Architecture Around the World ......................Poland - Table of Contents

Villa Koliba Museum, Zakopane, Poland
AKA The Stanislaw Witkiewicz Museum of the Zakopane Style at Koliba




Stanislaw Witkiewicz


The first building in the Zakopane style.

Official website:

The Tatra Museum (Tatra Mountains)

Stanislaw Witkiewicz (1851-1915) was a larger than life character who bestrode the cultural life of his day like an eccentric prophet. Besides being a gifted painter, he was also a key critic and the creator of the celebrated 'Zakopane Style' of architecture. Fed up with the deluge of Swiss style chalets that were popping up across the countryside, he decided that Poland (which had been robbed of her sovereignty) needed her own style of architecture, and it was in the Highlands that he found his inspiraration. This building - the Villa Koliba - was his first experiment in the style, and today it houses a delightful museum about the creator and his art.

The steeply pointed roofs are modeled after Gothic structures from the Middle Ages.

Traditional wooden cottages are made from roughly cut logs and feature delicately carved patterns and intricate woodwork decoration.

Weather conditions when these photos were taken in October, 2008: rain.

Click on illustrations for larger size -- and additional information




Ornamented tympanum

Finial atop gable



Incised decoration

Side view

Side view - sun and moon cutouts

Side view

Photos and their arrangement © 2008 Chuck LaChiusa
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