rysunki: Leszek Włodkowski-Moszej
The history of Strzelce Krajeńskie is the best justification for marking out the route. The well preserved historical buildings and monuments are located in the medieval lay-out and surrounded by the ring of the town's defensive walls.
Our Lady of Rosary collegiate church
St.Mary’s gothic church erected in the end of the 13th century, located as part of market street development. The temple was built of ceramic brick, calcareous mortar and precisely worked granite blocks. The building is oriented, set on a rectangle with a tower on the western side. The main building has three naves and six spans without a separate chancel on the eastern side. Primarily, it was a pseudo-basilica with an open rafter framing. After the damage of the Hussite raid in 1433,rafter framing iin Since the renovations, which took place after the Hussite invasion of 1433, the interior part of the church was equipped with a stellar and a basilica-like space and windows added over the roofs in the aisles to shed more light in the nave. The eastern elevation has a high window, presently bricked in and a composition of sharp-arched blendes and the motif of a cross on the top.< The richly ornamented four-storey church tower with sharp-arched blendes is presently covered with a hipped roof, reminding the original Gothic covering. Earlier on, there was a wooden lantern on the top of the tower crowned with a dome. Another reconstruction of the church took place in 1858-1866, based on the project of August Stüler and Emil Karl Alexander Flamminius. At that time, an empora was introduced into the church, the pillars and the walls were plastered and the interiors were equipped with new furnishings and decor. The most precious elements of the decor at that time were the monumental stained-glass window on the eastern part of the elevation founded by the Prussian king Frederick William and the main altar with a painting by Kaselowski. In 1945 the church was burnt and the interiors destroyed or raided. After the war damage, the temple was rebuilt in 1957-1973. Inside, within the chancel, a late-Gothic triptych altar created by an artist of Gościszowice was installed. The altar was brought to the church from the south of the region.
The parish church of St. Francesco of Assisi was erected for the needs of the roman-catholic parish in 1929. Prior to that time, the Catholics from Strzelce Krajeńskie belonged to the parish of Gorzów Wielkopolski. For the reason that the catholic diaspora in Strzelce and its neighborhood enlarged, a new parish was created by decree of archdiocese curia in Wrocław. The temple presents a humble modern style building. The church was built of clinker brick set on a rectangle with a separate chancel on the eastern side a porch on the northern side. The building is in the cuboidal shape covered with a hipped roof and a little bell. The entrance leads through a portal on the western side and a porch with an empora above. Narrow window openings were put in the side elevation separated with a brick pillar and the chancel was illuminated with an oculus. From the original church’s decor and furnishings a painting of St. Francesco, a wooden, painted ceiling, benches and doorframes are preserved. To the north of the church, a presbytery was built, matching the style of the church.
The water tower in Strzelce Krajeńskie was built in 1929. The water intakes were localized in Sławno, a village 4 kilometers away from the town. The intakes were equipped with a pump house that pressed water into the pipeline. In 1945, an artillery shell damaged the tower. After a brief renovation, it was put into service again. In 1960, the copper roof was replaced with galvanized sheeting. Another replacement took place in 1987, together with painting of the interiors. The tower is a brick, non-plastered building set on a circle. Its shape is a cylinder narrowing towards the top with a cone cupola. The entrance, being an ornamented portal, is placed on the western part of the building. The highest floor of the tower is a water tank and a water system. The building has Neorenessaince stylistic features. At present, the water tower does not fulfill its primary functions. Having been renovated and redecorated, it became home to the Lemko Culture Lovers Society "Lemko-Tower".
The gravestone dedicated to Ludwig Noster and his wife Anna née Stabler was made around 1910 by a Berlin sculptor Hans Latt in the Art Nouveau style, with an effigy of the late Ludwig Noster in a medallion. The monument makes a memento of an outstanding painter who was connected with Berlin societies. Ludwig Noster was born in Strzelce on 9th October 1859. His father, Heinrich Noster, owned a little carpentry workshop here. Ludwig was educated at the Public School and at the Royal Gymnasium in Strzelce Krajeńskie. Next, he moved to Berlin where he studied at the Academy of Arts (Kunstakademie). At that time, he became one of the closest co-workers of a Berlin historical paintings creator- Adolph Menzel. Soon, the young artist went to study in Düsseldorf and the Netherlands. In 1885, he settled in Berlin and three years later he was offered the position of the Emperor’s painter. Ludwig Noster created portraits and landscape paintings mostly, immortalizing such social and political figures as the emperor William II, prince Heinrich von Preussen, count Arthur von Possadowski, count Udo von Stolberg, or the industrialist Adolf Krupp. In 1906, he was appointed professor of the Berlin Academy of Arts. Soon after, because of his health problems, Ludwig left to live in the Netherlands but then decided to come back to Strzelce Krajeńskie. He died on 29th May 1910.
