The Presidential Palace (Pałac Prezydencki; also known as Pałac Koniecpolskich, Lubomirskich, Radziwiłłów, and Pałac Namiestnikowski) in Warsaw, Poland, is the elegant classicist latest version of a building that has stood on the Krakowskie Przedmieście site since 1643. Over the years, it has been rebuilt and remodeled many times. For its first 175 years, the palace was the private property of several aristocratic families. In 1791 it hosted the authors and advocates of the Constitution of May 3, 1791.
It was in 1818 that the palace began its ongoing career as a governmental structure, when it became the seat of the Viceroy of the Polish (Congress) Kingdom under Russian occupation ( Namiestnik of the Kingdom of Poland ). Following Poland's resurrection after World War I, in 1918, the building was taken over by the newly reconstituted Polish authorities and became the seat of the Council of Ministers. During World War II, it served the country's German occupiers as a Deutsches Haus and survived intact the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. After the war, it resumed its function as seat of the Polish Council of Ministers.
Construction of the present-day Presidential Palace in Warsaw was begun in 1643 by Crown Field Hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski, owner of the town of Brody (80 km. east of Lwów) and of numerous latifundia situated in Poland's eastern borderlands; hence the palace's first name was " Pałac Koniecpolskich "—the " Koniecpolski Palace". It was said that he owned so much landed property that he could cross the breadth of the Commonwealth while spending every night in one of his own manors. The palace was not completed in the Hetman's lifetime, as he died unexpectedly in 1646 at his Brody residence, a few weeks after taking a young wife.
The palace's architect was Constantino Tencalla, architect to Poland's King Władysław IV and designer of King Zygmunt's Column, in front of the nearby Royal Castle, commemorating Sigismund III of Poland. The palace was completed by Koniecpolski's son Aleksander in the style of a baroque residence, imitating those of northern Italy and Genoa.
Beginning in 1818 the palace was rebuilt in classicist style by the architect Chrystian Piotr Aigner (1756-1841). He extended the palace (its lower wings reached the line of buildings on Krakowskie Przedmieście ), placed a new grand staircase between the main body of the building and its northern wing, remodeled the palace facades, and redecorated the rooms on the first and second floors of the main body of the building. Next reconstruction was entrusted to Alfons Kropiwnicki (1803-1881).
Since July 1994, the palace has been the official seat of the President of the Republic of Poland replacing the smaller Belweder palace. However, the current President of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski has decided to move the residence back to Belweder in honor of Jozef Pilsudzki and first Presidents of Poland. After the Soviet-Polish War, the statue of Prince Józef was brought back to Warsaw. It stood before the Polish General Staff building (the Saxon Palace ) and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier within the Palace. Though the statue was destroyed in World War II. It was deliberately and completely destroyed by the Germans in 1944 (blew up on December 16). The statue was reconstructed between 1948-51 and recast in 1965 from the original mold by Paul Lauritz Rasmussen (financed by Danish people).
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|Geographical coordinates||52.2427780, 21.0158330|
|Address||Warsaw, Krakowskie Przedmieście 46|
|More information||official website|