The Wilczkowska patrician tenement house (also known as the Zamojski family tenement house), currently serving as the Zamość City Museum, Zamość
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The Wilczkowska patrician tenement house (also known as the Zamojski family tenement house), currently serving as the Zamość City Museum

Zamość

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An outstanding example of patrician architecture of the 17th century, this house - one of the so-called Armenian tenement houses, is located in the part of the town which had originally been allocated to Armenian residents by the founder of the town itself - Jan Zamoyski. Its front façade features Mannerist decorations of extraordinary artistic value. The interior décor is likewise exceptional, with its beamed ceilings with painted friezes and its decorative stone window surrounds.

History

The tenement house was erected in 1603. Initially owned by Hans Kuntz Barthel, a patrician from Gdańsk, it was later acquired by Adam Burski, a professor at the Zamość Academy. Its subsequent owners were J. Namysłowski, S. Zorkowski and, from 1655 onwards, Jan Wilczak, a councillor from Zamość; he was then succeeded by St. Koniecpolski and by the Kaliszkiewicz family, who owned the house in the 18th and 19th century. During the period between the 19th and the 20th century, it was owned by the Rogaczewski family, while in the early 20th century it came into the hands of the Celibter family. In the 1930s, the ownership of the house passed to the Association of the Friends of the Hebrew Union in Jerusalem, while after World War II the building became the property of the Surmacz family. In years 1978-1979 the house served as the Municipal Community Centre and, later on, as a museum. Originally designed as a single-storey building, it was subsequently extended through the addition of another storey, while in years 1673-1676 it has received its impressive front façade decorations. In the mid- 18th century, a second storey was added, while during the third quarter of the 19th century its decorative roof parapet (attic) was constructed. The first serious attempt at restoration was made in the years 1937-38 under the supervision of T. Zaremba. In 1957, the roof cladding, window and joinery and exterior plasterwork were all subjected to renovation works. A thorough restoration which involved a full set of conservation works, conducted on the basis of the design prepared by A. Kadłuczko and M.B. Pawlicki, took place in the years 1979-1989 and included, among others, the restoration of the decorative roof parapet. The final renovation works, performed in 2007, involved the restoration of the decorative exterior plasterwork. Today, the building continues to serve as the Zamość City Museum.

