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Strzyżawka

Strzyżawka is a locality splendidly situated on a hill, right where the mouth of a river named as the town, joins the Boh. According to 15th-century documents, kept before the 1st World War in the collections of the manor house, the description of the ancient settlement “Striżawka”, among other issues also named some Dmytro Strizhavskiy as the proprietor of surrounding lands at the time.

The same source claims that six or even seven Uniate churches were located there later, and a large Basilian monastery stood a verst from the town, on a towering granite rock protruding into the Boh river.

Dymitr Strizhavskiy was followed by the Lubomirskis and the Potockis as heirs of Strzyżawka. The property was purchased from Antoni Potocki by Michał from Grabów Grocholski, family crest Syrokomla (born 1705), (son of Ludwik, king’s cup-bearer of Dobrzyń and of Justyna née Leniewicz family crest Prawdzic), deputy hetman of Ukrainian party, district judge of Bracław, deputy to the Seym (parliament), founder of the church and Dominican monastery in Winnica (1758) and of a chapel in Tereszki. He originated from a family that had moved from the Sandomierz region to Volynhia as early as in the beginnings of the 16th century, and afterwards to Podolia in the second half of the 18th century.

Thus Michał Grocholski already had in his possession Hryców and Tereszki in Volynhia, in addition to Strzyżawka in Podolia. He also inherited Pietniczany and Woronowica in the Bracław district from his wife, Anna née Radzimińska family crest Lubicz, daughter of Michał (esquire carver of Czernichów) and Małgorzata Kamieńska, family crest Ślepowron. The properties had passed over to her following the heirless death of her only brother, Marcin Radzimiński. Hence the fortune of the Grocholskis was again very importantly increased. In spite of the excessive debt borne by both the Pietniczany and Woronowica keystones, as a result of many years of efforts they were freed of pledges and liabilities.

Michał Grocholski from Grabów split his extensive Volynhian and Podolian estates between two sons, attributing Strzyżawka and Pietniczany in Podolia, plus Hubcza in Volynhia to Marcin, voivode of Bracław, Knight of the Order of St. Stanislaus, and the remainder to Franciszek, Grand Sword-Bearer of the Crown.

Voivode Marcin Grocholski (1727-1807), married to Cecylia née Chołoniewska family crest Korczak, daughter of Adam and Salomea née Kątska family crest Brochwicz, apart from properties inherited from his father, also possessed Hryców, Sabarów, Soroczyn, Stepanówka, Woronowica, Sudyłków, Kołomyjówka, Michałówka and Stadnica. He split the extensive properties between five sons, of whom Jan Duklan received Sudyłków, Michał, starost of Zwinogród – Pietniczany, Ludwik – Hryców, whilst Adam fell a hero’s death fighting in Kościuszko’s army in the battle of Maciejowice. Strzyżawka was attributed to Mikołaj Grocholski, marshal of gentry, later governor of Podolia.

Mikołaj Grocholski (1782 – 1864), married to Emilia née Chołoniewska, left the most permanent mark in the history of Strzyżawka, by founding there a Catholic church and a palace. In addition, he also contributed a convent for the Nuns of the Visitation in Kamieniec Podolski.

The only daughter of Mikołaj and Emilia Grocholskis – Maria, having married Wojciech Dzierżykraj – Morawski family crest Nałęcz, contributed as dowry i.a., also Strzyżawka. When Maria Morawska née Grocholska died in her youth, and the widower was ordained, Strzyżawka was inherited by the youngest of three sons: Józef Dzierżykraj – Morawski.

During the brief time when not owned by the Grocholskis, both the residence and the Strzyżawka properties suffered great neglect, for their owners lived elsewhere. Józef Morawski even decided to sell the property. Under the laws then in force in so-called “taken provinces”, the new customer could be a Russian only. Hence the issue became notorious, provoking lively protests in Poland. Then Morawski’s cousin, Tadeusz Grocholski, until then studying his favourite art of painting in Paris, under the tutorship of the well-known portraitist Leon Bonnat, quit studying and came back home, to save his patrimony threatened by alien takeover. Since the normal purchase by a Pole was then impossible, a conclusion by both parties of a 16-year lease contract was agreed, a move actually tantamount to sale and purchase.

Tadeusz Przemysław Michał count Grocholski (born 15 V 1839 in Pietniczany – died 29 VII 1913 in Strzyżawka), son of Henryk and Franciszka Ksawera née Brzozowska family crest Belina, married to Zofia countess Zamoyska (1865 – 1957), daughter of Stanisław and Róża née Potocka, energetically undertook to refurbish the property.

Its size is told by Edward Chłopicki, who visited Podolia in 1875. Although he marvels at the beautiful location of the palace, standing on the top of a rock covered by giant trees and dominating over the surroundings by the towering colonnade of its gallery, his impression nevertheless diminishes as he comes closer to the area. For he noticed traces of complete neglect, made evident even by the “chipped” entrance gate.

Despite the deplorable condition of Strzyżawka, both the estate and residence,

Tadeusz Grocholski still had to wait several years to start reconstruction. For exactly when he took over the estate in 1877, the Tsarist authorities used the entire building to house a hospital for wounded enemy POWs, arriving from the area of the Russo-Turkish war. Only in the 1880s the task of restoring the beautiful edifice, at the time full of rubble, dust and vermin, could be launched. On rebuilding Strzyżawka, Tadeusz Grocholski was simultaneously forced to struggle for 30 years both against Józef Morawski, who having wasted another property, later demanded additional payment, and Russian authorities, striving to oust him from Strzyżawka. He ultimately prevailed in the struggle only when a friend from his young years – minister of court, baron Frederichs – intervened to the Tsar. Working to bring back to life the estate and residence, Tadeusz Grocholski also dedicated much time to social activities, i.a. as vice-chairman of the Podolian Agricultural Association, and jointly with his brother Stanisław, he organised a peasant bank, etc.. He also engaged in painting. Genre, religion and portraits were his favourite topics. He also copied masterpieces of European art.

The Strzyżawka palace, erected by Mikołaj Grocholski in 1806 – 1811 according to the design by a – regrettably – unknown architect, stood – as mentioned – on a high stone rock, right by the Boh river, within an extensive landscape park. From the road, planted at both sides with tall poplars typical of areas adjacent to the Vistula river, leading from Winnica to Kalinówka and further to Koziatyn and Berdyczów, the manor house was approached turning to the left, through a high long bridge over the Boh river.

The road led farther towards a quite elevated hill, on which a Catholic church stood on the right side, manor building at the left, together with a garden surrounded by a high wall. Then by turning twice at right angle, through an avenue of old lime, the palace forecourt was entered. At the right side a storehouse and granary were passed by, then an orangery and barn with a vegetable and fruit garden right behind, while the left side featured a woodshed, stable, coach house, annexe and the so-called “old kitchen”.

The palace, standing directly opposite the exit of the avenue of lime, at the other side of the great rectangular forecourt, was based on a plan of short horseshoe. From the western side, that is from the driveway, it was a one-storey building, with five-axial middle parts elevated by a low floor, two-storey from the eastern side, also with a small floor. The fifteen-axial façade of the palace was dominated by a six-column portico in grand order, located at the two-storey section. All columns, situated on a low terrace, were provided with Ionic heads. However, the extreme ones had a square profile, the remaining – circle. Columns supported the beam structure, surrounded from the base by a wide profiled cornice, and by a frieze composed of rosettes in the middle, but only from the front. The whole portico was encircled by a crowning kragstein cornice. It is closed by a rectangular break wall, bended in the middle by an obtruse angle, that features mouldings depicting cornucopias, plant twigs and rosettes, and against their background an oval coat of arms surrounded by a Syrokomla laurel wreath of the palace’s founder, and Korczak of his wife. Above them a nine-rod count’s crown was added later. The main entrance doors with narrow frames and four windows split into ten plots, comprised by the frames of the portico, had triangular pediments based on brackets, while the windows of the small floor had only frames with subtly accentuated benches. The storeys of the portico section were separated by a smooth trim. Above it was a row of short kragsteins, supporting a narrow balcony. The ceiling of the portico was divided in five fields and adorned with large rosettes. The artistic decor of the two-axial side wings, as well as of the triaxial section of the elevation between them and the portico, did not differ much from the furnishings of the two-storey section. Only the windows – of identical shape and size – were provided with level pediments instead of the triangular type, also based on brackets. The smoothly plastered walls were crowned by a kragstein cornice.

The eastern façade, facing the Boh river, was much more grandiose. Although it lacked side wings, nevertheless it was accentuated on five central axis by a wall break with three-storey portico, split by Corinthian pilasters.

Corinthian columns in good order, were based on arcades covered by rusticated plasters, situated by the ground level.

