In the 17th century this land belonged to the Grand Marshal of the Crown Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski. He created a park with several small buildings, a place that was supposed to be his solitude. He built a bathing pavilion here and this is why the park was called Łazienki, which in Polish language means “Baths”.
In the second half of the 18th century the park became the property of Stanisław August Poniatowski, after his election as King of Poland. The new owner hired great architects to redesign the park as his summer residence. Nowadays it`s one of the most beautiful parks in Europe. It contains different kinds of gardens which is reminiscent of the changing trends over the centuries. Nature in the park is breathtaking, rich and diverse. This biggest park in Warsaw is located in the center of the city which makes it even more unique. It`s a refuge for animals living here like squirrels and peacocks as well as those appearing here from time to time. I personally have seen a deer and a fox. The park comprises nearly 10,000 trees, but also shrubs and herbaceous plants.
There are some of the greatest examples of Polish Classicism here: the Palace on the Isle (rebuilt from the old bathing pavilion), Amphitheatre, Myślewicki Palace, White Pavilion, Officer Cadets School, Royal Stables and Old Orangery with the only 18th century royal court theater in Poland. All buildings are decorated with art from royal collections. Stanisław August Poniatowski was a passionate patron of the arts, however his reign didn`t bring much luck to Poland from political point of view. He was interested in peace, art and education. The King`s philosophy is visible everywhere here. Every building tells a story and shows King`s great taste and contains his message to the next generations about what`s most important in life.
All the places are open to the public and operate like museums. You can get tickets at the Old Orangery and Officer Cadets School. I recommend to get the “One Ticket” allowing you to visit several sites. The park itself is open for free everyday until dusk.
Royal Łazienki is the site of legendary piano concerts (Koncerty Chopinowskie) held from May to September every Sunday at 12:00 and 4:00 pm next to Frederick Chopin Monument. Admission is free.