About Wilanow Palace
Wilanow Palace (Palac w Wilanowie) is a beautiful, late 17th century Baroque palace in Warsaw built by King Jan III Sobieski. Combining Polish architectural style with several others from around Europe, Wilanow Palace became Jan III’s royal home and eventually the place where this military leader died.
Wilanow Palace history
Construction of the residence began in 1677. Augustyn Locci, the king’s court architect, received the task of creating only a ground floor residence of a layout typical for the buildings of the Republic of Poland. However, military successes and an increase of the importance of royalty in the coming years had a huge influence on expanding the initial project.
Huge construction works were conducted in the years 1677-1696. After completion, the building comprised of elements of a nobility house, an Italian garden villa and a French palace in the style of Louis XIV.
After the death of the King, the Palace became the property of his sons, and in 1720, a run down property was purchased by one of the wealthiest women in Poland of those days – Elizabeth Sieniawska. Over the upcoming centuries, Wilanow Palace would change hands from royal residents to wealthy owners, including being the home of King August II the Strong in the 1730s.
In the middle of 18th century, the Wilanów property was inherited by the daughter of Czartoryski, wife of a field marshal, Izabela Lubomirska, during whose reign, Wilanów started shining with its previous glory. Sixty nine years later, the Duchess gave Wilanów to her daughter and her husband, Stanislaw Kostka Potocki.
In the 19th century, Wilanow Palace was turned into a museum and, despite many of its works being stolen during World War Two, most of these have since been returned.
Wilanow Palace today
Today, the museum at Wilanow Palace displays a range of artwork. Visitors can also tour the royal apartments at Wilanow Palace as well as viewing pieces related to the history of the Polish royal family, including their effigies. The gardens of Wilanow Palace are stunning and are also nice to wander through.
Getting to Wilanow Palace
The Museum of King Jan III’s Palace is located on the territory of Wilanów, approx. 10 km from the centre of Warsaw, at the end of the historic Royal Route, leading from the Old Town with the Royal Castle to the Palace in Wilanów.
Explore the diverse history of Poland, from the great Barbakan to the beautiful Wilanow Palace, through our guide to 10 historic sites, landmarks and monuments to see when in Poland.