THE DESIGNS OF FRANZ SCHWECHTEN, EDOUARD ANDRE AND STANISLAW WITKIEWICZ FOR PALANGA (LITHUANIA)
The Lithuanian seaside resort of Palanga (known to the Poles as Polaga), was founded on the initiative of one man: Feliks Tyszkiewicz. His imagination and financial muscle permitted him to employ such widely-known architects from Western Europe as Franz Heinrich Schwechten and the French designer of gardens, Edouard André, who together devised the combining of an imposing residence with an exclusive and modernist seaside spa town. Not everything included in the original plan was actually carried out, but what has been preserved alongside the surviving plans make it possible to recreate one of the most original private building initiatives from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries in the territories of pre-Partition Poland. Although the participation of Edouard André was already familiar to researchers, the part played by Franz Schwechten had remained doubtful, and it was only thanks to German investigations that all doubts as to this architect's involvement were finally dispelled. Other architects employed to design imposing constructions for Palanga included Mikolaj Oginski and Stanislaw Witkiewicz younger (pseudonym Witkacy), although their conceptions never came into being. All the same, the little town was transformed into an elegant seaside resort during the course of little more than a dozen years and provoking the declaration from 1913: 'Let Polaga become in the North what Zakopane already is in the South'.
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