surrounds designed so that each of the two pairs of windows were crowned with a common cornice. Photographs from the late 19th century clearly show that a shop with an entrance door and a shop window had once occupied the north-western part of the tenement house. The main entrance was located right beside the door leading into the shop. There was also a window, positioned right next to the said main entrance. During the first quarter of the 20th century, the ground floor section was redesigned; a picture taken in 1925 shows a second display window, with the door leading into the house itself moved to their current positioned, i.e. the first axis from the south-west. The front section of the tenement house was linked to a back building located on the right side of the yard. The interior followed a two-and-a-half-bay layout, with a shop up front, a transverse hallway and wooden winder stairs positioned alongside the left (south-western) wall of the townhouse. The partition walls were timber-framed structures (although some of them were made of brick only); the building featured wooden ceilings above the ground floor and the first floor, while the half-timbered gable of the rear façade had a thinner infill, its thickness being equivalent to half the thickness of a standard brick. A textile shop is known to have functioned on the ground floor level of the tenement house during the 1960s. In 1971, the building was already in a poor technical condition. The gable wall facing the market square was leaning outward, while the gable end facing the yard was damaged by moisture, much like the wooden ceilings and partition walls inside. The back building was in an even more dire condition. A comprehensive restoration of the tenement house no. 13 as well as two neighbouring tenement houses - no. 12 and no. 14 - was conducted in the years 1975-1979. The back building was torn down, while all the ceilings and partition walls were replaced, with the interior being completely remodelled compared to its original layout. The interiors were now interlinked with those of the two neighbouring houses, with a common staircase in the house no. 13. A new basement was constructed underneath the back section of the building. The ground-floor shop window was removed. The front façade was restored, although the 18th-century inscription which had once graced it was removed in the process. Once the restoration was complete, the ground floor level became a flower shop.

Description

Tenement house no. 13 forms part of the north-western frontage of the Market Square in Trzebiatów. The building’s front façade faces the south-east. Behind the townhouse lies the yard shared by three tenement houses (no. 12, 13 and 14). The tenement house was designed on a roughly rectangular floor plan, its shorter sides facing the market square and the yard behind the building. The back building which had once accompanied the main townhouse was demolished in the 1970s. The gablefront tenement house is a two-storey structure with a basement and attic, covered with a gable roof. It is a brick structure, its walls covered with plaster. The roofs are clad with beaver-tail roof tiles. The basement level features surviving barrel vaults, while the ceiling above the hallway is made of ceramic brick, supported by steel girders. The back section of the basement level located in the rear of the townhouse as well as the first floor both feature new brick infill ceilings constructed during the 1970s. The front façade of the tenement house follows a four-axial layout, with the entrance located on the first axis from the left (the south-western axis); the façade is divided by cornices which run at the level of the first-floor window sills, at the base of the gable as well as in the middle thereof. The gable is topped with a small, semi-circular pediment, with the flowing coping on its sides designed to recreate the shape of the now-vanished volutes. The façade is adorned with a flat, linear rustication. The first-floor windows are framed with surrounds consisting of lesenes and an architrave which reaches all the way up to the crowning cornice. The gable is pierced with three window openings framed with plaster surrounds - two rectangular ones at the lower level and a single oval oculus in the top section. The rear façade features three first-floor windows positioned on axes which are inconsistent with those on the ground-floor level below. The half-timbered gable follows a design identical to that of the two neighbouring tenement houses. The interior layout has been completely remodelled compared to the original. It follows a two-and-a-half-bay layout with a modern half-landing staircase; a small shop is located in the front section, with the middle part of the interior being connected to the neighbouring townhouses.

The building can be viewed from the outside. The interiors are devoid of period features with the exception of the basement level; they can be explored upon arrangement with the residents of the building.

compiled by Maciej Słomiński, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 12-05-2015.

Bibliography

  • Lemcke H., Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Regierungsbezirks Stettin, H. XI, Stettin 1914, pp. 224-225
  • Architectural monument record sheet, compiled by K. Konopka, 1996, typescript available at the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Szczecin
  • Kamienice w Rynku w Trzebiatowie pow. Gryfice, woj. szczecińskie, prepared by Z. Radacki, Szczecin 1959, p. 2, fig. 4, 6, 30
  • Trzebiatów, pow. Gryfice, woj. szczecińskie, studium historyczno-urbanistyczne do planu zagospodarowania przestrzennego, prepared by Z. Radacki, Szczecin 1963, p. 33

General information

  • Type: tenement house
  • Chronology: 1. poł. XVIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Rynek 13, Trzebiatów
  • Location: Voivodeship zachodniopomorskie, district gryficki, commune Trzebiatów - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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