Tenement house, currently a residential and service building, Żagań
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Tenement house, currently a residential and service building

Żagań

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The building, erected in early 17th century, is located in the southern frontage of Rynek Street. It stands in a densely built-up area. The three-storey building with an attic has a basement and diversified architectural detail. It was built in the Renaissance style. The presented building is an important element in the spatial layout of Żagań.

History

Around the mid-13th century, Żagań was granted municipal rights by Konrad I, Duke of Głogów. The exact date of its foundation is not known, because the act granting town privileges for Żagań has not survived. The municipal centre was built around a quadrangular market square, with streets running outwards from its corners. The area of the delimited town was small, containing only the market square with a wooden town hall in the middle, and side streets. Approx. in 1280, Żagań was extended to the east from the line of today's Długa Street to Wałowa Street. The spacial layout formed in this way in the 13th century served as a basis for town development planning over the next centuries. The area where the building in consideration can be found is located in the very centre, within former defensive walls of the town. The first buildings erected on that street are wooden houses with roof gables set perpendicularly to the street, typically two-storey and three-axial. Market square buildings, many a time destroyed by fires and attacks of hostile armies, were reconstructed in a new form, on the relics of the former buildings. Only at a later time, wealthy owners started to build bigger houses using brick. The peak of development of the town took place in the second half of the 16th century. However, during all that time, market square buildings were used for commercial and service purposes. In the 19th century, all ground floors of the old town buildings were re-designed and adapted for modern trade purposes. The market square residences were owned by doctors, craftsmen, or lawyers, among others. The medieval urban layout had survived until the 19th century. As a result of hostilities of World War II, a significant part (90%) of the historic town centre was destroyed. Among the surviving, most valuable buildings, four houses located at 7, 8, 9, and 10 Rynek Street are extraordinary. They are Renaissance tenement houses built in the early 17th century on the relics of earlier Gothic buildings, damaged during war hostilities and reconstructed in the years 1962-1966.

Not many archival records on the tenement house have been preserved. Neither do we know the exact date of the building construction, nor the name of the designer or contractor. The tenement house was erected in the early 17th century, on the relics of an older building. Lack of records of construction police make it impossible to precisely determine the scope of all masonry works related to the structure. Probably in the second half of the 19th century, the ground floor of the tenement house was re-designed to adapt it to new trade needs, as in the case of the adjacent buildings. At that time, a window with a shop entrance was pierced. Hostilities of the World War II resulted in partial damages to the building. Renovation works were commenced in 1962-1966. The local government took over ownership of the tenement house and after renovation, the building has been used for residential purposes. Approx. in 2010, its front façade was renovated. No major alterations have been made to the structure. At present, it houses service and residential premises. The structure is one of the most representative buildings in the city.

Description

The tenement house, located in Rynek Street, is a part of the dense development. It is situated in the very centre of Żagań, on the southern side of the town hall. Rynek Street is a part of the strict monument protection zone.

The building is located on a small plot and its front façade is facing the open market square. Its plan resembles the shape of a rectangle. The building has basements underneath, which are covered with a barrel vault with lunettes. It is made of brick; its walls are plastered on both sides. The three-storey building has an attic and is covered with a gable roof. Its front façade has three axes and is topped with a curved gable decorated with cornices and a strip with ornaments. In the gable plane, on two levels, there are four small windows allowing light to the attic. The double width of the gable was reduced visually with the use of three pilasters. On the ground floor, there are two windows with an entrance opening on the side, topped with a segmental arch. The front façade features varied architectural detail. Individual storeys are pierced with rectangular window openings. The windows are framed by surrounds and topped with profiled pediments. The body of the building has been preserved in its original state without major changes.

The tenement house is a monument owned by local government and private entities. Due to the fact that it houses service premises and flats, the building is not widely available to the public.

compiled by Krzysztof Słowiński, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Zielona Góra, 17-04-2015.

Bibliography

  • Studia na początkami i rozplanowaniem miast nad środkową Odrą i dolną Wartą, pod red. Zdzisława Kaczmarczyka i Andrzeja Wędzkiego, Zielona Góra 1970;
  • Stanisław Kowalski, Miasta Środkowego Nadodrza, Zielona Góra 1994; Krzysztof Garbacz, Przewodnik po zabytkach województwa lubuskiego, tom II, Zielona Góra 2012;
  • Żagań, pod red. Zofii Hodun, Zielona Góra 1981;
  • Żagań znany i nieznany, pod red. Katarzyny Adamek i Mariana Świątka, Żagań 2002;
  • Żagań w historii Śląska, pod red. Wernera Beina i Hieronima Szczegóły, Żagań 1997; R. Kąsinowska -Spychalska, Kamienice przy Starym Rynku nr 7, 8, 9, 10 w Żaganiu, (ze zbiorów LWKZ), Szczecin 1958.

General information

  • Type: tenement house
  • Chronology: pocz. XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Rynek 8, Żagań
  • Location: Voivodeship lubuskie, district żagański, commune Żagań (gm. miejska)
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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