Działyński Palace

It is situated in the west side of the square, close to Franciszkańska Street. It was built in the late 1770's (on the spot where two medieval townhouses used to stand) for count Władysław Gurowski. The opulence of the residence was evidenced by the garden at the back.

The palace was given its Baroque - Classicist forms between 1785-87 by Antoni Höhne. From 1808 to 1872 the palace belonged to the Działyńskis, then to the Zamoyskis. Between 1841-46 the palace was utilized for public lectures given by Polish scientists. In 1924 it was incorporated into the "Zakłady Kórnickie" foundation created by Władysław Zamoyski. It was burnt in 1945 and rebuilt in the years 1953-57 according to a design by Aleksander Holas.

The edifice has two gates, which in the old days were used by horse - drawn carriages. The two - storey facade is divided by cover profiles. Above there is a triangular tympanum with the Działyńskis coat of arms and an attic storey hiding a mansard - type roof.

The front of the attic is covered with reliefs from ca. 1800 depicting scenes from antiquity. On the right, a sacrifice rite procession is shown (armed soldiers escorting two prisoners and a bull); on the left, triumphant soldiers marching next to a chariot. Over the attic there is panoply and a pelican statue symbolising self - denial and sacrifice.

The most beautiful room in the palace is the Red Chamber on the first floor. It leads to a balcony with a Baroque banister running across the whole facade. The room got its name from the red walls, whose colour contrasts with the white stucco - decorated ceiling. Inside are two pairs of stucco statues representing the kings Wladyslaw the Elbow - High with Casimir the Great and Wladyslaw Jagiello with his brother Witold. They were made in the late 18th century, most probably by Augustine Schöps and after being destroyed together with the building in 1945 they were recreated in the years 1991-92 by Józef Kopczyński. Today the building belongs to Polish Academy of Science; it houses, among others, a branch of the Kórnik Library.

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