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The Warsaw Voice » Other » April 7, 2010
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Artists' Paradise
April 7, 2010 By M.M.    
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The Palace in Radziejowice, now home to an arts center, has a long and interesting history. The Radziejowice area also has strong ties to Józef Chełmoński, one of the greatest Polish painters of the end of the 19th century.
The village of Radziejowice is located in the idyllic, picturesque scenery of a slightly undulating plain on the Pisia G±golina River. >From the 15th century, the local lands were the property of the Radziejowski family, which chose to build its first residence here. The Radziejowice property remained in its possession until 1705. The most prominent member of the family was Michał, a Primate of the Catholic Church and the owner of palaces in Warsaw and Nieborów. In the 17th century, visitors to Radziejowice included magnates, clergymen and even the Polish kings Zygmunt III Waza, Władysław IV and Jan III Sobieski.
During World War II, the palace housed a hospital for German soldiers. After the war, the historic building became state property and underwent thorough renovation in 1956-1964, preserving the Baroque-Classicist character of the interiors. The palace and park complex comprises the Classicist palace, a small Neogothic Castle, the Larch Manor House, the Swiss Cottage, a former blacksmith's workshop and a park stretching across several dozen hectares with ponds. The complex includes a watermill and the remains of a manor farm.
At present, the palace and park are used as a center for artists and a venue for conventions, meetings and academic conferences. Visitors to Radziejowice include writers, journalists, film makers, musicians and visual artists. The historical interiors and the green surroundings are a perfect setting for creativity as well as leisure. Every summer a series of classical music concerts is held in Radziejowice.
The historic interiors are open to tourists, who can take in the palace's stylish and lavish furnishings. Radziejowice boasts a valuable collection of works by the most famous 19th-century Polish painters, including Poland's largest collection of paintings by Józef Chełmoński. The artist, who lived in the nearby village of Kuklówka for 25 years, was a frequent guest at Radziejowice and in his works he immortalized the beauty of the local Mazovian landscape. Kuklówka is a stop on a Chełmoński-related tourist trail. The trail starts from the Chełmoński monument in Grodzisk Mazowiecki and ends in Żelechów, where the painter is buried.
A picturesque avenue of linden trees leads from the palace in Radziejowice to the historic, Classicist church of St. Casimir, built in 1822. It was designed by Jakub Kubicki and constructed based on an octagonal design with two risalits on the sides. A closer look at the side altars in the church reveals the coat of arms of the later owners of Radziejowice, including the ax from the Ossoliński family's coat of arms and the night heron of the Krasiński family.
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