Interactive Map of Silesia
The map indicates the former locations of the art collections identified by the project.
How to use the map? Left-clicking on any of the markers placed on the map will show a text field with basic information on a given art collection. In case of a large density of markers in an area it can be magnified using the zoom slider in top left corner of the map or by turning the mouse wheel. You can also slide the map by left-clicking on a spot, holding and moving the mouse in the desired direction.
We invite to acquaint with the suggested excursion routes, by the trace of Silesian Art Collections
Among the noblest Upper-Silesian residences was the palace of count Guido Henkel von Donnersmarck in Świerklaniec (Neudeck in German, an archival photo nearby), designed by a notable French architect Hector Laufel. The descriptions in the press of the pre-war period provide information about the Red Saloon, where the works by Murillo, Cranach, Eugène Carrier and a portrait of Lessing by Anton Graff could be admired. In the same saloon were also canvas paintings depicting hunting scenes and the cabinet had been destined to the ancestors’ gallery (the Donersmarcks had been portrayed by a notable painter Franz von Lenbach). The edifice, frequently named “Small Versailles” was broken down in the 1960s; however it’s worth taking a walk through the park by the former palace (free access). Four basins have remained, adorned with cast iron sculptures that depict fighting animals, designed by a notable French artist Emmanuel Fremiet. A fountain next to them has its pattern in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. The park was formerly also adorned with lion statues by the workshop of Theodor Kalide from Gleiwitz (Gliwice). The remaining fragment of the former park site, as well as the not particularly large “Chevalier’s Chateau” provide imagination on splendour of the former Donnersmarcks’ residence.
As by the end of the 19th century Szklarska Poręba (Schreiberhau) had gained ground as colony of artists, the brothers Carl i Gerhard Hauptmann decided to settle there. In 1890 roku they purchased a house, in which is currently located the museum of their name (information on sightseeing at the website domhauptmannow.pl). Its interiors, equipped with furniture and other accessories from the early 20th century, house the collection dedicated to both brothers, who were artworks’ amateurs. Gerhard settled in 1895 in Jagniątków (Agnetendorf), Carl lived in Szklarska Poręba until his death in 1921. In the house owned by him, the pictures executed by Otto Mueller, a painter related to them, could be admired, as well as a tapestry by Wanda Bibrowicz. Surely there were also landscapes by painters that had operated in Szklarska Poręba (Schreiberhau), smiliar to the ones that can be currently watched in the museum’s halls.
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.
We suggest beginning our excursion in the palace of Brzeg Dolny (Dyhrenfuhrt, currently seat of Culture Center and Town Hall of Brzeg Dolny). In 1767 the property was acquired by Count KarI Georg von Hoym, then the Minister of Silesia. On his order, the residece rebuilt was undertaken by a notable architect Karl Gotthard Langhans. The palace, picturesquely situated at the riverside, previosly housed a picture gallery which included numerous landscapes and portraits, among them the canvas paintings by Jean-Marc Nattier, exported from France to decorate the large hall on the ground-floor. The interiors were also decorated with by Franz Xavier Winterhaltera. The palace housed also ancient musical instruments. Presently the former splendour of the Hoyms' residence is being testified by large park property, designed by Langhans (wstęp entry, information and the park's layout available at the homepage park.brzegdolny.pl), where the ruins of the family mausoleum von Hoym are worth seeing.
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.
We suggest beginning ur excursion in an impressive palace of Kamieniec Ząbkowicki (Kamenz in German, destroyed, partly available for sightseeing). The enormous residence was formerly decorated with numerous artworks. The palace dinning room housed mural paintings depicting the Feast of Balthazar and The Marriage at Cana. The spacious rooms were decorated with old furniture and numerous canvas paintings, among them many portraits of the Princes of Orange and of the Hohenzollern family, painted by Friedrich Bury, Karl Begas and Franz Krüger (e.g. „Portrait of Marianne of Orange”, currently in Museum of Nysa).
The palace erected in 19th century at Krowiarki (Polnisch Krawarn), was formerly seat of the families Strachwitz, Gaschin and Donnersmarck (the palace is presently destroyed, as regards sightseeing, one has to get in contact with the current owner, his data are available at the homepage krowiarki.pl). Paintings from the former Feast Hall, executed by an illustrious Silesian artist Christian Bentum, are available to see at the museum in nearby Racibórz (Ratibor). There are the whole figure portraits of Emperor Karl VI, his wife Christina and their daughters Maria Theresa and Maria Anna, all of them executed in 1735 (in the photo of a palace interior at Krowiarki). From the former furnishing at the palace in Krowiarki, also the coats of arms’ cartouches, as well as paintings with genre scenes and portraits, are available to see in Museum of Racibórz (information on opening hours at the website museum.raciborz.pl).
We recommend beginning our excursion with a visit in Regional Museum of Jawor (Jauer in German). The museum has been housing recently a part of a painting by Michael Willmann, which adorned till 1945 the palace chapel in Luboradz (information on the museum's availability at the homepage www.muzeumjawor.pl). Luboradz (Lobris) and Jawor (Jauer) were owned by a notable family von Nostitz. Their both residences housed rich amounts of artworks and other rarites. In the caslte library of Jawor (currently serving as a dwelling house) anamorfic paintings were available to see (the paintings on metal pipes were distorted, their reflections had to be watched in mirrors, only in that condition they had the right proportions), as well as other optic trifles (e.g. perspective cases equipped in mirrors). In Luboradz (private property) was a large gallery of paintings (more than 200 pictures, among them portraits of the Nostitz family and representatives of the ruling families, as well as depictions of manors owned by the Nostitz family) and a precious collection of European prints (mainly by Dürer, Rembrandt, Altdorfer). Among the most admired canvas paintings were the compositions by Willmann, mainly the famous "Liberation of Andromeda” currently in National Gallery (Národní galerie) of Prague.
Borek (Kleinburg in German) was incorporated by Wrocław by the end of the 19th century. The most luxurious part of this quarter was the estate of villas bordering on South Park in Wroclaw. From the second decade of the 20th century, in some of the newly erected pompous villas, imposing artworks' collections were formed. It can be strongly emphasized that if these collections remained intact till the present day, they would form the most imposing gallery of impressionism in this part of Europe.
Our excursion begins with a visit in the former palace of the Birons in Żagań (Sagan in German, information on sightseeing available at the homepage http://pkis.um.zagan.pl/). The palace housed one of the most significant Silesian artwork's galleries, which was transferred to that site by the end of the 18th century.