Pałac Krasińskich

A magical corner of Warsaw. Garden and Krasiński Palace

Already hundreds of years ago, the northern area of today’s Śródmieście (City Centre) was a representative area of Warsaw. During the Baroque and Classical periods, the wealthy and wealthy built their residences there. The magnificent Krasiński Palace with its garden or the Saski Palace were also built there, and at the beginning of the 20th century, the famous department store, the Simons Passage, proudly marked its presence in the area. Now Varsovians can rediscover this place. For the first time, valuable exhibits have been made available to visitors at Krasiński Palace.

This year saw the completion of the final stage of the modernisation of Krasiński Palace, which is sometimes referred to as the Palace of the Republic. Since 21 May, exhibits that were previously hidden in the vault of the National Library have been available to visitors. As a result, this part of Warsaw will once again appear on the map of the best places to visit in Warsaw. It is no longer only possible to stroll through the Krasiński Garden, but to enter the historic Palace. Previously, it could only be visited on holidays. The National Library, which manages the building, explained the restrictions by the need to protect the most valuable collections – manuscripts and old prints.

Extensive renovation and modernisation of the historic building was necessary. The palace was designed in the second half of the 17th century by Tylman von Gameren, who came from the Netherlands. He used the palace layout known as entre cour et jardin – with a garden on one side and a courtyard on the other side of the building. The assumptions refer to French models – Versailles and Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. The founder of the palace, Jan Dobrogost Krasiński, was a lover of French culture. In this way, one of the most beautiful Baroque residences in our part of Europe was created.

Pałac Krasińskich

Perhaps the palace would not have looked so magnificent had it not been for the personal ambitions of this Płock voivode and Warsaw starost. Wanting to emphasise the importance of the Krasiński family, he built an edifice to compete with the palace for King Jan III Sobieski in Wilanów, which was under construction at the time.

In the middle of the 18th century, the palace was bought by the Republic and served as the seat of the Crown Treasury Commission. Renovations were then carried out and the interiors were supplemented with new decorations. In 1766, the palace garden was opened to the inhabitants. During the Partitions of Poland, the building housed the Court Chamber, and in the interwar period the Supreme Court. Nearby was Warsaw’s most famous department store, the Simons Passage. Trade and business life flourished there. Unfortunately, the Germans destroyed the palace during the Warsaw Uprising.

The building was rebuilt in 1952-61, at which time the National Library became the host of the building, storing its most valuable collections. Among the collections are the Holy Cross Sermons, the Old Holy Cross Yearbook, the Florian Psalter and numerous manuscripts – chronicles by Gall Anonymus and Wincenty Kadlubek, as well as medieval and Renaissance works by European illuminators, including the famous Sforziada.

Today, the area is once again becoming a coherent recreational and walking area. Krasiński Garden stretches from around Bank Square to Świętojerska Street, and covers an area of 3.4 hectares. Changes are also taking place in the neighbourhood of the garden. On the other side of the park, at Długa Street (in the vicinity of the Arsenal, on the plot formerly occupied by the Simons Passage), a luxury apartment building is to be built, whose appearance will be reminiscent of the Passage building. This is another architectural intervention after the erection of the apartment building at 4 Stare Nalewki Street, which will be realised on the site of the building that was bombed in 1939.

Krasińskich Square in 1945 and today.

Importantly, the city is planning further green investments in this part of Warsaw. Bankowy Square and Teatralny Square are to be redeveloped and filled with greenery. We wrote about these changes HERE. The changes that have been carried out and are planned make this magical corner of Warsaw one of the most attractive in the capital.

source: own compilation, press materials of the National Library

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