Nowadays – it is a housing estate – but earlier? How did it look like, what was it famous for? And why is this place called „Marymont’?
… Oak forests, ponds, meadows – there are suburbs of Warsaw in 17 century. This is here where Jan III Sobieski – as a commander-in-chief still – was coming for hunting and religious events to the nearby Camaldolese monastery. In the diary of the royal secretary Kazimierz Sarnecki we can find an information that on May 26, 1693 …
„Just after the mass, king left for hunting, ate a dinner, passed Marymont of queen, and shot two hares”.
Jan III Sobieski leaving Wilanów for hunting. Painted by Józef Brandt. Wikimedia Commons
The area of king`s estate. The borders follows:
in the south along Bieniawska Street from the crossroads
of Maria Kazimiera adn Potocka Street, in the east:
along Jelinka Street, in the west: alongMarymoncka Street.
In the north – the border was marked out by Bielański Forest.
When he became the king, he bought the property from the monks, at Półkowo village and build here a very beautiful palace for his beloved wife – Marysieńka. Queen – using French language – called this palace „Marie Mont’, that is „Mountain of Mary” which in Polish language gave the name: „Marymont”.
Engraving of G. Bodener based on picture of J. S. Mocek, 1730.
The palace was a very high-class architectural masterpiece, designed by the royal architect – Tylman from Gemeren. The building was situated on approximately 10 meters high hill on the two steps terrace. The form of palace – was a cube with an external stairs, covered by a tent roof, topped with a pinnacle with an figure of an eagle. There were a few rooms on the ground floor and a representative hall – on the first floor. It was in shape of a cross, because there were small offices in the corners. In this room a very beautiful view opened onto the Vistula, mills at Rudawka and Bielański Forest. This palace from the beginning was acting as a summer residence.
At Marymont a historical meeting between the king Jan III Sobieski and an Austrian deputy – Wilczek – was held. The king sworn him a participation of Poland in the war expedition against Turks at the Battle of Vienna.
Also here, the Polish proverb: „the word was said – the mare is at the fence” has its origins. It was made by a nobleman – Jakub Zaleski, who wanted to plead the king for his deceased brother starosta takeover. However he was not entertained by king, but got the information that the king was busy and was going to take a part in a hunting. The nobleman mounted a horse and raced into Pólkowo village region where the hunting was taking a place. Among the wood, he met the king, but he thought it was a courtier, so he referred him the matter and ask for an audience with the king enabling. „The courtier” asked: „What will happen if the king cannot carry out your request?” „He may kiss my mare under the tail” – the nobleman answered. „The courtier” promised to help. When during the audience, the nobleman recognized courtier`s face in the face of the king – he terrified and understood his mistake. When, under the new circumstances, the king repeated the same question asked in the forest: „what will happen if the king cannot carry out your request?”, the nobleman decided to save his face and said proudly: „the word was said – the mare is at the fence”. The king found it very funny, gave him a title of starost, and this sentence came into Polish language on permanent and is functioning until this day.
The royal couple, Jan III Sobieski with his wife Marysieńska and children. Painted by Henri Gascar.
The first one at the left side – prince Konstanty, heir of the palace, in the future. Wikimedia Commons.
And what was the palace surroundings?
Equally beautiful. The palace was surrounded with a park, modeled on French gardens of Ludwik XIV times. Many paths, two little lakes and a ravine – there were perfect places for walking. The headland which was extended to the Vistula encouraged to look into the depths of the river and the Royal Canal, 600 meters long, invited to row, which was used very often by the queen together with her close friends, family and guests. The numerous sources, at the mouth of the ravine, which delivered water to the canal, enhanced the picturesqueness and romantic mood.
A slightly lower on the hill, closer to the Vistula, there were located two buildings, which acted as the kitchen and the house for servants. One of them has survived until this day.