March 2, 2014

1020 POLAND (Holy Cross) - Krzyżtopór Palace

Built by Krzysztof Ossoliński (1587-1645), a Polish nobleman and Voivode of Sandomierz, this castle, located in the village of Ujazd, in southern Poland, was partially destroyed during the Swedish invasion in 1655, and then reduced to ruin during the war of the Bar Confederation by the Russians in 1770. During the WWII  the complex was again ransacked. A partial remodeling took place in 1971, and in 1980 the Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs decided to rebuild it for use as a rest area for officers. This work was halted in 1981, when martial law was imposed in Poland.

The castle, built by Swiss engineer Lawrence Senes, is a typical example of the so-called palazzo in fortezza, an intermingling of both palace and fortress. The length of perimeter walls is 700m, and the total area of all interior rooms is around 70.000sm. Reportedly, the castle once had 365 windows (as many as days of the year), 52 rooms (as many as weeks of the year) and 12 ballrooms (as many as months of the year). The design was based on the palace of Cardinal Alexander Farnese, located in the Italian village of Caprarola. Even though extensive research has been carried, historians have been unable to fully explain all aspects of the complex. It isn't known exactly when started its construction and nor when was completed. The name of the architect is also unknown. Further, Krzysztof Ossoliński was enamored with black magic; while the unique symmetry of the castle is evident even in its ruined state, the hidden meanings that may have been incorporated into virtually every part of the castle aren't obvious.

About the stamp, which is part of the series Signs of the Zodiac, I wrote here.

Krzyżtopór - Wikipedia

sender: Kazimierz Roman Leszczynski (direct swap)
sent from Sandomierz (Świętokrzyskie / Poland), on 26.08.2013
photo: Jacek Pernal

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