The Royal Castle in Warsaw is located in the center of Poland’s capital city, facing the historic Castle Square. Built in the fourteenth century, the Castle now represents centuries of Polish history and houses a gallery of paintings that includes two of Rembrandt’s masterpieces.
The Royal Castle’s story begins with the construction of the Great Tower in 1339. Expanded in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Sigismund III Vasa, the Castle became not only a home for the royal family, but also a place of cultural and governmental significance.
By the middle of the seventeenth century, the Swedish Wars would devastate the Royal Castle. Reconstruction during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries brought the Castle back to its previous splendor, with artists working to repair the Great Apartment and the King’s Apartment.
However, the Castle’s history of destruction continued into the twentieth century. In 1939, the Castle was bombed, and by 1944, the German army had almost entirely destroyed it. Luckily, Professor Stanislaw Lorentz and his team were able to save a portion of the Castle’s treasures, including works of art and pieces of decor.
For years, the fate of the Castle was undecided; however, by 1971, restoration began. With help from the community, funds were raised to ensure that the Castle could be restored. The Royal Castle was then reopened to the public in 1984 with subsequent repairs to the Kubicki Arcades and the Tin-Roofed Palace completing the reconstruction effort.
Guests at the Royal Castle can choose to visit a wide selection of permanent exhibitions.
The Tin-Roofed Palace – Currently containing the Apartment of Prince Józef Poniatowski, the Tin-Roofed Palace is also home to the Teresa Sahakian Foundation’s collection of Eastern tapestries and European art.
The Kubicki Arcades – Constructed in the 1820s, the Kubicki Arcades are a part of the Castle grounds. The Arcades now serve as the Castle’s main entrance.
The Upper Garden – The Upper Garden spreads over 6.18 acres of land. Their restoration pays homage to the garden’s long history at the Castle while also allowing for new, creative designs to flourish.
The Lanckoronski Collection – The Lanckoronski Collection contains some of the museum’s most famed items. Comprised of pieces from the gallery of King Stanislaw August and two paintings by Rembrandt (Girl in a Picture Frame and A Scholar at his Writing Table), this collection should not be missed.
The Royal Castle – From Destruction to Reconstruction – This exhibit chronicles the long and difficult process of rebuilding the Royal Castle after World War II. Visitors can learn how salvaged pieces from the Castle aided design efforts, how the building itself was reconstructed, and how the Polish people raised funds to complete this project.
The Numismatic Cabinet – The Numismatic Cabinet honors King Stanislaus Augustus’ now lost collection of medals and coins. The current collection is made up of historically relevant coins and medals, many of which were privately donated to the museum.
Tours that display the permanent exhibitions are also available to visitors.
The Royal Castle offers a variety of educational opportunities for both students and adults.
For elementary and secondary schools, educational workshops about the Castle’s history, architecture, and art are available. These workshops typically last between 1 ½ and 2 hours. With advance notice, the museum is also happy to customize the content of their presentations to suit a specific purpose, subject, or historical time period.
Workshops are available in Polish, English, French, or German. To access these services, teachers must complete a workshop application, which is available on the Castle’s website.
The Royal Castle also provides painting and drawing courses for adults. Taught by artist Lech Zurkowski, these courses consist of five meetings each and are offered every Thursday at 9 a.m. and noon. Art materials are provided, and no prior artistic experience is required.
The Royal Castle hosts the Festival of Ancient Music every year between October and December. In June and July, the Warsaw Chamber Orchestra also holds concerts at the Castle in conjunction with the Mozart Festival.
Every third or fourth Sunday, the Castle also screens "The Fate of the Castle, The Fate of the Country", a short historical film. Showings occur before and after tours and periodically at other times of the day.
Dining and Shopping
Visitors can enjoy traditional Polish fare at Café Zamek and Piata Cwiarta. Both eateries are conveniently located within the Royal Castle itself. Eating and drinking within the Castle are limited to these establishments.
Guests can also visit the Museum Shop, which offers a range of gifts and souvenirs from their trip to the Castle.
plac Zamkowy 4, 00-277 Warszawa, Poland, Phone: +48-2-23-55-51-70