The Wilanów Palace Museum – Google Cultural Institute
The Palace in Wilanów belongs to those few places of interest in Warsaw, which remained in its intact form from the period of the Second World War. Situated slightly off the main track, Wilanów remained almost intact and today you can admire this wonderful baroque royal residence.The history of the Palace began on April 23, 1677, when a village became the property of King John Sobieski III.
At the beginning, the residence built there was small. Augustyn Locci, the king's court architect, received the task of creating only a ground floor residence of a layout typical for the buildings of the republic of Poland. However, military successes and an increase of the importance of royalty in the coming years had a huge influence on expanding the initial project. Huge construction works were conducted in the years 1677-1696. After completion, the building comprised of elements of a nobility house, an Italian garden villa and a French palace in the style of Louis XIV. After the death of the King, the Palace became the property of his sons, and in 1720, a run down property was purchased by one of the wealthiest women in Poland of those days Elizabeth Sieniawska. In 1730, the Palace, for three years, was owned by king August II the Strong, who made considerable changes in the residence, particularly as far as the internal decor is concerned.
In the middle of 18th century, the Wilanów property was inherited by the daughter of Czartoryski, wife of a field marshal, Izabela Lubomirska, during whose reign, Wilanów started shining with its previous glory. Sixty nine years later, the Duchess gave Wilanów to her daughter and her husband, Stanislaw Kostka Potocki. Thanks to his efforts, one of the first museums in Poland was opened in the Wilanów Palace, in 1805.
The exposition consists of two parts: on the first floor, there is the Gallery of the Polish Portrait, where you can see the effigies of the Polish monarchs collected over the centuries, representatives of great magnate families, participants of national uprisings, eminent artists and people honored by Poland. Their authors are often prominent Polish and foreign painters.
After visiting The Gallery of Polish Portraits, you will be able to see the royal apartments of the palace. Rooms where parties took place, chambers where the royal couples listened to music, met their friends and guests, and where they worked and rested.