Having been granted a charter, Strzelce was surrounded with defensive walls in 1272-1290. The walls included the Mill Gate (aka the Drezdenko Gate or the Eastern Gate) and (the Brzoza Gate) and a complex of half-shell towers. The walls were additionally surrounded with a double flood bank and moated with the waters of Lake Górne and Lake Dolne. The defensive walls were made of fieldstone and calcareous mortar and reached the height of 8-9 meters and thickness of 1.6 meters. Primarily, within the complex there were two gates- the Gorzów Gate, the Mill Gate and thirty-eight half-shell towers. In the modern period, one of the towers was rebuilt to serve as a gunpowder magazine beside which a firefighting wicket was made. The tower was called the Powder Tower. The fortifications were planted in 1730- nearby the Gorzów Tower a drill ground was created and in 1736 the embankments and the moat were changed into gardens. With the time, parts of the half-shell towers were adapted to serve as living quarters. Due to traffic problems and declining technical condition, the Gorzów Gate was pulled down in 1866. Until present tahoma, a ring of walls is preserved to a length of 1640 meters and a diversified height of 3-8 meters with the Mill Gate, the Witches’ Tower and 36 half-shell towers. After WWII, the renovation of the walls took place in several stages. Owing to its medieval fortifications, Strzelce Krajeńskie deserves to be called the lubuskie Carcasonne.
The Mill Gate, also called the Drezdenko Gate or the Eastern Gate, was built in the first half of the 1400s as part of the fortifications, presumably in the place of an earlier stone gate. The gate was located at the exit of the Mill Street, it protected the road, and the causeway built between the town's two lakes. On the eastern side, the gate's tower was equipped with a long gorge and a barbican (called a pan), which was pulled down in 1736. The building was set on a rectangle, made of stone at the grounds and of ceramic brick and calcareous mortar in the higher stories. The gate is four stories high and is covered with a gable roof. On the level floor there is a sharp-arched crossing formerly protected with a grating mounted on a runner. The crossing was ornamented with a pattern of maswerk blendes, turrets and pinnacles. In the western elevation, on the second and third story, a composition of narrow blendes with window openings is planted. In 1915-1917, the building was adapted to serve as a regional museum so a brick building with a staircase was added on the northern side. After WWII, the building became the seat of the town and region's Culture Center. At present, the Mill Gate is home to the State Music School (first level).
The Prison Keep, (aka the Powder Tower or the Witches Tower) is located on the northern side of the medieval town as part of its fortifications. The building was erected from the late 1200s to the second half of the 1300s. It was made of stone, ceramic brick and calcareous mortar. The landmark is set on a square, being a cube in the lower part it becomes a cylinder to the top. The roof is a conical, ceramic dome with a weathercock and a vantage point. The northwestern elevation is ornamented with triforium blendes. The interior was divided into three stories communicated with wooden stairs. Each story contains one room lit by narrow windows. In the 1600s, the building was a prison and a gunpowder magazine later on. In 1783, a firefighting wicket was made beside the tower’s wall, called the Fire Gate or the New Gate since 1821. In 1900-1910, the gate was thoroughly renovated- missing bricks and joints were added. Similarly, the tower was repaired in 1990. Nowadays, the object is not used.
