"Korniakt House" Rynok Sq., 6
At Rynok Sq. in Lviv one’s attention is attracted by the monumentality and palace character of the building number 6. This is the Korniakt House, one of the most prominent monuments of civil Renaissance architecture of the sixteenth century in Ukraine.
History has left us two names associated with the construction of this building – vintner Kostyantyn Korniakt, the Greek in origin and architect Pietro Barbon.
Kostyantyn Korniakt settled in Lviv in 1569. He moved here from Moldova, where he grew rich on customs work and wine trade. He was very educated man, knew several languages and had relationship in many Eastern countries. King of Poland Sigismund II Augustus invited him to the post of personal secretary and in 1571 gave him the title of nobility for certain services. In 1576 another King Stefan Batory confirmed the nobility and granted Korniakt a special privilege allowing building a house with six windows on the facade at Rynok Sq.
Korniakt bought two buildings at Rynok Sq. and one from the side of Fedorova St. and built there the palazzo in late Renaissance style with beautiful courtyard, enclosed on the perimeter by three rows of loggias. This is the only place in our country with Italian courtyard of the sixteenth century. Date of completion, 1580, is carved on the portal from Fedorova St.
Kostyantyn Korniakt died in 1603. In 1623 his descendants sold the house to the religious order of Discalced Carmelite. In 1640 the house was bought by Jakub Sobieski - father of the future King of Rzecz Pospolita Jan III Sobieski. After the coronation of Jan III the building became one of the residences of the King and later got its second name – Royal House.
In 1709 the sons of King sold the house to Stanislaw Mateusz Rzewuski. Since that time until the beginning of the nineteenth century the house belonged to the family of Rzewuski. In 1804 the house was bought by Aleksander Chodkiewicz, and in 1816 it was bought by Helena Poninska from Gorski. Karol Gorski in 1817 thoroughly restored the house. The work was led by an architect Frederick Bauman Potocki. At that time the interior of the house acquired its modern appearance in the style of French classicism.
The last owners of the house Lubomirski sold it in 1908 to the city in a much neglected condition. The same year “National Museum of Jan III” was opened there. In 1940 this museum was merged with the Museum of History of Lviv on Rynok Sq., 4 and got its present name - Lviv Historical Museum. In so-called Royal Halls, located on the first floor, there is an exposition of the department “Historical Treasures”.
Despite numerous restructuring, the house remained almost unchanged. The facade which ends with a rich attic with figures of the king and the knights, completed in the seventeenth century captures by its extraordinary beauty and harmony. There is a Gothic Hall preserved on the ground floor, the only monument of secular Gothic in Lviv, the remnant of the fifteenth century house, disassembled before the palazzo construction. Still on the second floor there preserved the longitudinal beams typical to Lviv constructing of the sixteenth century.