The terrace over the arcades was surrounded by a balustrade of wrought iron. The decor of the section – with wall break with corners comprised in pilasters – resembled the decor of portico facing the driveway. Only the windows of the middle storey were replaced here by French windows, facing an extensive terrace under the colonnade, from where the especially appealing view to the area overflown by the river and the more distant areas, was admired. The garden portico was crowned by a triangular frontage, surrounded by kragsteins. Its tympanum was also covered by mouldings with a main motif of an oval coat of arms. The ground level part of side sections with smaller windows split into eight plots, had fluted plaster, while the upper storey – smooth. Similar was the appearance of triaxial side elevations, the southern and northern. Storeys were separated by horizontally smooth doubled trims, and a narrow cornice running under the parapets of the windows of the high ground floor. All façades were crowned by a kragstein cornice. The central section of the palace was covered by a smooth, shingled two-pitched roof, while side parts – by a levelled three-pitched roof, hidden behind a railing parapet that surrounded the whole building.

The structure of the main dwelling-representation storey after reconstruction continued as two-sectional, but quite complicated, unsymmetrical, with many narrow corridors, entrance halls, bathrooms etc.. Also, the decor of specific rooms was diverse, from modest to exquisite. All featured smooth parquet floors, mostly made of several types of wood, laid into geometric patterns. The high two-winged panel door was covered with white varnish or dark French polish. Upper and lower panels – comprised in frames – were adorned by sculptured oval wreaths. In many rooms ceilings were supported by bevels or kragsteins. Some stoves had original, rarely seen shapes.

The entrance to the palace interiors led through a large hallway receiving light through two windows. Right here, opposite the entrance, glassed doors were located with spiral stairs behind, leading to the ground level section, or to the first floor. Hunting trophies hanging above the doors in form of boar head, old harquebuses, javelins, hunting horns, etc.. A clock was nearby, regulating the everyday life of the entire household. Paintings depicting “still life” were hanged above two low stoves. One of them featured roses, the other – fruits. The left wall was adorned by portraits of Michał Grocholski and his wife Anna née Radzimińska, by an unknown author. Regarding furniture, the hallway comprised two trunks, of which one, closed for the day, at nighttime was used as a bed for the Cossack on duty. On the second trunk situated in the middle, there was a wooden box with draughts, destined for the entertainment of Cossacks stationing in the palace. Other furniture, specifically benches and heavy oak chairs, originated from the farmhand school in Podzamcze, estate of the Zamoyski family.

From the entrance hall to the right the so-called “first room” was entered, in which one window was yet comprised by the portico, while the second – in the ground floor section. The room, with ceiling on bevel and floor laid in small squares, in a bright colour scheme, was used as a library. Therefore, standing aligned along the walls there were not very high glassed cupboards with books, while above them all free space was occupied by family portraits and miniatures.

The middle of the room featured a table with rounded corners, covered by green cloth, and chairs with bended handrails. An Empire chandelier was suspended on the ceiling, made of bronze. White marble busts stood on cupboards.

Directly adjacent to the library was the two-window house master’s room, of identical shape and size. A narrow, reconstructed corridor running across the palace, already in its extended wing section separated the building’s central section from four rooms aligned along its southern wall.

The former two rooms situated at the left side of the hallway, corresponding to the library and the house master’s room, were transformed into three smaller guest rooms. Also, the whole left wing of the building was split.

The representative row, with enfilade door composition, was located in the eastern section, affected by changes to a much lesser extent.

The whole middle was occupied there by a big ballroom protruding with a wall break, called “white” due to its walls covered by white, polished stucco.

It was rectangular in principle, but its interestingly designed ceiling gave it an oval appearance. The central, triaxial part of the room was two storeys high with a flat ceiling. Above three French windows to the terrace, the upper part also included three square windows. Both side parts had semicircular vault without upper windows. The central flat ceiling was adorned by a large rosette, while four rosettes were much smaller. All made of white stucco. Semicircular vaults were covered by mouldings in form of plant grotesque, also with rosettes, comprised in wide, smooth frames shaped as trapeziums. The beam structure and bevels of the vault, composed of frieze also depicting plant grotesque, were based on a profiled cornice, and inserted into a kragstein cornice from the upper side. Beam structure was supported by four semicircular Corinthian half-columns. A large rectangular field above the kragstein cornice, opposite the upper windows, was filled by a stucco composition, apparently depicting images of life in ancient ages. Both internal corners of the room were decomposed by two panels, framed on sides by pilasters, connected at the top by semicircular profiled cornices. The floor was composed of a geometric pattern.

The “white” room eventually was not fully completed by the founder of the palace. For example, it lacked a fireplace, proper chandeliers, for which rosettes in the central ceiling were prepared, and wall lamps. The deficiency was complemented by a huge chandelier for 365 candles, inventively made of several wooden hoops of various sizes, varnished in white, covered by goldened iron leaves. The chandelier was made by a local home carpenter according to the idea of Stanisław Grocholski, as a wedding present for his brother Tadeusz, who married Zofia countess Zamoyska. The hall was never provided with adequate furnishing. It comprised huge late-Biedermeier mahogany sofas standing in corners, plus tables and chairs in the same style, in front of them. The latest function of the “white” hall was to host family life. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners were eaten here, and homework done with children. An old piano was also there.

At the northern side of the ballroom there was also a rectangular, but much smaller “blue” room with three windows. It was entered through darkly coloured doors, richly decorated with intarsia.

Its name was due to the walls in that colour, covered with stucco. The ceiling of this room was covered by white mouldings. The floor also had a geometric pattern, but differing from the “white” hall.

Two corners opposite to the windows comprised vaulted alcoves with square stoves inside, composed of two storeys: upper of larger profile, and lower of smaller profile. Both crowned by big vases with handles. Movable furnishing of “blue” hall was composed of a table, sofa and chairs made of mahogany.

A huge, old-fashioned billiard stood in the middle. This room was seldom used. The corner northeastern room was used as a living room, others likewise, situated along the northern wall as well.

Another door as beautiful as the one to the “blue” hall, also led from the “white” hall to the southern direction to the adjacent salon, that was not given any name. Its ceiling was supported not on a bevel, but on a kragstein cornice, inserted at top and bottom into narrow trims of mouldings “in crop eyes”. It featured two in-wall rectangular stoves, crowned by profiled cornice, covered by a dark painting with figural motifs, and a classical fireplace from white marble, adorned with low reliefs and bronze. The floor was composed of large, bright squares, comprised in narrow, dark frames.

A bronze, cristal chandelier was hanging from the ceiling adorned by a small rosette. Furnishing was mainly composed of soft, upholstered furniture from the late 19th century, plus several mahogany drawer chests and cupboards. Prominent among those was a console between windows, original Boulle and a small table Louis XV-style, richly adorned with intarsia and ornamented with bronze.

Also many works of art were located in the salon. A top place among them fell to the portrait of Mikołaj Grocholski, founder of the palace and church, painted a la Byron by Józef Oleszkiewicz. A large part of another wall was occupied by a large 16th-century Italian embroidery, made on silk linen. Its pattern represented a black eagle with spread out wings, holding a crown in his talons. Below, among stylish plant motifs, a mussle was visible among fruits. The embroidery was received by Tadeusz Grocholski from his mother Cecylia Chołoniewska, superior of the nuns of the Visitation in Kamieniec Podolski. A painting by Rosa Bonheur, Orka (Ploughing), was hanging above the door leading to the library room.

By the side, on a column stood the bronze Michał Archanioł strącający smoka (Archangel Michael Casting Out The Dragon), and on a console situated between windows, a bust of Julia Poniatowska (née Grocholska) made of white marble, regrettably the sculptor is unknown. A mirror in goldened frames was hanging above the fireplace. The fireplace’s cornice was decorated with an 18th-century clock in goldened bronze frame, plus candelabrums made of a similar material.

On the side of the salon there was a one-window room, called bath. It comprised a large marble bathtub. The room was used as a connection from the salon to the corner southeastern salon, with walls covered by uniform celadon stucco, functioning as the bedroom of the lady of the house. Four Ionic columns stuccoed to the same colour, but slightly veined, supported by black square bases, separated one third, rear part of the room from the frontal section, thus creating a bedroom.

The ceiling, decorated with mouldings, was supported on a bevel composed of cubic cornice framed by slats “in crop eyes”. Several dozen centimetres below, the room was encircled also by a wide profiled cornice, also with side bands “in crop eyes”.

A fireplace of white marble was located at one of the side walls. The parquet floor had a pattern. During the reconstruction of the bedroom, its architecture was partly altered by the separation of the rear part to create a narrow corridor, that started at the frontal living room of the master of the house.

The house masters gathered many precious elements also at this place. Such as the big Boulle bed situated in the bedroom, donated by princess Maria Czartoryska née Grocholska to her brother Stanisław. Above it, there was an embroided Gobelin picture in golden frames, representing Wniebowzięcie Matki Boskiej (Assumption of Virgin Mary), made by the nuns of the Visitation in Kamieniec Podolski. In addition, the room was adorned with several other paintings as well. As for furniture, there were yet two ebony wardrobes with bronze ornaments, a large mahogany desk, small round tables and Empire mahogany chairs, upholstered with damask in flower pattern. A bronze head, assumed likeness of Orlątko (Eaglet) was put on the fireplace, in addition to bronze candelabrums, representing kneeling angels holding vases in their hands. They were meant to create the impression to be pouring olive to lamps.

