romantic neo-Gothic residence, built on the basis of a late medieval knight's fortress, rises up in the surroundings of the historic park. The first fortified castle in Kórnik was probably built in the fourth quarter of the 14th century by the foundation of Wyszota,
coat of arms of Łodzia, brother of the Poznań bishop Mikołaj, and probably with his financial support. At the beginning it was a brick construction erected on stone foundations and situated on a mound separated by a moat. It had the form of an irregular quadrilateral with a cylindrical main tower in the north-eastern corner, with diameter of around 8 meters, and a two or three-storey residential building with dimensions of 9x10 meters. The main tower controlled the northern gateway to the courtyard, and also the road leading through Kórnik from Poznań to Wrocław. The oldest confirmed information about the castle comes from the year 1426. It is an act of contract signed by the then owner of Kurnik, Mikołaj Górka (d.1439), a canon of Gniezno, and the builder Mikołaj from Poznań, resulting in transformation of the existing building and increasing its usable area. At least since the 1430s the access to the castle was protected by a drawbridge, situated in the same place as the present brick one. All new residential houses, as well as the granary section of the older building, were made in a timber-frame construction.
RECONSTRUCTION OF MEDIEVAL CASTLE, I.T.KACZYŃSCY ZAMKI W POLSCE PÓŁNOCNEJ I ŚRODKOWEJ
fter Mikołaj's death, the Kórnik estate was given to his nephew Łukasz Górka (d. 1475), Voivode of Poznań, and when he died in 1475, the town and the castle became the property of his son Uriel (d. 1498), who, due to his poor health, was assigned by his father to a clerical career. At that time, the family property and benefits from holding the titles, as well as salaries resulting from the function of a Vatican tax collector and profits from banking operations provided Górka with enormous income. Uriel made the main heir of his minor nephew
Łukasz Górka (d. 1542), giving him Kórnik, Miejska Górka, Sieraków and Czerniejów. At the age of 17 Łukasz became a Castellan of Spycimierz, and when he was 26, he became the General Starost of Wielkopolska. With time, he grew to the leading figure on the political scene, as a close associate of Zygmunt Stary, King of Poland. The culmination of his admirable career was appointment as bishop of Kujawy in 1538, for whom he resigned from the office of voivode. When he died, the estates were transferred to the only son
Andrzej (d. 1551), the castellan of Poznań and the general starost, the richest inhabitant of Wielkopolska of his time, who owned over a dozen towns and over a hundred villages in Wielkopolska, Poland and Russia, as well as tenement houses, squares and manors in Poznań, Kraków and Lwów.
CASTLE IN KÓRNIK: ABOVE WE SEE THE NORTHERN ELEVATION, BELOW THE VIEW OF THE SOUTHERN FAÇADE
n 1552 Kórnik was inherited by
Stanisław Górka (d. 1592), a physically handicapped but proud, fierce and violent son of Andrzej, in the future the Poznań Voivode. During the lifetime of his eldest brother Łukasz, he kept away from big politics and concentrated his efforts on the reconstruction of the castle, making it a residence worthy of the Jagiellonian Polish magnate. As a result of works carried out in the second half of the 16th century, the existing buildings were replaced by a three-storey building formed by their connection, in which the ground floor housed utility rooms, the first floor - residential rooms of representative character, and the second floor - guest rooms and facilities for courtiers. The then living room was located in the place of the later General Room, and the dining room was located on the plan of the 14th century residential building, in the same place as the Dining Room is now. The hallway occupied the area of the contemporary staircase, corridor and the Black Room, while the Gothic tower housed the owner's private treasury and a small arsenal. The building work was completed in 1574 and since then the castle has been famous for its elegance and fortification. Soon afterwards, Stanisław Górka, with his usual panache, hosted in Kórnik
Henryk Walezy, who was on his way from Paris to Cracow for the enthronisation: There were plenty of food of all kinds, plenty of wine and drinks, open granaries and cellars, and every day and night you could take whatever you liked from them. The king himself was a visitor at the castle [...] received as a gift beautiful horses, furs made of very valuable Moscow foxes and other things. The French gentlemen and the whole manor house were also very well welcomed in the lower castle and they also received gifts. Cannons were shot often and there were other different shows.
