Back in Warsaw, Richard and I went to visit the Palace on the Water (Phyl had to work, unfortunately); Lazienski Palace was built on an artificial island that divides the lake in Lazienski Park into two parts. It was originally a bathhouse for the powerful aristocrat Stanislas Lubormirski, but was remodeled by Poland’s last King, Stanislas August Poniatowski (1764-95) who made it his summer residence.
The facades of the palace and the bridges are unified by a giant Corinthian order of pilasters that link the two floors and are crowned by the balustrade. Although in 1944 the Germans drilled holes in the facade of the palace in which they planted explosives, the palace came through the war in better shape than most. The explosives caused only some fire damage to the structure.
Lazienski Park occupies 76 hectares (a hectare is approximately 2.47 acres) and was originally a very beautiful, formal park. It was burned in 1944 and when I was there in 1992 seemed to be a very casual, lovely park consisting of primarily trees and grass.
We visited the interior of the palace, but I seem to have only two photos and I cannot be certain which room they were taken in, although with the presence of the piano and what appears to be a bit of a stage, I suspect it is either the ballroom or the dining room, in which King Stanislaus held his famous “Thursday Dinners”, to which he invited artists, intellectuals and many other freemasons.