Waplewo is first mentioned in 1376 as the then new settlement of Wapils. During the fifteenth century, the property was still in the possession of the Teutonic Knights. Waplewo changed hands frequently and was owned in turn by the Rabe family of the Kos coat of arms (1483 to the beginning of the seventeenth century), who built the first manor house, the Niemojewski family (1611–1641) and then the Zawadzki family, who had the brick manor built. The Sierakowski family of the Ogończyk coat of arms came into possession of the estate sometime around 1760 and made it a centre of Polish culture in what was then East Prussia. The Sierakowskis loved art, music and literature. They collected some 400 paintings and had a valuable library of more than 11,000 volumes. The Waplewo manor was visited by some eminent persons, including Józef Ignacy Kraszewski (1867), Oskar Kolberg (1875) and Jan Matejko (1877).
In 1815, Antoni Sierakowski, the son of Kajetan and Anna Sierakowski, acquired the estate. He repaired the damage caused by Napoleon’s army and was actively involved in economics and culture, as well as education (he built a school for rural people and set aside funds to pay the teachers). Through his father-in-law, Count Franciszek Ksawery Zboiński, Sierakowski was able to meet Chopin, who was spending his 1827 summer holidays with the Count in Kowalewo. Zboiński is known to have set off for Gdańsk in the company of Sierakowski and Ignacy Dembowski. What is not certain is whether Chopin went with them. He had written a letter from Kowalewo in which he mentioned an impending trip to Pomerania, but there is no first-hand information to confirm that the trip actually took place.
The Pomeranian trip was an opportunity for Sierakowski to invite Chopin to Waplewo. Everyone definitely went to the Sierakowski estate on 14 or 15 August 1827, when they got back from Gdańsk, but there is no documentary evidence to confirm that Chopin was there. All we have is a recollection of Antoni written by his grandson, Adam Sierakowski, in 1899, that reads as follows: ‘he was an art lover body and soul. Above all, he was a musician. He played the violin beautifully and had his many compositions published. The famous composer Chopin was his friend and stayed at Waplewo’. Antoni Sierakowski, being a music lover, might well have made a piano available for Chopin to display his prodigious talent on the instrument. Chopin probably returned to Kowalewo from Waplewo in the company of Count Zboiński. Sierakowski left for Gdańsk with Dembowski once more, as is confirmed by their registration at the ‘Pod Trzema Murzynami’ (Three Negroes) hotel.
The Sierakowskis owned Waplewo until the Second World War. After the war, the manor housed the State Pedigree Breeding Centre, and in the 1970s it was thoroughly renovated. Since 2006, the palace and park complex has been under the care of the Gdańsk National Museum. The Museum set up a branch in Waplewo known as the Museum of Noble Tradition. The Pomeranian Centre for Contacts with Poles Living Abroad. The Waplewo manor is considered one of the most valuable surviving examples of Poland’s rural heritage in the north of the country.