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Bukowiec palace

Records of Bukowiec go back to 1305, although when exactly the palace was built is unknown.
The knight Heinko von Zedlitz, known as von Meinwalde, is listed as the gentleman settled in Bukowiec in 1379. He was the second of eight sons born to Apitz von Zedlitz of Maciejowa, the gamekeeper for Duke Bolko of Świdnica and steward of Duke Hans of Görlitz. Heinko’s wife was Katharina von Salza.

This was probably when the castle, compact in build and surrounded by a moat, was erected.


Up until the 16th century the property remained in the hands of the Zedlitz family. Each of the four heirs bore the first name Hans. Their wives came from old Silesian families, such as von Hochberg, von Schindel, von Schellendorf and von Schweinichen. The next heir of Bukowiec was Heinrich von Zedlitz, married with his cousin Magdalena (from the Lomnitz line).
Vaulted cellars and fragments of the ground floor, bearing traces of murals from the 17th century, have survived from that building.
The von Reinbitz family bought Bukowiec in 1573, and it remained in their possession until 1759. The first of these owners, Georg von Reibnitz, opened a prayer room in the castle for the protestant parish. In 1744 Baron Jan Maximilian von Reibnitz converted the building, extending it and putting on a mansard roof. When the baron died the property went into the hands of a certain von Kottwitz. Bukowiec frequently changed owners over the following years: first the von Richthofen family, then in 1762 the widow of von Festenberg-Packisch, Barbara Helena, bought the estate, and in 1770 she sold it to von Luck. In 1774 Bukowiec was acquired by Carl Ferdinand von Seherr-Thoss. On 8 July 1785 Baroness von Seherr-Thoss, Maria Eleonora, sold the palace to Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Reden – who at the moment of purchase disposed of his property in Karpniki. Born in Hamelin, Baron von Reden was then 33 years old and was a senior mining advisor and director of the Supreme Mining Office in Wrocław. He studied the natural sciences and law in Gottingen and Halle, and obtained his mining education from his uncle Klaus Friedrich von Reden. Wilhelm von Reden was not only an administration official, he was also an experienced geologist. He had no fear of managing and supervising underground work himself. Throughout his life, he suffered from sleeplessness, stomach ulcers and severe migraine.


Count Reden left for London in 1789 to learn about the latest achievements in mining. He mingled with the uppermost circles, admired the rich culture and enjoyed the social life. On his return journey he stopped in Paris, where he met the French Queen Marie Antoinette. He returned to Bukowiec richer in experience as well as valuables such as porcelain, books on the art of gardening, medals and many other items. Imbued with the English “mania” for parks, the count came up with the idea of transforming Bukowiec. Before the conversion, which commenced in 1790, the palace was in the style of Silesian Renaissance palaces of the 16th century, and was surrounded by a moat. He commissioned the building work, which took until the end of the 18th century, to professor Friedrich Rabe of Berlin. During the reconstruction the façade was changed, the tower was dismantled, and the palace took on a classicistic style. In 1800 count von Reden also modernised the grange, erecting a  number of new buildings such as a brewery, Board House, stables, sheep shed, barn and a trafo-stację. The old outbuildings were pulled down, while the new ones positioned behind the palace so as not to break the vista towards the Giant Mountains. The designer was Carl Gothard Langhans’s student, Carl Gottfried Geisler.
The palace interiors housed collections of artistic porcelain, furniture, and other objects of artistic value.
In 1793, during the birthday ball for Minister von Massow, count Reden met his niece, Friederike. A few days later, on 13 September, she saw Bukowiec for the first time when visiting relatives in Staniszów
Wilhelm von Reden married 28-year-old Friederike at the Riedesels’ estate in Trzebiechów on 9 August 1802. When she arrived at Bukowiec, count von Reden ordered the erection of a pavilion for her, featuring an open columnar portico – where they would sit for tea. Initially the tea-room had two rooms on its sides – one used by the count as an office, while the other belonged to his wife. Apart from this a bathing house, fire tower, and artificial ruins of a small Roman-style amphitheatre were built.
The park was laid out during the conversion of the palace, its various buildings including the artificial ruins of an abbey designed by Rabe and erected in 1802.
Reden employed the highly-valued garden designer Hans Carl Walther, whose house was erected within the park in 1797.
Count Raben formed a Bible Society in the Bukowiec palace on 15 June 1815, and appointed his wife its lifelong leader.
Count Wilhelm von Reden died on 3 July 1815, and was buried – in accordance with his wishes – in the Bukowiec abbey. His widow Friederike inherited the estate, and via the Bible Society began offering charitable assistance for children. During the severe and hungry winter of 1817 she opened up a refectory and established a herbal pharmacy.


