Institutions related to Chopin Institutions related to Chopin

Żelazowa Wola

Żelazowa Wola

Żelazowa Wola - Fryderyk Chopin's Birthplace. Since the turn of the 18th and 19th century the manor house in Żelazowa Wola belonged to the Skarbek family. It was a brick building with two wings. Apart from the count and countess the manor house was inhabited by Chopin's parents - Justyna nee Krzyżanowska, the hosts' relative, working as a housekeeper, and a French tutor, Mikołaj Chopin - who are said to have made their acquaintance there. After their wedding the Chopins took an apartment in the left wing and there, on the 1st March (or the 22nd February) 1810 Fryderyk Chopin was born. His sisters, both the older, Ludwika Marianna, and the two younger, Justyna Izabela and Emilia, were born in Warsaw.

However, Fryderyk's childhood was not connected with Żelazowa Wola, because already in autumn 1810 the Chopin family moved to Warsaw for good. Yet, in his later years Fryderyk visited the Skarbeks' residence several times, mostly during Christmas, Easter and summar holidays.

In the Chopin literature only a few accounts can be found of Fryderyk's stays in his birthplace house. He probably spent some time in Żelazowa Wola during the summer of 1823, together with his sister Ludwika he spent there the Christams of 1825 and the New Year of 1826. In summer 1830 he visited his friend Tytus Woyciechowski in Poturzyn, then stayed for a few days in Warsaw and afterwards went to Żelazowa Wola where the whole Chopin family were enjoying their summer holidays. That was his last visit there.

During all his stays in the Skarbeks' estate a lot of time was devoted to making music. In summer the paino used to be moved to the garden, where under a spruce or a lime tree Fryderyk gave concerts. Numerous guests, friends and the family were not the only audience of those extraordinary performances. The piano sounds attracted music-loving inhabitants of neighbouring villages, which was reminisced by Antoni Krysiak, a peasant from Żelazowa Wola and Chopin's contemporary.

"It was resounding all over the orchard so that the folks from the neighbouring villages came running and, as it happened, stood by the fence to listen the guest from Warsaw". (Kobylańska,98)


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