2007 | 2 | 27-50
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The damage incurred by the partitioning authorities meant that in 1905 the condition of Wawel Castle was that of advanced devastation. Consequently, its restoration entailed the permanent question whether to recreate the historical form of the damaged elements or rather to introduce new ones, proposed by the designer? In the first restoration (1881-1882) architect Tomasz Pryliƒski referred to the shape of the Castle from the first half of the seventeenth century. Due to the degree of its devastation and gaps in the documents, a number of elements resembled more design creation than reconstruction. The study served as a base for a restoration project proposed in 1907-1908 by Zygmunt Hendel, which, in turn, became the topic of a controversy involving the Cracow conservators and Max Dvofiák, who opposed the reconstruction of the damaged components and even the removal of the walled up parts of the gallery. The discussion produced a compromise, which proved to be conducive for Wawel Castle. In work completed up to 1914 the recreation of the historical state remained predominant and corresponded to the premises of the scientific restoration of this monument of national history. This was also the time of several unrealised projects relating to Wawel, in which artistic creation prevailed over conservation principles. The two most important are Acropolis by Stanisław Wyspiański and Władysław Ekielski, and Pochód Królów (Royal Procession) by Wacław Szymanowski. Adolf Szyszko-Bohusz, supervisor of the Castle’s restoration in 1916-1939 and 1945-1946, proposed more moderate solutions. He achieved, i. a. the recreation of the majority of the Castle interiors, a new composition of the main entrance, and a number of elements in the Castle elevations. The archaeological reservations around the relics of the rotunda of St. Felix and St. Adauctus, and in the western wing of the Castle, comprised truly pioneering proposals. Both contain a creative element, albeit of a new variety, i.e. the conservation arrangement. In the four conceptions concerning the whole Hill, the realised elements were those of greatest value, while the rejected ones were contrary to Wawel’s historical character. Wawel Hill managed to survive the German occupation unscathed, but was subjected to a number of harmful redesigning ventures. The ensuing damage of the historical complex called either for the recreation of its earlier state or creative reconstruction. The post-war resignation from stately functions in favour of purely museum ones contributed to a new trend. Prof. Witold Minkiewicz negated the conception of monumental buildings, and recognised adaptation to a historical environment to be the suitable solution. It is precisely this current which is represented by the restoration of Złodziejska (Thieves) Tower and the adjoining newly erected administrative building no. 8. The restoration of the western wing of the palace (Prof. Alfred Majewski) attempted to make use of the “reconstruction” trend combined with partial recreation referring to the general character of the Renaissance interiors. On the other hand, the gate wing interiors have been granted the nature of an architectural reservation. Successive realisations within the range of archaeologicalarchitectural reservations include the so-called inner courtyard featuring a display of the foundations of mediaeval edifices and “The Lost Wawel” exhibition. The author of the shows in the Treasury and the Armoury (Prof. Młodzianowski) applied simple modernistic forms. The reconstruction encompasses the southern section of the mediaeval walls, re-created only to a certain height. The next stage in the restoration of Wawel Castle has been determined by the realisation of a complex conservation programme, conducted since 1990 under the supervision of Prof. Jan Ostrowski, the present-day Director of the Royal Castle on Wawel Hill. Its premises foresee the inclusion not only of the historical strata of assorted buildings on Wawel Hill but also previous conservation. This approach does not exclude a number of corrections, as long as the essential elements of the historical assumptions had been recreated incorrectly. The recreation of the Royal Gardens complex remains an important task within the whole programme. Pertinent studies made it possible to precisely reconstruct various architectural elements (design by P. Stępień, J. Smólski, S. Karczmarczyk). A discovered fragment of brick paths from the sixteenth century proved decisive for the future trend of recreating the garden composition, The restoration of the paved surface of the Arcaded Courtyard (design: J. Kisielewski, Z. K. Baster) and the reconstruction of the roof of Senatorska (Senators’) Tower (design: P. Stępień, S. Karczmarczyk) have been treated as a necessary supplement of the Castle’s restoration. For the purposes of the conservation of Sandomierska Tower (authors: vide supra) use has been made of certain elements of the reconstruction of historical forms and contemporary creation, with the assumption of full harmony between the latter and the tower’s architecture. The authors of the restoration of building no. 5, redesigned upon several occasions in the nineteenth and twentieth century, have opted for correcting the elevation architecture by adapting this building to the entire complex. In the course of the century-long restoration of Wawel Castle artistic creation gradually made way for conservation arrangement. Today, reconstruction and creation are applied cautiously, and are predominated by undertakings of a preserving, securing and museum nature. The revival of Wawel Castle was impossible, however, without the recreation of historical elements and the installation of newly designed ones. The author believes that such solutions should be used with moderation and responsibility as measures serving for the reintegration of the historical monument, and not as a goal in itself.
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  • mgr inż. arch., absolwent Wydziału Architektury Politechniki Krakowskiej, odbył studia podyplomowe w ICCROM (Rzym). Pracę zawodową w zakresie konserwacji zabytków architektury rozpoczął w 1976 r. w Kierownictwie Odnowienia Zamku Królewskiego na Wawelu, następnie pracował w PKZ-Wawel i PKZ-Kraków, zajmując się konserwacją detalu architektonicznego. Obecnie pełni funkcję głównego specjalisty ds. konserwacji architektury w Zamku Królewskim na Wawelu – Państwowych Zbiorach Sztuki w Krakowie. Zawodowo zajmuje się również architekturą współczesną ( dom Tadeusza Kantora w Hucisku k. Krakowa, klasztor dominikanek przy ul. Kasztanowej w Krakowie).
  • Piotr M. Stepien, Zamek Krolewski na Wawelu, Wawel 5, 31-001 Kraków, Poland
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