Palace complex in Włoszakowice, currently the Włoszakowice Commune Office, Włoszakowice
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Palace complex in Włoszakowice, currently the Włoszakowice Commune Office

Włoszakowice

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The palace, whose architect remains unknown, was built in c. mid-18th century as a hunting residence for Aleksander Józef Sułkowski. Its floor plan, having the shape of an equilateral triangle with concave vertices, makes it a totally unique Late-Baroque residence, modelled on early modern Italian residential architecture.

History

In the 2nd half of the 14th century and in the 1st half of the 15th century, Włoszakowice belonged to the Borek-Gryżyński family. In the 1st half of the 15th century, they built a castle on the site which is now occupied by the palace. In the early 16th century, Włoszakowice became the property of the Opaliński family. In the 1640s, Krzysztof Opaliński replaced the castle with a palace, which was probably designed by Krzysztof Bonadura Senior. In 1696, Włoszakowice became part of the dowry of Katarzyna née Opaliński, who married Stanisław Leszczyński. In 1738, the village, along with Rydzyna, was sold to Aleksander Józef Sułkowski. The castle in Rydzyna became his official residence. As for Włoszakowice, he had a hunting palace built there in the years 1749-1751. The architect remains unknown (it may have been Karol Marcin Frantz or Joachim Daniel Jauch); most probably, it was someone associated with Warsaw and Dresden courts, which attracted artists inspired by early modern Italian architecture (some historians claim that the design was modelled on a church and monastery designed by A. Pozzo, presented in Perspectivae Pictorum atque Architectorum from 1711). Two residential outbuildings situated to the south-west of the palace and the surrounding park, which was modified a number of times in the following centuries, also come from that period.

The palace in Włoszakowice remained in the hands of the Sułkowski family until 1785, when it became the property of dukes of Anhalt Coethen-Pless, and then, in the 2nd half of the 19th century, dukes of Anhalt-Dessau. The palace was modified in the 19th century and in the early 20th century, e.g. the original dome with a spire was replaced with a flat roof with a cast iron balustrade.

In 1920, the palace complex became the property of the State Treasury. Until 1939, the palace housed a forest inspectorate office. The building underwent renovation and conservation works in the years 1962-1966 and was subsequently handed over to the local Commune Cultural Centre. Full-scale renovations were commenced in 1980 and completed in the early 1990s. They included drying and renovating the walls, renovating the roof, and installing a central heating system and a new electric wiring system. Currently, the palace is owned by the Włoszakowice Commune Office.

Description

The palace complex in Włoszakowice is located in the north-eastern part of the village, on the north side of a road to Bukówiec Górny. The complex comprises the palace, situated on an artificial pentagonal islet surrounded by a moat, two residential outbuildings, located to the south-west of the palace, and a landscape park (also having Baroque features) covering an area of approx. 4 ha, surrounding the palace on the north and west sides. In front of the palace, there is an irregular courtyard with a round lawn in the centre. Between the outbuildings, there is an irregular forecourt with grass and trees.

The present form of the Late-Baroque palace emerged as a result of the modification of an earlier residence built in c. mid-17th century by Krzysztof Opaliński on a site which was previously occupied by a 15th-century castle. It has an original floor plan in the shape of an equilateral triangle with concave vertices (interpreted as a intentional reference of Aleksander Józef Sułkowski to the trowel, one of the Masonic symbols). The building has three storeys, including a tall basement. The top storey (the first floor), considerably recessed, contains only the upper part of the two-storeyed central room. The ground floor and the first floor are covered with separate flat roofs; the upper roof is surrounded by a forged balustrade stretching between brick posts. On the central axis of the front façade, there are half-landing stairs leading to the main entrance on the ground floor.

The palace has brick walls resting on stone foundations. Both the internal and external walls are covered with plaster. The basement rooms are covered with barrel vaults. The residential rooms on the ground floor and the central room have flat wooden ceilings.

The three-storeyed front façade has nine axes at the basement level, eleven axes at the ground floor level, and six axes at the first floor level. The tall basement façades and the areas between windows are decorated with vertical and horizontal lines in the plaster. The window openings at the two upper levels are separated by pilasters. The outermost axes feature niches flanked by double pilasters and containing sculptures of putti with helmets and shields, made by Andrzej Schmidt from Reszel. All window and door openings are headed by segmental arches. On the central axis, above the entrance, there is a cartouche incorporating a Sulima coat of arms of the Sułkowski family. The other façades (having twelve axes) are divided and decorated in the same manner as the front façade, however, they do not have any niches and double pilasters. Each of the concave corner façades has two storeys and one axis and is decorated with pilasters at the ground floor level and vertical and horizontal lines in the plaster.

Inside, around the two-storeyed central room, there are three enfiladed suites of residential rooms, divided by corridors at the corners, with staircases on the north-west and north-east sides. Inside the basement, on the central axis of the front façade, there is a “sala terrena”, accessible from the outside, which most likely served as a venue for meetings of a Masonic lodge.

Limited access to the historic monument. The building may be visited from the outside. Currently, the palace houses the Włoszakowice Commune Office.

compiled by Anna Dyszkant, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 9-10-2015.

Bibliography

  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. V: Województwo poznańskie, z. 12: Powiat leszczyński, oprac. T. Ruszczyńska, A. Sławska, Warszawa 1975, s. 101-103.
  • Kręglewska-Foksowicz E., Barokowe rezydencje w Wielkopolsce, Poznań 1982, s. 122-125.
  • Libicki M., Libicki P., Dwory i pałace wiejskie w Wielkopolsce, Poznań 2003, s. 425-426.
  • Majątki wielkopolskie, t. IV, Powiat leszczyński, opr. M. Jarzewicz, Szreniawa 1996, s. 161-163.
  • Ostrowska-Kębłowska Z., Architektura pałacowa drugiej połowy XVIII wieku w Wielkopolsce, Poznań 1969, s. 45-48.
  • Zgodziński B., Województwo leszczyńskie, Warszawa-Poznań 1989, s. 380-385.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 1749-1751
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kurpińskiego 29, Włoszakowice
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district leszczyński, commune Włoszakowice
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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