The Folk Culture Museum in Kolbuszowa has been creating an open-air exhibition of historic architecture since 1974. The park covers an area of almost 30 hectares, where more than 80 objects of wooden architecture have been collected. The oldest of all the monuments is the manor house from Brzeziny
In 2006, the museum took decisive steps to build a manor house complex in the ethnographic park. It was decided that two buildings would be juxtaposed: the manor granary from Bidziny, demolished back in 1990, and the manor house from Brzeziny, for the translocation of which the preliminary agreement of the provincial conservator and owner had been obtained. The buildings were to be built in their typical spatial relationships and in a model environment: a park and garden around the manor house, and a maypole in front of the granary
Photo: Kolbuszowa Folk Culture Museum
The manor house of Brzeziny was built in 1753. It is an example of a typical Polish Baroque manor house inhabited by middle-class gentry. Its first owners were the Morskis, and for years the manor was the centre of cultural and social life. In 1904 it was bought by the Gąsior family, wealthy landowners from Brzeziny, recognised social activists of the time. Over the years, the architectural form of the building was transformed. Despite these changes, the manor has retained its most valuable features and was still a rare testimony to the noble culture that no longer exists. For this reason, it was entered in the register of monuments in 1976. Despite these measures, the technical condition of the building was deteriorating rapidly. In 2013, after agreeing with the Provincial Conservator of Monuments and obtaining permission for the translocation, the Museum bought the manor house building from the owner for a symbolic zloty. An extensive archive search and on-site reconnaissance of the manor house’s alterations and building layers was immediately undertaken. The generally poor technical condition of the monument was noted. The floors and fire equipment had not survived, and the wooden structure of the building was biologically degraded in places. During demolition, the original planked fascias were discovered and, at the gable walls on the garden side, the foundations of non-existent alcoves. A secondary partition wall was identified, as well as decorative soffit mouldings covered in plaster in one of the rooms
The building before devastation and today. Photo: Museum of Folk Culture in Kolbuszowa
After consultations with the conservator, it was decided that the manor house from Brzeziny would be reconstructed after the transfer as a model type of house-manor of the middle-wealthy nobility (landowners), which became a model for the phenomenon known as the Polish manor house. Due to a lack of sufficient source materials, it was decided to preserve the existing body of the building, the 19th century arcades with their characteristic openwork decoration and the glazed entrance veranda from the 1930s. A reference to the earlier appearance was to be made by the outlines of the alcoves marked at ground level. As for the interiors, it was decided to restore their original planked fascias and exposed soffit decorative mouldings. The reconstruction of the fireplaces was based on the documentation of cookers and fireplaces from the non-existent manor house of Rytwiana. For the representative and residential rooms, wooden parquets were provided, reconstructed on the basis of typical patterns identified during research conducted by the team of the Faculty of Wood Technology of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW) in the area of the present-day Podkarpackie Voivodeship. With no sources for the furnishings of its interiors in their historical appearance, the manor was assigned the role of ‘centre of cultural life’ which, according to numerous accounts, it had played in the 19th century
The ruined manor house before the translocation and today. Photo: Podkarpackie Voivodeship Conservator of Monuments in Przemyśl and the Folk Culture Museum in Kolbuszowa
In 2014. The museum commissioned the ‘Construction design of the Birchwood manor house’. Consequently, as of the end of 2017, it was possible to proceed with the programme “Restoration of the manor house of Brzeziny in the Ethnographic Park of the Folk Culture Museum in Kolbuszowa” within the framework of the Regional Operational Programme of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship. The total cost of the programme, including landscaping and fencing, was estimated at more than PLN 3,400,000
The construction and conservation work was completed in 2020 and then the interior decoration began. In preparing the exhibition, the history of the manor house was combined with its contemporary cultural function. Hence, the exhibition space intermingles with the educational space, where concerts, conferences and meetings with invited guests are organised
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