Kamieniec Zabkowicki Palace

Kamieniec Zabkowicki, Poland

1838

Marianne of Orange-Nassau, Princess of the Netherlands, daughter of King William I of the Netherlands and his first wife Friederike Luise Wilhelmine of Prussia, visits for the first time Kamieniec Zabkowicki, which was inherited after her mother. After deciding to build summer residence on its premises, the same year architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel prepares the first draft of the palace. He also involved a young, talented Ferdinand Martius, who is completely absorbed with work on the construction of the palace.

1839

The construction of the building begins in the spring of this year. The works are led by Ferdinand Martius. Karl Schinkel oversees them from Berlin. The walls of the ground floor, all pillars and columns in the chambers and part of the wall surrounding the building are ready in autumn.

1848

Construction of the palace is suspended as a result of divorce between Marianne and Albert. Because of the fact, that the divorce was conducted in an atmosphere of scandal, which was Marianne’s affair with stableman Johannes van Rossum, she was forbidden to stay in Prussia for longer than 24 hours, with a mandatory report at the police station at each entry and exit. She was also imposed with a penalty of infamy.

1853

Marianne visits Kamieniec and orders to resume the works. She passes the palace to her son Frederick Wilhelm Albert. She buys a property in Bila Voda, 12 kilometers away from Kamieniec, so she can visit the palace and supervise the work as often as possible.

1857

Construction of the fourth floor is completed and the first residents move into the palace. On this occasion, a grand ball is released and Ferdinand Martius is especially honored by Marianne.

1872

On May 8 they expose a figure of the goddess of victory – Nike on the hill behind the cave. This means the official completion of the construction of the palace after nearly 33 years. The total cost of the construction of the palace and park is 971 692 thalers. This is the equivalent of three tons of gold.

1883

Marianne of Orange-Nassau dies. She is remembered as one of the most unconventional lady of the 19th century, who surpassed its time.

1945

Descendants of Marianne, who reside in the palace, evacuate from Kamieniec area because of the approaching Red Army. Many goods, rooms’ equipment and works of art are exported from the palace. A year later it is destroyed by the fire and the residence becomes a ruin. Marble floors and columns are exported to help rebuild the capital after the uprising. In the 1950s devastation of the palace is progressing.

1986

Property is leased for 40 years.

2012

After the expiry of the lease, the palace returns under the direct management of the owner, i.e. Kamieniec Zabkowicki Municipality. The general condition of the complex is disastrous.

2013

After the intensive repair and replacement done by the owner of the facility, the palace is opened to the public.

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In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.

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