GEOLOGIA W SZTUCE I ARCHITEKTURZE Local and exotic building and decorative stones in historical castles of SW Poland: a reconnaissance study

Ryszard Kryza, Marcin Dziedzic, Michael Unterwurzacher, Marta Prell, Katarzyna Pietrzykowska, Daniela Strick, Verena Schumacher, David Wilhelm


A b s t r a c t. South-west Poland (Silesia) is the region of dramatic history which has left significant heritage, comprising, e.g., numerous historical castles. In this paper, we describe selected castles in Lower Silesia, with special attention given to the usage of exotic (imported) decorative stone materials traded across Europe in various historical periods. Out of the total number of c. 100 historical castles and palaces in SW Poland, only three of them, i.e. Czocha, Książ and Moszna, have preserved significant amount of the original stone decoration. In Czocha Castel, apart from local stones, we have identified, e.g.: red and white, and grey limestones (from Belgium, Germany or Italy). In Książ Castle, the interiors have a great variety of exotic stone materials: travertine, marbles and limestones, e.g. Rosso di Francia, and many others, mostly from France and Italy. In Moszna Castle, representative rooms are adorned with “marbles”: Rosso di Verona, Giallo di Verona, Giallo Siena, Rosso di Francia, and serpentinites and ophicalcites (from Austria and Italy). Most of the exotic stones in the three castles studied were imported at the turn of the 19th–20th centuries and in the early 20th century, when the castles were largely reconstructed and redecorated.

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