Composers / Fryderyk Chopin / Places catalog

Staszic Palace

This magnificent classical edifice, now the main building of the Polish Academy of Sciences, was constructed in 1820–1823 as the headquarters of the Warsaw Society for the Friends of Learning, of which Stanisław Staszic was then president. The palace was designed by Antonio Corazzi and built on the site of a Dominican church and monastery demolished in accordance with a tsarist edict implemented by Viceroy Józef Zajączek. Tsar Alexander I had originally wanted to build an orthodox church in memory of the seventeenth-century burial chapel for the Shuisky tsars that had stood here, but abandoned the plan. Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz maliciously speculated that he did so because it was ‘not spacious enough for him to ride that way by cariole and not spacious enough to deploy regiments’.

The Society purchased the site on the initiative of Staszic in 1818 and held its first meeting there in January 1825.

The following description is from Łukasz Gołębiewski, in a Warsaw guidebook published in 1827: ‘A representation of the native grandeur of the most serene Emperor and King Alexander I, made by Professor [Antoni] Blank, graces the public conference hall. On the opposite side is a portrait of the Saxon king by Bacciarelli. The bas-reliefs on the walls are by Maliński and the stucco and other decorations by Vincenti. The walls are adorned with busts of Potocki, Naruszewicz, Ignacy Krasicki, Jan Kochanowski and Sarbiewski. There is a spacious amphitheatre opposite the place for members. Hundreds of people can be comfortably seated and there are loges with Corinthian columns’.

Society members occupied residential apartments in the building (e.g. Count Fryderyk Skarbek had lodgings there in 1824). There were also rooms and offices full of priceless memorabilia (e.g. the Gen. Jan Henryk Dąbrowski Hall, which housed his bequests) and a library of over 20,000 volumes that was open to people outside the Society (Fryderyk Chopin made use of it during his student days).

On 11 May 1830, a few months before the outbreak of the November Uprising, a statue of Copernicus by the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen was unveiled outside the palace. The monument was financed by public contributions (e.g. Mikołaj Chopin contributed) and was generally approved, although the unveiling ceremony did not pass without scandal. The unveiling was meant to be preceded by a service at Holy Cross Church, but the mass was called off, apparently due to opposition from some of the clergy, who still held a grudge against Copernicus (although there are other versions of what happened). After the unveiling, the Society, led by President Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, gave a ceremonial lunch. Again, this did not go ahead without a hitch, as Niemcewicz had made an inauspicious call to Grand Duke Constantine beforehand. The ruler, apprehensive about Niemcewicz’s patriotic leanings, demanded the contents of the speech he had planned for the dinner, so as to censor it if need be.

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