Wilanów Palace (Pałac w Wilanowie)

Wilanów Palace


Location: ul. SK Potockiego 10/ 16, Wilanów district Map

Tel. 022 842 25 09

Bus: E-2, 116, 117, 130, 139, 164, 180, 519, 522, 700, 710, 724

Palace: May- Sep: 9:30am- 6:30pm Mon- Sat

Oct- Apr: 9:30am- 4:30pm Tue, Thu, Fri

Closed: Jan

Park: 9am- dusk


Completed: 1696


Description of Wilanow Palace

Wilanow Palace is a former royal residence situated on the South- East outskirts of Warsaw. It is surrounded by a vast beautiful Wilanow Park. Wilanow Palace was constructed in 1677 by the orders of a Polish king Jan Sobiesky who wanted a new suburban residence to escape noise and chaos of a capital. After he died Wilanow Palace changed hands several times. Each new owner added something of their own to the exterior and interior of this lavish residence. No one dared, however, to remove external sculptures that glorified military successes of palace's original owner.
Elizabeth Syniavska did most visible alterations. She expanded her private chambers and increased the size of the kitchen. Thanks to her renovation projects Wilanow Palace became one of the most stunning examples of Polish Baroque. It also houses one of the first museum opened in the country. It was established in 1805 by Stanislaw Potocki. During World War II invading German troops stole many of its artifacts, but they were later recovered and returned to Wilanow Palace.


Architecture and decoration of the palace
The architecture of the palace is original - it is the result of combining European art with the old Polish tradition of construction. The painterly and sculptural decor of the facade and palace interiors has been preserved, which in reference to ancient symbolism proclaims the apotheosis of the Sobieski family and the glorification of the king's military successes.

The stucco and painting decorations of the palace are the work of such artists as Józef Szymon Bellotti, Jerzy Siemiginowski-Eleuter, Michelangelo Palloni, Claude Callot, Jan Reisner (the ceiling painting of Dawn in the Mirror Cabinet), Johann Samuel Mock (paintings of Augustus II the Strong in the Dutch Cabinet). The decorations in the façade shields were made by Francesco Fumo. Regency ornamentation (20s and 30s of the 18th century) is the work of Pietro Innocente Compereti. The author of the cabinet sculpture is from the south-east. Polish (Puławy) from the family of sculptors working for the Lubomirski family - Eliasz Hofmann.

Initially, in the years 1677–1680, it was a typical suburban magnate residence, in the shape of a Polish manor house with alcoves. The extension and decoration project was probably entrusted to Tylman van Gameren. Augustyn Locci took over the management of the works.

In the years 1692–1696, the central part of the palace received the second floor, and the palace towers were crowned with copper helmets. Its shape from 1696 represents a characteristic type of baroque suburban residence, entre cour et jardin. In the years 1720–1728, side wings were added (designed by Giovanni Spazzio - the main architect of Elżbieta Sieniawska née Lubomirska).

After Sobieski's death (1696), the palace, in accordance with the treaty signed in 1699 by his three sons, became the succession of Aleksander and Konstanty.

In 1720 Konstanty Sobieski sold the palace to Elżbieta Sieniawska, who in the following years expanded the palace, incl. by adding side wings. Works commissioned by Józef Fontana were carried out. After Elizabeth's death in 1729, her daughter, Maria Zofia Denhoffowa, later wife of the Ruthenian voivode, prince August Aleksander Czartoryski, became the heir. She gave the palace a lifetime lease (i.e. until 1733) to the successor of Jan III, King Augustus II the Strong. The next heiress was their daughter, Izabela Lubomirska, and acting widely in the artistic field, she enriched the palace with many works of art and erected new buildings in the courtyard.

In 1799 her son-in-law, Stanisław Kostka Potocki, became the owner. On his initiative, in 1805 one of the first public museums in Poland was established in part of the palace. In addition to presenting the rich collections of European and Far Eastern art, the central part of the palace is devoted to the memory of Jan III and the great national past.

In 1836, in the pre-palace area, Aleksander Stanisław Potocki erected a mausoleum commemorating his parents, designed by Henryk Marconi.

In 1892, the palace passed into the hands of Ksawery Branicki and remained in the family until 1945. The last owner was Adam Branicki.

On May 14, 1926, during the May Coup, Stanisław Wojciechowski signed in the palace his resignation from the position of President of the Republic of Poland.

During World War II, the Germans and Hungarians plundered about 80% of the palace's interior furnishings, and the palace garden was also destroyed.

It was taken over by the state after the last war, after thorough conservation and restoration works, as well as restoration of a large part of the collections taken away by the Germans, it was made available to the public in 1962.

Since 1995, the palace and the palace and park complex have been managed by the Museum of King Jan III's Palace in Wilanów (until 2013 it was called the Wilanów Palace Museum). In 2004, the renovation was carried out with the help of the Norwegian financial contribution to the EEAGrants association together with other Polish monuments (Malbork Castle and the Cloth Hall in Krakow).

Separate articles: Museum of King Jan III's Palace at Wilanów and the Poster Museum at Wilanów.

The Wilanów team appeared on the following postage marks:
a postage stamp with a face value of 60 groszy from 1967 (designed by Stefan Małecki, reproduction of a painting by Wincenty Kasprzycki), circulation of 8 million copies,
two postcards commemorating the Stamp Day in 1971 with the denominations of 40 groszy and 1.65 zlotys (designed by Tadeusz Michaluk), circulation of 500 and 200 thousand, respectively pieces,
postcard from December 17, 1971 (designed by Jacek Brodowski with the Sobieski coat of arms - Janina), circulation 106,400,
postcard from April 18, 1977 on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of Wilanów (designed by Jacek Brodowski, with palace details), circulation 1,013,000,
occasional date stamp for April 21-26, 1977,
the last stamp of a series of six postage stamps put into circulation on November 21, 1977 with a face value of PLN 6.90 (designed by Jacek Brodowski).