The palace was erected for the Great Lithuanian Marshall Władysław Gurowski and replaced two medieval houses located along the west side of the old market square. Antoni Höhne rebuilt it in the years 1785-87 in the mixture of Neoclassical and Baroque styles (it is one of the first Neoclassical buildings in Wielkopolska). With a garden laid out in the back it was a palace of great splendour. In the years 1808-1872 the palace belonged to the Działyńskis, a prominent Wielkopolskan family whose main residence was in Kórnik. During the subsequent partitions of Poland the palace was an important centre of Polish national life where public lecturers by Polish scholars were held, economic exhibits were organized and cultural arrangements were organized. In 1924 the palace became part of the Zakłady Kórnickie foundation established by Władysław Zamoyski. Destroyed in a fire in 1945, it was rebuilt in the years 1953-57 to a design by Aleksander Holas.
Two gates lead to the building that were used by horse carriages. The façade of the two-storey building is surmounted by a tympanum with Ogończyk, the coat of arms of the Działyński family, and an attic decorated with bas-reliefs depicting ancient scenes: a sacrificial procession (two armed soldiers leading a bull and two prisoners) and a triumphal parade of soldiers and a chariot. Above the attic there is a panoply and a sculpture of a pelican - the symbol of devotion and sacrifice.
The Red Room, the most beautiful room in the palace, is on the first floor; the balcony running along the entire façade can be accessed from the room. The room owes its name to the colour of the walls. It features two pairs of stucco statues depicting Władysław the Elbow-high with Kazimierz the Great and Władysław Jagiełło with his brother Witold. Also today it is used for concerts and important social events.
The building is owned by the Polish Academy of Sciences and it also houses a branch of the Kórnik Library.