WILD BOAR AND A DOG GUARDING THE MAIN ENTRANCE DEMONSTRATE THE HUNTING PASSIONS OF THE FORMER OWNERS
A MONUMENT OF TYTUS DZIALYŃSKI IN FRONT OF THE CASTLE; IN THE PHOTO ON THE RIGHT - THE CASTLE BRIDGE
n 1592 Stanisław Górka died childless and the family of Górka extinct. Kórnik became the property of his nephew Jan Czarnkowski (d. 1618/19), who in 1604 handed over it to his brother Andrzej (d. before 1619) in exchange for the town of Wronki and eight villages. In 1610, however, Andrzej sold the Kórnik estate for 155,000 zlotys to Zygmunt Grudziński (d. 1653), a close associate of
Zygmunt III Waza and an advocate of the Protestant religion, who actively supported German and Jewish colonization in Wielkopolska. In 1623, Grudziński hosted King Zygmunt, his wife and son
Władysław, so it is likely that the former residence of the Górka family was still in a very good condition. With time, however, its prestige and condition deteriorated, because two sons of Zygmunt, Aleksander (d. 1661) and Andrzej Karol (d. 1678) had their own family properties and the seat in Kórnik had the secondary value to them. The 17th century was not kind to either Poland or the castle, which suffered particularly severely in the years 1655-60, when the troops of the Brandenburg Elector were stationed there. Its condition improved only after the property was taken over by Dzialyńscy family in 1676, especially during the times of
Teofila z Działyńskich Szołdrska-Potulicka (d. 1790). She took care of the Kórnik domain, where brought in German settlers and made the castle an elegant residence. To this purpose, she commissioned a reconstruction of its external facade, to which two risalits with domed roofs and a flanked decorative gable were added from the front. The 16th century Italian garden located south of the palace was also transformed into a fashionable French-style park: The garden was filled with birdhouses and waterworks of various shapes. Water was leaking from the mouth of a lion supporting his forepaws on the arms of the Dzialyński family; in another place streams were gushing from the head of a whale and from the mouth of a crocodile. Snow swans floated on the canal surrounding the castle; peacocks and pheasants walked in the spacious courtyard of the castle. Two huge greenhouses in the garden contained the rarest foreign plants.
THE VIEW OF KÓRNIK AND BNIN IN THE DRAWING BY A. SADEBECK FROM 1798, CASTLE MARKED WITH THE NUMBER 5
Teofila Szołdrska-Potulicka was born in 1714. She was the hostess of the Kórnik castle in the years 1726-90. The daughter of Zygmunt Działyński and Teresa Tarłówna became an orphan already at the age of 11, which forced her to quickly become independent and certainly had a significant impact on her dominant character. After two unsuccessful marriages (her first husband Stefan Szołdrski died five years later, her second relationship with Aleksander Hilary Potulicki ended in divorce), Teofila decided to live alone, focusing on managing a huge wealth and multiplying it. Although she could not count on her husbands and their families, during the economic collapse of Poland she led Kórnik and nearby Bnin to prosperity. She achieved this by, among other things, bringing German Protestant colonists and Jews to the town, which made her vulnerable to the accusation of supporting the infidels. In 1740, she partly replaced the feudal service with rent. The owner of Kórnik had a relatively gentle character, so many noble families asked her to take children to education, and peasants escaping from foreign villages sought shelter in her estates. Teofila was also keenly interested in art, which influenced her decision to transform the Kórnik residence of the entre cour et jardin type and to found gardens with magnificent architecture.
