Surroundings of Grójec – around 50 km from Warsaw
The palace and park complex in Mała Wieś is one of the most significant and conspicuous structures of a kind in Mazovia. Within the commune area there is also a palace and park complex in Rębowola with a scenic park covering the area of 3.5 ha, a manor and park complex in Odrzywołek with a park covering the area of 2 ha; a park in Oczesały with the area of 9 ha and a country park in Stara Wieś (Old Village).
A Classicist palace in Mała Wieś is one of the most interesting and breath-taking Mazovian residences. It was constructed to specification of the well-known architect Hilary Szpilowski. The palace complex consists of 4 annexes symmetrically located on both sides of the lawn, a coach house and a hydrophore plant. The entirety is surrounded by the 20-ha historic park. The storeyed palace is covered with a hip roof, it has a four-pillar portico, with the Waliccy Łada coat of arms in a tympanum. This Classicist residence also has a Baroque feature, i.e. the representative rooms are located upstairs (height of around 5 m), and residential rooms are downstairs (height of around 2.6 m). The interiors have kept their original palace décor: mouldings, fireplaces, numerous paintings with ancient themes prevail. However, the absolute uniqueness of this place is guaranteed by the polychrome on the wall in the largest palace hall, the so-called Warsaw Hall, depicting the panorama of Warsaw based on the Canaletto painting. Prof. Marek Kwiatkowski, manager of Łazienki, said that “by its scale and breadth, this hall has outshined the Table Hall of the Hunting Palace in Łazienki”. In the entrance hall of the Mała Wieś palace, guests are greeted by a figure of Diogenes with a lamp. Above the stairway going upstairs there is a Latin inscription-motto placed there by the palace constructor: "Dicite victuri patrum, post fata nepotes, velle Deo patria vivere, velle mori”, which means: “Learn, you, descendants, who will come after the fathers’ decease, to live for God, for the country and for them; to die, when you must”. In addition, the natural qualities of the vicinity encourage to visit this place. The palace and park complex is situated in the immediate vicinity of the greatest larch reserve in Central Europe. The palace interiors are used in film productions such as “Ada! To nie wypada” (Ada! It is not done) (1936), „Nad Niemnem” (By the Niemen River) (1987), „Pułkownik Kwiatkowski” (Colonel Kwiatkowski) (1995).
Mała Wieś – the family nest
For 160 years, that is since 1768 (date of the builders’ leaving the palace) up until 1945, Mała Wieś was the setting, where 6 consecutive generations of the same family administered the farm. For each of them the palace in Mała Wieś was the beloved family home. Despite the fact that the owners’ last names change, as the estate was three times inherited by daughters, inheriting in a direct line was never interrupted. Although after the Waliccy, subsequent owners were the Rzewuscy, Zamoyscy, Lubomirscy, Morawscy, the estate continuously belonged to the direct descendants of the palace constructor Bazyli Walicki and his wife – Rozalia of Nieborscy.
After the Second World War, for 63 years, Mała Wieś was in the hands of the state: first of the Agricultural Institute, then of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, finally of the Council of Ministers Office, which ran here the training and leisure centre. In the years 1962-1995, a series of adaptation, modernization and reconstruction works were carried out in Mała Wieś. In 2008, after 63 years, the palace in Mała Wieś returned to the hands of the family. Currently, in 2011, 41 members of the Mała Wieś line belonging to the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth generations of the family are still alive.
Who were the householders of Mała Wieś
First generation - Bazyli Walicki (1728-1802), the palace constructor, educated in the court of Louis XV. He was the starost of Mszczonów, then the Rawski voivodship, friend of the king Stanisław August Poniatowski, participant of the Great Sejm; supported the Constitution of May 3. In the Mała Wieś park there is stone with a plate commemorating the visit of the last king of Poland. Bazyli, the ancestor of the Mała Wieś family, had a knack for business and kept accruing his wealth. He had seven children with his wife, Rozalia of Nieborscy, the castellan’s daughter.
