Composers / Fryderyk Chopin / Places catalog


The Belvedere dates back to the seventeenth century. The Grand Chancellor of Lithuania, having purchased the land from the Royal Chapel Master, Bartłomiej Pękiel, built his suburban residence there. Shortly after, Chancellor Pac gifted the mansion to his wife, Klara Izabella [Claire-Isabelle] de Mailly Lascaris, a French lady-in-waiting in the retinue of Queen Maria Ludwika [Marie Louise]. The residence bears the name ‘Belvedere’ (It. ‘fine view’) in the deed of endowment.

The Pac manor survived until the 1730s. The cause of its destruction is not known, but it was most likely a fire. At that time, King Augustus II leased all of Ujazdów, including the land on which the Belvedere stood. A new rococo structure was erected on the site of the erstwhile residence of the Chancellor’s wife. The architect was Józef II Fontana, father of the famous Jakub Fontana, court architect to King Stanislaus Augustus. The Belvedere briefly passed to the Princes Lubomirski, before coming into the possession of Stanislaus Augustus in 1767. The king decided to set up a Royal Faience Manufactory in the palace. Porcelain was manufactured there for the first few years due to the unprofitability of faience. The plant was beset with many difficulties, not least of which was water drainage. Eventually, the king reluctantly leased the factory to a certain Franciszek Józef Schütter (who enjoyed the monarch’s favour, so it was rumoured, mostly on account of his comely wife). Schütter, however, failed to save the ailing enterprise, and it closed its doors in 1783.

A whole new chapter in the history of the Belvedere began in 1818, when it was sold to Tsar Alexander I, who designated it the residence of the commander-in-chief of the Kingdom of Poland: his brother, Grand Duke Constantine. The palace was remodelled a year later. The architect Jakub Kubicki soon transformed it from a rococo residence into a neoclassical one. The Belvedere was altered inside and out. ‘The most striking interior was the Blue Hall, named after the colour of the upholstery and curtains’, writes Marek Kwiatkowski. ‘It is now the Pompeian Hall. There is a rounded cavity in the main wall of the room, where a divan was once placed. Grand Duke Constantine used to spend most of his evenings here in the company of his wife, Joanna Grudzińska, Duchess of Łowicz, and his son Paweł. The recreation room, an octagonal chamber adjacent to the Blue Hall, has changed little since the times of the Grand Duke.’

It was in the Blue Hall that the youthful Fryderyk Chopin displayed his pianistic virtuosity before the Grand Duke's family and guests. Eustachy Marylski wrote in his memoirs that ‘the carriage of Grand Duke Constantine would fetch him every Sunday, so that he could spend the entire day playing with young Paweł at the Belvedere.’ ‘As he often visited and played for His late Imperial Highness the Grand Duke Constantine at the Belvedere, he dedicated a march of his own composition to him”, writes Kazimierz Wóycicki. ‘The Grand Duke told him to play it. He liked the work of the young Fryderyk so much that he marched around the room with a smile beating time. When [Fryderyk] played and improvised, he usually raised his eyes and fixed them on the ceiling. The Grand Duke would then ask “What are you looking at up there? Are you reading the notes?”’

The Grand Duke’s son Paweł played with Fryderyk and the young Countess de Moriolles (known as ‘Moriolka’), the daughter of Paweł’s tutor, in the gardens behind the palace. These had been fenced off and redesigned in 1819. Yet these amusements were probably not all that frequent and would have taken place under the watchful eyes of governors. This is because, as Marek Kwiatkowski writes, in the days of the Grand Duke, the Belvedere was a magnet for informers, ‘and imprisoned patriots, frequently without trial, chained to wheelbarrows, worked tending the garden.’

The Belvedere wrote itself into Polish history on 29 November 1830, when the November Uprising was launched with an botched attack on the Grand Duke’s palace. Constantine managed to give the insurgents the slip and escape with his life.

Place Category
Antoni Brzezina’s bookshop Publishers / Bookshops
Antonin Manors / Palaces / Castles
Apartment of Dominik Magnuszewski Flats
Apartment of Stefan Witwicki Flats
Apartment of the family of Alfons Brandt Flats
Augsburg Evangelical Church of the Holy Trinity Churches / Places of worship
Belvedere Appearances
Bielany, Camaldolese monastery Churches / Places of worship
Blue Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
‘Botanika’ Other
Brochów Churches / Places of worship
Brühl Palace Appearances
Buchholtz’s instrument store Other
Casimir Palace Flats
Chopin Monument in Łazienki Park Other
Czapski (Krasiński) Palace Appearances, Manors / Palaces / Castles
Dal Trozzo bookshop Publishers / Bookshops
Duszniki Zdrój Hotels / Inns
Dziewanowski home Flats
Engraving studio of Fr Izydor Józef Cybulski and Antoni Płachecki Education
Franciszek Klukowski bookshop Publishers / Bookshops
Fryderyk Chopin Museum Other
Fryderyk Skarbek’s apartment Flats
Gdańsk Hotels / Inns
Gładkowskis' apartment Flats
Golub Other
Holy Cross Church Churches / Places of worship
Home of Jan Matuszyński Flats
‘Honoratka’ Coffeehouses
Jabłonowski Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
Jan Böhm’s townhouse Flats
Kalisz Other
Kikół Manors / Palaces / Castles
Kolbergs' apartment Flats
Kowalewo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Kozłowo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Krakow Other
Ludwik Dmuszewski’s house Flats
Magnus's bookshop Publishers / Bookshops
Marceli Celiński’s apartment Flats
Maurycy Mochnacki’s home Flats
Miss Kicka's Salon in Lubomirski Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
National Theatre Appearances
Obory Churches / Places of worship
Obrowo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Ojców Other
‘Old’ Merchants' Hall Appearances
Patisserie Lourse Coffeehouses
Pieskowa Skała Other
Płock Other
‘Pod Kopciuszkiem’ and ‘Dziurka’ Coffeehouses
Poturzyn Manors / Palaces / Castles
Powązki Cemeteries
Poznań Other
Presbytery of St Jadwiga (Hedwig) parish church in Milanówek Other
Pruszak Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
Residence of Józef Reinschmidt’s parents Flats
Rościszewo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Sanniki Manors / Palaces / Castles
Saxon Palace Flats
Saxon Post Office Other
Skating rink Other
Sochaczew Other
Sokołowo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Staszic Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
Strzyżew Manors / Palaces / Castles
Szafarnia Manors / Palaces / Castles
Toruń Other
Turzno Manors / Palaces / Castles
‘U Brzezińskiej’ Coffeehouses
Ugoszcz Manors / Palaces / Castles
Viceroy's Palace Appearances
Vilnius (Wileński) Hotel Hotels / Inns
Visitandine Church of St Joseph Churches / Places of worship
Waplewo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Warsaw Other
Warsaw Charitable Society Appearances
Warsaw Conservatory Appearances
‘Wiejska Kawa’ Coffeehouses
Wieliczka Other
Wojciech Żywny’s apartment Flats
Wola Tollhouse Other
Wrocław Appearances
Żelazowa Wola Flats
Żychlin Manors / Palaces / Castles