Teofila Potulicka died at the age of 76, on 26 November 1790. While still alive, rumours were circulating about her immoral relations with men, including a local Catholic parish priest and a Lutheran pastor from Bnin. After her death, she became a figure of legends, perhaps thanks to a portrait of Antoine Pesne in a white dress hanging in the Arms Hall of the castle. In the 19th century the local population began to tell that shortly before midnight Teofila leaves the painting and passes to the castle terrace, from where exactly at midnight she is taken for a ride in the park by a knight on a horse. They're both going around the park alleys and separate at dawn. The knight disappears and the lady returns to the Arms Hall on the painting. Today, the castle guides willingly point out the traces of women's heels on the floor under the picture of a white lady, which are supposed to prove the authenticity of this story.
CASTLE AFTER BAROQUE RENOVATION: THE ABOVE VIEW WAS PUBLISHED IN 1835,
BELOW YOU CAN SEE THE LITHOGRAPH REPRODUCED IN WSPOMNIENIA WIELKOPOLSKI... BY E. RACZYŃSKI IN 1842
n 1790 Kórnik and Bnin became the property of the only son of Teofila,
Feliks Szołdrski (d. 1795), and after his childless death they passed into the hands of a distant relative Wiktor Szołdrski (d. 1830), a judge of the tribunal, one of the richest magnates in Wielkopolska. This inheritance was questioned by the Dzialyński brothers and after a long trial
Ksawery, Count Działyński (d. 1819) regained Kórnik in 1801. Previously, however, court disputes had led to the departure of the Szołdrski family from the residence and its negligence, which later deepened through the lease of the castle and its use as military warehouses. In 1826,
Tytus Adam, Count Działyński (d. 1861) became the heir of the Kórnik estate. The aristocrat, who was beloved in his native past, decided to transform his residence in the neo-Gothic style. He had a romantic vision of shaping it in the late medieval style, equipped with an armoury, library rooms, decorated with the coats of arms of Polish and Lithuanian families. The first reconstruction projects were prepared by two Italian architects: Antoni Corrazi and Henri Marconi. However, Działyński did not like the excessively decorative ideas of the Italians, so in 1828 he asked the Berlin architect
Karl Friedrich Schinkel for help, and the latter proposed a much more raw design based on the aesthetics of Neo-Gothic English architecture. The work began soon, but it was stopped quickly due to the outbreak of the November Uprising that involved Tytus' active participation, for which he was sentenced by the Prussian authorities and his property was confiscated. Seeking shelter from prison, Działyński initially stayed in Paris, then in Kraków, and then in smaller family estates, where he entirely devoted himself to his collector's passion, gathering Polish military, old prints, oriental and national memorabilia. After stabilising the political situation and annulling his sentence, he brought an action for the restitution of the seized assets that he succeded. In 1838 he returned to Kórnik and five years later the building works started.
UNREALISED ITALIAN PROJECT OF CASTLE RECONSTRUCTION FROM THE FIRST HALF OF THE XIX CENTURY
Tytus Działyński was the son of Ksawery Działyński and Justyna Dzieduszycka. He was born in 1796 in
the family palace in Poznań, where he spent the first 11 years of his life. In 1807 he moved to Berlin, then to Paris and finally to Prague, where he studied humanities and technical sciences. After returning to Wielkopolska, he began to organize the family book collection and archive in Konarzewo, which triggered his interest in historical sources. That passion for collecting manuscripts and old prints accompanied him to the end of his life. Tytus was one of the first Wielkopolska citizens to volunteer to fight in the November Uprising, where he initially served as a lieutenant in a regiment of horse shooters, and then he found his way to the headquarters of the chief commander, serving as an assistant of
General Skrzynecki. For his active participation in the uprising, he was punished by the Prussian authorities with the confiscation of his property; he himself escaped - first he stayed in Kraków, then hid in the estate of his wife in Oleszyce near Jarosław. In 1839 he won a lawsuit against the Prussian government for the restitution of his property and returned to Wielkopolska. From that time on, he lived in Kórnik and Poznan alternately, developing social and cultural activity. After the Spring of Nations (1848), during which he supported the revolutionaries, he was imprisoned in the Poznan fortress, but soon after he was released and then he took decision to give up his intensive political life. He changed his mind in 1858, when agreed to run for parliamentary elections, hoping to change the policy of Prussia in relation to Poles.
