Recommended place for your guided tour or business trip in Warsaw - the Potocki Palace! If you are spending your holidays in Poland or you are in a Warsaw for business trip and do not have a lot of time for long sightseeing, you should probably see at least the Old Town. On Your Warsaw tour you will also probably be on Krakowskie Przedmieście where near to the Presidential Palace, Potocki Palace is.
The palace is a good example of Warsaw's aristocratic mansions. Not many of them survived twists and turns of city's history. Some of them houses government institutions, some are places of important bussines mitings, some are turned into museums. Potocki Palace is considered one of the most precious. It's definetely worth seeing during guided tour in Warsaw's Old Town.
The Palace is considered the pearl of Rococo. It was designed by Italian architect, August Locci. Later rebuilt by another designer with Italian origins, Jakub Fontana, the complex is compared to king's palace in Wilanow. Not without reason - it’s beautiful sculptures are the work of John Chrysostom Redler. The artist that previously adorned the palace garden in Wilanow.
Guided tour through Warsaw history: a tale of two families
Next to the gates of Potocki palace one can see four sculptures depicting the work of Hercules. In the eastern wing we will see the fight with the bull and lion. In the west wing the fight of Cerberus and the dragon is picured. The Palace was owned by two great Polish aristocratic families, The Potocki family and after them by their arch-enemies, the house of Czartoryski.
Admiration to classic art and mythology was probably something that connected both powerful families. Polish aristocracy strongly believed in their ancient roots, derived from mythical tribe of Sarmatians, sometimes even from Roman aristocracy.
Headquarters of secret police
Apart from it's interesting architecture, the Palace has it's darker side. After partition of Poland it was used by prominent members of Russian administration. Among them was the infamous head of secret police, Nikolai Novosilcov. This devious and cruel figure was commemorated in famous national Poem, "Dziady", by Adam Mickiewicz. It was Novosilcov's actions that brought this great poet in exile, never to return to his homeland.
Reconstruction after 1945
During interwar period it was lent to foreign ambassadors: Swedish and American embassies were housed under it's roof. Unfortunately, the building was demolished during II World War, but was carefuly rebuilt after the liberation of the city. One can consider it as a masterpiece of faithful reconstruction of Polish monuments. Nowadays it houses Polish ministry of culture and national heritage.