On the low floor, from the side of the frontal portico there was a rectangular room in the middle, with three windows and door to balcony, with two one-window rooms on the sides, used as living rooms. All modestly furnished, arranged to be comfortable and modern.

The Strzyżawka palace also housed many works of art, gathered mainly in representation rooms, that nevertheless were moved from time to time. Especially interesting was the gallery of paintings on various topics, albeit dominated by portraits. Apart from the already mentioned, the gallery boasted the following: Portret mężczyzny w krezie z koronkami (Portrait of a Man in Ruff with Laces) attributed to Van Loo, Święta Cecylia grająca na organach w otoczeniu aniołów (St. Cecilia Playing the Organ Surrounded by Angels) by Rubens, Matka Boska z Dzieciątkiem Jezus na rękach (Virgin Mary with Infant Jesus in Her Hands) by Carlo Maratta, Dama hiszpańska w koronkowym kołnierzu (Spanish Lady in Lace Collar) by Suttermans, and among portraits: of King Stanisław August (Marcello Bacciarelli), Katarzyna Chołoniewska née Rzyszczewska wife of Rafał (Józef Grassi), Marcin Grocholski, voivode of Bracław, and Cecylia Grocholska née Chołoniewska (Jan Chrzciciel Lampi Jr.), Franciszek Grocholski sword-bearer from Grabów, and Helena Justyna Grocholska née Lesznicka, wife of Franciszek (Józef Pitschmann), Jan Grocholski from Dukla, camp leader with grade of general, and Emilia Grocholska née Chołoniewska, wife of Mikołaj (by Reichel), Franciszka Ksawera Grocholska née Brzozowska, wife of Henryk (from a photograph), Tadeusz Grocholski of 1889, and of the same Tadeusz from a photograph, and of Zofia Grocholska née Zamoyska, wife of Tadeusz, painted by Kazimierz Pochwalski, portrait of prince Adam Czartoryski and a copy of Titian’s L’amour sacre et l’amour profane (Sacred and Profane Love) by Leon Kapliński, portrait of Henryk Grocholski (from a photograph), of Róża Zamoyska née Potocka, wife of Stanisław, and of Stanisław Zamoyski (copy of Jan Zasiedatel’s original, by Andrzej Mniszch), and also a self-portrait by Tadeusz Grocholski.

The portraits by unspecified authors included the likenesses of: pope Pius IX, Karol Belina-Brzozowski (father of Ksawera Grocholska), Szczęsny Potocki, Remigian Grocholski (took part in the Battle of Vienna in 1683), starost Michał Grocholski (son of voivode Marcin), Felicja Marianna Grocholska née Ślizień, Ludwik Grocholski (also son of the voivode of Bracław), Adam Myszka-Chołoniewski (castellan of Busko), Salomea Chołoniewska née Kątska, wife of Adam (considered “beautiful”), Ksawery Chołoniewski, Ignacy Chołoniewski, Adam Józef Chołoniewski and prince Stanisław Chołoniewski (brother of Emilia Grocholska, wife of Mikołaj). Another group was composed by copies of the works of great painters, or portraits painted by the master of the house, Tadeusz Grocholski: copy of Titian’s Matka Boska Bolesna (Mater Dolorosa), of also Titian’s Św. Jan Chrzciciel z Barankiem (St. John the Baptist and the Lamb), and among likenesses, the portraits of the brother of Tadeusz, Stanisław Grocholski, sister – Helena Brzozowska née Grocholska, wife Zofia Grocholska née Zamoyska, wife of Tadeusz, children – Tadeusz, Remigiusz, Michał, Ksawery and Zofia, plus studies of “peasant girl from Pietniczany”, “girl” and “girl standing by the river and drawing water”.

In the group of miniatures, two were signed by Jan Nepomucen Ender.

They depicted Henryk Grocholski and his wife Ksawera née Brzozowska, while other: Ksawery Myszka-Chołoniewski, Ignacy Myszka-Chołoniewski, nun of Visitation – Maria Cecylia Myszka-Chołoniewska, Felicja Marianna Grocholska née Ślizień, wife of Michał, Otylia Grocholska née Poniatowska, wife of Adolf, Kamilla Chołoniewska née Czetwertyńska, wife of Józef Adam, Natalia (?) Naryszkin née Czetwertyńska, Maria Czartoryska née Grocholska, wife of Witold – at a young age, Stanisław Grocholski at similar age, Tadeusz Grocholski (as a child) and Chołoniewski, first name unknown (in uniform).

In addition to the aforementioned, collections also included the following paintings: Siwy koń na łące (Grey Horse on the Meadow) by Juliusz Kossak, Polowanie na wilki (Wolf Hunt) by Józef Brandt, fifteen “Italian landscapes”, a great collection of etchings, and very many albums with own drawings by Tadeusz Grocholski. Apart from the previously mentioned, there were also two other Gobelins: Matka Boska z Dzieciątkiem Jezus (Virgin Mary with Infant Jesus) and Izraelici płaczący pod murami Babilonu (Israelites Crying at Babylon Walls), plus fifteen Polish belts by Jan Madżarski and Paschalis Jakubowicz.

The palace library ultimately comprised more than a thousand volumes. They were works in French, although some rare 16th-century editions from Kraków also were present, and even printings produced in Podolia. Many of those books had precious covers of cordovan leather, with goldened spine inscriptions and impressed ornaments. The older book collection, a religious-scientific library, created by Mikołaj Grocholski (1781 – 1864), was donated by his grandson, prince Marian Morawski, to the Frs. Jesuits to Kraków. The part that survived in Strzyżawka until the First World War, was a donation from princess Maria Czartoryska for her brother Tadeusz, made after she joined the Carmelite nuns.

The main charm of the old park of Strzyżawka, whose area together with the entire palace yards covered ca 1 sq. km., was its location on a towering, rocky Boh riverside. The park primarily stretched along both sides of the house’s side wings, creating compact greenery clusters there.

Some sections of the garden, also dotted with rocks, wre preserved in completely virgin state. The space from the main entrance avenue to the park, was open. It was shaped by a huge oval lawn. At the entrance to the forecourt, opposite the palace, stood a group of giant poplars typical of the by-Vistula areas.

There was a pavilion strictly attached to the palace, standing at its left side, until the very end called “old kitchen”.

Once the kitchen was installed in the ground level of the residential house, the pavilion was used for other purposes. It was a one-floor building, five-axial, with a southern elevation facing the forecourt, split by half-columns and panels complete in semicircular form, comprising rectangular doors and windows. The frontal façade was crowned by a wide profiled cornice. Above this building towered a belvedere with a big semicircular window, also completed by a very noticeable profiled cornice. The northern elevation of the “old kitchen” allegedly had a semicircular form. This pavilion was directly connected to the new kitchen by an underground corridor.

The wide avenue, perpendicular against the entrance avenue, leading from the state forecourt between the annexe and the kitchen, led to the church, also connected to the residence, simultaneously separating the park from farm buildings. The church stood close to the palace, but on the other side of the public road.

The Strzyżawka Church dedicated to Mater Dolorosa, called “extraordinarily beautiful” and “purely Italian” by Chłopicki, was founded by Mikołaj Grocholski in 1827. It was consecrated in 1838 by the bishop of Kamieniec, Mackiewicz. The architectural design of this small but interesting church, allegedly was made by the same architect who built the palace. It was constructed on the base plan of rectangle. The façade was accentuated by a surface wall break, split by panels, complete by a triangular frontage, with roof supported on kragsteins. The main entrance was framed by a hollow portico, composed of two Tuscany columns. The longer side elevations on both edges also featured one-axial breaks, completed by semicircular frontages. The apse had a triangular form, too. All strongly horizontally fluted elevations, under the crowning kragsteins, were encircled by a frieze with triglyphs and rosettes in metopes, identical as those in the portico of the palace. The body of the church was dominated by a small tower in the form of a neat gloriette, surrounded by small Ionic columns, with sphere and cross on the top.

The interior featured only one nave with an arched vault, and sixteen similarly vaulted windows on two storeys. There were three altars. The central, adorned with six white stucco columns, featured a large painting Mater Dolorosa, represented as a standing figure, with bended hands and sword plunged in chest. On the sides, against a black velvet background, numerous votive offerings were hanged. The balustrade in front of the romanica, initially wooden, was replaced by Tadeusz Grocholski with a white made of marble, better harmonised with all elements.

Also the mensa, finished with goldened tabernacle, was made of artificial marble.

In the right side altar there was a painting of The Holy Family, and Wieńczenie Chrystusa cierniową koroną (The Crowning with Thorns) to the left. All painted by Thumer, a disciple of Friedrich Overbeck. They were brought from Italy by prince Stanisław Chołoniewski, brother of Emilia Grocholska, wife of Mikołaj. The walls of the church were covered by stucco with low reliefs. Eight gypsum urns stood on cornices, anpther four – above them. The floor featured stone plates. The decorative pulpit was obscured from the entrance by a Gobelin curtain. Opposite the pulpit to the right, there was a large painting Assumption of Virgin Mary, copy of Murillo, by Jan Zasiedatel.

Station pictures etched in satin were protected by glass.

Doors situated to the right of the great altar, led to the connecting room which contained chests of drawers, filled with copes and chasubles. Over the door to the sacristy a portrait in golden frame of the founder of the church was hanging, painted by Tadeusz Grocholski. While in the interior of the sacristy, on side of a large cross, portraits of bishops were suspended on walls. On the left side of the great altar there was a door to the chamber used on Easter Friday as a “dark room”. A presbytery and bell tower stood by the manor church.

Tomb chapel. In the forest, on a high granite rock, protruding into the middle of the Boh river, there was a chapel – mausoleum of the Grocholski family from Strzyżawka and Pietniczany, erected according to the design by architect Laeufer.

It was based on a rectangular plan, with wall breaks on sides and front. The frontal break was designed to comprise the main entrance door, complete in semicircular form. All elevations of this building were rusticated and crowned by a kragstein cornice. The windowless chapel was topped by a cupula with drum provided with windows, illuminating the interior from above. The bodies of deceased heirs of both localities were entombed in the cellars, until in 1832 the Tsarist authorities liquidated the Order of Dominicans in Winnica.

Family tombs of the Grocholskis until then were located in the cellars of the monastery, founded by Michał Andrzej Grocholski, district judge of Bracław.

The entrance door to the chapel was closed using a big stone plate, devoid of any sign. Only once it was removed and a dozen or so steps were followed downwards, an iron door was approached, behind which the proper tomb was situated. It was comprised by an extensive hall carved in rock, with alcoves for coffins. There was place for 20 in the upper row plus 20 in the lower. This building long stood walled in, for its use as a chapel was forbidden. Only in 1866 permission was granted to deposit in its basement the body of the then deceased Henryk Grocholski, followed in 1872 by his wife Ksawera, founders of the chapel. Afterwards in 1888, as a result of many efforts in this regard, the Russian authorities gave their approval to move from the Strzyżawka cemetery the body of Michał Grocholski, starost of Zwinogród. At the same time also the remains of the young son of Henryk Grocholski, Władysław, were moved. The ceremony, nevertheless, had to be performed in secret, even the local parish priest could not participate.

According to the regulations in force, the entrance to the mausoleum had to be permanently walled off until 1905, when Tadeusz Grocholski managed to gain from governor Euler approval for arranging a door from the side facing the Boh river. However, with the reservation that nothing could be furnished inside, resembling Catholic rites.

Nevertheless, on walling in this mighty door, builders took the opportunity to lay a floor from white marble inside the chapel.

However, for the time being it was impossible to include a normal altar. Thus Tadeusz Grocholski painted a natural size figure of crucified Christ on a copper sheet (according to a photograph of Bonnat’s painting) and used it to adorn the then empty interior.

At the same time, a wooden cross was put opposite the door, also with a figure of Christ. Finally, another several years later, Grocholski was given the long-awaited permission to erect an altar, what again was to be done in a confidential manner.

The altar, made of white marble in Odessa, according to the design by Tadeusz Grocholski, strongly enhanced the chapel character of the family mausoleum, but the authorities’ consent to celebrate requiem mass in the same for the deceased entombed there, was obtained only as a result of several more years of efforts and applications.

Such mass could ever since be celebrated on the anniversary of the death of each person, buried in the chapel. In 1907 the body of Stanisław Grocholski from Pietniczany was deposited there, followed in 1913 by his brother Tadeusz from Strzyżawka, who had dedicated so much effort to the chapel.

During the Russian revolution, Tadeusz count Grocholski, Jr. (1887 – 1920), son of Tadeusz and Zofia née countess Zamoyska, managed to transfer family portraits to Winnica, where some Russian, willing to save cultural historical assets from the manor houses of the region from complete destruction, established the “National Museum”.

Only the library and etchings, including copies dating back to the 16th century, were stolen on the way to Winnica, taken away by train, and then somewhere into Russia, where they disappeared.

On 18th January 1918 the palace in Strzyżawka was plundered and burned down. Only the remains of the once beautiful park and the walls of the church – partly in ruin, turned into a storage facility – survived there in posterior decades. In the same year as the palace, also the tombs in the mausoleum by the Boh river were plundered. In 1920, during the Polish Army’s advance to Kiev, Henryk Grocholski collected the family portraits from the museum of Winnica, and took them to Warsaw. The objects thus saved included a bust of Julia Poniatowska née Grocholska, a mahogany chest of drawers with ornaments of goldened bronze, encrusted with medals and comprising hidden drawers for especially precious numismatic items, a mahogany table with legs ended by hoofs and ram heads supporting the top, an old-fashioned desk, a piano with elaborately suspended glass keys, a mahogany chair a la Recamier, a Boulle bed and wardrobe, a pair of mahogany beds with heads of lions, Saxon porcelain for 36 persons, a similar white set with goldened edges, and cristals. Everything was destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.

There was once a beautiful Strzyżawka shrouded in legends and tales, enhanced by – among other – many mounds surrounded by enbankments, disseminated in the “Black forest”, composed of splendid ashes, oaks, wych elms, limes, elms and hornbeams, deeply immersed in bushes. The biggest of them was called “Piwniowa mohyła” (cock’s grave).

So it was said that if a cock crows on the grave, it would be the end of the world. One of those mounds was digged over and scientifically assessed before 1914. The remains of a warrior, his wife and horse, with various well preserved ornaments, such as brooches, bracelets, earrings and rings, were found inside.

Apart from the above, the manor area also comprised a Turkish cemetery established in 1877, when the palace housed a hospital for Turks, prisoners of war. Thanks to Tadeusz Grocholski’s efforts, the cemetery was protected by a deep ditch and planted around with trees. Later, the heir of Strzyżawka erected there a monument of white marble, featuring a proper Turkish sign, crowned by the Crescent with Star. When Sultan Abdul Hamid was told about it, he sent Tadeusz Grocholski the Medjidye 1st class medal with sash.

Roman Aftanazy “Dzieje rezydencji na dawnych kresach Rzeczypospolitej, województwo bracławskie” (History of Residences in Poland’s Former Eastern Borderlands, Bracław Voivodeship)

Published by Zakład Narodowy imienia Ossolińskich Wydawnictwo, Wrocław 1996

 

Map of Pietniczany and Strzyżawka manors

Pietniczany



 

Pietniczany are located by the mouth of the Winnica River to the Boh, on the so-called “Kuczman Trail” (very close to the town of Winnica). The locality was first mentioned in the description of the Winnica castle from 1543, made by diak Lev Pateyovitch Tishkovitch. Its fragment: “…W Petnyczanach a w Demydiwciach, w imieniach Miśka Stepanowycza stoit desiat czołowieka, kotoroje imienije Petnyczany aoteć jeho Stepan wysłużyw na Hospodari Jeho Myłosti za nebiszczyka Kniazia Konstantyna…” (“Ten persons live at the Pietniczany and Demidowice properties owned by Mishko Stepanovych, Pietniczany had been awarded to his father Stepan for his service to His Majesty in times of the late Prince Konstantin…”). The second certain notice about Pietniczany, dates to 1569, when Łazarz Deszkowski, son of Bohdan, chorąży of Bracław, handed over the Pietniczany properties to his uncle Semen, son of Vasyl from Obodne, Obodenski. The lack of documentation rendered impossible to state whether Mishko Stepanovitch, mentioned in the former document was ancestor of the Deszkowskis, or only the one who transferred them his rights to Pietniczany.  

After the death of Semen Obodenski, who did not leave any descendants, Pietniczany passed over to the children of his brother Bohdan and Maryna Kierdey-Dziusianka, namely to Hawrył, Teodor, Józef, Wasyl, Anastazja married to Janusz Kierdey-Koziński, and Olena married to Michał Myszka-Chołoniewski. Teodor Obodeński, Master of Hunt of Bracław, having paid off his brothers and sisters, took over the entire legacy on his own, calling himself the master of Pietniczany ever after. Having married Marusza Pokalewska, they had three daughters, of whom Maria married Teodor Łasko-Woronowicki, contributing to the marriage Pietniczany as dowry. From their six children five died without leaving descendants, whereas the only one that remained alive, daughter Teofila, gave her hand together with a huge fortune, also comprising Pietniczany, to Michał Luba from Radzimin – Radzimiński. He was the head of the Bracław line of his family. With Teofila Łaskówna he left numerous descendants, of whom Michał, equire carver of Bracław, purchased or inherited from remaining heirs, all parts of Bracław properties, again collecting the whole fortune in his sole possession.

