Saxon Palace

Saxon Palace
Pałac Saski (Polish)

Saxon Palace, ca. 1890
General information
Architectural style Neoclassical (1838)
Town or city Warsaw
Country Poland
Construction started 1666[1]
Demolished 1944
Design and construction
Architect Adam Idźkowski (1838)
Saxon Palace in the 18th century, view from the Saxon Garden.
Saxon Palace, seen from Saxon Square. Before the arcade housing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier stands Thorvaldsen's equestrian statue of Prince Józef Poniatowski (after World War II, relocated to Krakowskie Przedmieście, in front of the Presidential Palace).

The Saxon Palace (Polish: pałac Saski w Warszawie) was one of the most distinctive buildings in prewar Warsaw, Poland. It is planned to reconstruct the building.


Up to World War I

The Saxon Palace had been preceded by a manor house belonging to Tobiasz Morsztyn. After 1661 his brother and heir Jan Andrzej Morsztyn had replaced the manor house with a baroque palace (Pałac Morsztynów, "the Morsztyn Palace") with four towers.

In 1713 the Morsztyn Palace was purchased by the first of Poland's two Saxon kings, Augustus II (reigned in Poland 1697–1706 and 1709–33), who began enlarging it. In 1748 the palace's rebuilding was completed by his son, King Augustus III.

In the early 19th century, the Saxon Palace housed the Warsaw Lyceum in which Frédéric Chopin's father Nicolas Chopin taught French, living with his family on the palace grounds.

The Palace was remodeled in 1842.


After World War I, the Saxon Palace was the seat of the Polish General Staff. In 1925, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was established within the colonnade-topped arcade that joined the Palace's two symmetric wings.

The Palace continued to be sandwiched between the Saxon Garden, to its rear, and the Saxon Square in front (which would be renamed Piłsudski Square after the Marshal's death in 1935).

In this building the German Enigma machine cipher was first broken in December 1932 and then read for several years before the General Staff Cipher Bureau German section's 1937 moved to new specially designed quarters near Pyry in the Kabaty Woods south of Warsaw.

During World War II, the Saxon Palace was blown up by the Germans as part of the planned destruction of Warsaw after the collapse of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.[2][3] Only parts of the central arcade remained, housing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which somehow managed to survive.[4]

Since World War II

There are plans to reconstruct the Saxon Palace.[5] The palace cellars were excavated in 2006, uncovering some 20,000 objects. The reconstruction of the palace was formerly scheduled for completion by 2010.[6] The reconstructed building was planned to house Warsaw's city hall, but due to budget problems of Warsaw, caused by the recent global financial crisis, and subsequent cuts, the reconstruction is now on hold indefinitely.

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saxon Palace.


  1. State Archive of the Capital City of Warsaw, Oś Saska. Pałac Saski [Saxon Axis. Saxon Palace] (in Polish), retrieved 2013-01-16
  2. A. Franta, O Placu Piłsudskiego, tożsamości i ładzie [Marshall Pilsudski Square in Warsaw - good or wrong? - identity, harmony, catastrophy] (in Polish and English), retrieved 2013-01-16
  3. "Urban revitalization. Breathing New Live into Historic Sites". The official website of the City of Warsaw. Archived from the original on 2008-09-17.
  4. State Archive of the Capital City of Warsaw, Oś Saska. Druga Wojna Światowa [Saxon Axis. Second World War] (in Polish), retrieved 2013-01-16
  5. "The City Voice. As good as new", The official website of the City of Warsaw, 2006-03-01, archived from the original on 2008-05-20
  6. "History Unearthed at Saski Palace", The Warsaw Voice, 2006-12-06, retrieved 2013-01-16


Coordinates: 52°14′28″N 21°00′41″E / 52.24111°N 21.01139°E / 52.24111; 21.01139

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