Archbishop's Palace in Wroclaw

 

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Archbishop's Palace is located at Katedralna Street. At the beginning of the 12th century, this was a two-storey late-Romanesque bishop’s residence with a rectangular base and two rooms separated by a vestibule. Upstairs there was a larger hall (‘sala episcopalis’) and a chapel, one element of which has been preserved to this day: a granite portal in the shape of a pointed arch characteristic of the 1250s and 1260s. Over the years, the palace was expanded and reconstructed. What remains of it is a basement with a low ceiling supported by one pillar, probably dating back to the 14th century.

Several additions were made in the times of Bishop John IV Roth, including a north wing facing Katedralna Street and a gateway into a square courtyard surrounded by various ancillary buildings. A passageway at the north-east end of the palace led to the south-west tower of the Cathedral. A fire destroyed the palace in the 18th century. Its reconstruction was supervised by K. G. Langhans, an outstanding architect who designed the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and later by K. G. Geissler, who was involved in the reconstruction and renovation of many buildings located on Cathedral Island and Sand Island. While Langhans intended to pull down the north wing, Geissler not only rebuilt it but made it the centerpiece of the palace, graced by a monumental portico with a niche and Ionic columns. He also widened the passageway between the Cathedral and the palace. After World War II, this was one of the most heavily damaged buildings in Wroclaw. Its reconstruction lasted, with brief intervals, from 1954 to 1969, and was supervised by a succession of experts. Certain alterations were introduced in the process: the building line was moved back and the south-east corner was cut in to broaden the passageway. Since 1991 the building has housed the Papal Faculty of Theology.



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