Działyński paid a lot of attention to the development of Polish crafts, industry and economy, as he saw in them the hope of maintaining national identity. He trained Polish craftsmen at his own expense, organized exhibitions of Polish products and garden shows. He was one of the founders and president of the Industrial Society. Created a park in Kórnik, where he acclimatized various species of trees and shrubs, in a natural environment not growing on Polish lands. In order to protect the name Kurnik from germanization, he changed it to Kórnik. Tytus died suddenly at night from 11 to 12 April 1861 and was buried in the family crypt of the Kórnik church.
THE WESTERN AND SOUTHERN FACADES OF THE CASTLE ON THE DRAWINGS BY K.F. SCHINKEL
s a result of the reconstruction, the palace was deprived of its late baroque character acquired in the 18th century, and received the appearance of a romantic building in the English Gothic style with reminiscences of oriental architecture. Działyński, who was technically educated, didn't implement any of the plans previously proposed to him. However, he based his design on Schinkel's, to which he introduced some of his own elements to give the building a defensive character. The silhouette of the castle was increased by one storey and crowned with a crenellation. Loggias, turrets and bays were integrated into its body, and the dominant feature was a tall brick tower with blanks and a smaller slender turret, rising above its tops. In front of the northern façade a small barbican was erected (demolished due to the cracking walls in 1937), while on the southern side two rectangular towers were erected in the corners, and a wide risalit in the centre, accentuated by a monumental ogive arcade, which gave this part of the building a slightly exotic character. Inside, the hallway, dividing the building along the transverse axis, has undergone the greatest changes. It was divided by a wall to make space for warehouses and descent to cellars. On the first floor, on the south side, two adjoining chambers were connected in one two-storey room, decorated in Mauritanian style and intended for museum collections. The whole interior and exterior of the building has been redecorated with new doors, marquetry floors, gothic vaults and ceilings. It is worth mentioning that only polish craftsmen and artists were employed by Działyński for finishing works. He himself took a direct part in interior design works, e.g. he personally carved a wooden balustrade of stairs. In the opinion of the owner, rebuilt castle was supposed to be a sanctuary of Polishness, and its Gothic costume emphasized the antiquity of the Działyński family.
VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM THE WEST, TYGODNIK ILUSTROWANY 1860
CASTLE ON LITHOGRAPHY BY NAPOLEON ORDA, ALBUM WIDOKÓW 1880
ziałyński treated his residence as a museum where national antiquities were stored. He also emphasized many times that he transformed the castle, excellently equipped it and collected valuable works of art in it not for the glory of the name but to protect from destruction and dispersion. The reconstruction of the castle was continued by the son
Jan Kanty, Count Działyński (d. 1880), who made the Kórnik collection available to his closest family, friends and invited guests, but also to other people, provided that they applied to him with a written request for access to them. Following his father's example, the young heir participated in another national uprising, which was the January Uprising, and as a result was forced to emigrate, which did not prevent him from being sentenced to death in absentia. The sentence was annulled ten years later, but the owner was no longer financially able to meet the expenses for the continuation of work, so in 1880 this effort was taken over by his nephew and heir
Władysław, Count Zamoyski (d. 1924), the traveller, a great lover of the Tatra Mountains and the owner of a significant part of them. He spent a long time trying to bring order to an affairs of the estate, damaged by Prussian repressions resulting from patriotic attitude of the former owners. In 1924, just before his death, Zamoyski gave all his property to the Polish nation, including a castle filled with works of art and a wonderful library. The family residence was designated as the seat of the museum, despite the fact that Władysław's sister
Maria Zamoyska (d. 1937) still lived there.
