Natolin Palace and Park

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park1_1445001743The Natolin campus of the College of Europe is part of a 120-hectare historical park and nature reserve – formerly the Royal hunting palace of Natolin – situated in the southern part of Warsaw. This complex, administered by the Natolin European Centre on behalf of the State Treasury, is one of the most spectacular examples of the Polish romantic period.

 

The Natolin Palace is one of the most beautiful 18th century residences in the vicinity of Warsaw and once formed part of the Royal Wilanów estate. Originally a zoological garden belonging to King Jan III Sobieski, what is now the Natolin estate was developed by King August Mocny II, his successor on the Polish throne, as a farm.

park2_1445001743The Palace was built by Prince August Czartoryski in the 1780s, and the building thereafter served as a residence for different owners drawn from the Polish aristocracy who successively redesigned and developed the palace with the help of Italian and Polish artists and craftsmen. Among Polish romantic palace and garden complexes, Natolin Palace holds a special place. As a result of a one-hundred-year long process spent shaping and reshaping the residence, a palace of exceptional beauty emerged, featuring an exquisite viewing salon and elegant interiors. It is one of the most stunning palaces ever created in Poland in the neo-Classical period.

Following extensive damage during the Second World War, the entire Natolin estate became a state property in 1945, and from 1946 onwards was closed to the public, becoming the weekend residence of the President of the Republic. The restoration of the Palace and associated buildings and the monuments in the Park was largely completed in the 1990s.

 

The Park is now a nature reserve with protected old woodlands and wildlife of special interest.

 

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