Michał Radzimiński also had plent – five – children, with Małgorzata née Kamieńska. Of whom two sons and daughter died without leaving descendants. Pietniczany and Sabarów, Soroczyn, Woronowica and Stepanówka were inherited by the second daughter, Anna, who contributed the same as a marriage portion to her husband, Michał Grocholski from Grabów. Born in 1705, Michał Grocholski crest Syrokomla first served in the armoured company of prince Janusz Wiśniowiecki, castellan of Kraków, where he was promoted to lieutenant. Then as a deputy hetman to the Ukrainian and Volynhian party he fought against invaders, for what he was nominated by King August III his personal cavalry captain. He was also deputy to Sejm (parliament) for two terms, and gained recognition as an excellent lawyer, when occupying the position of district judge of the Bracław voivodeship. Apart from sums located on several properties, Michał Grocholski did not inherit any personal assets from his father. However, he managed his wife?s properties well enough to boost their value in a short time.  
 
{mosimage}He contributed to the Polish society of Rutenian lands, by founding in 1760 in Winnica a church and convent for Fathers Dominicans, he also decorated the already existing church of the Jesuits with several altars and a pulpit. In addition to those, he erected a chapel in one of his properties – Tereszki.

In Pietniczany itself, jointly with his son Marcin, Michał Grocholski erected the foundations of a new castle/palace, hiring Tartar and Turkish prisoners to build it. It was designed as a fortified stronghold with extremely massive walls, iron bars in windows, towers, shooting holes and double gate. Thus a small square fortress, adapted as a living room and to repel possible attack, was built. For the time being it had one storey, with two-storey towers in the corners. At two sides of the castle, at a limited distance, two other square one-storey towers stood, the point of start for moats and embankments surrounding an oval, several-hundred-metres-long fortress maidan. The enbankments were closed by a vaulted entrance gate with two adjacent rooms. At the curve of moats and enbankments there was yet another small cylindrical one-storey tower.

Michał Grocholski (died 1765) also had numerous descendants, specifically five daughters and two sons. As part of family attributions done in 1771, the younger Franciszek received from his parents Tereszki and Malinki, attributed to the Grocholskis from the Ostróg entail, then Woronowica, Stepanówka and Soroczyn, Komarów and Michałówka, i.e. Kostkopol, purchased from the heirs of Adam Olizar, the Trościanek keystone purchased from Stanisław Szandyrowski and other, partial owners, Łataniec purchased from priest Kajetan Rościszewski, and the manor house in Dubno and half of the life estate on the Zozów keystone. The older son Marcin (1727 – 1807), the last voivode of Bracław, starost of Szeroka Grobla and Kruszlin, first married to Cecylia Myszka-Chołoniewska, and later for the second time to Antonina Gałecka, (first married name Łoska), deputy to Sejms, supporter of King Stanisław August and the Constitution of 3rd May (1791), took the Hryców keystone with several manor farms, where he erected a new palace – Strzyżawka – purchased by Michał Grocholski from Antoni Potocki, Desna, or Michałówka with Kołomyjówka, Ławrówka, Prehórka, Stadnica and finally Pietniczany itself plus the manor house in Winnica, as well as the second half of the life estate on the Zozów keystone, manor in Lwów, etc. Each of Michał Grocholski?s five daughters received 60 000 zlotys of dowry. Thus the total assets he left were very considerable.

Voivode Marcin Grocholski preferred to live at his new palace in Hryców, he also spent some time at Pietniczany. He did not enlarge the remarkable inheritance of his father. After his death, the properties were additionally split into smaller parts. By force of the attribution done by the voivode in 1792, yet before his death, they were split between five sons from the first marriage: Jan, Camp Leader of the Crown, Michał, starost of Zwinogród, Mikołaj, governor of Podolia, and Ludwik. Only son Adam, the second in line did not take over his patrimony, as he fell in the battle of Maciejowice. Pietniczany was attributed to Michał Grocholski (1765 – 1833), married to Maria Śliźniówna. They moved to the Pietniczany castle right after the wedding and exactly in their time it was subjected to first basic transformations.

The starostas wife inspired all the changes. As she was brought up in the spirit of the “era of King Stanisław August”, she did not feel well within the robust walls of the fortified castle. Willing at least to decorate her apartments somehow, she mainly ordered to paint all rooms anew. The walls of the salon then featured blue, with satin drapery hanging from its vaulting in white and blue bands, imitating a tent. One of the corner rooms was decorated with green drapery, another was painted in sand colour.

The reconstruction of the castle, launched by the energetic starost?s wife, was not limited to interiors only. On her initiative the whole building was added an additional floor and two side pavilions.

The garden once featured an old-fashioned oak storage, wood was destined for guests in event of larger reunions. As the castle was transformed into a palace and new pavilions were added, the now useless storage was moved to another place. In that time also new stables, coach houses, majsternie, dovecote and other farm buildings appeared. The works were directed by architect Laeufer, previously active in Janów, of the Chołoniewskis.

Michał and Maria (née Źliźnia) Grocholski, had a daughter Maria, married to count Henryk Rzewuski, a well-known writer, and a son Henryk Cyprian (1802 – 1866), who in 1829 married Franciszka Ksawera Brzozowska crest Belina (1807 – 1872), daughter of Karol and Ksawera Trzecieska crest Strzemię, a future author of memories.

From his father he inherited Pietniczany and Strzyżawka. He also completed the reconstruction of the castle, adding a portico with balcony from the side of the garden. Inside, he transformed the stairway and directed painting works at finishing room decorations. In fact the task of decorating castle halls with paintings was individually undertaken by a painter named Rzewicki, but as it turned out afterwards, he was overconfident about his talent and failed to meet expectations. Due to the rather unsatisfactory quality of hall decoration done by Rzewicki, Henryk Grocholski later accepted to lay down painting patterns himself, based on motifs taken from albums, featuring sketches of the most beautiful ancient and modern murals. Since then, Rzewicki only faithfully executed the compositions developed by the owner of Pietniczany. All designs of alterations, done in the times of Henryk and Franciszka Ksawera Grocholskis, were developed by some architect abroad.

After Henryk, Pietniczany was inherited by his older son Stanisław Wincenty (1835 – 1907), married to Wanda countess Zamoyska (1846 – 1922), daughter of Zdzisław and Józefa Walicka crest Łada. The last owner was their son Zdzisław count Grocholski (1881 – 1968), since 1910 married to Maria Sołtan crest Syrokomla (1881 – 1963), daughter of Bohdan and Maria Franciszka Sołtan. Since the mid-19th century until its destruction, the Pietniczany castle was not affected by any more major changes.

Despite its classical reconstruction and the adding of side pavilions, the main body of the palace complex preserved its original basic castle shape, and so was it named until the end – the Pietniczany Castle (Zamek Pietniczański). It featured a rectangular plan, nevertheless closely resembling a square form, plus three storeys: A vaulted, relatively low ground floor, with another much higher and also vaulted over it, a first floor used as a piano nobile, and a second floor built over afterwards, already featuring flat ceilings.

Both the symmetrical frontal elevation of the castle with six widely situated axles and the garden elevation, were accentuated on extreme axles by wall breaks comprised in rusticated corners, closed by triangular smooth frontages, encircled by kragsteins. The ground floor of the castle, with elevations fully rusticated, was provided with relatively small, rectangular windows split into six plots, comprised in wide, profiled frames, closed by levelled pediments on brackets. The first floor, separated from the ground level by a narrow cornice, had windows of the same width, but higher than the lower ones by two plots, with crowns shaped as triangular pediments, also on brackets though. Windows of the second floor, resembling those of the ground level both in shape and size, were provided with identical framing, but devoid of any crowns. The decorations of both side elevations resembled those of their longer analogues, however, four window holes were located to make the two central ones to form a pair, whereas two extreme windows were moved away at a much bigger distance. All smoothly plastered elevations were completed by a wide triglyphic frieze, with a row of kragsteins and profiled cornice above.

Already at expanding the first one, both breaks in the frontal façade were connected by a gallery composed of six Tuskany columns without bases, supporting the upper gallery on all length, comprised in a beautiful balustrade of wrought iron, featuring motifs both vertical, as plant grotesque. Both central columns were built over with glass doors afterwards. Hence a small hallway appeared. The garden gallery was composed of eight more massive columns narrowing towards their tops, situated on a low stone terrace, also devoid of bases. The upper gallery was laid with marble plates in black/white chequered pattern. The main motif of the garden balustrade was represented by ovals, partly superimposed on each other. The main body of the castle was covered by a quite high, smooth mansard roof distinct above the breaks, with four massive plastered chimneys situated at even distance.

