Galician architecture in the period of autonomy. Side-notes on the book about the Architecture of Rzeszów
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The point of departure for the author is a book by Barbara Tondos entitled 'Architektura Rzeszowa w okresie autonomii galicyjskiej' (The Architecture of Rzeszów in the Period of Galician Autonomy) published in 1997. In author's view the conservative burghers of Rzeszów did not have high demands, especially with regard to the aesthetic aspect of the commissioned works. The wooden architecture was fairly slowly replaced by brick buildings. The town started to change its image in a more definite manner when the architects of a more individualised artistic approach appeared in Rzeszów but the cultural revival made a very slow progress.It is in fact in the 1880s only that the former stagnation began to be overcome in the Galician province. Initially, next to the numerous wooden buildings, the dominant elements were the designs which stylistically related to Classicism popular in Rzeszów in the previous period, or the realisations which had stemmed from the concepts of Durand. Relatively late, around the year 1880, the projects kept in the 'Rundbogenstil' manner appeared. With time, the dominating role was assumed by Neo-Renaissance, which is clearly visible in the town till today. This trend must have matched the taste of the conservative burghers, since other stylistic tendencies are represented in Rzeszów relatively seldom. Among the rare cases are the Neo-Baroque, Neo-Mannerist and Neo-Gothic constructions. Art nouveau, which usually involved covering the traditional scheme of the facade with a rich decoration kept in the style of Historicism and art nouveau, was implemented in Rzeszów with relative difficulty. Dominant became buildings with plastered facades. Occasionally, houses with unplastered fronts and without redundant decorations were erected. It seems that Rzeszów did not manifest social acceptance for excessive decorations and the fanciful ornaments. It was determined not so much by the lack of financial means, but by the sentiment for the local tradition which demanded that the architects keep moderation and restraint.
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