The Royal Castle in Warsaw
plac Zamkowy 4
Opening hours: Closed 1st January, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, 1st and 3rd May, Corpus Christi; open Mondays and Sundays, 11am-6pm (May 1 - September 30); Tuesdays - Saturdays 10am-6pm.
Originally a medieval residence of the Mazovian Princes, the Royal Castle in Warsaw had a number of occupants across the ages: the Polish kings from 1526 to 1795, the Sejm (the lower chamber of Parliament) until 1569, again the monarchs and the Sejm at the time of the Dukedom of Warsaw and the Congress Kingdom, followed by the management of the National Holdings of Art from 1922 and the President of the Polish Republic from 1926. Restored and furnished with repossessed furniture and works of art, it was partly opened to visitors in 1922-39. Destroyed by the Nazi in 1944, it was rebuilt in 1971-84, and since 1971 has operated as a state-run institution under the name of the Royal Castle in Warsaw – a Monument of National History and Culture. Gradually opening to the public as the restoration and furnishing activities progressed, it opened fully in 1984.
The paintings, sculpture and decorative arts preserved nowadays inside the Castle are those that decorated its interiors at the time of King Stanislaw August Poniatowski, were the property of the National Holdings of Art in 1922-39, were acquired through gifts and bequests by W. Majewska, A. Ciechanowiecki, T. Wierzejski, J. Gawronski, J. Wesierski and others, or purchased. Some exhibits are deposited copies and reconstructions, while others have been contributed by the Ciechanowiecki Foundation and the Teresa Sahakian Foundation.
Paintings include views of Warsaw by B. Bellotto, portraits and historical scenes by M. Bacciarelli, portraits of Polish kings and distinguished individuals and of European rulers, allegorical and genre paintings by B. Strobel, T. Kunze-Konicz, F. Smuglewicz, J. B. Piersch, L. de Silvestre, G. B. Lampi, A. Kauffmann and others. Graphics include engravings, drawings, albums and globes featuring portraits, ancient, religious and court scenes, views of architecture, works by T. Treter, W. Hondius, J. Falck and G. B. and F. Piranesi. Of particular value is the Stockholm roll – a scroll more than 15 m long with a drawing showing the wedding suite of Sigismund III and Archduchess Constance arriving in Cracow in 1605. Sculpture is represented by works of artists associated with the court of King Stanislaw August, including A. Lebrun, J. Monaldi and P. Courdray, and by Italian and French works from the sixteenth to eighteenth century, including busts of European rulers and modern copies of ancient sculptures. Textiles are particularly noted for the Flemish, Brussels, French and Polish tapestries, rugs and embroideries, and for the more than 560 Oriental rugs from Teresa Sahakian's collection. Furniture includes some pieces that stood in the Castle interiors during the reign of Stanislaw August, in particular two console tables with mosaic tops, commissioned in Rome by F. M. Saluzzo as his gift to the Polish king, designed by V. Peter and made by P. Salvini, and throne chairs designed by the period's artists. Visitors will also see some sixteenth to eighteenth century furniture made in Polish, French, German, Dutch and Italian workshops, as well as clocks, bronze and crystal candlesticks, chandeliers made in Gdansk workshops, crystal appliqués and fountains from eighteenth century German, Austrian and French workshops. Glass and ceramics are represented, among other items, by the Italian Renaissance majolica, eighteenth century Silesian, Czech and Polish glass, Saxon china, and Far Eastern ceramics. The Archive preserves royal documents, family archives, Castle restoration and other Castle-related files as well as audiovisual material such as photographs, slides, films and recordings.
The Castle's permanent exhibitions are interiors arranged according to their function. The ground floor contains official interiors centered around the Old Deputies' Hall as well as a set of court rooms decorated with works of art dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, notably with portraits of the Polish kings – Sigismund the Old, Bona Sforza and Stefan Batory - in the Main Hall. The Sejm interiors include the aforementioned Old Deputies' Hall with re-created coats of arms of 32 lands and voivodships (provinces) of the Republic on the ceiling, as well as the New Deputies' Hall and the Senators' Hall, where the Constitution of 3rd May was adopted. The private rooms include the suite of Prince Stanislaw, King Stanislaw August's nephew, consisting of three rooms: the Antechamber, the Social Room and the Study, accompanied by the Four Seasons' Gallery. The Matejko rooms contain Jan Matejko's celebrated paintings, including Rejtan and Batory at Pskow. The Grand and Royal Suites have been re-created in accordance with the eighteenth century design and with the function they served during the reign of King Stanislaw August (1764-95). They have been decorated with works of art salvaged from the former furnishings of the Castle, such as paintings by Bernardo Bellotto called Canaletto and Marcelo Baciarelli, a reconstructed plafond by Jan Bogumil Plersch, sculptures by Andre Lebrun and Giacomo Monaldi, bronzes by Philipp Caffieri, and French furniture of the second half of the eighteenth century. The second floor starts with a Gallery of Decorative Arts, displaying nearly 200 items dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and including bronze, silver, ceramics, glass, furniture, textiles and jewellery from the Ciechanowiecki and Lanckoronski Foundations as well as from the former Castle holdings. The President Ignacy Moscicki's Study contains furniture that once stood in the Presidential Office, portraits of leading politicians from 1918 to 1939, and photographs of the Moscickis. The Hall of Orders recounts the history of Polish orders from the seventeenth century to contemporary times as well as displays jewels from the Nieswiez Treasury of the Radziwill family. The Numismatic Room is home to an exhibition of more than three thousand Polish coins and medals from the Middle Ages up to the present day. There is also a separate numismatic collection of the Bank Handlowy in Warsaw S.A. The Room of the Polish Republic Authorities in Exile is furnished with items from the London seat of the Republic's President and government. The Lanckoronski Gallery displays paintings presented by Professor Karolina Lanckoronska, with two canvases by Rembrandt from the former collection of King Stanislaw August. Stefan Zeromski's apartment contains an exhibition of interiors in which the writer spent the last years of his life with his family. The Castle cellars house two permanent exhibitions, The "Exhibition of Mortars Donated by Professor Krzysztof Gorski of Geneva and Daily Objects from Castle and the Old Town Excavations". The Palace under the Tin Roof houses an exhibition of 250 Oriental rugs from the collection of the Teresa Sahakian Foundation.
Zamek Królewski w Warszawie
pl. Zamkowy 4
Phone: (+48 22) 35 55 170 inf., 35 55 338 rezerw.
Fax: (+48 22) 35 55 127 inf., 35 55 271 rezerw.
plac Zamkowy 4