The modern forms of towns in Lower Silesia

Bogna Ludwig



The article presents and compares the plan solutions of modern towns located in Lower Silesia after the Thirty Years’ War. It shows a few urban designs of Renaissance and Baroque forms. The aim was to find inspiration and models, and to indicate probable imitations, as well as the assessment of the value of urban projects and their relevance to the perpetuation or change of the used concepts.     The area of Lower Silesia after the Thirty Years’ War had an organized and fairly complete settlement grid. One of the few reasons of founding new towns was the development of mining of metal ores. The other motive was prestigious considerations. In this case, an appropriate choice of spatial forms was much more important. Among the mining towns two obtained a clearly Renaissance shape – Bolesławów (1581) and Złotniki Lubańskie (1677). These small towns of the Renaissance arrangement are typical for this region (Saxony, Kingdom of Bohemia, especially the Sudetenland) and belong to later implementations (though still used throughout Europe in the 17th century, or even the 18th century). Due to their small size, similarly as other towns of the mining region, they are formed of only a large square market with four streets surrounded by a building frontage. The Austrian courtiers and the new nobles during the Baroque period created a few new towns with the aim of nobilitation. The most important urban initiatives are related to the activities of members of the family of Württemberg-Oels, who organizing their new residences decided to found or to develop a neighboring town. On the initiative of Silvius Nimrod, the first of the duces, Dobroszyce (1663) were founded. Eleonora Charlotta, widow of Silvius II Frederick, contributed to the construction of a new Baroque city enclave in Twardogóra (circa 1685).     Brzeg Dolny of Abraham Dyhrn (1662) became another example of Baroque arrangement. Apart from conservative Renaissance solutions in the genesis of applied in most cases of founding mining and craft towns, in the 2nd half of the 17th century there came into being, also in Lower Silesia, very innovatory urban foundations. They were created at the same time or even earlier than many analogous foundation from adjacent areas.

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