{mosimage}The quarter-round, living, also partly vaulted galleries connected the castle with posterior pavilions standing opposite themselves, together forming a great horseshoe. On side of the frontal courtyard, the gallery with some blank windows, had fully rusticated elevation. The framed window holes were crowned by vertical pediments on brackets. Each gallery was preceded by twelve columns together with the garden living row, covered by a smooth two-pitch roof with three massive chimneys. The roof was originally supported directly on column caps, however, later entablature was added under the roof, and decorated with a triglyphic frieze.

The garden side of the gallery was shaped differently. The left was covered by smooth plaster, enlivened only by wide, profiled rectangular frames, composed by windows or doors located close to ground level. The right side, comprising some fine rooms, also with smooth plaster, was provided with richer ornamentation. For between rectangular windows or double Serliana-type French windows, wall half-columns were located here. At the bent of the central arch also two alcoves vaulted in semicircular shape were added, probably to house statues.
 
Two identically shaped pavilions, of two storeys with high basements, three-axial from side of courtyard and two-axial on the side, but on plan of nearly perfect square, were provided also with an identical external decor. Their plasters on the ground floor were fully rusticated. On the first floor, rustication was applied only as vertical bands covering the corners and accentuating central axles with simulated breaks. Windows of the lower storey were crowned by pediments on brackets, in the upper they were devoid of pediments. The storey was horizontally divided by a narrow cornice, with elevations crowned by a much wider, profiled cornice.

The Pietniczany castle ranks among the very few estates of Poland?s former eastern borderlands, whose structure of interiors was documented in detail yet when owners lived there. In 1905, measurements were performed of all storeys of the main body, and of both pavilions and galleries. Regrettably, the documentation is almost devoid of complementary photographs, mostly information provided by the last owner are available. Not in all estates the purpose of specific rooms and halls was the same in 1905 and 1917. Not all were described. However, there is no doubt that their walls were smooth in uniform colours or were painted in various compositions, they featured oak floors of parquets in geometric patterns, two-wing panel doors varnished in white with similar window frames, stoves mostly high, rounded, with upper cornice and a few fireplaces.

From the vestibule framed by two columns, through doors comprised by a stone portal, one entered a windowless hallway. Massive, oak two-winged doors, padded with iron sheet half-centimetre thick, decorated with thin, oblique, crossed slats, were perforated at breast height by two rounded shooting holes. At the external side of door a picture of the Virgin of Częstochowa was suspended. Also from that side the door was closed using three massive oak bolts. Since the entrance hall was devoid of windows, another oak door with two windows was inserted, secured with bars featuring the Syrokomla crest. The hall had a barrel vault, whitened with lime. A large, wrought-iron ornamental lamp was hanging from the same. Walls kept in sand shades. A shallow fluting divided them in large rectangles. The mobile device was composed of a table with metre-wide 10-centimetre thick top made of one board, hangers for attire and a so-called “szlaban” (“barrier”), i.e. a bed for the Cossack on duty. An interesting valuable plan of the Pietniczany keystone of 1740 was suspended above the table, very elaborate, featuring a sentence in Polish and Latin: “Boundary between lands of the Grocholskis, and the town of His Royal Majesty Winnica”, whereas an oblong mirror was located above the barrier, composed of three sheets, comprised in gilded patinated frames. The decor of that room was complemented by a few hunting trophies and harvest wreaths exchanged on a yearly basis.

The entrance hallway featured at its left side an adjacent second one, lately called the “hunting hall”, but stated simply as a hallway in the 1905 plan. It had a ribbed vault, whitened, with wrought lamp, oil painted walls and stone floor.  

It featured a high rounded stove of granite stones, covered by whitened linen, then a brick fireplace, a wooden bench, a chest as high as the table with wood used to set fire, and finally a row of chairs with eight-angled backrests and crests of the Zamoyskis carved in brass sheet. The walls supported stuffed deer, fallow deer and wild boar heads. The chamber was the place of tea gatherings for hunters, right after hunting.

 
 
 
 

Doors located at the left side of the “hunting” hallway, led to the corner guest room, similarly vaulted, with walls also painted in smooth bright colour. The room was provided with then modern furniture, comfortable but devoid of a specific style. The most remarkable decoration of this room was the old picture of Virgin Mary with Infant Jesus, done by a painter from the Italian school. Various residents lived here, often remaining at Pietniczany for many years.

The “hunting” hallway was also directly connected to the hall named library in 1905, however lately called the “black” hall, with two windows to the garden terrace. It had a ribbed vault. All its walls were covered by Romantic-style paintings, done in fresco technique by artists-Napoleonic emigrants, imitating rocks, trees, bushes, creek with waterfall, in addition also to a medieval castle located on a high cliff. Exactly those paintings and low-reaching archs of the vault in the “black” hall, prevented the inclusion of any pictures. Only above the entrance to the corner room, called both in 1905 and 1917 “Arabic”, there was a sultan?s signature, comprised in a thin goldened frame, and above the large sofa covered with kilims – a large stuffed eagle owl, sitting on a branch. There was also a round stove at one of the corners. The whole floor of oak boards was covered by a thick Persian carpet.

The middle of the “black” hall was occupied by a large, four-angled table of black oak, with massive, sculptured legs, covered by a kilim. It supported a lamp of gold-plated bronze shaped as a Ionic column. Also, chairs of walnut wood were padded with kilims. The black marble fireplace was big enough to situate its cornice at the height of the shoulders of a tall man, warming himself up at its side. Bronze three-candled candelabra stood on the cornice at sides, featuring the figures of three Egyptian women holding candlesticks on their shoulders or on heads.

Closer to the middle, two other bronze candlesticks with wide plinths were located, and an old-fashioned clock in the middle, also framed in bronze. Above the fireplace, along its full length, there was a mirror inserted into the wall, composed of three parts, about half metre high, devoid of frames. The extensive fireplace easily comprised entire huge logs. Those sitting around the fireplace were protected from excessive heat by a small two-winged walnut partition, decorated in its upper part with images of desert and Arabs with camels, painted on linen by Maria Sobańska (wife of Hieronim) and princess Stefania Korybut-Woroniecka. A mahogany desk with bronze ornaments stood by the window, covered with Turkish tapestry. Other furniture included comfortable but more modern small couches, also decorated by bronze elements. Furnishing was complete with a piano, harmonium and several chairs apart from the set, and small  cupboards for books at sides of the couches, also with bronze elements. The “black” hall hosted various family ceremonies. It also was the stage of Christmas events for children of officials and servants.

Of two rooms adjacent to the “black” hall on the left side, the mentioned corner “Arabic” had walls decorated with several Arabic inscriptions, verses from the Koran. It featured comfortable small couches and a round table of black wood, encrusted with mother of pearl, covered by eastern tapestry. A Gospel was lying on the table, a parchment bound Arabic edition of ca 1720. The adjacent “Turkish” room looked likewise, directly connected to the gallery, in 1905 named guest room. Both were hand-painted and furnished by princess Maria Czartoryska née Grocholska (wife of Witold), later discalced Carmelite nun, who together with her husband travelled extensively throughout the Middle East, and spoke well the Arabic language.

To the right of the central hallway there was yet another entrance hall, always called service hall, vaulted likewise to the “hunting” room, featuring dark, wooden benches-chests and oak chairs, backrests of which also featured crests of Zamoyskis, carved in brass sheet. The right corner break room often changed its purpose. At the time measurements were taken, it was named “writer?s room”. On the right side of the “service” hallway there was a partly adjacent room, used as a dresser. The main element of furniture was a huge wardrobe with several wings, that comprised family silver, porcelain and table linen, collected by five generations of the Grocholski family. The right corner garden room, the equivalent of the “Arabic” on the opposite edge, was used as a pantry, but was also called “above the dungeons”. For exactly from there the spiral stairs led to castle cellars and underground corridors stretching under the garden, but partly caved-in.

From the “service” hallway, one straightly entered the second double-window hall of the inter-break section of the garden trail, of a size identical to the “black” hall located at its left side, also with ribbed vaulting, with a round stove in the corner, used as a home chapel. It had a blue shading of walls and very simple furnishing. The altar featured a large painting of Virgin Mary with a goldened crucifix under, of Bysantine shaping with a reliquary in the middle, surrounded by copperplates depicting Via Dolorosa.

In the left part of the castle that comprises breaks, between the central “Turkish” and the frontal guest rooms, there were side stairs, leading both upwards, as well as downwards to the basements. The grand stairway, lighted by two large lamps of wrought iron, with wide oak steps leading to the first floor, was located opposite the main entrance hall. Its walls featured family portraits, mainly in “Sarmatian” style (of 17th-century Polish nobility), a large mirror opposite the middle turn, and above, a likeness of prince Adam Czartoryski at young age, depicted in red uniform.

On the first floor, the central part of the frontal trail was occupied by a square hall, also called “room above the stairs”, provided with a floor of stone panels, covered by Turkish carpets. On the small oak table stood a bronze fragment of the “March to Wawel” by Wacław Szymanowski, depicting King Stefan Batory, hetman Jan Zamoyski, and a group of winged knights.  

