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Fryderyk Chopin's Birthplace in Żelazowa Wola (Dom Urodzenia Fryderyka Chopina w Żelazowej Woli)

Fryderyk Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola, but lived there only a few months. The museum in the composer's birth house and the park was constructed in the 1930s.

Żelazowa Wola 15, Żelazowa Wola (map)
tel. +48 46 863 33 00
www.chopin.museum

(closed due to renovation until 27 February 2017)

Żelazowa Wola
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Fryderyk Chopin was born on the estate belonging to Count Skarbek in Żelazowa Wola, where his father was a tutor, and his mother was a relative of the Count, who gave them assistance. The Chopins actually lived in an annexe right next to the main house. When Fryderyk was seven months old, the family moved to Warsaw permanently.
According to one hypothesis, the Skarbek wooden mansion burned down, but it is certain that by the end of the 19th century, the former proud building was ruined. In 1894, thanks to the personal intervention of Milija Bałakiriew (a Russian pianist and great admirer of Chopin's music) with the tsar, Poland's first monument to the great composer was placed in front of the former annexe. Today, the monument is situated in the park. The museum’s land was finally purchased in 1928, largely thanks to money collected nationwide (there were also many charity concerts organized to raise funds).
Inside the outbuilding, a flat for Chopin was arranged. Eminent architect Franciszek Krzywda-Polkowski was invited to assist in the creation of the park. He also commissioned a wing that was added to a main column, which gave the appearance of the former house. As a counterpoint to the romantic manor, Polkowski created a modernistic park. After another nationwide appeal for help, Żelazowa Wola received seedlings of rare plants, and thus the park was created, consisting of trees and shrubs from all over the world.
In 2010, the Year of Chopin, Żelazowa Wola got a new look: two modern pavilions were built, and the process of revitalising the park began – the project will continue for the next year – and new exhibition in the manor was opened. The exhibition is based on the iconography and history of the people who created and lived in Żelazowa Wola. All the rooms now bear names that evoke their original functions: ‘Bakery’, ‘Alcove’, ‘Dining Room’, ‘Bedroom’. The culmination of the new exhibition is the birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin, and it is an artistic vision – two streams of light escape from the darkness, and shine on an open grand piano and a portrait of the composer. The exhibition’s new design, an innovation of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, is the closest to historical truth: after all, Chopin was actually born in a servant’s wing of a house, not in a noble mansion.
Both pavilions are designed for tourists, and were built with field stone and glass. The walls of the park are made completely of glass, so the park and its centre are visible at all times. The park is entered through the pavilion, and this area includes a ticket office, an audioguide rental, a gift shop, a cafe and a lounge, where a short film about the history of Żelazowa Wola is shown continuously. The second pavilion houses a concert hall with 80 seats, well-suited for viewing movies, and there is also a restaurant.
New pavilions, park lighting and mansion illumination were all designed by Bolesław Stelmach, an architect from Nałęczów, whose work also includes the new façade of the Chopin Centre in the Ostrogski Palace (Pałac Ostrogski) in Warsaw. He also led the revitalization of the park in Żelazowa Wola, though he preserved the modernist design; Stelmach decided to finish what Franciszek Krzywda-Polkowski began. On the grounds he designed a second bridge, and the pond has been restored: previously it had not fulfilled its potential, and was merely overgrown with wild bushes and weeds.
The park authorities pulled up all the damaged trees and withered bushes, and replaced them with new ones. In total, hundreds of thousands of new plants were planted.
Branch of the Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw
Location: 50 km west of Warsaw (near Sochaczew).
Access from Warsaw by bus from SAWA Shopping Centre (ul. Marszałkowska). Buses run every day at 8.10 am, 9.20 am, 12.00, 2 pm, 3.25 pm and 4.25 pm.
Buses from Żelazowa Wola to Warsaw run every day at 12.50 pm, 2.30 pm, 3.20 pm, 5.20 pm and 7 pm.
The trip lasts around 1 hour.
Tickets: 19 PLN
More information www.motobuss.eu

Opening hours:
Manor:
1st April - 30th September: Tue.-Sun. 9 am - 7 pm
1st October - 31st March: Tue.-Sun. 9 am - 5 pm
Park:
1st April - 30th September: Mon.-Sun. 9 am - 7 pm
1st October - 31st March: Mon.-Sun. 9 am - 5 pm

Concerts: May and September: Sunday - noon and 3 pm
July - August: Saturday, Sunday - noon and 3 pm

Admission:
Manor and Park: regular - 23 PLN, reduced - 14 PLN, family ticket - 64 PLN
groups: regular - 19 PLN/person, reduced - 11 PLN/person

Park: regular - 7 PLN, reduced - 4 PLN, family ticket - 20 PLN
groups: regular - 6 PLN/person, reduced - 3 PLN/person

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