2(20)/2006, p. 45

Bogna Ludwig
Patronal settlement of the Książ Mines’ Group exemplified by the settlement adjoining the Bolesław Chrobry mine shaft in Wałbrzych

    The settlement by the Bolesław Chrobry mine shaft is the largest housing estate from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries in Wałbrzych, built due to the subvention of the Hochbergs. It originated by the Bolesław Chrobry mine shaft and the largest cokery and later the chemical plants in the Książ mining and industrial complex (the Fuerstersteiner Consolidierte) and in the nearest neighbourhood of a second mine shaft called Matylda. The dwelling complex was planned around 1900. The buildings come from the first and second decades of the 20th century.
    The settlement is located on the north side of a rather steep hill on whose summit there stands an eclectic restaurant building called Mathildenhoehe) (built after the construction of the settlement in 1904). The colony constitutes a picturesque, isolated complex, surrounded by greenery, distinguishable in the panorama of the town. Eleven three-storey dwelling buildings, with brick elevations, are situated in three rows parallel to the road. These are large eight-axis buildings, with small gables in the middle of a steep ridge roof. Around the settlement and between the buildings the area has been divided into workers’ garden plots. The urban design of the dwelling complex creates an interesting example of various composition systems being linked together. Identical objects regularly situated in rows, designed as a supplement to the buildings existing earlier, due to a suitable arrangement of the surroundings and service buildings obtained a central square – a play ground (by the house situated at the lowest level). Above, behind a successive row of objects an alley was created with the composition axis directed towards the chapel-mortuary, and further towards the mine shaft. Between the remaining buildings there were formed interiors of a courtyard-garden character. The surviving old road running with slight curves in a picturesque manner leads to the dominant of the complex – a restaurant at the top of the hill, while at its base it runs to the gate of the plants – the mineand cokery. Just as picturesque, with curves, is the road leading to the interior of the complex. In these solutions one may perceive the know-how of urban ideas of Stübben (green alleys), and irregular, charming solutions of Sitte. A similar arrangement of buildings – multi-row – was employed in Essen settlements of Krupp.
    The solution of a settlement complex constituted a difficult task to a mondator and the designer. First was the choice between one-family or multi-family buldings. Decidedly, multi-family buildings were chosen. The mine management motivated such a choice by the lack of building area. Most of the terrain was located above mining excavations. The buildings of this settlement present an example of a typical solution, with certain modifications duplicated in other resolutions and single buildings raised due to the initiative of the Hochbergs. They initiated the style of brick elevations in the neighbourhood of Wałbrzych. The planning of the building is a specific innovation. The solution of the staircases in the longitudinal system in protruding projections does not occur in objects designed in settlements of Upper Silesia nor does it occur in the settlements of Krupp plants. The flats were small (around 40 m2) composed of one room and a kitchen.
    The mining settlements raised in the vicinity of the Hochberg mines, similarly to other settlement complexes from the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, constitute an essential element in the landscape of Wałbrzych and as a result should undergo preservation. Patronal settlements constitute a certain peculiarity in this period of time in Silesia, as an example of seeking a solution to social problems of workers. They also have great values as urban complexes.