September 22, 2014

1237 POLAND (Mazovia) - Presidential Palace in Warsaw

Located on the Krakowskie Przedmieście, one of the best known and most prestigious streets of Poland's capital, not far from Historic Centre of Warsaw (an UNESCO WHS since 1980) the Presidential Palace is the elegant classicist latest version of a building that has stood on this site since 1643. 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, and in 1818 it began its ongoing career as a governmental structure, when it became the seat of the Viceroy of the Polish (Congress) Kingdom under Russian occupation.

Following Poland's resurrection after WWI, the building was taken over by the authorities and became the seat of the Council of Ministers. During WWII, it served the country's German occupiers as a Deutsches Haus and survived miraculously the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. After the war, it resumed its function as seat of the Polish Council of Ministers, and in 1955 the Warsaw Treaty was signed here. Since 1994 it has been the official seat of the President of the Republic of Poland.

The Palace gained its modern appearance in the 19th century, during a major renovation. Originally the palace was designed in the Baroque style in 1643 at the initiative of the Crown Hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski. In 1818 it was redesigned in a classicist fashion, designed by Chrystian Piotr Aigner. In 1821, stone lions by Camillo Laudini were set in front of the palace, and they stand there to this day. The palace was rebuilt after the fire of 1852, after which time it held meetings of the Agricultural Society and balls celebrating the Tsar’s visits.

After the WWII it was once again renovated and rebuilt. In 1965 Bertel Thorvaldsen's classicist equestrian statue of Prince Józef Poniatowski, which previously had stood before the now destroyed Polish General Staff building ( the Saxon Palace) on nearby Piłsudski Square (once known as Saxon Square), was relocated to the courtyard before theViceroy's Palace.

About Warsaw as a whole, but also about others landmarks of the city, you can read in another post, here.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the serie issued in 2013 as part of Europe Stamp, with the theme Van of the Postman, about which I wrote here.

Presidential Palace, Warsaw - Wikipedia
Presidential / Namiestnikowski Palace (Pałac Prezydencki / Namiestnikowski) - Official Tourist Website of Warsaw

Sender: Kazimierz Roman Leszczynski (direct swap)
Sent from Warsaw (Mazovia / Poland), on 23.07.2013

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