Located in the historical part of the city, the Krasinski Garden is the oldest park in Warsaw, and also the second, after the Saxon Garden, made available to a wider public. It has partly preserved its historical layout, while the close proximity of the Krasiński Palace raises its rank and makes it very willingly visited by residents living in this part of the city.
Położenie: obszar wyznaczony przez ulice: gen. Andersa i Stare Nalewki – Świętojerska – plac Krasińskich – tył zabudowy przy ul. Długiej (Śródmieście; MSI Muranów)
Area: 11.8 ha
Establishment of the Krasiński residence
The Krasiński family came from the Masovian nobility and from the beginning of the 16th century they held political functions in Mazovia: Ciechanów, Warsaw and Płock castellans. With time, family representatives took on the functions of the Płock voivode and bishop of Kamieniec. One of the family's significant representatives was Jan Dobrogost Krasiński, the Płock voivode, elector of Jan III Sobieski, who was later associated with his court.
When in the 17th century Warsaw became the residence of kings and the center of political life in the country, it also became attractive to magnates, nobility and clergy. So, all these states began to buy plots of land and erect magnificent palaces on them. One of the streets that experienced building prosperity was Miodowa. At its end, in the place where it connected with Długa Street, Jan Dobrogost Krasiński bought the land for the construction of a magnificent residence, designed in the style between the garden and the courtyard.
As a result of the work, the palace foundation was completed in 1695. The project consisted of: Jan Dobrogost Krasiński's Palace, a garden at the back of the residence (Krasiński Garden), a palace courtyard (today's Krasiński Square), and the no longer existing northern outbuilding.
As for the garden itself, it had eight quarters, a three-ray system and a main avenue, which was crossed by three perpendicular alleys. On the main axis from the street Nalewki were issued a four-pillar gate, which has partly survived to this day and can be admired by entering the park.
Changes in the garden
In 1765, heirs from the Krasiński family sold the palace of the Commonwealth for the seat of the Crown Treasury Commission. A year later, the Krasiński Garden was transformed according to the design of Jan Chrystian Knackfus. As part of the project, he received a new layout of alleys and made it available to the public.
At the beginning of the 19th century, a confectionery pavilion was erected in the northwestern corner of the garden, enlarged over time, which survived until World War II.
The great gardener of Warsaw - Franciszek Szanior, who developed the garden transformation project, made even greater changes in 1891-95. Finally, several years earlier he had already worked the Saxon Garden. In the following years, he designed other parks in Warsaw: Ujazdowski Park and Skaryszewski Park.
The Krasiński Garden received a new layout of alleys, a pond with an island and an artificial waterfall. Until the outbreak of World War II, it was a favorite resting place of the Jewish population, inhabiting the Nalewki, Gęsia st and New Town areas in large numbers. The park was devastated by Germany in 1944.
Krasiński Garden today
As a result of war damage, after the war the Garden area was expanded to include demolished buildings. They were mainly palace outbuildings at Długa Street and outbuilding of tenement houses at Świętojerska St., which, moreover, was moved after the war, slightly higher to the north. Thus, the park area was set at 11.8 ha. In 1965, the garden with the gate from Nalewki was entered in the register of monuments.
The years 2012-14 are the revitalization of the Krasiński Garden, during which a large number of over 300 trees were cut.
The most interesting elements of the park's landscape are:
Due to the fact that the garden has always been part of a larger palace composition, the park adjoins the Krasiński Palace, which closes its perspective from the east.
In its time it was one of the most beautiful palaces in all of Europe. The decoration of the facades was closely related to the history of the Krasiński family, who were supposed to originate from the Roman Mark Waleriusz Korwin. The Krasinski family crest is Korwin - a crow. In this connection, similar references can be found in the beautifully carved tympanum and in figural sculptures crowning the front of the building.
Park gate and ghetto wall
An interesting four-pillar gate from the 18th century, through which you enter the park from the west. It has stylish, rustic pillars topped with vases. Because the Warsaw ghetto was adjacent to the garden, today from the east, its former border is outlined in the pavement. A little to the left of the entrance are: a monument to the ghetto borders and a boulder commemorating the victorious fighting on the first day of the November Uprising, November 29, 1830.
Fountain and floral lawn
Between the garden with alleys, forming the form of intersecting arches and rings, and the back facade of the palace, there is a lawn that creates beautiful floral compositions in summer. The whole picture is complemented by a shapely fountain placed in this place at the end of the 19th century. It has the form of a circular pool with a water fountain. All these elements make this part of the garden the most pleasant to relax, and certainly the nicest to the eye.
Nature in the park
The park has an old stand that partly survived World War II. First of all, we are talking about hundred-year-old trees, in the number of several dozen pieces, among which one can rest from the hustle and bustle of this part of the city.
From the time the park was organized by Szanior, a pond with an island and a sculpture on the water, showing fishermen returning from fishing, have survived. In addition, a boulder with a cascade can be found in the garden. There is also a lookout hill.
There are also garden accommodation referring to the historical function of the park. Designed mainly in the southern part of the park, in a place where before the war there were palace outbuildings. They certainly add charm to the whole composition.
Of the smaller attractions, it is worth mentioning a water pump set up in the park in 1936, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the existence of Warsaw waterworks. Similar pumps have been preserved in Ujazdowskie Alleys and Ujazdowski Park.
In 1989, a monument to the soldiers of the Warsaw Uprising of the AK Battalion ,,Chrobry ” was erected in the south-eastern part of the park. Before the war, the Simmons Passage was placed in the area where monument is located. The insurgents had their redoubt there, which was bombed by German air force. As a result of the collapse of the structure, more than 200 soldiers were killed Chrobrego. Reinforced concrete elements of the structure still stick out of the ground.
In the aftermath of the 21st-century revitalization, the park features: a children's playground, tables for board games and boule fields, a garden pavilion and numerous benches. It seems that this is the perfect place to slow down and spend your free time in Śródmieście, which imposes this momentum in Warsaw.
On the opposite side, behind the park, but in its immediate vicinity, there is a square of Wandering Soldiers. We will find there a monument of the Battle of Monte Cassino and a dogs' paddock.
In addition, every year, in the last days of June, the Jan Kochanowski's Name Day is organized in the Krasińscy Garden. The organizer of the literary picnic that then takes place is the National Library. There are various types of meetings, discussions, but also mini theaters or readings for children and adults.
To sum up: are we passionate about history, nature, or just like to relax in the shade of trees, go out with the kids to the fresh air, the Krasiński Garden combines all these functions. At the same time, it makes it one of the most valuable parks in Warsaw.