Willa Milusin

Willa Milusin: the heart of Polish history in Sulejówek

Villa Milusin in Sulejówek has a special significance in the history of 20th century Poland. It became a socio-political symbol of sorts because of its association with the person of Józef Piłsudski, an independence activist, soldier, leader, politician, outstanding statesman and one of the fathers of Polish independence. It was in this building that the key decisions for the fate of our state were made, and Piłsudski hosted here eminent personalities of his time.

Sulejówek, before World War I a tiny village in the midst of forests, became a popular summer resort after a railway stop was opened there in 1910. In 1921, Aleksandra Piłsudska, persuaded by Deputy Speaker of the Sejm Jędrzej Moraczewski, bought a wooded plot of land with a small wooden summer house. The initiative to commemorate the Marshal’s services resulted in the construction of the Milusin villa, financed by the Polish Soldiers’ Committee.

The villa at the turn of the 1920s and 1930s. Source: NAC – National Digital Archive www.nac.gov.pl/

Willa Milusin

The small villa Milusin, in the Manor House style fashionable in the interwar period, was designed by the architect Kazimierz Skórewicz. The choice of style was not accidental. In the first quarter of the 20th century, the characteristic form of the Polish manor house became the embodiment of the national style and had a symbolic dimension for the reborn state after the years of partitions. Villa Milusin reflected these aspirations, becoming a symbol of national identity.

Józef Piłsudski accompanied by his wife Aleksandra, daughters Jadwiga and Wanda, Professor Odo Bujwid (next to the Marshal) and his adjutant Lieutenant Michał Galiński in front of the villa, 1925. Source: NAC – National Digital Archive www.nac.gov.pl/

Józef Piłsudski moved to Milusin in 1923, after his resignation from the post of Chief of the General Staff. For three years Milusin became his family home, a place for work and meetings with his former subordinates. His important works such as My First Battles and The Year 1920 were written during this time. After Piłsudski’s return to political activity, the family moved to the Belvedere, while Milusin remained a summer and holiday destination.

Interior of the villa in the late 1920s and early 1930s Source: NAC – National Digital Archive www.nac.gov.pl/

After the outbreak of the Second World War and Aleksandra Piłsudska’s emigration to London, the manor house was occupied by the Wehrmacht, and in 1947 it was taken over by the Polish Army, which removed the Marshal’s mementos. After the war, until 1956, the house was at the disposal of the USSR ambassador, and was later converted into a kindergarten. In 2000, the Sulejówek City Council handed over Villa Milusin to the Józef Piłsudski Family Foundation, and in 2008 an agreement was made to establish the Józef Piłsudski Museum in Sulejówek.

Photo: Maciej Jabłoński/F11, collection: National Heritage Institute

Milusin’s value is not only limited to historical and scientific aspects, but also includes authenticity. The villa and the ‘Drewniak’ house have remained unchanged since the Piłsudski era. The spatial layout, window and door joinery, original parquets and floors, and modest interior architectural decoration have been preserved. Years later, the original furniture and objects that had furnished the house during the Marshal’s lifetime, dispersed after the war, returned to the building. The restoration of the area surrounding the buildings, carried out in recent years, has made it possible to recreate the form and function of the various parts of the complex.

Willa Milusin
Photo: Maciej Jabłoński/F11, collection: National Heritage Institute

The Józef Piłsudski Museum in Sulejówek, located in the Milusin Villa, is an important place of remembrance and historical education. Visitors can see authentic interiors, furniture and objects related to the Marshal, as well as participate in numerous educational and cultural events. Thanks to the efforts of many people, Willa Milusin remains a living witness to Polish history and a symbol of the struggle for independence.

Source: zabytek.pl

Read also: Architecture | History | City | Villas and residences | Architecture in Poland

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