The liberation campaign conducted by the Red Army in 1945 incurred considerable damage to Prussian towns envisaged as the heritage of a hostile state. This type of devastation also affected Olsztyn - the largest city of Eastern Prussia. Untouched by wartime hostilities, Olsztyn was burned down and destroyed by Soviet soldiers. This holds true in particular for the Old Town Market Square and its environs as well as Kortowo. After power was taken over from the Soviet authorities the first post-war years initiated a long and arduous period of reconstruction - this was the time of clearing the rubble and limited ventures focused primarily on restoring public utility buildings. Only the first half of the 1950s brought the reconstruction of the Old Town Market Square (more than 50% was destroyed), although plans, documentation and discussions dated back already to the end of the 1940s. Particular attention is due to the undertakings initiated by Janina Stankowska, the prime and, for long time, the only architect in the city. The turn of the 1940s witnessed the conception of reconstructing the Old Town, devised by Hanna Adamczewska. Despite the completed projects and confirmation by the urban authorities, none of the plans were implemented. The early 1950s marked the reconstruction of the southern and eastern rows of houses according to projects by S. Bobinski and K. Orlowski, prepared by the Ateliers for the Conservation of Historical Monuments in Gdansk. The newly erected townhouses were granted neo-Baroque forms, quite possibly by following plans used in Gdansk, rebuilt at the same time. The destroyed townhouses in the northern and western rows had been designed already by local architects - E. Michalski and K. Wojcik. All told, 17 houses were raised in the Market Square - two in the northern row, six in the western row, four in the western row and five in the southern row. During the 1960s a considerable part of the façade was decorated with folk motifs applied in the sgraffito technique. No significant work was performed in the Market Square to the end of the twentieth century. Conservation-construction undertakings in the Old Town were not completed until the late 1990s and ended in 2003. Their outcome was the re-Gothicisation of the southern wing of the town hall together with unveiling the oldest fragments of the wall and repairing the northern and western wings.
mgr historii sztuki, absolwent Instytutu Historii Sztuki UW. Uczestnik seminarium doktoranckiego prof. Jakuba Lewickiego w Instytucie Historii Sztuki UKSW. Zainteresowania: sztuka i historia Warmii, zagadnienia konserwatorskie w sztuce sakralnej. Nauczyciel historii sztuki.
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