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By Pogranicze Media
Published: 10.03.2014



   
Pieter’s son - the castellan of Lublin, Andrzej Firlej - after having inherited the fortress in 1553, decided to transform its raw  form of a typical defensive fortress into a truly Renaissance mansion. For this purpose, he employed Santi Gucci Florentine - the most prominent architect of the contemporary Poland, who fell in love with a local girl, Katarzyna Górska. He married her and lived in Janowiec for 20 following years. S. Gucci raised a complex of buildings alongside the curtain walls decorated with ornamental attics and connected by cloisters. At that time, Jan Kochanowski - Andrzej’s friend - was a frequent guest in the castle. The landlord did not enjoy the renovated mansion for a long time because he unfortunately died in the year when the works were closed.
  
After Firlej’s death the building was taken over by the Dulski family, Przegonia coat of arms, and by the end of the  16th century the Tarło family, Topór coat of arms, had their ancestral seat there. During their reigns the enlargement of the castle continued; the Eastern wing, enfilade and the western tower were raised. It was also then that the characteristic painted figures of soldiers modeled on folk art appeared on the castle walls. In 1654, the estate, as a dowry of Barbara Tarłówna, became the property of the Lubomirski family.
   
A year later, during the civil war (Lubomirski’s Rokosz), the castle belonging to the rebellious ex-marshal Jerzy Sebastian Lubomirski was attacked by royal wards of John Casimir. While the building was being occupied by the dragoons’ company of major Sokołowski, the courtier of the Lubomirski family - Liniewski - was killed. It was publicized by the opposition as an attack on the noble freedom in the Republic of Poland.
   
During the Swedish Deluge, Janowiec was conquered and partly destroyed by the army of Charles Gustav. After the Swedes departure, the owners brought the castle back its former brilliance with the help of a prominent Baroque architect, Tylman van Gameren, who stayed in the castle in 1664. It is said that he made a design of a half-cylindrical chapel with an apse placed on the border of the castle courtyards. During post-war renovations, a number of other modernizations was made. Former farm buildings were changed into a representative part, which entailed the need to erect new buildings for a kitchen, farming devices and servants.
   
Together with the 18th century’s devaluation of a prestigious and economic meaning of the towns: Kazimierz and Janowiec, the rank of the mansion, which was neglected by its landlords and was slowly decaying, also diminished. In 1783, the chamberlain of Kremenets and the inhabitant of Targowica, Mikołaj Piaskowski, bought or, according to a rumor, won the castle in cards. Piaskowski was a rich and, at the same time, a wasteful man, who squandered the majority of his property and died in deteriorating buildings in 1803.
  
After his death, the Orławski family, and later Ludwik Budziszewski, August Zawisza, Feliks Ćwirko-Gotycki and finally Paulina Wiktoria Zieleniewska were the owners of Janowiec. All of them did not reside in the castle, but they saw a great source of building materials in it and they used it profusely.
   
The last private owner of the castle, Leon Kozłowski, restrained a process of the castle’s devastation. In 1928, he bought the ruins with a view to rebuild the castle. However, his plans were not completed and the building got more and more overgrown. After World War II, the mansion being too small to be subject to land reform remained in the hands of the owner. Probably, it was the only private castle in People’s Poland then. In 1975, by the end of his long life, Kozłowski resold the highly devastated mansion to the Nadwislańskie Museum for 1 million of the contemporary zlotys (an equivalent of few Fiats 126). Construction and repair works were undertaken then, as the result of which the monument was secured as a permanent ruin and was partly reconstructed for museum and touristy purposes.
Zhukiewicz Bohdan
translated by Joanna Hardukiewicz

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