Palaces in the Racibórz (Ratibor) surroundings

Published on: 15 / 11 / 2010

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).

Many properties in the Odra basin were formerly owned by the family Lichnowsky. Since the 18th century, their properties encompassed the palaces in Krzyżanowice (Kreuzendorf), Kuchelna (currently Chuchelná in Czech, Kuchenna in German) and in Grodziec (currently Hradec nad Moravicí in Czech, Grätz in German). All the mentioned palaces were richly decorated with artworks. The family collection was extended at the beginning of the 20th century, by the residing in Krzyżanowice and Kuchelna Karol Max Lichnowsky who enriched it with old masters' works (Cranach, Giorgione, Tintoretto, Rubens). Lichnowsky and his wife Mechtilde were among first collectors who acquired works by Picasso in Prussia. Their property included mainly the portrait of Suzanne Bloch. Then collectors' acquaintance with world of artists are also testified by portraits of them, painted by renowned artists, like Oskara Kokoschka, Georg Kolb and Max Liebermann. Their friends' circle included also Auguste Rodin and Roger Fry, works by the latter artists were transferred to the palace in Kuchenna. The palace currently houses a remedial centre, the artworks' collections formerly housed there, were transferred after the war to a museum opened at the castle in Grodziec, which we suggest visiting at the excursion end. On our way to Grodziec it's worth stopping in Raduń (presently Raduň, Radun in German) , the former property of the Dukes Blücher von Wahlstatt. The palace is available to visit between spring and autumn (information at the website zamek-radun.cz). The well preserved interiors house numerous arts and crafts' objects and a picutre gallery that includes many portraits.

The large-scale effigies of the family members Bonaparte, painted mainly by Pietro Benvenuti (photo nearbv, the painting currently housed in Musée National du Château de Fontainebleau) and by François Baron Gerard, previously belonged to a series of 28 canvas paintings which decorated the family palace de Saint-Cloud in Paris. The paintings were brought as war trophies in 1815, by Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, who had conducted the Prussian army mainly in the battle of Waterloo (his mausoleum is situated in another Silesian property – Krobielowice. He received the tenements for his merits in victory over Napoleon by Waterloo). The collections in Raduń also include sculptures and arts and crafts' works: porcelain, glas, silver. Also the palace arsenal is available to see. Lastly we recommend visiting the already mentioned palace in Grodziec, which belonged till 1945 to the family Lichnowsky (information available at the homepage zamek-hradec.cz). The present furnishing of its interiors derives from many seats of the Lichnowsky family and was integrated here after the World War II. The collection of paintings includes more than 200 works by old and contemporary masters (e.g. „Portrait of Mechtilde Lichnowsky” by the expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka). The interiors also house diverse tokens that remind the palace's reputable history, e.g. an instrument used by Ludwig van Bethoveen to compose work within his numerous visits by his patrons in Grodziec.

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