Kurozwęki Palace

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Kurozwęki Palace
As seen from the palatial gardens

Kurozwęki Palace (Polish: Pałac Kurozwęki: Latin: Castrum Curoswank) is a Baroque-Classical residence in Kurozwęki, Poland.

In the second half of the 14th century de Kurozwanky (later Kurozwęki) family erected a castle referred to in a document dating back to 1400 as “castrum Curoswank”.[1] At the turn of next centuries the castle was rebuilt several times and given representative character finally to be converted at the end of the 18th century from an originally dwelling building with a defensive character into a Baroque and Classicistic residence.

The castle edifice located in the complex of park and palace are richly decorated with its five-axle facade and galleried courtyard.[2]


The first note of the village appeared in 1246, in documents of Prince Bolesław Wstydliwy - comes Mistigneuus filius Martini de Kurozwansch. In the first half of the 13th century town was an estate of Poraj's family, coming as the crow flies form one of st. Wojciech's legendary brother - Poraj who was received the ground around Kurozwęki and knighthood from the Prince Bolesław Chrobry, because of his brother's merits. Later the Pojar family changed their last name to Kurozwęccy - from the name of their biggest manor.

There is a legend which says that the Kurozwęki name which means kur's sounds (polish : dźwięki) initiated from the rooster (old polish: kur), which loudly crowing helps Prince and his men to find the way to the town, while they had got lost during hunting trip.


14th - 15th century[edit]

Frontal facade

In the second half of the 14th century gothic castle was built and later described in 1400 as Castrum Curoswank. Defensive buildings erected in the center of the town probably by Dobiesław credit, who was chatelaine of Cravow in 1381-1395. His family owned the fortalice for next 100 years. The stone oval-shaped wall about 28x40m was built in the beginning, surrounded by a moat to protect every wooden building inside. Short time later four-side and four- storey stone tower - 14m high - was built on the south side of court. The attic was made in wood and had defensive and residential function. The rest part of castle courtyard was fill up with wooden buildings. Probably on the south, outside the walls were placed farms which delivered food to the castle. Later the castle and town were transmitted to next owners who tried to change the look of castle to current standards. After Dobiesław's death in 1397 the castle changed his owners seven times during 124 years.

In the 15th century old wooden building was changed and replaced by a stone one. The change took effect on higher level of courtyard. Latter increasing demand for more fine look and urgent need to improve already existing fortifications led to extension. The construction of onesection building was started on eastern side and then two more buildings, one to the north and the last to the west.

16th - 18th century[edit]

After about one and a half century handing over ownership by Kurozwęccy family, in 1521 castle become a property of Jan Lanckoroński, who received it as dowry form his new wife. The castle was Lanckoroński's property to 1747. In this time gothic form of buildings was changed to renaissance architecture - which means the castle was changed to palace. The first huge extension of palace was held at the beginning of the 16th century when the last wooden building was turned into stone one which was a part of interior buildings. A step towards tiding up courtyard had been taken. For this, it was necessary to demolish north-western corner of wall and replaced it by a three-storyed building so-called hen’s foot – corner edifice which acted as residential and representative functions. The same time there was built a quadrilateral tower gate on the south outside of the wall. At the begging of the 17th century in western building the new chapel was rebuilt. The old one was placed in this building probably to the end of the 15th century, when Krzysztof Lanckoroński made priests to leave the town – he was votary of Calvinism. An initiator of new chapel was Zbigniew Lanckoroński – the heir of Kurozwęki, and Lord in 1591-1619. The result of next changes in the 17th century was connecting buildings to two wings of palace – west and east.

This process was finished very late, at the turn of the 18th century when on the south, west and north side of court two-storyed cloisters were built. Also the level of court was banked up and all interiors were equalized and on the east side of south cloisters double staircase were added. Rising of terrain made the ground floor as a basement and the highest late-middle time story became baroque piano mobile – representative and residential rooms connected by enfilade. Probably on the same time the way through east wing, called Black Gate was built.

Eastern pavilion

The last one from Lanckoroński family was Stanisław – he die without any descendant. Stanisław widow – Anna Dembiński from family of Rawicz married Maciej Sołtyk in 1752. He was the general of polish army and voivode of Sandomierz. Sołtyka was an initiator of the next modernizations – changing the palace to neat, baroque – classical residence with galleries following the example of Wawel . Work carrying out in 1768-1772 had been aimed at developing tower gate - it become five-axis palace wing, including representative ballroom on the first floor. The wing is in a semicircle topped by rococo ornament and two Rawicz's and Sołtyk's family crest. Interior style was changed to rococo in west and east wings including dining room, Red and Green living room, library. After demolishing of south gate rebuilt of the Back Gate was necessary and at the consequence east wing as well. Chapel in this wing was converted and decorated with Transfiguration of Jesus polychromy and the owner's patrons - st. Anna and st. Matthias. Redeveloped shape of palace was normalized by mansard roof. Probably in the '70s on the main axis of park avenue two pavilions were built - teahouse and orangery. The last change in architectural look of the palace were carried out in the first half of 19th century - gallery was rebuilt into hallways and glazed in, the gothic vault was installed in basements and on the west corner of palace gorgeous observation desk to main avenue and park were opened.

19th - 20th century[edit]

Maciej Sołtyk had three wives. The last of them - Kunegunda from family of Koszowski, has vested the ownership of property in her brother-in-law - Tomasz Sołtyk. Then in 1811 the property inherited his only son - Antoni Tomasz. He partly renovated mansion, which was considerably devastated at the turn of the century . With help of gardener - Jan Zalauf from Kingdom of Bohemia, created a beautiful landscape gardens with aviary and orangery, just next to the castle. After Antoni's death in 1831 the estate became a property of his daughter Emilia. Two years later she got married to lord Paweł Popiel and was dowered with a house, where later they lived but they had complete renovation of interiors before they moved in. The great-grandson of Paweł - Stanisław Popiel was the last owner of the palace before the World War II.

After World War II[edit]

When the Popiel family emigrated to West in 1944 the palace was taken over by government which organized there temporary accommodation and the offices of local state-own farm and in 1956 there was located the post of Social Insurance Institution. There was a plan to change the palace to psychiatric hospital - renovation has been started but never finished, from that moment the palace was abandoned and started to devastate. In 1991 after falling one of the columns the ground and the palace were bought by priest Marcin Popiel - brother of Stanisław, who then passed the estate down to his nephew Jan Marcin Popiel - current owner of the palace. This currently splendid palace in middle-time was a knight's castle. Even today we can find gothic legacy which shows us his defensive function. All you need to do is just going around and look to the walls. Attempts to find any remains of the middle-ages castle probably will succeed. The front and back elevations haven't been renovated yet so defensive reinforcement are plainly visible.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History of Kurozweki Palace". kurozweki.nazwa.pl. Retrieved December 1, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Kurozweki Palace". poland.travel. Retrieved December 1, 2010. 

Coordinates: 50°35′20″N 21°06′17″E / 50.588902°N 21.104779°E / 50.588902; 21.104779