The History of Nieborów Palace
The History of Nieborów Palace
The origins of Nieborów date back to the end of 12th century when a settlement was founded and afterwards a village with the wooden mansion and the church erogated in 1314. At the beginning of the 16th century a Gothic Renaissance mansion was raised which lasted till the 17th century. At that period of time the Nieborów grounds belonged to the Nieborowski family of the Prawda (Truth) coat of arms.
In 1694 Cardinal Michał Stefan Radziejowski bought the grounds together with the mansion from Nieborowski family and using the existing walls of the older building, he built a baroque palace designed by Tylman van Gameren. In his last will the cardinal offered the Nieborów grounds as well as the palace to Konstancja Towiańska née Niszczycka and Jerzy Hipolit Towiański. In 1723 their son Krzysztof Mikołaj Towiański sold the grounds to General Aleksander Jakub Lubomirski and his wife Karolina Fryderyka von Vitzhum.
Since 1736 the owners of Nieborów grounds were Stanisław and Jan Józef Lochocki, who sold the grounds in 1766 to the great Lithuanian hetman Michał Kazimierz Ogiński. In the years 1766-1768 the hetman redesigned the palace's interiors in the rococo style.
In 1774 the new owner of Nieborów became Duke Michał Hieronim Radziwiłł, the voivode of Vilnius and one of the richest Polish–Lithuanian magnates. Michał Hieronim Radziwiłł organised one of the most significant collection of paintings by European masters of art – Dutch, German, Italian and Spanish. He also laid foundations to the collection of portraits of famous Polish and foreign personalities, several thousand engravings and etchings and a unique library of old prints (dating back to the 16th century), sets of Polish, English and French, furniture, artistic handicraft and decorative art – silvers, porcelain, glass and fabrics. At the beginning of 70s of the 18th century architect Szymon Bogumił Zug founded regular (French) garden for Michał Hieronim Radziwiłł. He also rebuilt the interior of the palace in the early classicist style in 1784 (Yellow and Green Cabinet, Voivode's Bedroom). The duke also introduced modern forms of management of the grounds on the farm.
His wife Helena née Przeździecka founded famous romantic garden which she called Arkadia, following the assumptions of English theoreticians. In the pavilions of gardens she gathered together a collection of art originating mostly from ancient Greece and Rome. After the death of Michał Hieronim Radziwiłł in 1831 Nieborów grounds started to fall into decline, the golden era of the palace ended.
The heirs argued over the great succession within Russian Empire, Polish Kingdom and the Great Duchy of Poznań. In 1841 a part of lands within Polish Kingdom with Nieborów was inherited by the son of Michał Hieronim – Michał Gedeon Radziwiłł, the general of Polish army and one of the Commanders-in-Chief in the November uprising in 1831. His son and heir Zygmunt Radziwiłł appeared to be a spendthrift who led the ancestral estates to ruin. He sold the best part of his grandfather’s collection of paintings and library at auctions in Paris and sold the Gardens of Arkadia with all of its unique equipment. Luckily, in 1879 he sold the whole Nieborów estate to his nephew Michał Piotr Radziwiłł and moved to France. The new owner raised palace from ruin, bought Arkadia, opened the workshops of furniture and majolica, renovated and furnished the residence and re-supplied the Palace Library. He died in 1903 leaving no heir. Three years later widow after him sold Nieborów grounds together with the palace to his cousin - Janusz Radziwiłł, Lord of the manor of Ołyż.
Janusz Radziwiłł was a well-known political and economic activist of the inter-war period. In years 1922-1929 he rebuilt the interiors of the Palace in Nieborów - among others the Venetian Chamber, and the Tobacco Room (architect Kazimierz Skórewicz), he also added the third floor (architect Romuald Gutt) making Nieborów a known residence near Warsaw which was visited by famous politicians and personalities from public life in Poland. In the dramatic times of the Nazi occupation he participated in the political activities of the resistance movement.
At the same time his son – Edmund Radziwiłł, together with his wife Izabela, were managing the grounds in Nieborów and participating in the resistance movement of Armia Krajowa - Łowicz (Home Army). Janusz Radziwiłł was imprisoned in Soviet Union by Soviet NKVD twice—in 1939 and 1945–1947. After the Warsaw uprising in December 1944 he was put in prison in Berlin by the Germans. Since 1947 he lived in Warsaw where he died in 1967. His wife Anna Radziwiłł née Lubomirska died in 1947 in Krasnogorsk. The younger members of the Radziwiłł family from Nieborów returned to Poland after the deportation, survived the worst period of real socialism and still live in Warsaw.