To the East of Wroclaw

Published on: 14 / 11 / 2010

From the imposing palace in Szczodre (Sibillenort) which was burned down after the war, has presently remained a part of one wing. The monumental edifice called "Silesian Windsor”, was formerly owned by the dynasty of Wettins (it had precedently belonged to the dukes of the Württemberg dynasty). According to older records, the collection of paintings, drawings nad prints would be estimated in 5000 pieces. Among the most precious older masters' pieces, were paintings by Lucas Cranach, among them the earliest currently known version of the Saxon elector Friedrich the Wise's portrait (the photo below). The painting, along with the Saxon elector Johannes the Flat's effigy, hung in the so called Familiensalon, the chapel instead housed the Cranachs’ “Ecce Homo”. The collection in Szczodre housed also numerous portraits, among them the entire gallery of effigies of the dukes of Wettin. The precious collection of the Meissen porcelain, the was among the largest in Europe, was exhibited in a special hall with walls inlayed with mirrors, in order for the statues, busts and vessels, to be watched from all the sides. The palace, currently accessible for sightseeing, belonged before the World War II, to the highest tourist attractions in Wroclaw’s surroundings.

From Szczodre we suggest going to Brzezinka (Briese), where the destroyed palace of the Counts von Kospoth is located. The edifice, from the first half of the 18th century, was marked by its highly decorated feast hall, whose main adornment constituted the paintings by a Flemish artist Franz de Backer. The gallery of paintings included tens of canvas paintings, among them a masterpiece by Rubens, depicting the Holy Trinity, as well as picture compositions by Jan Steen, Jacob Gerritsz Cuyp and Jacob Jordaens. More than twenty mythological sculptures, which had previously adorned the palace garden, were transferred in 1950 to Wilanów, where they can be currently admired.

We subsequently recommed visiting Syców (Gross Wartenberg) which was formerly owned by the Dukes von Biron. The palace that previously stood in the town center, contained rich furnishing: tapestries, old glass and porcelain, and clocks. The picture gallery included numerous portraits of the family members, painted by notable artists: Anton Graff, Josef Grassi and Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, as well as older masters' paintings, e.g. by Giambattista Moroni. The palace was burnt down in 1945 and dismantled in the 1950s. Its former splendour is currently testified by the park in English style, adorned with sculptures, in majority coming from France and by a protestant church, standing at its peripheries, a work by a noteble architect Carl Gotthard Langhans. In Regional Museum of w Syców (information on its avilability at the homepage sycow.pl) one can watch a marble bust of Françoise Biron, carved by Jean Antonin Carlès, deriving from the former Birons' collection.

The next stop en route is the castle of Namysłów (Namslau in German, currently iin private possession), since the end of the 19th century owned by the family Haselbach. The edifice housed a large collection of topographical prints, gathered by Albrecht August Haselbach. The collection included also landscape paintings and arts and crafts' works. Among contemporary works of the collector's life, the oil paintings by Ott Dix have to be mentioned.

An interesting collection was previously housed in the center of Brzeg (Brieg), in the villa Löbbecke (presently destroyed). In its interiors were exhibited paintings by 19th century masters, among them the „Medea” by Ansem Feuerbach and the „Spring evening” by Arnold Böcklin. The villa was also decorated by sculptures of the villa's owner – Eva von Löbbecke. At this opportunity we recommend a visit in Silesian Piasts' Museum (information on availability at the homepage zamek.brzeg.pl), where one can see mainly a series of paintings by Giovanni Pinotti, that had formerly adorned the chapel in the seat of the family Hochberg in Książ.

Finally we suggest visiting the palace in Oleśnica Mała (Klein Öls) which was formerly the property of the Yorck von Wartenberg family (currently housing the Pilot Plant on Culture and Naturalization of Plants). They owned one of the largest collections of old graphic art in Silesia. The owners could pride on numerous prints by Albrecht Dürer, Martin Schongauer or Lucas Cranach. Their collection also included sculptures by the famous 19th century artists: Christian Daniel Rauch or Gottfried von Schadow.

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