MAURITANIAN HALL IN PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE FIRST DECADE OF THE XX CENTURY
Zakłady Kórnickie, also called the Zamoyski Foundation, were established in 1924 by Władysław, Count Zamoyski from the estate in Wielkopolska and Zakopane. The aim of this initiative was to maintain the castle and library in Kórnik, establish a dendrological institute, repayable financial support for talented young people and promote an education. The Foundation was not intended to be a charity, but through proper management it should have generated income necessary for its statutory purposes. Shortly after the beginning of its activity, the institution was subject to a high state tax, which led to financial problems, partially reduced by the sale of Tatra forests. It have never developed its activity on the scale that the founder would have wished, mainly due to its mismanagement and numerous examples of embezzlement. Formally, the institution survived the Second World War and functioned until 1953, when it was closed by communists. It was reactivated in 2001 as a public benefit organization and re-equipped in about 4000 ha of land, this time limited only to the Wielkopolska region. The main goals of the Zamoyski Foundation today is: developing modern agriculture, promoting agricultural education, spreading the idea of organic work, supporting social initiatives and institutions of the Kórnik Library and the Institute of Dendrology.
POSTCARDS WITH THE KÓRNIK CASTLE, 20. XX CENTURY
uring the Second World War the castle did not suffer any direct damage as a result of military action, but the large number of works of art stolen by the Germans and stored here led to its ceilings being overloaded. The condition of the building also deteriorated due to the lowering of groundwater level, which caused rotting of the wooden piles stuck in the foundations. At the end of the war, the nazis, escaping in a hurry, took some of the exhibits from Kórnik to the Reich, destroyed some of them and left the rest in general disorder: [...] Interior of the castle after the Germans escaped presented a picture of an incredible destruction. Everywhere there were piles of shattered furniture and antiques, the remains of broken chests, glass and porcelain, parchment documents collapsing, scattered books, numismatics and papers, overthrown equipment and its parts, broken and destroyed doors, armchairs [...]. The first conservation works were undertaken in 1947, when the foundations were reinforced. In 1957-59 the castle ineriors were renovated and adapted to the needs of the Kórnik Library.
THE SOUTHERN ELEVATION OF THE KÓRNIK CASTLE BEFORE ITS RENOVATION IN 2019
he castle in Kórnik is a top class monument. Being a compilation of various architectural patterns and styles, considered one of the most beautiful Polish examples of modern neo-Gothic architecture, the building attracts attention not only because of the high aesthetic values of its external form, but also because of the magnificent, almost unchanged nineteenth-century interiors. They are equipped with such a large number of historical memorabilia, sculptures, furniture, military items, paintings, hunting trophies, travel and ethnographic collections that it is necessary to make a several hours to get acquainted with the whole in detail. The castle rooms available for tourists are located on two floors equipped with original floors, so it is obligatory to put on large protective slippers at the entrance to the chambers. The first room on the tour route is located to the west of the hallway the Room of Władysław Zamoyski, where lived: Tytus Działyński, his son Jan and Zamoyski himself, and where the last two of them died. After Zamoyski's death, a Gothic wooden altar was placed here and hence the interior was called a chapel. The only furniture remaining from the original equipment is a mahogany Empire desk from the middle of the 19th century. The last owner of the castle was supposed to sleep on this desk, which was allegedly connected with his childhood promise that he would sleep on a hard bed if Poland regained the desired independence during his lifetime. Another valuable exhibit is a walnut wardrobe with inlayed figures of warriors, as well as a 18th century globe, 19th century map stand and collection of paintings and sculptures. The parquet made of birch, mahogany and walnut, whose decoration imitates the patterned carpet with Ogończyk and Jelita family coats of arms, deserves separate attention.
