Kraków. Villa Decius
The villa of Iustus Ludovicius Decius (Polish: Justus Ludwik Decjusz) built in Wola Chełmska (today’s Wola Justowska, named after the name of the dignitary) in the 1530s is one of the most famous and beautiful examples of residential architecture in Poland. Built on the initiative of the secretary to King Sigismund I, it was modelled on the suburban villas around Florence and Rome fashionable in the Europe of the time as they provided a place for leisure, meetings, and philosophical disputes. It is a work (1533/34-ca 1535) of the construction company set up by Giovanni Cini of Siena, Bernardino de Gianotis, and Filippo of Fiesole after completion of the works on the Sigismund Chapel. In its original shape it had one storey, with the interiors laid out on three axes, and was connected to a parterre garden which was considered a marvel by the court poet Klemens Janicki. Located on the eastern slope of the hill, its main façade faces Kraków.
The residence was surrounded by gardens and a park. It is assumed that the garden design was composed of two parts: a larger parterre garden, and another garden of the giardino secreto type. The adjacent forested hills were a compositional complement to the complex. The whole three-storey-high arcaded loggia present between the two alcove towers is today a product of a redevelopment performed under Stanisław Lubomirski in the first quarter of the 17th century.
Currently, the residence and park complex consists of the Villa Decius building and two subsidiary buildings: Łaski House from the 1630s and Erasmus House built early in the 21st century, with the Decius Park surrounding them. Since 1996, the main building has been the seat of the Villa Decius Association.
• St. Mary’s Church: the epitaph of the daughter of Iustus Ludovicius Decius
The epitaph devoted to Anna Decjuszówna, the daughter of Iustus Ludovicius Decius, and to Andrzej Rottermund can be found in the Kraków Church of St Mary. It presents marble architectural decoration in the form of a cornice supported on pilasters terminating in Ionic capitals, with vegetal decoration. The line of the cornice is broken by a cartouche with the coat of arms of the Rottermunds (divided party per fess, with an anchor in the upper and carp in the lower field). The centrally situated figure presents a person praying before Christ crucified. It is one of the few material items related to the presence of Decius in Kraków.
• St. Mary’s Church: the tombstones of Seweryn Boner and Zofia Boner
Seweryn Boner, banker to King Sigismund the Old and a nephew of Jan Boner (one of the closest collaborators of Decius), was buried in the family chapel of St John the Baptist at Saint Mary’s. The bronze tombstones of Seweryn (1538) and Zofia (after 1532) Boner, cast by the Hans Vischer workshop in Nuremberg, that are found in the chapel are believed to be among the best works of early Renaissance sculpture in Poland.