Dom jest miejscem bardzo bliskim każdemu człowiekowi, a jako zjawisko kulturowe, posiada oprócz postaci materialnej również wartość duchową. Tysiąc lat historii skłania do ogólniejszej refleksji i kusi, by przypomnieć nie tylko powszechnie znane i podziwiane, wspaniałe dzieła architektury polskiej, ale zaprezentować również te obiekty, które zwykle są pomijane w barwnych albumach. Prezentację rozpoczynamy od domostw naszych słowiańskich praprzodków – jaskiń i grot, drewnianych biskupińskich budowli, by następnie pokazać różnorodność zamków, pałaców, domów mieszczańskich, wiejskiej zabudowy, dworków, rynków, domów robotniczych, współczesnej architektury mieszkalnej. Pokazujemy też klasztory jako miejsca zamieszkania wspólnot zakonnych oraz kościoły – domy Boże.

Album z fotografiami Adama Bujaka wstępem opatrzył znawca tematu prof. Janusz Dobesz z Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego.

Home of a Thousand Year Old Nation      6

Caves, Towns and Castels      28

Wawel      42

Palaces      56

Manors      92

Regions      98

Urban Diversity      120

House of a Worker      142

Market Squares      148

Warsaw      154

Cracow of the 19th and 20th c.      162

Cloisters      174

Jasna Góra      200

Cementeries      206

House of God      216

Symbols of Polish Unity

To wrap up the list of presented castles, we will
mention the “Castle of the President of the Polish
Republic in Wisła” – a fascinating structure for many
reasons. This unusual house, rising from the southern
slope of Zadni Groń in the Beskid Wiślański mountain
range, was built according to a concept by Adolf
Szyszko-Bohusz, who offered his services free of
charge. This generous offer allowed the district
government of Silesia to do away with an earlier
planned bidding in the form of an architectural
competition. The blueprints were ready in the summer
of 1928. The mountainside seat of the Polish president
was itself finished in 1930.
The fact of its being called a castle is explained by
its form. Situated on a slope, it boasts a massive,
buttressed and bastion-shaped, stone terrace.
Traditions of defensive architecture can be seen in the
presence of two towers, the use of stone wall-lining
and medieval-styled details, such as arched windows or
the recessing portal bearing an image of the Silesian
Eagle.
Planning the interiors and furnishings, the architect
entrusted to Andrzej Pronaszko – an ace of
contemporary Polish avant-garde. Even today we are
astounded by the boldness and maturity in taste,
exhibited by the designers and even more by the
investors who approved the daring and unusual, for the
times, forms and colors. Brought to fruition was a set
of unique metal furniture, made of wrought and
chromed steel pipes, with glass or wooden shelving
and tabletops, fabrics and tapestries. Standing on
Poland’s “Western Frontier”, the castle was symbolically
supposed to integrate Silesia with the rest of the
country. It was even opened up to visitors. World War II
spared the structure, even part of the original
furnishings survived. What suffered however, were the
ideological values, which shined so brightly at its
conception. In the 1950s it functioned as a sort of
a place of political exile for, fallen from grace, party
dignitaries. Later on, it became a holiday resort for the
governing elites. Today, after the restoration finished in
2005, it is again the Castle of the President
of the Polish Republic.
Palaces – Between Courtyard and Garden
Among all the abodes of the elites, by far the most
luxurious were palaces, constructed from the end of the
sixteenth century. They stood as a visual symbol of the
increasing power of the magnates, whose financial –
and in a short time also political – might began to rival
that of the king. In the middle ages, and in the first
decades of the modern era, palaces not connected
with the sovereign’s person, constituted a definite
minority. King Sigismund III Vasa’s transfer of the Polish
capital – from Cracow to Warsaw – however, gave rise
to a new kind of building initiative.
The year 1624 saw construction begin on a new
royal palace in Ujazdów, near Warsaw. The
architecture of this structure introduced a novel sort of
palace model, often copied in the first half of the
seventeenth century. We find echoes of the Ujazdów
endeavor in the, devoid of a courtyard, Episcopal
palace in Kielce, built in between 1637 and 1641
according to the design of Giovanni Trevano and
Tommaso Poncino. Its rather stark architectural style still
belonged to the early baroque, from the generation of
Sigismund III. This generation also included the
commissioning Bishop of Cracow, Jakub Radzik as well
as both the architects. Also built on the pattern of
Ujazdów was the palace in Rydzno. Fashioned from
a rebuilt fifteenth century knightly castle, it was built
with a courtyard. Altered a number of times in the
eighteenth century, it was finally burnt down in 1945,
and rebuilt again in the years 1950-1965.
Near the end of the reign of Augustus II the
Strong, in the 1720s, great popularity was gained by
palaces built according to the French fashion of
“between the courtyard and the garden” (entre cour et
jardin), which in Poland enjoyed a tradition of its own,
going back to the first half of the seventeenth century.
The most opulent of these were found in the provinces,
on lands belonging to the magnates. The most
exquisite of these was the so-called “Podlasie
Versailles”. It was the palace of hetman Jan Klemens
Branicki in Białystok, expanded in the years 1728 to
1771 by Johannes Siegmund Deybel and Johannes
Heinrich Klemm.
In the times of the patronage of king Stanisław
August (1732-1798), choice and elegant forms of
classicism gained in prominence. The most extensive
example of it can be found in the interiors of Warsaw’s
Łazienki palace. By the end of the eighteenth century,
fundamental changes took place in the composition of
palatial structures. While during the baroque, the
residential and salon spaces were usually found on the
upper level (piano nobile), they were now placed on
the ground floor. Second-ranking rooms were moved
to the lowered upper level (mezzanino). The staircase,
at one point the central and most monumental part of
the lobby, was relegated to the wings, losing in that its
ceremonial role. Corner pavilions and protrusions were
done away with, which greatly served to solidify the
edifice as well as the interiors. This type of palace
enjoyed great popularity at the turn of the nineteenth
century. Particularly successful examples of these can
be attributed to Jakub Kubicki – the designer of,
among others, the palaces in Biełaczów and Bejsce.
Alongside the rectangular shaped palace, there
appeared a new variation, with a central, round, and
covered with illuminated domes, salon. It referred
straight back to the famous Palladio of the sixteenth
century – the Rotonda villa in Vincenza. This model,
introduced by Domenico Merlini in Królikarnia never
gained particular popularity. It was not too
comfortable, and in addition alien to Polish tradition.
The only architect said to follow Merlini was probably
Stanisław Zawadzki, who in the years 1795-1800
erected the Skórzewski family palace in Lubostroń.
Floor of the rotundal hall was decorated with the crests
of both the Crown and Lithuania. Its walls sported four
relief sculptures: “The defeat at Płowce, suffered by the
Teutonic Order at the hands of Ladislaus the Elbow-
-High”, “Ladislaus Jagiello’s victory over the Teutonic
Order near Koronów”, “Queen Hedwig bestowing
privileges on the Teutonic Order in Inowrocław in
1396” and “Marianna Skórzewska presenting the
blueprints of Bydgoszcz water locks for the approval of
Frederyk Wilhelm”.

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