Description

A patrician tenement house incorporating a mixture of the Renaissance and Baroque styles, located in the central part of the Old Town, forming part of the Great Market Square frontage in the vicinity of the town hall; the house stands at the corner of the Ormiańska and Solna streets. The names given to the house are intended to commemorate its erstwhile owners - J. Wilczek, a member of the Zamość city council, as well as A. Burski, a professor at the Zamość Academy. The building is an oriented structure, its front (southern) façade facing the market square. Towards the east, the building abuts the neighbouring tenement house. It was designed on an elongated rectangular floor plan, with a triple arcade in the ground floor section. The three-bay interior layout has seen numerous alterations since its construction. The building is made of brick, its façades covered with plaster. It is a three-storey structure with a basement, covered with a gable roof concealed behind a decorative roof parapet rising above the front façade and above the western gable wall. The roof is covered with copper sheet. The covered space behind the arcade features a groin vault, with barrel vaulting being used for the basements. All upper storeys feature flat ceilings. The windows and doors are made of wood. The ground floor section of the façade follows a two-axial layout, with a three-axial layout being used for the upper storeys. A distinctive feature of the front façade is the double arcade with semi-circular, slightly flattened arches, with a profiled cornice positioned at the base of each arch. The main front door is framed by a profiled sandstone portal flanked by a pair of rectangular windows with broad sandstone surrounds, supported by stone window sills. The first storey is separated from the ground floor section by a broad frieze featuring a pattern of interwoven circular bands. The first-floor windows follow an asymmetrical layout and are framed with broad, decorative window surrounds adorned by a foliate motif, supported by a massive string course and flanked with pilasters which support another string course positioned between the first and the second storey. Massive cornices can be seen above the window openings. The panels between the upper edges of the windows and the cornices are adorned with putti heads and foliate decorations. On the south-western corner, a relief depicting a male bust above a heraldic cartouche occupies the space between the double pilasters that flank it. The second-floor windows are smaller than their first-floor counterparts and are framed with broad bands with foliate ornamentation. The windows are partitioned by pilasters adorned with foliate and anthropomorphic decorations. In the north-western corner, between the pilasters, there is a relief incorporating the portrayal of the Baptism of Christ in the river Jordan. The plinth beneath the roof parapet is adorned with pilasters and semicircular niches with sculpted, conch-like semi-domical top sections. The decorations of the roof parapet itself follow a simplified design. The western façade follows an asymmetrical layout, with a two-axial ground floor section and upper storeys separated by cornices and partitioned with pilasters. The decorative window surrounds are made of sandstone. The section between the corner pilasters on the first floor level features a plasterwork medallion towards the south, incorporating a male bust encircled by a laurel wreath. Beneath the medallion there is a cartouche incorporating the acronym “IWRZ”, referring to Jan Wilczek - the Counsellor of Zamość. Above, on the second floor level, the relief of the Blessed Virgin Mary graces the façade, with its design incorporating the typical iconography that was used to represent the concept of Immaculate Conception. The fixtures and fittings of the tenement house are a mixture of surviving, period items and reconstructed ones. On the first floor, there is a fragment of an original vaulted ceiling with an opening designed to allow the smoke from an open-hearth kitchen to escape towards the chimney (a solution traditionally referred to as a “black” kitchen). One of the beams of the reconstructed ceiling in what is now the library features a Latin inscription in praise of the Blessed Sacrament as well as a date related to the redesign of the building: “LADATUR SSUM SACRAMENTUM EREXIT AN. DNI. 1672 DIE 3 SERPIS I W CON. ZAMOSCIEN”. Inside a first-floor room in the front suite, there is another inscription, also in Latin, found on one of the beams of the reconstructed, painted ceiling. The inscription - effectively a call for divine blessing which also includes the date of completion of alteration works - reads as follows: “BENEDIC. DOMINE DOMUM ISTAM: ET OMNES HABITANT ES: INEA:EXTRUCT: A. 1673. SEPTE. DIE 7 (? B.S.) ET VERBUM: CARO FACTUM EST”.

Limited access to the historic building. The interiors can be visited during the museum opening hours or upon prior arrangement.

compiled by Ewa Prusicka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 12-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Baranowska Z., Sygietyńska H., Kamienice rynku zamojskiego w XVII wieku, /in:/ Zamość i Zamojszczyzna w dziejach i kulturze polskiej, Zamość 1969.
  • Czterysta lat Zamościa, J. Kowalczyk (ed.), Wrocław-Łódź 1983
  • Fidecka U., Kamienice ormiańskie w Zamościu, Zamość 1989
  • Herbst S., Zamość, Warsaw 1954
  • Record sheet, The “Wilczkowska” tenement house the “Zamoyski” tenement house (...). Zamość, compiled by J. Serafinowicz, B. Seniuk, 1997, Archive of the Regional Office for the Protection of Historical Monuments in Lublin, Zamość Branch; Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsa.
  • Kędziora A., Dawna architektura i budownictwo Zamościa, Zamość 1990
  • Pawlicki M. B., Kamienice ormiańskie w Zamościu, /in:/ Zamość miasto idealne, J. Kowalczyk (ed.), Lublin 1980
  • Pawlicki M. B., Kamienice mieszczańskie Zamościa. Problemy ochrony, Cracow 1999.
  • Zarębska T., Zamość - miasto idealne i jego realizacja, /in:/ Zamość miasto idealne, J. Kowalczyk (ed.), Lublin 1980

General information

  • Type: tenement house
  • Chronology: 1603
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Ormiańska 30, Zamość
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district Zamość, commune Zamość
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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