Transformations and Adaptations of Architectural Models in the Residential Architecture of the 17th Century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Franciszek Skibinski

In the early modern period, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, comprising parts of present day Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Belarus, became a crossroad of the various architectural tendencies. The process of adaptation of the architectural models arriving there from across the continent is, therefore, illustrative of the mechanisms of the cultural transformation taking place in early modern Europe. The recipient culture plays a crucial role in that process, as cultural identities condition receiving, adapting, or rejecting various architectural solutions. It may be argued, therefore, that adaptation of architectural models is always a transformation, a constructive and selective act that follows the rules and impulses of a specific culture. Based on that assumption, this contribution intends to examine spatial settings of the residences in the Commonwealth in their European context to arrive at a better understanding of the way the various architectural models were being adapted to the local functional requirements. As such, it will explore the interaction between architectural framework and the ceremonial it served. Focusing on several case studies, including the residences in Kielce, Warsaw, Czemierniki, and Podhorce (Підгі́рці in Ukraine), it thus hopes to shed light on the process of a ‘cultural translation’ involving transformation of the architectural models in Central and North-Eastern Europe.

Kielce, Warsaw, Czemierniki, Podhorce, Early Modern Age.