Restoration of the Krzyżanowski's Chapel

Complex works at the chapel on the Lychakiv Cemetery in Lviv

By POLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel at Lychakiv Cemetery, Lviv (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

Lviv lawyer, Stanisław Krzyżanowski, erected a mausoleum commemorating his mother, Teofila Krzyżanowska Kalicińska Tarnowska (née Targowska), at the Lyczakiv Cemetery.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Commemorative plaques (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

Teofila Tarnowska had been an actress in Kraków and Lviv theatres, and had died in 1890.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel at Lychakiv Cemetery, Lviv (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

The neo-Gothic chapel was built in the years 1890-1891 on the site of the Cetner family chapel, the oldest mausoleum in Lyczakiv.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel after restoration works (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad


The author of the architectural design of the Krzyżanowski chapel was Jan Tomasz Kudelski, and the original construction was performed by a company under the ownership of Jan Lewiński, from Lviv.
Designed in a coherent and homogeneous manner, from the shape of the to the smallest decorative details, this chapel is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the Lyczakiv Cemetery. 

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Entrance (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad


The Chapel’s neo-Gothic style, full of romantic symbolism, stemmed from England in the 18th century and added metaphysical, religious attributes and historical significance. Owing to this, the 19th century often saw the neo-Gothic style chosen in the building of mausoleums and cemetery chapels. 

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel during restoration (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

The POLONIKA Institute began conservation, reconstruction and restoration works on the Krzyżanowski Chapel in the summer of 2019. The goal was to curb the decaying process and preserve the historical elements as fully as possible, as well as restoring the mausoleum to the full extent of its artistic value. Ultimately, together with the necessary restoration works, numerous reconstructions and additions to the missing and most damaged structural elements and details were also carried out.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel before restoration, Jan Tomasz Kudelski, 1890/1891, From the collection of: POLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad
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The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Damages to the ouside wall, Jan Tomasz Kudelski, 1890/1891, From the collection of: POLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad
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The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Damages of the interior, Jan Tomasz Kudelski, 1890/1891, From the collection of: POLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad
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The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Altar during restoraion works, Jan Tomasz Kudelski, 1890/1891, From the collection of: POLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad
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Prior to these works, conservators had assessed the condition of the chapel as very bad, and there was a distinct possibility that the entire construction could cave in. The tin roof sheeting was corroded and damaged, bricks were missing in the walls, stone elements had cracked and crumbled. Only fragments of the wall paintings in the dome of the chapel had been preserved, and the stained-glass windows were completely destroyed. Restoration work took over a year.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel.Construction of the roof during restoration (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

Roof

Corroded and damaged secondary sheathing was removed from the roof. The original wooden roof truss which was then exposed, proved to be in very poor condition in many places. The restoration of the truss consisted of the replacement and repair of decayed rafters and structural elements.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Reconstructed roof tiles (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

The new roof covering is copper sheet laid on a wooden sheathing using the traditional seam joining technique.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Fragment of orignal roof tile (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

During the work on the roof truss, fragments of ceramic tiles glazed in various colors were found. It was later uncovered that the entire area around the chapel was strewn with fragments of broken ceramics, remnants of tiles that originally had covered the entire roof of the chapel. Following this discovery, it was decided that a complete reconstruction of the original roof covering would be added to the works. 

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Roof tiles (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

The original glazed ceramic tiles, carp rods, had been produced in two colors in the factory of Jan Lewiński. Similar ones were found on the roofs of other buildings in Lviv, dating from the end of the 19th century.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel at Lychakiv Cemetery in Lviv (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Altar during restoraion works (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

Sculptural decorations

Carved stone details made of sandstone and marble required cleaning, and in some cases cavities in the stone were filled. The stone carvings were cleaned and coated with a biocidal product. Damaged and missing fragments and details were supplemented with reconstructions using better-preserved fragments as models.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Interior during restoration works (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

The marble altar inside the chapel with a medallion with the image of Christ was cleaned with delicate brushes. Dirt and rust stains were chemically removed over the course of several treatments.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Altar after restoration (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

Stone gargoyle. The Krzyżanowski's Chapel at Lychakiv Cemetery in Lviv (1890) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Damages of the interior (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

Vault and polychrome

The works on the painted decorations on the vault were carried out in stages, and consisted of securing the better-preserved fragments and the reconstruction of those completely destroyed.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Interior decoration before restoration (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

The vault was cleaned of surface dirt with a soft brush, remaining fragments of the preserved paintings were removed from the walls, secured, fixed and pasted over the new plaster in the final stage of the works. Transfers of 12 plaster sheets were made. This process included the removal of plaster fragments, securing them, fixing and cleaning them, and then pasting them onto new substrate. 

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Wall paintings during restoration (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

Then, on the basis of these redraws and photos, traces were made with a drawing of the reconstruction of the polychrome. These decals were used for the reconstruction of the most damaged fragments of the decoration. In the final stages, retouches and underpainting was performed and the entire polychrome was consolidated and blended, in terms of colour.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Interior decoration (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

Restoration of the Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Wall painintgs (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

In the final stages, retouches and underpainting was performed and the entire polychrome was consolidated and blended, in terms of colour.

Restoration of the the Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Neogothic windows (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

Stained glass windows

The stained-glass windows, which are an indispensable element of neo-Gothic designs, were almost entirely destroyed, with only shards surviving.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Restoration works of the stained glass windows (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

Research confirmed an Austrian company which had carried out numerous orders from Lviv at the time, had also made the stained glass windows for the Krzyżanowski chapel.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Reconstruction of stain glass window (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

In the archives of the Tiroler Glasmalerei und Mosaik Anstalt company, a note was found referring to an order for "two ornamental stained glass windows with church symbols for the funerary chapel."
This find resulted in a decision to perform a full restoration of the stained glass windows on the basis of the surviving designs.

The Krzyżanowski's Chapel. Detail of stainglass window (1890/1891) by Jan Tomasz KudelskiPOLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad

Krzyżanowski's Chapel at the Lychakiv Cemetery in Lviv. Opening after restration works, 2021, From the collection of: POLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad
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The Krzyżanowski's Chapel at the Lychakiv Cemetery in Lviv, Jan Tomasz Kudelski, 1890/1891, From the collection of: POLONIKA The National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad
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Following 18 months of work, the restoration work on the chapel was completed in 2020. In order to do so, 8 728 bricks and 1 088 stained glass panes were used and, on the basis of just two preserved ceramic tiles and one ridge tile, 1 025 ceramic tiles and 75 ridge tiles were reconstructed. Work on the project was performed by a Polish-Ukrainian team of restorers led by Marcin Kozarzewski. The project was possible thanks to the cooperation of the Polonika Institute with the Management Board of Office of Historical Environment Protection of the Lviv City Council and the Management of the Lyczakiv Cemetery Museum.

Credits: Story

Text: Anna Ekielska
Translation: Eva Piotrowska
Photo: Narodowy Instytut Polskiego Dziedzictwa Kulturowego za Granica POLONIKA, Rafał Jemielita, Monument Service, Anna Kudzia, Vitalij Chyzhewskij, Marcin Kozarzewski
© Narodowy Instytut Polskiego Dziedzictwa Kulturowego za Granicą POLONIKA and authors

Supervisory institution: Ministry of Culture and National Heritage /  Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego RP

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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