Since 1308 years it was a place of residences of Oleśnica and Brzeg Piasts. In the years 1714-1722 a palace was built in the baroque style designed by Christopher Hacker (who co-designed the main building of the University of Wrocław). The old palace was burnt down in 1760 during the Seven Year War. Its ruins were demolished and a new palace was built in this place in the style of early classicism and neo-renaissance, which made  the Hatzfelds Palace the architectural pride of the city.

Its construction began in 1765 and lasted eight years. The designer of the first draft was Isidore Cannevale, but the final authorship is attributed to the prince building inspector – Carl Gotthard Langhans. Langhans slightly changed the concept of Cannevale by mostly redesigning the interior of the new palace, but the solid Roman Renaissance style of facades remained compatible with the design of Cannevale.

Owing to this structure Carl Gotthard Langhans won considerable renown and began a successful career in architecture (his most celebrated example is  Brandenburg Gate in Berlin). New Hatzfelds residence was one of the largest such buildings in Silesia. It occupied the entire width of the quarter between Krowia and saint Wita streets. Quiet and elegant facade, referring to the best Italian and Austrian examples, was one of the most outstanding contemporary realizations on the European scale.

In 1802 the palace was passed to the city and became the seat of provincial and district authorities. Unfortunately, almost 150 years later – during the siege of Festung Breslau – it was severely damaged. New Market square was occupied by a battery of artillery for which the upper floors of the palace had been demolished to facilitate fire. The main facade collapsed in 1946. Though the entire ground floor survived the war , its large part was demolished due to the demand for brick.

For several years after the war the ruins of the Hatzfelds Palace  was a place of  films shooting. At the beginning a complete reconstruction of the object was planned, but soon the idea was abandoned  apparently because during the war the palace was the seat of the Silesian district chief – Karl Hanke. The palace was rebuilt in the 60s as a relic – half of the ground floor and mezzanine stroke – and then it became the seat of the gallery of modern art.

In 2006, the window frames and doors were replaced, part of the front facade was insulated and bright red shutters were installed on the glazing tops. In March 2007, there were plans for the reconstruction of the building for the the City Council. High investment costs, however, stopped  the reconstruction. Former Hatzfelds Palace  is still waiting for better times. It is a good idea not to hurry with a “cheap” reconstruction, because the class of the building deserves to reproduce as accurate  details as possible and the use of the best materials.

Source: tuwroclaw

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