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The Warsaw Voice » Society » December 2, 2009
Mazovia Heritage
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Romance With History
December 2, 2009   
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In the picturesque setting of a scenic park near Ciechanów lies the Museum of Romanticism in Opinogóra. The museum is housed in a former palace complex that used to belong to the noble Krasiński family.

The first records of Opinogóra date back to the 12th century, when the then voivod of Mazovia handed it over to the Norbertine Nuns in Płock. When Mazovia was incorporated into the Kingdom of Poland, Opinogóra became the property of the Crown. In 1659 the king handed Opinogóra as a gift to Jan Kazimierz Krasiński, a courtier and the Grand Undertreasurer of the Crown. In the mid-18th century Opinogóra became the property of Michał Hieronim Krasiński, and remained in the hands of the Krasińskis until the partitions of Poland. It was returned to the family in the mid-19th century. Opinogóra was severely damaged in World War I and after the conflict, Count Edward Krasiński chose not to renovate the castle.

Plans to reconstruct the Neogothic castle in Opinogóra as a cultural center appeared in the 1950s. The initiative came from the Association of Ciechanów Region Enthusiasts. Work began in 1958 and was completed three years later. The Museum of Romanticism opened in the reconstructed interiors on May 20, 1961.

The museum has two exhibition areas, one in the Little Castle and the other in the Outhouse. While spectacular on the outside, the castle is small. Visitors can see several rooms with a typically Romantic interior decor. The exhibition starts with a tapestry from 1722 with a genealogical tree of the Krasiński family. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a parlor from the times of Zygmunt Krasiński, a great Polish Romantic. It features numerous portraits of him and his family.

Other rooms open to visitors in the Little Castle and the palace are the White Parlor, the Red Parlor, the Tower Parlor and the Napoleonic Hall. Items on display in the latter come from the Napoleonic era, reminding visitors that Gen. Wincenty Krasiński took part in Napoleonic campaigns.

The castle in Opinogóra is surrounded by a large, romantic park. Here there is a stone table where Zygmunt Krasiński apparently used to sit in search of inspiration. The Museum of Romanticism in Opinogóra is funded by the Mazovia province local authority.
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