Zakopane Style: Polish or Jagiellonian?

Andrzej Szczerski (PDF)

The Samogitian, Stanisław Witkiewicz (1851–1915), began to develop the Zakopane style around 1890. This style is an attempt to renew architecture and fine crafts and proof of the distinctive Polish national spirit, a voice supporting the aspiration for political independence. With its obvious Polishness, the Zakopane style became the equivalent of a national style for the Jagiellonian society. Witkiewicz designed the Saldutiškis railway station in Lithuania (1899) and the Kurhaus in Palanga (1902) and may have contributed to the design of a manor house in the Trakai district. The expansion of the Zakopane style was facilitated by architectural and ethnographic research, which aimed to prove the thesis of Witkiewicz that the Zakopane style had dominated the whole territory of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth until the fourteenth century. Furthermore, research was stimulated by the search for a national style. According to Witkiewicz, the Saldutiškis railway station was a monument that preserves the unity of the civilisation of the lands of the Jagiellonian Republic.

Keywords: Stanisław Witkiewicz, national spirit, architecture, Jagiellonian society, Saldutiškis train station