Kórnik yet another castle on our May trip through Greater Poland

Kornik castle

It was starting to get dark when we got to Kórnik. Kórnik means a hen house but is spelt with ó instead of u. I bet it does not ring a bell for anyone who doesn’t speak Polish. the vowels ó and u are pronounced the same (although in former times they were in fact pronounced differently). It means the difference between them is purely orthographic. Polish schoolchildren do not like them because of the spelling errors they cause (and because of the bad marks as a consequence).

Kornik castle towerAnyway, the castle beginning dates back to Middle Ages. It was a fortified stronghold surrounded by a moat, the only access to the castle was by a draw-bridge and wrought-iron bars. In the XVI th century the castle was rebuilt in the renaissance style and fortified further. In the XVIII century, Teofila Działyńska-Szołdrska-Potulicka, with all determination she had, turned the mansion into a baroque aristocratic residence. The castle as we see today was created by Tytus Działyński, who changed it into a Neo-Gothic, fortified structure with towers, turrets and battlements.Kornik castle Poland

There is a legend about a “White Lady” strolling the chambers of castle at night. You can find her portrait in the castle, it supposed to be Teofila Działyńska-Szołdrska-Potulicka herself.

According to legend, beautiful Teofila, called by everyone the White Lady, descends from the portrait every night and goes to a park, where a rider on a black horse awaits her. They wander around the park until the crack of dawn. This is how the ghost of Teofila Działyńska was punished by evil powers. In the vicinity of the castle in Kórnik there was a small hunting hut. Treasure was supposed to be hidden in the cellar of the hut and guarded by the evil powers. Teofila, however, ordered the hut to be pulled down and gave the bricks to members of the local community. The evil ghosts took their revenge by making her wander around the castle and park. The curse will be removed when somebody finds the treasure once hidden under the hut.

castle kornik side viewProbably the legend of the White Lady took the beginning of the Teofilas evening walks. She suffered from migraine and she spend willingly time in the park to ease her ailments.

The salon was called by Wladyslaw Zamoyski “peace convicts” because most of the portraits hanging in the family present to persons convicted of participating in various national uprisings. The presence of an empty coffer ceiling heraldic hall Tytus Działyński explained as the need to have free space in case you had to paint a missing arms of a visiting guest. The castle also hosts a library, which contains the works of such great Polish writers and poets as Jan Kochanowski, Mikołaj Rej and Juliusz Słowacki. The Kórnik library also holds the manuscript of the third part of Mickiewicz’s “Dziady”.

The castle’s large park-arboretum comprises over 2,500 species and varieties of trees and shrubs, the largest collection of that kind in Poland.

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Czerniejewo one of the greatest palaces in Greater Poland

Czerniejewo palace

In Poland we have two public holidays in May: 1st may the Holiday of Work and on 3rd May to Holiday of the Constitution of 3rd May. This year it’s Tuesday and Thursday so taking 3 days off gives you 9 day holiday. Cool huh?

We decided with J. to visit famous Palace in Czerniejewo. Both of us have already been there. J. used to be a tourist guide and take round groups of children and adults and I have many good memories from my visits as a child.

I would like to show you some pictures, share memories and encourage visiting when you get a chance.

Ok a bit of history:

czerniejewo palace front gateThe main tourist attraction in Czerniejewo is baroque palace. The palace was built for a general J. Lipski, in the second half of XVIII century, outbuildings, stables and coach house. The palace is situated within an English style park (13 ha), with numerous ponds and old trees.
Palace of the Czerniejewo is truly a royal residence, one of the most impressive in Greater Poland.Palace czerniejewo front entrance
The palace was built in the years 1771-1775 in the place of an old mansion. Architect was probably Ignatius Graff from Rydzyna. The palace was rebuilt twice. For the first time shortly after the founding, already in the nineties of XVIII century, then the great column portico was built which considerably extended the front elevation, providing indoors driveway to the entrance.
The next development came in the twenties of XX century, when a gallery connecting the main body with the wings was built. Then the main body itself was expanded to the east. The construction of the gallery was completed only in 1980-1982. Two courtyards leading to the palace add to its splendour: the so-called avant-cour, and cour d’honneur – courtyards enclosed with stables, coach houses and outbuildings.
czerniejewo palace outbuildingsThe interior remains to the present day the same as it was designed during the reconstruction of the nineties of XVIII century, perhaps by Kamsetzer projects. At that time round, supported on columns terrena and ceremonial hall were built as well as two storeys high and covered with a flattened dome, room on the first floor. Inside the front-end you can see Leipzig Raker coat of arms.Czerniejewo palace outbuildings
In the years 1979 to 1985 the building was restored. Now it’s used as a hotel with elegant suites and museum interiors.
Behind the palace is a beautiful, 13-acre park established in XVIII century, which in the XIX century was transformed into a landscaped English park, with avenues of lime and hornbeam, ponds and pheasantry.

czerniejewo stablesI was brought up with four boys my so called cousins. Our parents were friends and we used to go away for weekends and holidays together. Czerniejewo was one of the places which we often visited. It was here where i had my first riding lessons. There is still stable here today although I didn’t see any horses at this particular visit.Czerniejewo park I remember we use to ride through the park to a large meadow where we learned how to move, stop, turn also techniques like rising trot, half-seat, two-point and so on. One day instead of a big horse we chose pony hahahahaa I remember he didn’t want to cooperate and shaked off each one of us. We had quite a trouble to catch it afterwards. My Dad got once a big, fat white mare and we had a laugh they really suit each other perfectly. I remember also staying overnight in rooms above the restaurant you can see on a picture while our parents slept in the Palace. We had so much fun.

czerniejewo park alleyYou can also rent a carriage or a chaise I think we did that once as well. J. said it wast the peak of their programm while visiting Czerniejewo. You can go into the palace and see magnificent rooms like: Golden-, Garden-, Winter- Salon, Music room, Hunters room and so on.

In the park there are avenues of lime, ash and chestnut, and three axes of the lakes in the north. Initially the park was designed in French style, since the mid XIX century it was transformed into an English park though.Picnic spot Especially noteworthy are stately oaks, hornbeam, lime and yew with four trunks. We found a spot near the lake at the back of the palace in a meadow undreneath trees to have our picnic: pancakes, fruits and cupcakes. From this spot we’ve seen the panorama of the palace and sea of yellow sow-thistles. There was not a single cloud on the sky. It made me think how different it is to UK and London. No screaming, no noises, no crowds, just sun, breeze and greenery.

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