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The Royal Łazienki Gardens are open daily, from dawn untill 7 p.m.
During this time, following objects are free to visit: Amphitheatre, Sybil Temple, Egyptian Temple, Waterwell Building and other pavilions and sculptures located in Royal Łazienki Gardens.
 

History

The history of the Royal Łazienki Museum has its beginnings with Jazdów –
a medieval Slavic fortified settlement belonging to the Dukes of Mazovia.

This earth-wooden fortress was situated on the banks of a river fording point in existence during that era, the 12th century. The fortress was captured in 1262 by the Ruthenians and Lithuanians. During the siege Duke Zimowit I was killed. This tragic moment opens the history of the Royal Łazienki, as well as the history of Warsaw, as it is one of the first recorded and confirmed historical events from that period. After the merger of Mazovia with the Crown, Ujazdów became the property of Queen Bona in 1548. It was during these times that the court buildings were constructed and were most probably located where the later Belvedere would appear. Around the year 1570, near the present-day Łazienkowska route, a wooden palace belonging to Anna Jagiellonka was constructed. On the terrain located below the slope – a hunting enclosure with a variety of wild animals, a menagerie, was created

Zygmunt III WazaZygmunt III Vasa

During the reign of the King Zygmunt III Vasa (about the year 1606) the building of the first brick, early-baroque palace, called the Ujazdowski Castle, began. During the second half of the seventeenth century, the Grand Marshal of the Crown Stanislaw Lubomirski became the new owner of the estate. In the menagerie located below, new pavilions, designed by Tylman van Gameren, were constructed. These were the Hermitage, as well as the architecturally refined  Baths (1683-1689), which gave the name to the entire later architectural-park ensemble known as the Royal Łazienki.

In the first half of the eighteenth century Ujazdów was leased by the Saxon King August II, at the time of the construction of the Piaseczno canal.

In 1764, King Stanislaw August acquired the Ujazdowskie property. Within this vast forested area and the menagerie, the Grand Marshal had raised the Baths (1683-1689). The building was a small, yet tasteful architectural design by Tylman van Gameren. It is this building that Stanislas August decided to enlarge, hiring eminent architects - Dominik Merlini and Jan Christian Kamsetzer, painters - Marcello Bacciarelli, Jan Bogumil Plersch, and sculptors - Andre Le Brun, Giacomo Monaldi - for the interior decoration. Bachus

The result of the work carried out during the years 1775-1795, in which the King was actively involved consulting the proposed projects, is the present Palace on the Isle - the principal architectural composition at the Royal Łazienki. King Stanislas, a devotee and a connoisseur of the arts, established a magnificent collection of Italian, Dutch, Flemish and French Grand Masters’ paintings in the Palace. Under the royal patronage, the Royal Baths grounds were also enriched with other important works of architecture. The oldest are the elegant White Pavillion (1774) and the Myślewicki Palace (ca. 1774), a gift from the King to his nephew, Prince Jozef Poniatowski. The Old Orangery (1786-1788) was also constructed. It houses the magnificent Stanislas Theater, named after the King, which was opened to the public in 1788. In the upper floor of the Old Orangery, the King prepared a ‘Glyptothek’ - a collection of copies of ancient sculptures acquired in Western Europe - and made it available to young students of the arts.

Along with the work on the buildings and pavilions the transformation of the park continued. As a result, a park-garden was created combining the geometry characteristic of a seventeenth-century French garden, with a landscaped English garden, popular in the eighteenth century.

Unfortunately, the end of the reign of Stanislaus Augustus resulted in the gradual deterioration of his much loved park. The tsars, who took possession in 1817, treated the Polish King's summer residence as a secondary office. At that time many valuable works of art and objects were removed and taken to Russia. In the years between the two World Wars, under the management of the State Art Collections, the Royal Łazienki briefly regained its former glory.

During World War II, the Royal Łazienki was extensively plundered and heavily damaged by the German occupiers. In 1960, after many years of careful restoration, the Royal Łazienki was returned to the Polish people as a museum.


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