The walls featured two portraits: of Jan Zamoyski in red fur-lined coat with baton in hand, and of colonel Remigian Grocholski (1643 – 1705), who took part in the Battle of Vienna in 1683, depicted in armor, holding a mace. It was a copy of the original of the era, kept in the Tuchów church.

Two rooms, one at left and another at right side of the hall, wete marked as entrance halls on the 1905 plan. Before World War I the right wing was nevertheless used as a billiard room for the young. Both its vaulting, as well as walls, were painted in patterns with oil paint. A cast-brass candlestick was hanging from the ceiling, decorated with eaglets and one large Polish eagle in crown. Along the walls of this room stood many walnut cupboards on four legs, decorated with panels of white marble. In the middle of one-wing door there was Diana with arrow and dog. The cupboards comprised binded yearbooks of illustrated magazines. It also featured a large table with panel of white marble, and mahogany sculptured chairs. Here there were several paintings of the Dutch school, then a battle scene with knight galloping on white horse against the background of fires – a painting depicting the plunder of the Temple of Sybille at Puławy by Russian soldiers, and a portrait of King Stanisław August, sitting at table leaning his hand on a water clock, represented without wig in French dress, a copy or replica of Baciarelli?s original.

The frontal, break corner room at the right, with ribbed vault and painted in Fresco by Tadeusz Grocholski, was named “heraldic salon”. In the middle of its ceiling the artist depicted the Syrokomla family crest, and in corners in medalions, the emblems of families with whom the Grocholskis were related to by marriages. The room also housed library bookcases, comprising the most valuable oldest part of the castle?s collection, as well as newer, illustrated magazines in Polish, French and English languages. The remainder of the library was dispersed throughout many other halls. The Pietniczany library did not have a catalogue.

The right break room on side of garden, in 1905 called small salon, was lately called a study room. Apparently it was not arranged properly at the time, temporarily used as a storage for miniatures of French kings, queens and princes, in addition to many tapestries, prints, vases and other decorative items, purchased in Paris by princess Maria Czartoryska.

Between the break rooms there was an oblong dining room, vaulted as other, with walls painted in oil in golden shade, imitating sunlight. A candlestick of dark bronze was hanging from the ceiling. Apart from the big extension table and chairs, the hall featured a scupltured glassed cabinet with precious Saxon porcelain, counters and ancillary small tables. The walls featured oil portraits of voivode Marcin Grocholski and of his wife, Cecylia née Myszka-Chołoniewska, both copies of Lampi?s works, and of starost Michał and his wife Maria née Śliźień, author unknown.

From both the corner “study”, and the dining room as well, one could enter the first hall of the inter-break section of the garden trail, originally called “Greek” and “grey” before 1917, painted in pearl shade. The white ribbed vault was decorated with a big Venetian candlestick. Furnishing, apart from a piano, was mainly composed of a suite of mahogany furniture, ornamented by marbles and bronzes, a glassed cabinet of walnut wood, containing such items, as silver cups with old coins, and several smaller articles. The artistic furnishing included a Boulle clock, several bronze candlesticks of high artistic and historical value, plus six miniatures of old men?s heads in deep gilded frames. Also, plenty paintings were gathered in the “grey” salon, among them the portraits: a large one of Antoni Grocholski (1767 – 1805), captain of national cavalry, depicted sitting in chair, wearing the band of the Order of White Eagle, painted by Angelika Kauffmann; then of Sword-Bearers? wives Grocholskis, Antoni?s sisters: general?s wife Tekla (wife of Franciszek) Łaźnińska (1772 – 1797) and Julia (wife of colonel Józef) Poniatowska (1773 – 1832), both done by Józef Pitschmann; of voivode?s wife Salomea née Grocholska, first married name Potocka, second Dziekońska; prince Stanisław Chołoniewski; pastel pictures of Maria née Grocholska (wife of Witold) princess Czartoryska and her sister Helena (wife of Jan) Brzozowska, painted in Paris in the 1850s by Tadeusz Grocholski; his own small autoportrait in large hat with ostrich feather Rembrandt-style, and finally an oil painting located on ebony easel, depicting an Italian woman with a basket of flowers, also done by Tadeusz Grocholski.

A similar in size, also two-windowed adjacent salon, named “Pompeian” in 1905, later renamed “yellow” due to the colour of its walls, had on its vaultings painted patterns from Rafael?s stanzas. Its floor was almost fully covered by a large Turkish carpet. Only in front of the fireplace of white marble there was a second, smaller one. Above the fireplace there was an old-fashioned mirror in a white gypsum frame, composed of several parts, whereas on the cornice of the fireplace stood two three-candle bronze, gold-plated candelabra. A multi-candle chandelier was hanging from the middle of the vaulting, also made of gold-plated bronze. Among distinctive elements of furniture there was a low, two-winged mahogany wardrobe decorated with bronzes, with a surface of pink marble, on which also stood a marble bust of prince Adam Czartoryski, and family photographs. Over the wardrobe there was an oil portrait of Bazyli Walicki, voivode of Rawa, comprised in oval frame. Also, other furnishings of the “yellow” salon included many antiques, of which some originated from the Czartoryski residence in France, from where they were brought to Pietniczany together with other belongings of princess Maria (née Grocholska) Czartoryska. The artistic furnishing was complete with portraits hanging on both sides of the high mirror inserted in the wall; at the right, of Henryk Grocholski (1802 – 1866) and his wife Ksawera née Brzozowska (1807-1874), and at left an etching depicting Zofia Zamoyska née Czartoryska, wife of entailer Stanisław (1780 – 1837) with three sons, according to François Gerard. On the old easel, covered by a Turkish tapestry, also a portrait of count Stanisław Grocholski (1835 – 1907) was located, painted on wood by Kazimierz Pochwalski.

The left, break part of the castle, apart from a side stairway, also housed three rooms of varying purposes. One of it was lately used as a bedroom. Hence it featured a large ebony French bed, with a good copy of the Sixtine Madonna and two miniatures hanging above it, depicting Zdzisław and Józefa (née Walicka) Zamoyska.

The second floor had a structure, size and shape of rooms and halls identical as the first floor, even though they were lower. It was nearly fully designed as living space, both in 1905 and 1917. A portrait of cardinal Richelieu and a picture of a dwarf in military uniform Louis XIV-style (?) were located in the hall, and under the ceiling a gallery of portraits of French kings and princes was presented, composed of over 30 likenesses.

A library room was located above the “yellow” salon. Its furniture was mainly composed of glassed walnut cabinets decorated with bronze fittings, filled with books. The whole Pietniczany library comprised about 10 000 volumes. This hall was also the place where collections of domestic butterflies and moths with several colourful subtropical butterflies were kept, plus eggs of many domestic birds and nests of Podolian birds, and a collection of minerals gathered from various Polish regions. This group also included a crystal cross based on Siberian metals, donated by Siberians to Ksawera Grocholska as evidence of exiles? gratitude for the care she gave them for many years. The natural collection was a souvenir from Henryk Grocholski, who additionally left many valuable publications about nature, in different languages. The library also featured several older family portraits of smaller formats.

