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The Residence of the President of Poland – A Castle in Wisła

Address
district: Centrum
st. Zameczek 1
tel.: 33 854 65 00
e-mail: zamekwisla@zamekwisla.pl
www.zamekwisla.pl

The Residence of the President of Poland in Wisła – Czarne on the slope of Zadni Groń was build in the years between World War I and World War II. The author of the project was an eminent architect and conservator Adolf Szyszko – Bohusz. The residence was completed in the years 1929 – 1931 and it was said to be a gift of the people of Silesia to the head of the country. In the years 1933 – 1952 the complex served as an official residence of the president of the country then after a fifty year break in 2002 it regained its status.

Between the years 1930 and 1931 the authorities of the Silesian Province decided to pass the residence to the disposal of the President’s Chancellery. On 30 December, 1930 the whole complex was given the status of the official residence of the President of Poland.

In the 30s of the XX century the President’s Residence, as a representative complex at the disposal of the highest country authorities was placed on the list of the most prestigious objects in Poland, together with such historic places as: the King’s Castle in Cracow, the King’s Castle in Warsaw, the Hunting Residence in Spała, the Castle in Białowieża or the Castle in Poznań.

The Upper Castle, as the building is called, is the main representative and relaxing part of the residence. The place can be visited by tourists only when the president is not there. There are two areas that can be visited: the entrance hall - a veranda called Pronaszka room, the representative dining room, the living room and the smoking room are all on the first floor. The second floor consists of the main cabinet of President Ignacy Mościcki and the bathroom with very original and very well preserved facilities. Most of the furniture and the equipment have remained almost untouched.

The lower part of the complex, called the Lower Castle, serves as an outbuilding and consists of a conference room and several guest rooms. There is also one more building – Gajówka – with a restaurant and a few guest rooms.

Above the main building of the residence there is a wooden Chapel of Saint Jadwiga of Silesia. It was built for the archduke Fryderyk Habsburg next to the hunting pavilion (it does not exist today). The wooden construction was built in 1909 in Tyrolean style and it was made of ready to assemble elements delivered from Przyszowice near Rybnik. The Chapel can be visited only during the religious services on Sundays or other holidays. The Chapel is on the Trail of Wooden Architecture.

President Ignacy Mościcki visited the residence for the first time on 21 January in 1931 and then he used to stay there regularly, at least two times a year. He would also take part in the local events and ceremonies. During the Second World War the residence was taken over by the German SS. After the war some pieces of the equipment and furniture were lost but the building was renovated and continued its role as the residence of the president of the country and then as a holiday resort for the most important people in the country Władysław Gomółka, Józef Cyrankiewicz and Edward Gierek among others.

In 1981 the residence was transformed into a holiday resort for the miners of Pniówek coalmine. Since the beginning of the 90s it was leased to a tourist agency from Jastrzębie. In 2002 the residence was returned to the President’s Chancellery. It was Aleksander Kwaśniewski, the president of Poland, who decided to reconstruct and revitalized the whole residence and since that time it has played the role of the official residence of the President of Poland again.

The residence can be visited from Wednesdays to Saturdays at 11 a.m., 12.30 a.m. and 3 p.m. in groups of least 15 people with a guide.
The booking must be made at least 7 days in advance.
Admission free of charge.

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