Lazienki Palace

Warsaw, Poland

The origins of today’s Łazienki Palace date back to the late 17th century. The Bathhouse was built at the behest of Prince Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski, one of the most important politicians, writers and philosophers of the time. The Baroque garden pavilion, designed by the Dutch architect, Tylman van Gameren, was intended as a place for resting, leisure and contemplation. The interiors of the Bathhouse were stylized on a grotto with a spring which symbolized the Hippocrene, a fountain on Mount Helicon in ancient Greece, which was the source of poetic inspiration for the Muses.

In 1764, when looking for a place in which to build his summer residence, King Stanisław August purchased the Bathhouse together with the Ujazdowski estate. Thanks to two architects – the Italian born Domenico Merlini and Johann Christian Kammsetzer, who was born in Dresden – the King transformed the Baroque Bathhouse pavilion into the neoclassical Palace on the Isle. Modelled on Italian architectural solutions, such as the Villa Borghese, Villa Albani, Villa Medici and Villa Ludovisi, it was intended to symbolize the dream of an ideal, modern and sovereign state.

Stanisław August transformed the Palace on the Isle into a villa museum in which he displayed the most valuable paintings from his collection of 2,289 works of art by some of the most distinguished European artists of the seventeenth and eighteen centuries. Dutch artists were the best represented; the finest paintings among them were those executed by Rembrandt van Rijn. Girl in a Picture Frame and Scholar at His Writing Table, were purchased from the King’s heirs in 1815 for the Lanckoroński collection and thanks to the donation from Karolina Lanckorońska made in 1994, they now hang in the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

Today, 140 works of art from the King’s collection are on display in the Palace on the Isle, and are exhibited in line with eighteenth-century principles. The most important works are: Anton R. Mengs’ Portrait of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams – English ambassador to Russia and friend of King Stanisław August – Jacob Jordaens the Elder’s Satyr Playing a Flute, Jan Victors’ Jacob and Esau, and Angelica Kauffmann’s Portrait of Princess Giuliana Pubblicola Santacroce.

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Warsaw, Poland
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Details

Founded: 17th century
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Poland

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nena Bučinel (3 years ago)
A nice historical place for walking around and chill out. You can also enter the castle and see the interior beauty.
gianmaria carretti (3 years ago)
Big park just near city center, I think in warm season would be best time to visit.
Małgorzata Filipowicz (3 years ago)
I've fallen in love with this place. Every time I take a walk there, it makes me reflect on the beauty of nature. Because I am also genuinely interested in the history of Poland and Polish works of art, I do enjoy looking at all the buildings and sculptures scattered around the park. I really recommend this place to anyone willing to just rest, think and marvel at architecture and art.
Tianxiang Xiong (3 years ago)
Stumbled upon this in the park after visiting the Chopin monument. A very interesting palace-turned-museum. Surprised to see live
Alexandra Nechita (3 years ago)
A must see in Warsaw. The ticket price includes an audio guide that you can take with you and explore at your own pace. I recommend purchasing a full ticket to visit the other museums in the park as well, including the Orangery (my favorite). I visited in December so everything was frozen but I bet in the summer the park is really nice. If you stroll around the lake, you can also see swans, ducks and even squirrels there.
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