AT THE TOP LEFT, A ROOM OF WŁADYSŁAW ZAMOYSKI; BELOW THERE IS A STAIRCASE IN THE TOWER
IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS ON THE RIGHT: THE STAIRS LEADING TO THE 1ST FLOOR
he western part of the lower floor is occupied by the General's Wife Room, once the apartment of a housewife, first
Celestyna Działyńska (d. 1883), wife of Titus, and then her daughter
Jadwiga Zamoyska, who died here. Only two exhibits survived from the original equipment of Celestyna's room: the ebony Dutch cabinet from the 17th century and the six-winged curtain Chinese decoration. A beautiful walnut English secretary, 18th century children's furniture, an ivory cabinet and the Turkish oak armchair have been preserved from the times of Jadwiga. The character of the room is emphasized by an exhibition of family memorabilia, mainly portraits and photographs, including some of the most valuable drawings in the Kórnik collection: works by Artur Grottger, Jan Norblin and Marcelli Bacciarelli. In addition, the visitors' attention is drawn to
the inlayed floor made of hexagonal panels, as well as the stucco-decorated ceiling with rosette and star motifs. In the western wall there are balcony doors leading to the loggia, from which many years ago there was a view of Lake Kórnickie (today covered with trees), while in the northern wall there is an uncovered 16th century wall, exposed during the post-war renovation of the castle.
THE GENERAL'S WIFE ROOM, ON THE LEFT SIDE YOU CAN SEE THE UNCOVERED XVI-CENTURY WALL
THE LOUNGE; BLACK HALL ON THE RIGHT
he Lounge is one of the most representative chamber in the castle, which is emphasized by gilded stuccowork of the ceiling, decorated oak portals, a large marble fireplace and a beautiful parquet floor. The room is mostly furnished with authentic decoration from the middle of the 19th century, made by carpenters employed by Działyński during reconstruction of the residence. The most interesting objects exhibited here are two mahogany sofas, a
table with a mosaic composed of sixteen species of trees, a historic French clock, an 18th-century French harp and the piano belonged to
Klaudyna Potocka, on which, according to tradition, Fryderyk Chopin played. The living room is adjoined by the Small Lounge - a modest chamber originally used as a bedroom. Its main decoration is a red marble fireplace with a Baroque Saxon mirror hung over it - these are the only pieces of equipment that remember times of Celestyna Działyńska. The most interesting furniture here is a cabinet lined with bronze and pearl mass from the 17th century. The other furnitures are classicistic and dates back to the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. As in other rooms, the Small Lounge is decorated with a large collection of 16th-19th century paintings, including Portrait of the boy by Galeazzino, for many years mistakenly considered to be the painting by Tiziano Vecelli. Going further eastwards we enter the Black Hall, the former castle hallway, where probably from the medieval times until the 18th century there was a gate building with an entrance to the castle courtyard. The name of the hall comes from the cement floor painted on black, which in 1961 was replaced by a marble floor. In the second half of the 19th century this room served as a representative living room where guests were welcomed. Today there is a small exposition of paintings and furnishings, the most valuable of which is an Empire table covered with a mosaic from Pompeii dating back to Christ's time, showing a dog guarding the house.
