History of the Gardens

The gardens have always been an important part of the Warsaw residence. Above all, however, they played an important role in the panorama of Warsaw from the Vistula side.

In 2013, construction and conservation works were initiated to restore the perfect form of the completely damaged gardens, thereby completing the reconstruction of the Castle.

The garden shows us its form for the first time in materials from 1581. As a result of the extension of the castle by Sigismund III Vasa at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, the towers of the Castle and a mighty wall with bastions appeared in the landscape. The garden had to give way to construction projects and was limited to a small space at the top of the escarpment. The king was a lover of plants and gardens, as did his sister Anna, and later daughter-in-law Cecylia Renata, who moved to Warsaw a great horticultural tradition of Florence, Mantua, Prague and Vienna. However, to create a magnificent garden, the area was lacking.

King Stanisław August Poniatowski obtained it, commissioning works consisting in filling up a part of the river bed under the scarp. The terrace of the Castle was then decorated with trees arranged in two rows planted in pots painted in the colors of the royal coat of arms Ciołek. This decoration has been reconstructed according to Bernardo Bellotto's painting 'View of Warsaw from the terrace of the Royal Castle'.

On the Vistula River, the garden was created only at the beginning of the 19th century. It was decided that this place, threatened by floods, will be decorated as a park - admittedly connected with the Castle, but public. For the implementation, Jakub Kubicki's concept was selected from among several projects. The works that lasted from 1818 to 1830 led to the creation of a garden on the escarpment and under the escarpment, as well as the concealing of the old and still-needed urban street in the terrestrial tunnel that separates them. This tunnel, known as Kubicki Arcades, was an innovative solution to the communication problem, and at the same time was an original garden structure, on which the vault was made a "hanging garden", compared then to the gardens of Semiramida.

After the November Uprising, the surroundings of the Castle quickly gained military traits. In the inter-war period, efforts were made to restore the splendor of the devastated mansion. In 1937, work began in the garden. The final form of the project was given by Adolf Szyszko-Bohusz. At that time, a garden was created that processed baroque forms, with a huge recessed lawn in the middle and four formed bosquets on the sides.

The outbreak of World War II did not allow to finish the works, and especially to create two avenues of fountains and a garden theater. Blowing up the castle did not disturb the garden. Unfortunately, the expansion of the road network after the war resulted in the removal of one-third of its surface from the lower garden. On this reason, the trees of two bosquets were cut down. However, the remaining two survived. Eighty hornbeams testify to the pre-war past of the place. This relic – extremely valuable for the castle complex, almost completely destroyed – determined the direction of the revalorisation of the gardens. They refer to interwar stylistics, both in the composition of space following the drawings of Szyszko-Bohusz, as well as in stone details, a bronze fountain, garden furniture or the selection and composition of plants.