The room above the “grey” salon was used as a bedroom for the house masters. It was furnished in the style of Louis XV and XVI, with the following elements: two mahogany beds with bronzes and likewise small cupboards and one large, as well as a desk with top covered by leather with carved gilded edges. There was also a couch, mahogany tables, chairs, etc. In one of the halls Turkish tapestry captured in Vienna was hanging, another from Buczacz on the other wall, resembling belts from Słuck. Against the background of the Buczacz tapestry, a bronze clock Louis XVI-style was located, with similar wall lamps on sides. Also other rooms of the 2nd floor in both break parts adjacent to the halls, featured antique furniture, some richly decorated with intarsia, or encrusted. All featured many bronzes, etchings and oil paintings. The following rooms were distinctive for their artistic value: dressing room of the lady of house, the house master?s drawing room, and an armoury with a collection of 28 pieces of hunting weaponry. The house master?s room, decorated with a large portrait of Maria (née Sołtan, wife of Zdzisław) Grocholska, and of Henryk and Ksawera (née Brzozowska) Grocholska, there was a collection of old weaponry, distinctive with a Turkish sabre of Henryk Grocholski, who brought it from his trip to the Holy Land, a broadsword in dark oxidated metal sheath with fittings of gildened bronze, and similarly ornamented hilt, formerly owned by prince Witold Czartoryski in times he served as a diplomat, a Hungarian sabre worn with the robe, an Eastern knight?s silver belt, composed of sculptured caps, stringed on a a thong and a similar buckle, and Circassian khandjars. The room in question also featured a mahogany cupboard, containing a very precious collection of Polish coins, even silver and gold included, together with a golden ducat with the likeness of the Mother of God, and a small Polish eagle on the edge. The ducat had been minted in Belgium during the Polish 1830 November Insurrection. The cupboard held well-done copies of antique sculptures in bronze, namely of Diana, Venera, a dying gladiator, a she-wolf with Romulus and Remus, and other. The walls also featured stuffed heads and horns of different animals. The ground floor of the left wing of the pavilion together with the entire gallery, was destined as living space for the personnel and as utility, both in 1905 and afterwards, obviously with some modifications. It lately housed the rooms occupied by cloakroom servants, table room for servants, laundries, linen pressing room, kitchens and cook?s flat, on the vaulted first floor of the pavilion were extensive larders, and under the pavilion – an ice house. Vaulted also in both storeys, as the left one, the right pavilion – connected with the main body of the castle by an open column gallery and a corridor running beside the same, decorated with deer and fallow deer horns, above the offices located on the ground floor – comprised on the first floor 5 guest rooms, furnished either with mahogany, or ash furniture. The prevailing part of the right gallery had a stately character though. From the castle, the dresser room specifically, through a small entrance hall, also provided with doors leading directly from the exterior, one entered a large hall slightly bended by arch, in 1905 used as a dining room. However, it was later turned into a ballroom. It had 5 semiround French windows to the garden, a floor of oak sheets, and a round stove in one of the corners. That hall was decorated with high, narrow mirrors in gilded frames, and bronze wall lamps hanging between them. Long narrow benched foundations stood by the walls, in addition to numerous chairs upholstered with material shaded in “vieux rose” colour. The ballroom connected directly to the oval salon with one wide Serliana-type French window. A fireplace of white marble was located there, on which stood two three-candled bronze candlelabra. Mobile elements included a piano, chairs covered by red velvet, a table and an old-fashioned writing stand with bronze ornaments and numerous drawers. Both sides of the fireplace featured pastels depicting nymphs, plus at another place a portrait of princess Maria-Amparo Munoz y Borbon (1834 – 1864) (wife of Władysław) Czartoryska, as well as several other portraits and pictures. Both the oval salon and the next small room, decorated in Fresco technique with motif of grape leaves and a small Cupid holding torches in his hands, painted in the middle of the ceiling, constituted an apartment usually occupied by bishops visiting Winnica and its environs. Another small quadrilateral room separated the “bishops?” apartment from the last room in the gallery, situated right by the right pavilion, shaped in oval resembling an egg, of unknown purpose. There was a huge, oblong courtyard in front of the castle, covered by two lawns. Opposite the main entrance door a high, solitary lime stood, damaged by thunderbolt in the early 20th century. Its removal opened the view to the castle façade and gallery. The building of the stable for pure-bred horses was located opposite the main body of the castle, at a distance of about 250 metres. It was composed of a three-axial, two-storey central living section, and two strongly extended one-storey side wings. The ground level below the first floor comprised in its axle a vaulted passage gate. It led to the nearest manor farm and further to the black forest. Both elevations of the longer two-storey section were split by four pairs of pilasters, based on high, rusticated pedestals. The building was topped by a smooth four-pitched mansard roof with one central chimney, whereas wings featured a three-pitched roof, with two semiround lucarnes in each of the longer stretches. In the stable there were always 36 horses of own breeding. They originated from the Arabian brood stud, owned by emir Stanisław Rzewuski, a part of which arrived in Pietniczany in the 1860s. Pure-bred Arabian horses, pastured on non-cultivated steppes of the Obodany keystone, at adequate feeding and selection in the colder climatic conditions of Podolia, gained height and harder bone. Hence they resembled knights? horses of old times. Right by the right corner of the ground-level wing of the stable there was a two-storey, cylindric former tower, with windows in stone frames and horizontally fully fluted elevations, topped by a flattened dome. It was lately used as a dovecote. The small neighbouring building, featuring a neo-Gothic tower crowned by a crenelle in the corner, housed a power plant. Going further towards the castle along the former moat, stretched buildings housing garages, a coach house, and near the right pavilion, a storage facility. The most interesting of them was the coach house with 10 two-winged doors-gates, set with handmade nails. It was used as a museum, for it comprised a collection of various vehicles, used throughout centuries, including: an old heavy four-place black coach, padded with varnished leather, with wheels of diametre more than 1.5 metre, that required at least 6 horses in team. That coach used to carry people from Pietniczany to Paris, only replacing post horses. A carriage for four persons also originated from the same era, suspended on thong belts, with lowered steps and place in the rear part for two standing Heyducks, on two wheels as high as in the coach. Both historical vehicles were kept in perfect condition, but already only as antique items. In addition to the mentioned coach and carriage, the coach house also featured several more modern carriages, in addition to various other carriages of various different shapes and sizes and other carriages and smaller carriages, britzskas, carrioles, najtyczanki (special type of britzskas), tarantasses, hunting carriages, and many types of sleigh. Automobiles joined them in recent times. Among the oldest historical items of Pietniczany was the barn of the manor farm, standing at a considerable distance from the coach house, erected in 1740. It had a long rectangular plan, height of about three storeys and plastered elevations, comprised by strongly rusticated corners. In addition to a few doors and windows, its walls were provided with 8 rows of small ventilating holes. The longer walls were fortified perhaps somewhat afterwards with mighty buttresses. The building was topped by a high, smooth pediment roof. There were no buildings at the left side of the courtyard. Trees and bushes grew there by the former moats. At half-way between the castle and stable there was an entrance drive, but without a gate. A wide lime entrance avenue led to the manor house, the limes planted during the visit paid by King Stanisław August, who on 17th November 1781, accompanied by a grand retinue arrived from Winnica, to meet the Grocholskis at their Pietniczany / Hryców residence. He liked both of them enough to ask afterwards, in his letter of 10th January 1782, to send him the designs of both green belts. The avenue, having developed splendidly, survived until the 1940s. The park occupied an area of about 8 hectares. Established in the mid-18th century, it partly preserved its former old-Polish character. It was provided with a look of English-style gardens with wide perspectives by Dionizy Mikler, sometime around 1830. However, lime rows planted in rectangles, remained close by the castle.  

They also featured adjacent, stretched lawns, with beds of bushes and flowers, slightly descending towards a small pond. Apart from one old ash tree of about 1-metre diametre, one black beech and one green, the Pietniczany garden featured mainly limes, hornbeams, oaks, younger ashes, birches, acacias and separate group of spruces. On one side there were also some plots with fruit trees, mainly apples and pears. The park also had an orangery. At a distance of about 1.5 km from the manor house, in the Black Forest on an area of some 56 acres, surrounded by a fence 2 metres high, there was a zoological garden created yet during the life of Marcin Grocholski, voivode of Bracław. Deers and fallow deers were breeded there, the number of which often exceeded 150. The pond sustained wild ducks for which special nests in baskets shaped as hives were arranged, on posts set in the water. The castle?s kennel was used to breed tracking dogs (hounds) numbering 10 or even more packs, and greyhounds. The Pietniczany castle was fully provided with plumbing and electrical power, several bathrooms, its mighty thick walls contained a passenger lift. Water was supplied from a tube well 84 metres deep, of which more than 40 were drilled in granite rock. In the early period of World War I, the properties belonging to count Zdzisław Grocholski included the Pietniczany keystone with 4 manor farms, some 39 hectares of plots plus houses in Winnica, the Obodany keystone with 5 manor farms and forests, houses in Warsaw, forests in the Jatsk guberniya (province), and various, very prosperous enterprises. Overall in the territory of the former Rzeczpospolita (Polish Kingdom) his lands comprised some 9717 hectares, whereas in Russia – about 59400 hectares. During the Russian Revolution, thanks to the friendly help of local agricultural and industrial workers, and of Winnica hackney drivers as well, the last owner succeeded in delivering many Pietniczany?s paintings, memorabilia and even furniture, to Winnica. Later, Soviet authorities included the collection in the newly created national museum. After the occupation of Winnica by Polish troops in 1920, Zdzisław Grocholski either transported the collection to Warsaw, where it remained until World War II, or located them in the property at Poniatów near Jabłonna, which he purchased the same year. The collection survived until 1944 when it was completely destroyed, both in the capital and in the new rural estate. Most of the part that remained in Pietniczany was either lost when the palace was set on fire on the night of 17th-18th January 1918, or previously plundered. During the tenure of hetman Ivan Skoropatsky, in summer 1918, count Zdzisław Grocholski returned to Pietniczany for a while. He managed to cover castle walls with a roof. That was how the castle, albeit completely devoid of even external ornamentation, did manage to endure until today. However, pavilions and galleries are no longer.    

ROMAN AFTANAZY “DZIEJE REZYDENCJI NA DAWNYCH KRESACH RZECZYPOSPOLITEJ” (History of Residences in Poland’s Former Eastern Borderlands)  
Second edition completed by VOL. 10 – BRACŁAW VOIVODESHIP
Published by ZAKŁAD NARODOWY IMIENIA OSSOLIŃSKICH WYDAWNICTWO
WROCŁAW – WARSZAWA – KRAKÓW 1996          

Map of Pietniczany and Strzyżawka manors