Brühl Palace, Warsaw

The Brühl Palace (Polish: Pałac Brühla), otherwise known as Sandomierski Palace standing at Piłsudski Square. It was a large palace and one of the most beautiful rococo buildings in pre-World War II Warsaw.


The palace was built between 1639-42 by Lorenzo de Sent for Crown Grand Chancellor Jerzy Ossoliński in Mannerist style. It was built on the plan of elongated rectangular with two hexagonal towers at garden side of the building. The palace was adorned with sculptures - allegory of Poland above the main portal, four figures of kings of Poland in the niches and a statue of Minerva crowning the roof. Possible inspiration to palace's upper parts pavilion with characteristic roof was Bonifaz Wohlmut's reconstruction of Belvedere in Prague, 1557-1563.

After the Chancellor's death the property was inherited by his daughter Helena Tekla Ossolińska, wife of Aleksander Michał Lubomirski, Starost of Sandomierz (from whom it takes its name). Later, between 1681–96, it was rebuilt and remodeled by Tylman Gamerski and Giovanni Bellotti for Prince Józef Karol Lubomirski - Aleksander Michał's son.

In 1750, Heinrich von Brühl bought the palace as a residence. Between 1754-59 it was rebuilt according to designs by Johann Friedrich Knöbel and Joachim Daniel von Jauch. The palace was enhanced and covered with a mansard roof. Two outbuildings were added to the palace complex surrounding a triangular courtyard that sometimes served as a parade ground. From that time the palace was known as the Brühl Palace.

On 27 May 1787, the Palace played a key role in a plot by Russian ambassador to Poland, Otto Magnus von Stackelberg. He derailed yet another Polish policy which seemed threatening to Russia. With few major wars in the past decades, the economy of the Commonwealth was improving, and its budget had a notable surplus. Many voices said that the money should be spent on increasing the size, and providing new equipment for, the Polish army. However, as a large Polish army could be a threat to the Russian garrisons controlling Poland, von Stackelberg ordered his proxies in the Permanent Council to spent the money on a different goal: for the huge sum of 1 million zloty's (representng most of the surplus), the Council bought the Brühl Palace - and promptly donated it to 'Poland's ally', Russia, to serve as Russia's new embassy.

At the end of the eighteenth century, Dominik Merlini gave the interior a neoclassical look.

During 1932-37 the palace was adapted for use as the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the new Polish Republic. The architect this time was Adam Pniewski, who added a new modern building and modernized the interiors of all the buildings in the palace complex.

It was deliberately and completely destroyed by the Germans on December 18, 1944 (during World War II).

Warsaw’s municipal government authorities have recently decided to rebuild the Brühl Palace. The new building will have a facade referring to its historic shape, but a new private investor may adapt the interiors to the needs of either office space or a hotel. Recently the National Bank of Poland has shown considerable interest in using the reconstructed palace as its main base of operations in the capital, Warsaw.

Building Activity

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