Palace formerly serving as the mansion of the prior of the Cistercian priory, Wierzbna
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Palace formerly serving as the mansion of the prior of the Cistercian priory

Wierzbna

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A monastic priory - the administrative centre for the monastic estate of the Cistercian Order.

History

The village of Wierzbna began to be used for the benefit of the Cistercian Order back in the 14th century. The village itself was finally purchased by the Cistercians from Krzeszów in 1585, becoming an economic centre of a monastic estate also covering the neighbouring villages of Bożanów and Kalno as well as Grodziszcze and Książnica. In the 4th quarter of the 17th century, a manor house was built for the Cistercian prior, its design attributed to Martin Urban, a master brickmason. The manor house incorporated the walls of an even older mansion of the local nobility, originating both from the late medieval period (15th century) and from the 16th century. Following the secularisation of the estate in 1810, the manor house was converted into a palace for the von Waldenburg family; it was at that point that it received its Gothic Revival decorations as well as a balcony projecting from the southern façade, the latter having been added in the early 20th century. Following wartime losses sustained in 1945, the building was abandoned and is awaiting restoration, having been secured against further damage.

Description

The two-storey building, designed on a horseshoe-shaped floor plan, consists of three distinct wings covered with hip roofs. The façades are partitioned using band-like cornices, with rusticated lesenes and Tuscan pilasters adorning the first and second storey level respectively. The north-western wing features a side entrance with a Gothic Revival surround. The main wing features a central vestibule and corner staircase, its interiors being graced by surviving vaulted ceilings. A representational main hall is located on the first floor.

To the west of the former manor house lie the impressive ruins of the monastery, originally erected in the late 17th century and designed in the Baroque style. A two-storey structure with an 18-axial front façade and two-axial side façades, the ruined monastery still features a number of ground floor rooms with surviving original vaulted ceilings.

To the south-east of the monastic complex, near the former mill, stand the ruins of an early modern water tower erected by the Cistercians in the late 17th century and renovated in 1935, at which point a relief depicting the writer Paul Keller was embedded in its façade.

The buildings can only be viewed from the outside.

compiled by Krzysztof Czartoryski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 27-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Gromadzki J., Architektura przeoratu cystersów krzeszowskich w Wierzbnej, [in:] Krzeszów uświęcony Łaską, H. Dziurla and K. Bobowski (eds.), Wrocław 1997, pp. 337-359.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, pp. 925-926.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 4. ćw. XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Wierzbna
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district świdnicki, commune Żarów - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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