Pałac Błękitny
Pałac w latach 80. Fot. Mariusz Brzeziński/

The Blue Palace in Warsaw: a classicist monument waiting for better times

The Blue Palace, also known as the Zamoyski Palace, is one of the former residences built in Warsaw. Over the years, the edifice has been rebuilt and modernised many times. It gained its final form between 1833 and 1838, and took its name from the colour of the roof it was covered with. The damaged and burnt-out palace was rebuilt in the late 1940s.

The old huge edifice on Senatorska Street passed through various hands and became the property of Stefan Potocki, who donated it to the king. After 1726, King August II the Strong ordered the palace to be rebuilt. The work was carried out by a team of Saxon designers and architects with the participation of Daniel Joachim Jauch, Jan Zygmunt Deybel and Karol Friedrich Pöppelmann. It was called the Blue Palace after the colour of its roof. The estate then passed to the Czartoryski family.

The Blue Palace in 1938. Source: State Archive in Warsaw

From 1811 to 1944, it was inhabited by the Zamoyski family, who commissioned the rebuilding of the palace in classicist style according to a design by Friedrich Albert Lessel. In the years 1816-17 a building was constructed to house the collections of the Zamoyski library. Between 1833 and 1838 a two-storey annex was added. Fryderyk Chopin gave concerts in the estate, and Stefan Żeromski also worked there. Until the outbreak of war in 1939, the palace housed an excellent art collection and, in a specially adapted pavilion, the Zamojska Ordynacja Library. In 1939, the palace was partially destroyed. The surviving objects and library collections were taken away by the Germans or burnt down. Further destruction was carried out during the 1944 uprising.

The main body from the side of the garden, 1938 and 1980s. Source: National Archives in Warsaw and “The Book of Warsaw Palaces”, Tadeusz S. Jaroszewski – Interpress Warsaw 1985

Between 1948 and 1950, the building was taken back from the rightful heirs and rebuilt according to a design by Bruno Zborowski for the Department of Workers’ Estates. It was then given the form of the early 19th century. Later, until 1997, the Blue Palace housed the headquarters of the Polish-Chinese Friendship Society. The building was also the seat of the Municipal Transport Works, and later of the Warsaw Municipal Transport Authority. In 1965 the palace, together with an outbuilding, the Zamojska Ordynacja Library building and the garden, was entered in the register of monuments.

The burnt-out library, 1941 and the same building today. Source: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons and Wistula, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1999 Jan Tomasz Zamoyski sold the claim to the palace to the entrepreneur Jozef Hubert Gierowski, who recovered the reprivatised palace in 2000. Gierowski made an in-kind contribution with it to a limited liability company. “Błękitny Pałac”, after which he sold his shares. Today the palace stands abandoned and is deteriorating year by year. One of the outbuildings houses the Esther Rachel and Ida Kaminski Jewish Theatre, the Yiddish Culture Centre and a restaurant.

The burnt-out main body of the palace during the occupation and the rebuilt building in the 1980s. Source: State Archive in Warsaw and “Księga Pałaców Warszawy”, Tadeusz S. Jaroszewski – Interpress Warsaw 1985


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