"Admission Free November" 2017 in Royal Residences

This will be the sixth time that Royal Residences, i.e. The Wawel Royal Castle, the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów, and the Royal Łazienki Museum, invite visitors to the "Admission Free November".

The "Admission Free November" 2017 in Royal Residences is one of the most important initiatives aimed at the promotion of monuments and museum collections. Its main goals include cultural education, better accessibility to national cultural institutions, and greater participation in culture – especially of children, adolescents, and seniors. The initiator of the admission free tours at the Royal Residences is the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

This year’s Admission Free November will be held under the slogan: "Where History Happens". Museums and Royal Residences will present their collections and open their temporary exhibitions to the public. In addition, a rich programme of accompanying events has been prepared for the visitors.

The oldest residence of Polish kings – the Wawel Royal Castle – offers admission free tours of the magnificent Royal Chambers containing the collection of tapestries of Sigismund Augustus, displayed at the "State Rooms" exhibition. The residence also welcomes visitors who wish to contemplate the works of the Polish goldsmithery, objects once belonging to monarchs, and various weapons and armaments displayed at the "Crown Treasury and Armoury" exhibition. Visitors can also take a short walk to see the archaeological-architectural reserve with one of the best preserved Roman buildings in Poland – the Rotunda of St. Felix and Adauctus (The Lost Wawel).

The history of the Royal Castle and the Wawel Hill, the fate of the Jagiellonian dynasty, the Royal collection of art, as well as the art patronage of kings will also be the topics of 100 free museum lessons and workshops. Schools will be able to choose from among the following classes: Legendy wawelskie (Wawel Legends), Wawel legendarny i historyczny (Wawel: the Historical and the Legendary), Wawel rezydencja władców (Wawel: the Residence of Rulers), Życie codzienne na wawelskim dworze (Daily Life on the Wawel Court), Przyroda na arrasach (Nature on Tapestries), Taniec i muzyka na wawelskim dworze (Dance and Music at the Wawel Court), Przedromanizm i romanizm na Wawelu (Pre-Romanesque and Romanesque Style at Wawel), as well as Renesans na Wawelu (Renaissance at Wawel).

The Royal Castle in Warsaw holds permanent exhibitions, including the Great Apartment, the King’s Apartment, the Lanckoroński Collection with two famous paintings by Rembrandt ("A Scholar at his Writing Table" and the "Girl in a Picture Frame"), as well as the multimedia exhibition, "The Royal Castle – from Destruction to Reconstruction". Guests can also enjoy temporary exhibitions: one devoted to Modernism in Hungary in the 1st half of the 20th century, and another to Professor Karolina Lanckorońska. It is also worth seeing the works of the Italian master of Mannerism, Domenico Tintoretto – "Saint John the Baptist" and "Saint John the Apostle".

Among other attractions proposed by the Royal Castle are: admission free screenings of films in the Castle cinema, weekend tours organized as part of the series Godzina ze sztuką w Zamku (An Hour with Art in the Castle), as well as a presentation of paintings and prints made by students and alumni of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, displayed on the Targowisko sztuki (Art Market).

Students from all levels of education will be able to participate in 200 free museum lessons, whose leading theme will be the life at the Royal court: on the one hand, the court life and artistic life filled with extravagant banquets, and on the other hand – the life of hundreds of servants and craftsmen, who – on each day – tried to live up to numerous responsibilities.

The Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów invites visitors to discover the Baroque-era Royal residence and its collections. Schools, children, adolescents and adults will have to opportunity to join 200 free museum lessons, workshops and thematic tours devoted to the history and natural environment of the former residence of King John III.

Guardians with children, as well as families with special needs, can take part in the workshops and museum meetings. The classes Wizyta u króla (Visit at the King’s) will involve the exploration of the Royal apartments, and during the storytelling workshops, we will hear little-known, and even unknown stories featuring John III as the main protagonist.

During the workshops W pracowni iluminatora (In the Illuminator’s Workshop), you can learn about the history of the Sobieski Hours – a richly illuminated French prayer book, which once belonged to King John III. Emulating the illuminators of the olden days, the classes’ participants will make paints using mineral pigments and chicken egg whites.

The workshops devoted to initials will feature many types of these ornate letters: the simple, calligraphic ones, the painted ones, as well as the most complex – ornamental and figurated initials.

The Royal Łazienki Museum invites visitors to explore the Palace on the Isle with the Royal Picture Gallery, the Old Orangery with the Royal Sculpture Gallery and the Royal Theatre, as well as the Myślewicki Palace. It is also worth seeing the temporary exhibitions: "Portrait of a Patrician Family" by Abraham van den Tempel, displayed in the Royal Picture Gallery in the Palace on the Isle, as part of the exhibition of one painting; "Kościuszko in West Point" by Bolesław Jan Czedekowski, in the Dining Room of the Palace on the Isle, as part of the exhibition of one painting; and "Bath Country, Bathing Culture", contemporary Hungarian painting from the collection of Völgyi-Skonda, displayed in the Officer Cadets School.

Throughout November, it will be possible to participate in various events organized under the slogan, "Where the History Happens", divided into thematic categories of painting, writing, sculpture, and the history of Poland. The attractions include: thematic tours for children in the Palace on the Isle and the Old Orangery, a soap bubble flash mob, family calligraphy and storytelling workshops, classes in the Royal moulding shop – allowing participants to enter the shoes of Royal artists and make a plaster mould – as well as group singing of patriotic songs on the Independence Day. The Royal Łazienki will also offer daily tours of the exhibition, "In the Realm of Art. Jan Bogumił Plersch – Court Painter of King Stanisław August".

The Royal Łazienki has also prepared 100 free museum lessons for pre-schools, elementary schools and high schools. The topics of the classes are: Powstanie listopadowe (November Uprising), Tadeusz Kościuszko. Bohater dwóch kontynentów (Tadeusz Kościuszko. Hero of Two Contingents), Ignacy Paderewski. In tempo rubato, Co nam zostało z Oświecenia? (What Still Remains for Us from the Enlightenment), Rozum i rewolucja (Reason and the Revolution), Obiady czwartkowe (Thursday Dinners) as well as Łazienki w literaturze i kulturze (Łazienki in Literature and Culture).