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Photographer's Note

The Goluchow Castle, originally a defence structure, was built for Rafal Leszczynski around 1650, to be turned into a stately magnate residence by Rafal's son, Waclaw, one of the Republic of Poland - Lithuania's most prominent citizens. Two and a half centuries later Izabela of the Czartoryskis Dzialynska, who then owned the Castle, had it restored in the style of the French Renaissance, as was then the fashion. The restoration, modelled on the chateaux on the Loire and, partly, on Italian palaces, was the work of the French architect Maurice August Ouradou, assisted by Zygmunt Gorgolewski, a Pole. French artists were employed to decorate the Castle walls and interiors, and many of the sculptures which adorn the courtyard to this day were brought from France and Italy. While nineteenth-century in appearance, the Castle has retained a number of earlier architectural traits and details, most notably the in its main part and in the gallery. And even though it was Izabela Dzialynska who gave the final shape to the building, it remains called the Leszczynskis Castle.

Izabela Dzialynska envisaged the castle not only as a residence but also as a museum. She actually followed in the footsteps of her grandmother, Izabela of the Flemings Czartoryska, who had had a museum created in her Pulawy property. Dzialynska's collection of drawings and prints, decorative arts and crafts, ancient art, furniture, paintings and textiles had become one of the richest in Poland, but only a part of it were to survive World War II.

Since 1962, following a restoration, visitors have been welcomed to see the combined former Goluchow collections and the newly acquired exhibits in the following rooms: the Ancient Vases (seventh to third century B.C.) Room, the Ancient Room, the Gothic Rooms with the period's works of art, the Old Polish Portrait Room and the Polish Room with old copies of royal portraits as well as with portraits of the Republic's hetmans (commanders) and voivods (palatines). The exhibition rooms and other interiors contain also original Renaissance fireplaces, sculpted doors, richly ornamented ceilings (with images of Poland's rulers in the Royal Room) and paintings. The display would not be complete without old furniture, paintings and Polish and European decorative arts and crafts dating from the sixteenth through eighteenth century.

The Castle is surrounded by a landscape park established in the nineteenth century. The largest such park in the Wielkopolska region, it has oaks reaching five meters in perimeter. Visitors may also see a neo-Renaissance chapel - the Czartoryskis Mausoleum - and the Castle's outbuildings housing Poland's only Forestry Museum.

Description in polish language is
here.

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Additional Photos by Wojtek Mayer (Estaban) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 205 W: 54 N: 189] (874)
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