PLAN OF THE GROUND FLOOR: 1. ENTRYWAY, 2. ROOM OF WŁADYSŁAW ZAMOYSKI, 3. GENERAL'S WIFE ROOM, 4. LOUNGE,
5. SMALL LOUNGE, 6. BLACK HALL, 7. DINING HALL, 8. BOUDOIR, 9. ROOM OF MARIA ZAMOYSKA, 10. HUNTING NOOK
o the east of the Black Hall there is the Dining Hall, also known as the Arms Hall. The main decoration of this room is
ceiling containing in 71 boxes shields with coats of arms of the 15th century Polish knighthood. One empty box was the object of Tytus' jokes, who liked to repeat that he would complement it with the appropriate coat of arms of the guest who was arriving, if necessary. Only neo-Baroque chairs from the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries and a Baroque press for the linen have survived from the original equipment of the hall. The rest of the furnitures were imported later, although they are equally old and valuable. On the walls, just like in the Lounge, there are representative, large portraits of ancestors accompanied by
the White Lady, the famous image of Teofila Potulicka. The passage from the Black Hall to the Room of Maria Zamoyska leads through a huge
ogive portal encircled with gothic floral decoration and ornamented with the arms of the Działyński family. The Maria Room was originally used as a guest room, and later as a private apartment for Izabela Działyńska and Maria Zamoyska, the sister of Władysław. A characteristic decorative element is the abundant ceiling stucco of geometric oriental plait, forming a star in the middle. Near the window there is an Arabic inscription with a basic religion of Islamic faith - it was a tribute of Działyński to Turkey, which as the only one of the then countries did not accept the partition of Poland. Two seventeenth-century cupboards decorated with a pearl layer, a sofa and oak armchairs upholstered in striped folk fabric, as well as chairs made of pear wood have survived from the original furnishings of the room. It is also worth noting the Rococo secretaries, the Dutch table lined with ebony and rosewood and the toilet table used by Maria to store paints and painting tools. The walls are decorated with family portraits and works by Zamoyska. North of the Maria's Room there is an octagonal room covered with a crystal vault, called the Hunting Nook. Its central part is filled with a circular sofa, around which in showcases and on walls there are exhibits of Wladysław Zamoyski's travels, including
skull masks, a palm hat - a gift from the sister of the King of Hawaiian Islands,
Princess Lili’uokalani, and the oldest exhibit in the museum - a stone ritual figure from Papua New Guinea, which is over 3000 years old.
ON THE LEFT: THE ROOM OF MARIA ZAMOYSKA, THE HUNTING NOOK (BELOW)
DINING HALL IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS ON THE RIGHT
he largest and undoubtedly most famous chamber in the Kórnik castle is the Moorish Hall, created by combining two chambers and adding a room in a quadrilateral tower. Originally it was supposed to house a library, but after the Tytus' death, by decision of Jan Kanty Działyński, a museum room was arranged here, where old weapons, memorabilia of ancestors, friends and famous countrymen are exposed on bookcases. The chamber consists of two smaller rooms and an alcove, separated by porticoes, built of three arcades supported by thin columns. Each of its parts was made in a different style - you can find here both references to medieval Arab architecture and forms inspired by English Gothic art. The hall exhibits many valuable objects, including
original armour of the Polish riders with very rare full Hussar armour with wings, Polish and eastern white arms, hunting crossbows, decorative tableware, 18th century Meissen porcelain collections. In the central part there are showcases with cups, goldsmiths' wares and the oldest artifact presented here - medallion with the image of St. Peter, presumably coming from the 11th century chain of Kruszwica Benedictine abbots. The eastern part of the Moorish Hall is dedicated to sacred art, where you can admire the French diptych made of ivory with the scene of the Coronation of the Three Kings, 15th century religious books, Romanesque water vessels and
old stone blocks with the faces of pagan demons. The last room on the tour of the castle is the Guest Room, which during Tytus Działyński's lifetime served as a furniture and painting warehouse and was not developed until the 1860s, when a living room was arranged in it.
CASTLE IN KÓRNIK, PLAN OF THE 1ST FLOOR: 1. HALLWAY, 2. MOORISH HALL, 3. TREASURY, 4. GUEST ROOM
THE MOORISH HALL, BELOW ON THE LEFT YOU CAN SEE THE HALLWAY
here is also a library in the castle, established in 1817 by Tytus Działyński in his hometown in Konarzewo and moved to Kórnik in 1826. The book collection comprises about 350 thousand volumes, including over 40 thousand old prints, among them manuscripts of the third part of Dziady, ballads Pan Twardowski and fragments of Beniowski by Juliusz Słowacki. Unique are the sixteenth-century editions of poetry by Jan Kochanowski, and the oldest monument here is a French manuscript dating from the turn of the ninth and tenth century.