Friederike also conducted experiments with new corn varieties, and cultivated trees, shrubs and seeds. In 1822 she received a diploma as an honorary member of a society supporting garden art in Prussia. She was a beer producer, supplied the army and rural estates of the royal family with linen, and also organised royal support for her aid programmes.
Visitors came to Bukowiec from all over Europe to admire Reden’s park, including artists who made sketches of the nearby landscapes. A frequent guest was King Frederick William IV of Prussia, who was friends with the Countess.
Famous people who were entertained at Bukowiec included Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Gustav Carus, C. Scheuren and Samuel Rosel, as well as John Quincy Adams, later president of the United States, and the statesman Baron von Stein.
Countess von Reden was known for her efforts in 1837 and 1838 to help protestant fugitives from Zillertal in the Tyrol settle in the Mysłakowice neighbourhood. In 1840 the King of Prussia approached the Countess – known for her artistic sense and practical skills – to help find a location for and reconstruct an 18th-century church from Vang. The church had been earmarked for demolition, and the King was persuaded by Johan Christian Dahl to buy it for the price of the timber. Countess von Reden identified a suitable spot (Karpacz Górny), situated at 885 m above sea level at the foot of Mount Śnieżka. She saw to the formalities sorting out the land issues, and signed as the person responsible for erecting, restoring and equipping the church. The undertaking went far beyond just a simple transaction for purchasing art.
The results of her work are there to be seen and admired to this day.
Friederike von Reden died on 14 May 1854, at the age of 80. She was buried alongside her husband in the abbey’s crypt, and King Frederick William IV commissioned a monument to her next to the Wang church.
The estate in Bukowiec was inherited by her niece Maria Karolina von Rotenhan, followed by Maria Karolina’s youngest son, the Prussian captain of horse, Hermann von Rotenhan. Its final owner, Friedrich von Rotenhan, managed the property up until 1945, and was resettled in 1946.
Attempts were made at renovating the property on the instructions of Gunther Grundmann,  a conservator of historical buildings. The furniture and collections were given over to the office for the protection of historical buildings. Reconstruction of the damaged Belvedere was completed in 1937, when a chamber of mementos of Count von Reden was opened.

After World War Two the palace was used as a school, then a holiday home for the University and Technical University  of Wrocław. The palace then took turns as a veterinary school and a youth meeting house. In 1984 it was the head office of the Farming Academy, and only in 1999 did restoration work finally commence.
Architecture
The palace is a two-storey building with a high ground flour, laid out on a quadrilateral plan. There are two turrets, to the south and west, at the building’s corners, and the building features a mansard roof and moulding between the storeys. Simple framing marks the fenestration, and the entrance into the palace is adorned with a portal. An extension was added to the right after 1945.
Stuccowork has survived on the ground and first floors, while there are also examples of stucco on the ceilings in the so-called Lunar Hall and Solar Hall.
Literature:
1. Kapałczyński W., Napierała P. „Zamki, pałace i dwory Kotliny Jeleniogórskiej”. Fundacja Doliny Pałaców i Ogrodów Kotliny Jeleniogórskiej. Wrocław 2005.
2. "Słownik geografii turystycznej Sudetów. Rudawy Janowickie.". Red. M. Staffa. Wyd. I-BIS. Wrocław 1998
3. Smoliński M. "Pałac w Bobrowie". http://www.dziedzictwo.pl
 

Translation Jonathan Weber

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