The Cirque of Jelenia Góra (Hirschberg in German) - land of palaces

Published on: 14 / 11 / 2010

We recommend to begin the excursion in the palace of Karpniki (Fischbach in German, the neglected edifice is now property of a private owner and can be watched only outside). The edifice was erected by Friedrich August Stüler, for Duke Wilhelm von Hohenzollern, in the mid 19th century. Owing to a series of watercolours, depicting the palace interiors shortly after its reconstruction, we can enter the distant period and visit virtually one chamber after another. The blue room contained a large-scale painting by Hummel, depicting “Prayer of Bohemian boys near the cross by Teplitz” and in the windows had been embedded monumental stained glasses derived from the duke’s imposing collection. Also other chambers were decorated with stained glasses, e.g. the red salon. In other watercolours, numerous canvas paintings can be seen (mainly portraits and landscapes), as well as sculptures and porcelain pieces that had previously adorned the interiors furnished with splendour.

The nearby Bukowiec (Buchwald), belonged from 1785 forward to Friedrich Wilhelma von Reden, who was later minister of mining and metallurgy in the Prussian government and manager of the Royal Porcelain Manufacture in Berlin. The palace currently houses seat of the Giant Mountains' oCmmunity Union (contact at zgk-karkonosze.pl). With reference to the offices, held by Reden, the interiors of the residence were adorned with numerous KPM products and with iron castings from the ironworks administrated by him in Gliwice (Gleiwitz in German). In the palace interiors one could also admire portraits of the family von Reden's representatives. After the count's death in 1815 the collection was being completed by his widow Friederike von Reden. Next to the palace in Bukowiec worth visiting is the large park designed to the order of Reden, by a notable landscape architect Hans Carl Walther. Beautiful sights of the sorroundings stretch from the windows of the recently restored park buildings, the teahouse and the watchtower.

From Bukowiec we suggest going to Mysłakowice (Erdmannsdorf) that was acquired in 1832 by the Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm III with its destination to a summer residence (the palace currently houses a school ensemble myslakowice.edu.pl). The palace and its sorrounding buildings had been adorned with artworks from royal collections, among them was the „The Garden Terrace” by Caspar David Friedrich, from 1843 available to see in the situated nearby villa Liegnitz. The palace in Mysłakowice was then surrounded by a landscape garden – the work by a reputable garden designer Joseph Lenne. At suggestion of the following ruler, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, the palace was rebuilt according to the designs by Friedrich August Stüler. The interiors of the residence was decorated at the time with stained glasses depicting the Silesian towns' coats of arms, executed in the workshop of Heinrich Müller.

The next stop will be the formerly beloning to the dukes of Reuss palace in Staniszów (Stonsdorf), currently housing a hotel (palacstaniszow.pl). The palace, rebuilt in the 1780s, was enriched with a large collection of paintings by old Dutch and German artists, which had been conveyed from the Netherlands to Silesia by means of inheritance. The collection included mainly the works ascribed to Hans Holbein and Jan van Eyck, to the latter was also attributed a large-scale triptych with the depiction of "Bearing of the Cross" in its central part and "Adoration of the Shepherds" and the "Nativity" in the side wings. the work was admired by many visitors who arrived in the Staniszów Palace, Johann Gottlieb Büsching dedicated to it a separate issue. Also the park next to the palace is worth visiting, one of the first designs by Lenne in Silesia.

The last palace on our route will be the Schaffgotsch residence in Cieplice (Bad Warmbrunn in German, currently owned by the Wroclaw's Technical University). The palace housed one of the largest portrait galleries in Silesia (over 180 pictures) that consisted of effigies of the Schaffgotsch family members, their ancestors', members' of families allied to them and European rulers. In the palace and in the nearby situated library a large collection of graphics had also been housed (after the war it was transferred to the National Library in Warsaw), as well as a numismatic and sigillographic collection. The family Schaffgotsch collected also ancient weapons, some of those military accessories (e.g. an Ottoman saddle, shield and a secant weapon) are currently housed in the National Museum of Poznań.

Lastly we suggest visiting the Museum in Jelenia Góra (information on the museums availability at the homepage muzeumkarkonoskie.pl) and we encourage to get acquainted with a large collection of paintings on glas, formed by Erich Wiese.

Project co-financed by Ministry of Labour and Social Policy under Government Project – Civic Benefit Fund.
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