Polska Akademia Nauk Bilbioteka Kórnicka
ul. Zamkowa 5, 62-035 Kórnik-Zamek
tel.: +48 61 817 00 81 - office
+48 531 990 142 - booking of tickets
órnik is located 20 km southeast of Poznań, at the S11 Poznań-Katowice route. Those who travel by train should be prepared for a long walk, because the railway station is about 5 km away from the town. There are also 501 and 560 bus lines to Kórnik from Poznań (departure from Rondo Rataje). The castle is located near the Market Square, about 300 meters south of the town hall.
1. A. Chyczewska: Zamek Kórnicki, 1973
2. B. Dolczewska, M. Kosman: Zamek w Kórniku
3. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Kołodziejski: Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Arkady 2001
4. R. Prinke: Cnota dziwacka - właściciele Kórnika w kręgu poznańskich wolnomularzy, PAN BK 2017
5. K. Stępińska: Pałace i zamki w Polsce dawniej i dziś, KAW 1977
6. B. Wernichowska, M. Kozłowski: Duchy polskie, PTTK Kraj 1985
VIEW OF THE KÓRNIK CASTLE FROM THE ARBORETUM SIDE
CASTLE FROM THE NORTH-WESTERN SIDE
Castles nearby: Poznań - the royal castle from 13th century, rebuilt, 21 km Jezioro Góreckie - ruins of neo-Gothic 'castle' from 19th century, 22 km
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On the other side of Zamkowa St., there is a modest but very interesting exhibition of nineteenth-century horse-drawn vehicles purchased by Jan Działyński during his stay in Paris in 1856. The purchase transaction included three carriages, differing in terms of purpose, dimensions and equipment and made by an English company Barker & Co. The most expensive of the three was Dromeza, a sleeping coach adapted for long expeditions. The elegant Berline de Gala, equipped with a pull-out staircase, was used for representative but not too distant journeys, while short trips around the area were made using the open carriage Caleche. The collection of three well-made vehicles (Barker & Co. at the turn of the 19th and 20th century started cooperation with Rolls-Royce) is complemented by a country carriage owned by Kórnik Cultural Society.
The Kórnik Arboretum, located to the south of the castle, was founded by Tytus Działyński and his son Jan, who in the years 1830-80 transformed Baroque French geometrical garden into a romantic English-style landscape park with natural layout of avenues and trees. About 3,500 species of trees and shrubs grow in the 30 hectare botanical area, including many hundreds of old specimens naturally found in temperate zones of the northern hemisphere, especially lime, beech and oak trees. You can also find here a rich collection of birches, firs, cypresses, nut trees, lilacs and rhododendrons, as well as magnolias with the 160-year-old tree shrub, which are the pride of the Kórnik garden. The Arboretum belongs to the Institute of Dendrology of the Polish Academy of Sciences and is open to visitors all year.
In a small village of Rogalin, 12 kilometers west of Kórnik, a beautiful palace and park complex, the seat of the Raczyński family. Its main element is the late-Baroque palace, erected in the years 1770-76 on the initiative of
Kazimierz Raczyński. It consists of a monumental main building and two side annexes connected with it by quarter-circle wings, accompanied by chestnut alley in the front and a French garden located in the west. The palace building now houses a museum (a section of the National Museum in Poznań) with an impressive collection of paintings by such artists as Jacek Malczewski, Leon Wyczółkowski, Stanisław Wyspiański and Jan Matejko. Several hundred meters east of the palace stands a classicistic St. Marcelin church built by
Edward Raczyński, inspired by a Roman temple in Nimes from the first century BC. It has two storeys, the upper part of which serves as a chapel, and the lower one houses a mausoleum of the Raczyński family, where
Bernard Edward Raczyński, the former president of the Republic of Poland in exile, rested. The attraction is complemented by the biggest in Europe group of monumental oaks, consisting of about 1500 trees. The most famous are Lech, Czech and Rus, whose age is estimated at 700-800 years.