The building is situated in the place of an earlier town hall in the western part of market street development. The Neorenessaince construction was built in 1872-1876 on the initiative of the mayor, Carl Treu. The project was drawn in 1869 by Koehler, an architect from Frankfurt (upon the Oder River) whilst its modifications- deleting the Tower and part of the details- were made by Asmund Schulz. Contemporarily, it is a four-sided, two-story building with a cellar. The pentaxial facade has semicircular window openings. In the base course of the building, there are four cellar windows. In the first axis, a representative portal is included with a double gate closed with a transom. Above, a brick, balustered balcony leaning on double trusses is visible, and upon the door there is a tondo with the town’s coat of arms. A pseudo-rustication, window panels, within-story cornice, and crowning cornice also feature the facade’s architectural look. There used to be also pinnacles on the facade’s finial. In the 1920s, an iron flagpole was installed, unmounted after the war. The motif of a dragon featured in the flagpole was put as an ornament in the fountain next to the church. Inside, there is a representative hall and a hall where the sessions of the Town Council are held. The cellars were primarily a vineyard, adapted for administrative needs. After WWII, the building was the seat of the Town Council, The Regional Court, the Culture Center and the Public Library. At present, it is the seat of the District Court of Strzelce Krajeńskie.
The Granary is located in front of the Mill Gate, just outside the system of fortifications. Erected probably in 1764, the building was primarily a warehouse. It was limited by the courtyard of St. Gertrude’s Hospital founded in the late medieval tahoma. The half-timbered wall construction was set on a rectangle. In terms of architecture it is a one-story, cuboidal building, covered with a high hipped-gable roof. On the southern side, there is a four–sided extension. The elevations of the building have been thoroughly changed. At first, the northern wall had a gate crossing and the main entrance. An additional entrance was built on the southern side. The interiors have been adjusted to the needs over the years. From the historical decor and equipment only the door hinge made by a blacksmith are preserved. After WWII, the building was a warehouse and was part of the neighboring machine base. In the 1980s, it was thoroughly renovated and adapted. Nowadays, the Strzelce Krajeńskie Cultural Society manages the object.
The building of contemporary post Office was built in 1940 in modernistic style as the seat of the Bank of Savings. It is a brick object with clinker elevation and modest architectural detail in the form of a crowning cornice. The two-story building has a cellar and its solid reminds the letter “L”, being covered with a high-hipped roofs. The main entrance is located in the northwestern elevation. The elevations with a neatly organized look have been composed rhythmically and symmetrically. The arrangement of the interiors is mostly original. The decor and equipment of the main room and the offices have been regularly adjusted to the needs. The building presents original doorframes and staircase. In early 1945, the building was destroyed. After WWII, it was adapted for the needs of the post office.
The residential building at ul.Północna 36 was built in the frontage in the second half of the 1700s. It is an object set on a rectangle, or, due to the localization along the bend of the street and the neighboring buildings, it reminds a rhomb. The two-story house has a cellar and is covered with a high hipped roof. The half-timbered walls were firstly filled with clay. Now, there are plastered bricks, whitewashed with lime. The interior partly preserved its primary, historical look preserving the hallway leading to the yard. In the northeastern part, there was a gate and a crossing. In the early 1990s, the building was ruin. In 1993-1994, the object was given a complete refurbishment with partial replacement of the walls and reconstitution of the original architectural and décor features.
The Elementary School Building
The school building at ul.ks.J.Popiełuszki was erected in 1889 by the local building department in the area of the former embankments of the historical town. It was firstly a girls school. The three-story building without a cellar was made of brick and covered with a three-sided roof. The construction was set on a rectangle with two pseudo-rustications- in the front and back elevations, which contain staircases and spacious entrances. It is a cuboidal solid with triangular tops in the ryzalits. The eleven-axis front elevation has been composed rhythmically and symmetrically. The window openings in the second and third story were closed with units of arches and put in blendes among lisens leading to the crowning cornice and supporting an arcaded frieze. The inside of the building has two staircases. After 1945, the building has been used in accordance to its primary destination. The complete refurbishment took place in the 1960s. In 1982, the micaceous roof covering was replaced with galvanized sheeting.
The building located beside the main Road, erected in 1900 in the Art Nouveau and some elements of the so-called native style. It is a brick construction, set on an irregular square. The cellars cover almost the surface below the ground floor. The construction is two-story high with a hipped roof and ryzalits covered with gable roofs, and a four-sided tower in the corner. The exteriors present clinker-plastered elevation, plastered window bands, ornamented anchors, as well as decorative elements imitating half-timbered construction. In the southern part, there is a ryzalit ornamented with a step-like top, covered with green roof tiling. The entrance is in the western part of the building. The hallway is covered with original ceramic tiles and leads to a representative chamber with a coffer ceiling, a corridor and a staircase. Inside, original doorframes are preserved. On the eastern side, there is a balustered wooden patio with a roof supported on little pillars and a semicircular niche. Prior to WWI, it was plausibly the seat of the road management. After 1945, it was a kindergarten. At present, the building is the seat of the District Prosecutor’s office. In 2006, the elevation was renovated, window frames and roof sheeting were replaced.
