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Warsaw: Saxon Garden

Warsaw: Saxon Garden Warsaw: Saxon Garden

Fryderyk Chopin spent his first seven years of life in the Saxon Palace, and so in the direct vicinity of the Saxon Garden. Mrs Justyna Chopin will certainly have taken Ludwika and little Frycek to the nearby park. Given Fryderyk's fondness for walks around the city, we can assume that a dozen years or so later he visited this beautiful spot on many occasions in the company of friends. Some biographers have even held that he used to come here with Konstancja Gładkowska, although there is no information regarding such romantic walks in mentions of Fryderyk's contacts with his first love.

The Saxon Garden was part of the 'Saxon Axis'-a complex of royal residences and gardens belonging to Augustus II the Strong, created in the years 1713-33 to the king's commission by Jan Krzysztof Naumann and Mateusz Daniel Pöppelmann. By 1727 the Garden had become the first public park in Warsaw. During Chopin's lifetime, it was redesigned by James Savage in the spirit of an English landscape garden.

Today the Saxon Garden adjoins Plac Piłsudskiego and also ul. Andersa, ul. Królewska and ul. Fredry. On the Plac Piłsudskiego side, one is drawn to a magnificent chalice-shaped fountain from 1855, designed by Henryk Marconi, who also designed the classicist water tower, known as the 'reservoir' [wodozbiór], erected on a man-made hill in 1854, surrounded by gingkos brought from Japan and China in the eighteenth century. Also striking are the late baroque sandstone sculptures, renovated in the years 1994-98. Standing by the garden's central avenue is a sundial, founded in the nineteenth century by Antoni Magier (1762-1837), a meteorologist, physicist and diarist. In the second half of the twentieth century two new monuments appeared in the park: to Stefan Starzyński (by Ludwika Kraskowska-Nitschowa) and Maria Konopnicka (by Stanisław Kulon).

 


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