Composers / Fryderyk Chopin / Places catalog

Saxon Post Office

‘The mail coach was to the nineteenth century what the car was to the twentieth: the most popular means of transport’, writes Stanisław Milewski in his Podróże bliższe i dalsze, czyli urok komunikacyjnych staroci [Travels near and far, or the beauty of old forms of transport]. The coach was inextricably linked to the postal service, the official provider of transport for people and packages, the work of which dated back to antiquity. The first regular postal connection in Poland was introduced by King Sigismund II Augustus in 1558 and operated between Krakow and Venice, and his successor added a Krakow to Warsaw connection. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth postal service had its heyday during the reign of Ladislaus IV.

In Chopin’s day, the main post office was housed in a building situated between ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście, ul. Trębacka and ul. Kozia, and it was commonly known as the Saxon Post Office or Wessel Palace. The edifice was erected in the mid eighteenth century as the residence for the Bishop of Krakow, Andrzej Stanisław Kostka Załuski. The postal service purchased the building in 1780 and occupied it until 1874.

The building was designated as the reference point from which the distance from Warsaw was measured. Both the post office and the post horse establishment were housed here. The mail coach office was added later. There were coach houses and stables at the rear. ‘Mail coaches departed from here to the sounds of the brass post horns blown by the postilions,’ continues Milewski, ‘with which they were obligatorily supplied, along with a buggy whip. They were dressed in green jackets with crimson collars and sleeves and wore a heraldic badge on their left shoulder. Leather trousers, spurred boots and a lacquered hat bearing the postal coat of arms completed the picture’.

Fryderyk Chopin sent his baggage to the Saxon Post Office on 2 November 1830, prior to leaving Warsaw – unaware that he was leaving for good. The regulations required that trunks and bags be sent at least two hours prior to departure, so we can assume that Chopin, along with his family, appeared on the corner of ul. Trębacka and ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście at around five in the afternoon. Henryk Nowaczyk tells us that, as the first leg of the composer’s planned route took him to Kalisz, a ticket to secure him a place on the coach would have cost 32 zloty and 8 groszy (to cover a distance of 32 ¼ miles). A ticket guaranteed a particular seat in the coach beforehand, so Chopin, having left his baggage with the coachman, set off through the streets of Warsaw in a light carriage so as to spend his last few hours waiting for the coach at the Wola tollbooth in the company of the friends who were seeing him off. It was here that he boarded the coach, which then left in the direction of Ołtarzew.

Place Category
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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
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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
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Duszniki Zdrój Hotels / Inns
Dziewanowski home Flats
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Franciszek Klukowski bookshop Publishers / Bookshops
Fryderyk Chopin Museum Other
Fryderyk Skarbek’s apartment Flats
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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