Second generation – Józef Walicki (1775-1808) and Klementyna of Kozietulscy (1783-1862). Józef, the starost of Mszczonów, kept a massive horses stud within the estate, whereas Klementyna gathered around herself many prominent people of that time. She was also friends with the Polish wife of Napoleon, Maria Walewska, who used to be a guest in Mała Wieś. Thanks to Klementyna, the Mała Wieś palace boasted of its uniqueness, as she was the one to decide on decorating the greatest hall with the abovementioned polychrome. After the Napoleon campaign had finished, colonel Jan Kozietulski, Klementyna’s brother, found his family home in Mała Wieś. During his 10-year service by Napoleon’s side, the colonel sent his beloved sister letters which have survived to this day. The correspondence reached Mała Wieś from all nooks of Europe, from Madrid to Moscow, from Brussels to Leipzig. In his famous book “Kozietulski and others”, Marian Brandys describes the householders and inhabitants of the palace in a beautiful way.
Third generation – Józefina Walicka (1808-1880) primo voto Rzewuska and count Zdzisław Zamoyski (1810-1855). Out of four siblings, Józefina was the most energetic and healthy child of Józef and Klementyna Waliccy. Mała Wieś was indebted to her for building an undoubtedly profitable distillery and establishment of two ponds in the immediate surroundings of the palace; an island raised on one of them, where Józefina organized even a theatre.
Fourth generation – countess Maria Zamoyska (1841-1922) and prince Jan Tadeusz Lubomirski (1826-1908). Jan Tadeusz was a prominent persona of the 19th-century Poland, a historian, economic and social activist, the holder of an honorary doctorate of the Jagiellonian University, president of the Charity Society, initiator of evening schools and savings and loan association for the poor, founder of craftsmen companies. During the January Uprising he was a close associate of Romuald Traugutt, was a member of the Provisional Government. For being an active uprising supporter, he was imprisoned in the Citadel, then deported to Siberia. His wife shared his lot with him all this time.
Fifth generation – Prince Zdzisław Lubomirski (1865 - 1943) and countess Maria Branicka (1873 - 1934) – prince Lubomirski was the president of Warsaw in 1916 –1917, in 1917 –1918 he was a member of the Regency Board, personally passed the power over to First Marshal Piłsudski. In 1928– 1938 as a senator he ran a parliamentary activity. During the siege of Warsaw in September 1939 he worked in the Civic Committee by the side of the president of Warsaw Stefan Starzyński. He was in a group of hostages who were to guarantee invader’s safety after the capital’s surrender. He was arrested in 1942, held prisoner in Pawiak (he was 77 at the time). He died after eight months from tuberculosis he had acquired in prison. In the Mała Wieś palace he hid senator Dorota Kłuszyńska who was of Jewish origin. His wife, Maria Branicka, an heiress to huge aristocratic goods in Ukraine, is the author of a fascinating diary from the period of the First World War, where, with an incredible literary talent, historic intuition and social sensitivity surprising for a person of her position, she depicts the history of the estate and family against the extensive background of 1914– 1918 political events (Wydawnictwo Poznańskie [Poznań Publishing] 1997).
Sixth generation - Julia Lubomirska (1894 - 1982) and Tadeusz Morawski (1893 - 1974) – Tadeusz Morawski was a wielkopolski landholder, a participant of the Wielkopolskie Uprising, activist in many social organizations in the Grójec poviat, member of Polish Sejm. He worked in favour of development of fruit-growing on the Grójec land. During the Second World War he supported the resistance movement. He had a secret radio station in the palace. During the war, together with his wife Julia, he gave shelter in Mała Wieś to many cousins who had been expelled from their homes by the invader. After the war he was imprisoned by NKVD. The author of absorbing memories from the Second World War “Oasis on the volcano” (family collection). Julia Lubomirska was renowned among the locals for her great social sensitivity, she never evaded helping those in social need. In spring 1945 due to action of destroying Polish manors, Julia and Tadeusz Morawscy together with their five children were banished from their estate by the people’s authorities.
The palace and park complex in Mała Wieś
At present, the palace complex is able to accommodate 20 guests in single, double, triple and quadruple rooms. The conditions are favourable for organization of various workshops, trainings as well as occasional parties. There is a possibility to visit for organized groups after previous telephone contact.
Currently the setting is searching for investors interested in possibilities this unique place has to offer.
Palace – possibility to furnish 3 suites;
Manor annexes – in each of them there are single rooms with separate bathrooms (19 rooms) as well as double-room apartments with a common bathroom (10 rooms with 5 bathrooms);
Coach house – one two-room apartment with a bathroom.