The building positioned towards ul. Saperów, at the crossroads with ul. Targowa, was built at the turn of the 1700s and 1800s. It is set on a rectangle, erected on a stone base course, with a half-timbered style of the elevation. As a result of further building works, the walls were fully plastered. There are cellars covering almost the entire surface below the ground floor. The construction is covered with a high hipped-gable roof. The front elevation is symmetric, three-axial with the main entrance in the third axis. The interior of the building was composed in a two-route system with a hallway in the centre, in order to fit in the staircase. From the yard, the building is connected with an annexe. During the after-war renovation, some architectural details were deleted, such as window and door bands. In 2007, the roof sheeting was replaced.
The building positioned towards ul. Saperów was built at the turn of the 1700s and 1800s. It is set on a rectangle, erected on a stone base course, with a half-timbered style of the elevation. In further building works, the walls were fully plastered. There are cellars covering almost the entire surface below the ground floor. The construction is covered with a high hipped-gable roof. The front elevation is symmetric, pentaxial with the main entrance in the central axis. The window and door openings are surrounded with window and door bands. The interior of the building was composed in a two-route system with a hallway along, and the access to the staircase. From the yard, the building is connected with an annexe.
The building was erected in the first quarter of the 1800s in the classical style. It is located on a pass between Lake Górne and Lake Dolne, in the southern frontage. Possibly, it belonged to a miller’s family but there is no detailed data concerning the historical owners. It is known, that mills existed in that part of the town in medieval tahoma. The discussed object is a building set on a long rectangle with a four-sided vestibule on the eastern side. The construction was made of ceramic brick and calcareous mortar. It is a one-story house, fully plastered, with cellars covering the entire surface below the ground floor, covered with a high hipped-gable roof. The entrances were put in the front and back elevation in the through-axis. The front elevation was designed as eight-axial, ornamented with a pseudo-rustication and the entrance put in the fifth axis within the flat pseudoryzalit. The window frames are not preserved. There was another entrance to the building, primarily shut, in the eastern corner of the construction.
The building of the Teachers College was raised in 1904-1905. It is a ceramic brick building, non-plastered. The main construction is a three-story edifice positioned along Al. Wolności. The window openings are of various tops: sharp-edged in lower stories, unit-like in the second, curtain-like in the third story. The architectural detail consists of lisens, cornices, and rectangular, plastered panels. Partially, in the front elevation and in the upper parts of the building, high, sharp-edged blendes are installed. On the right side of the front elevation, a great sharp-edged window is visible. Above, fragments of the step-like top are preserved. In the background of the plot, there is the residential area, connected with the school building. The landmark consists of a diversified form with a transom, ryzalite and a hexagonal tower covered with a dome. In the neighborhood, the edifice of the school gym is located with a low passage leading to the main portal. Within the area, a park and garden layout is located, dating back from the beginning of the 1900s, still well preserved. The Teachers College existed until 1926. After the school was closed, a gymnasium was created in the abandoned building. After WWII, the edifice became the seat of the Technical School of Agricultural Engineering.
Another precious element of the contemporary housing in Al. Wolności is the building of former Regional Horticulture. Built in 1927-1928 in the modern style, it is set on an irregular plan, reminding of a horseshoe. It is a brick house, its lower floor being faced with clinker, covered with a gable roof. The central part of the building, preceded by a courtyard is emphasized by a ryzalite with a triangular top and a little bell. The arcaded corners of the building are facing the courtyard. The detail of the house is in brick. It is worth noticing the glazed bands of door openings and the subtle door frames. After WWII, the building was a surgery. Currently, it serves as social housing.
The building is located in ul. Strzelecka, next to a hill, which is believed to be the pre-charter settlement. The house of the Shooting Fraternity was built at the beginning of the 1900s as a half-timbered traditional seat of such societies. It is a two- story building, set on a rectangle, oriented from east to west, covered with a high gable roof. The front elevation was designed to have eleven axis. The main entrance was built within a three-axial ryzalits, shut with a triangular top. Currently, the building is home to the Town Library.