UKRDOUG Castle Tours - Pidhirtsi Palace-Castle
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Castle is closed on Mondays.
Please return cache correctly. It should not be on the ground or it will get wet. There is a little shelf up on the left.
A castle was first mentioned on this site in 1445. In the 17th century the village and castle was purchased by crown hetman Stanislav Koniecpolski, one of the richest magnates in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1635 he hired Andrea del Aqua to build a country villa, but the renowned architect took five years to build this masterpiece that eclipsed all the nearby magnate homes.
There are some defensive features in the design that would classify it as a castle. It successfully survived the assault by Bogdan Khmelnitsky in 1648 and again in 1651. It also survived several Tatar attacks over the subsequent years.
Although it had effective defensive features, it is obvious that the primary intention was comfort and aesthetics. The inside was especially lavish. Koniecpolski remarked that it was a place of “joy and rest after hostilities.” And it was his appetite for carnal joy that brought him eternal rest. Wanting to impress his young wife he took a double portion of “shpansky mushky”, a contemporary equivalent to modern Viagra, and died.
In 1682 Stanislav Koniecpolski Jr. gave the palace to Yakub Sobieski who would become the father to the most famous Polish monarch Jan III Sobieski.
In 1720 the second crown hetman to own the palace, Vaclav Severyn Rzewuski, purchased it from Konstantin Sobieski, the youngest son of Jan III. Rzewuski’s son, Vaclav Rzewuski, inherited the palace upon his father’s death. He also owned the castle at Oles’ko.
Vaclav Rzewuski turned Pidhirtsi Palace into his main residence. He added a third floor and theater to the palace and nearby had the Roman Catholic Church of St. Joseph built between 1752-1763. He was obsessed with everything about Jan III Sobieski and gathered a priceless collection of weapons, furniture, ancient books and canvasses. He purchased the sword that Jan III used in the Battle of Vienna. He procured the marble table that Jan III was born on at the castle of Oles’ko.
In 1767 Vaclav Rzewuski traveled to Warsaw to participate in the Sejm. He would never see his palace in Pidhirtsi again. While he was in the capital, Russia took control of Poland and banished Rzewuski to Kaluga. His son Leon then sold the palace to Prince Vladislav Sanguszko.
The last private owner of the palace was Roman Sanguszko who restored it in 1865 and turned it into a private museum that functioned until 1939. He was able to evacuate the most valuable works of art to Brazil before the Nazis invaded. The Soviets plundered what was left and turned the palace into a tuberculosis hospital until a fire completely destroyed the interior in 1956. The exterior survived to serve as a background in several foreign films. In 1997 it was turned into a museum and is being restored.
There is an entrance fee of 10 UAH for adults and 5 UAH for children.
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum