In the midst of vast fields on the edge of the Kozłowiecki Forest grew a magnificent baroque residence – one of the few palaces of the Polish aristocracy that survived the turmoil of the 20th century in its entirety.
The palace was built around 1742 to a design by Italian architect Józef Fontana in the entre cour et jardin style, popular for the era. Several decades later, it became the property of the Zamoyski family – the same family whose doyen founded placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List Zamość.
The palace experienced a period of splendor during the reign of Konstanty Zamoyski, who established a fee tail here in the early 20th century. The Count had the ambition to create a dream residence, so he remodeled the mansion and commissioned artists to make copies of the finest works he had seen in his life.
The palace chapel was vividly “transferred” from Versailles. He commissioned a sculpture modeled after Michelangelo’s ‘Moses’ for the impressive staircase. And for the living room – copies of paintings by Titian and van Dyck. He also did not mind spending money for the originals. The Zamoyski family also loved technical innovations. They installed sewage and water supply, and with this came the luxury of modern bathrooms to the palace.
The subsequent fate of the Zamoyski family was difficult. In 1941, Aleksander Zamoyski was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned in Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps. His wife Jadwiga and their children fled to Warsaw, and emigrated to Canada in 1948.
Palace is today the seat of the Zamoyski Museum and the only one of its kind in Europe Gallery of the Art of Socialist Realism.
Perhaps most impressive in Kozłówka, however, is the strong contrast between the palace and its rural surroundings. The modest buildings of the surrounding villages, among which one can still find many beautiful wooden cottages and picturesque folk chapels, suddenly give way to a grandiose chateau-like establishment native to France. The Kozłówka Palace is a story about the social inequality of old Poland – a heritage whose meaning is created not only by the architecture, but also by the context.