Ostrogski Palace - Warsaw
A seat of Chopin's Museum. Not to miss.
Ostrogski Palace is Best For
Directions to Ostrogski Palace
Off a dipping side street at the head of Nowy Swiat is the rather legendary Ostrogski Castle, an elevated, ornate red-roofed structure that must have once stood solitary and grand on the escarpment over the Vistula River.
Legend has it that a princess was once imprisoned in the castle dungeons, transformed into a golden duck. Whoever managed to find the duck would receive a limitless fortune, with the condition that it had to be spent all in single day, and not shared with anyone. A simple townsman discovered the golden duck one day, and laden with bottomless bags of coins, set off to the town to realize his material dreams. However, pity for a poor street beggar got the better of him, and as his enchanted day drew to a close, he handed over a single coin from his store. All his shiny new possessions disappeared at once, and he realized that no material wealth could ever equal the happiness he had felt in sharing that one coin.
The castle was eventually converted from a private home to a military hospital by the French in 1806, when Napoleon briefly liberated Warsaw from the partitioning powers. In 1859, it was bought by the Musical Institute, and it continues today in that vein. Now it is the seat of the Fryderyk Chopin Society and houses the Chopin Museum, recently renovated and extended to mark the 200th anniversary year of his birth. The museum's collection of Chopin-related objects is the largest in the world. It includes original manuscripts, printed works, Chopin's personal correspondence, autographs, his handwritten notes, various personal items, the composer's piano, and many other items of memorabilia. The recent renovations introduced multimedia displays that include individualized commentary for all sorts of visitors, from music experts to music novices, allowing you to explore and experience the different stages and places in Chopin's life through sight, sound, smell and physical space.