Authors: Stepien PIotr M.

Title: RECONSTRUCTION AND CREATION IN THE RESTORATION OF WAWEL CASTLE (Rekonstrukcja i kreacja w odnowie zamku na Wawelu)

Source: Ochrona Zabytkow (Historical Monument's Preservation)
year: 2007, vol: , number: 2, pages: 27-50
More information



Language: POLISH

Document type: ARTICLE

Publication order reference:
Piotr M. Stepien, Zamek Krolewski na Wawelu, Wawel 5, 31-001 Kraków, Poland

Abstract: 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. 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. Wawel Hill managed to survive the German occupation unscathed, but was subjected to a number of harmful redesigning ventures. Prof. Witold Minkiewicz recognised adaptation to a historical environment to be the suitable solution e.g. the restoration of Zlodziejska (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. On the other hand, the gate wing interiors have been granted the nature of an architectural reservation. Successive realisations include the so-called inner courtyard featuring a display of the foundations of mediaeval edifices and 'The Lost Wawel' exhibition. The reconstruction encompasses the southern section of the mediaeval walls, re-created only to a certain height. The next restoration stage has been determined by the complex conservation programme, conducted since 1990 under the supervision of Prof. Jan Ostrowski.The recreation of the Royal Gardens complex remains an important task. Pertinent studies made it possible to precisely reconstruct various architectural elements. 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.

Other author's publications:
PIotr M. Stepien,