European Days at the Royal Łazienki Museum, from 1–17 May

From 1–17 May, the Royal Łazienki Museum is hosting 'European Days', a series of events including the 3rd European Picnic, to be attended by the President of the Republic of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski and the First Lady, the opening of the newly-renovated Palace on the Isle, the Charter of the 3 May 1791 Constitution exhibition, as well as European Debates, concerts and educational activities. 

Visitors to the summer residence of King Stanisław August Poniatowski will also be able to take part in the traditional Night of the Museums and the inauguration of the Chopin summer concerts.

The Royal Łazienki Museum symbolizes the grand and unfulfilled dreams of King Stanisław August Poniatowski not only for a modern Poland, but also for a European Poland.  For that reason, from 1 May, we would like to invite you all to the European Days to help better understand Poland's place among the great nations of Europe, the Director of the Royal Łazienki Museum, Tadeusz Zielniewicz, explained at the Press Conference.  Encouraging a visit to the Royal Łazienki, he added that the revitalized gardens, the Palace on the Isle with the Amphitheatre, and the collection of paintings, would provide a splendid backdrop for the European Days in May.  He also stated that from 1–3 May, there would be free entry to the Museum, including the restored Palace on the Isle.

From 1–17 May, The Royal Łazienki Museum will be the venue for the European Days celebrations.  .

The 3rd European Picnic, commemorating the 11th anniversary of Poland's accession to the European Union, will be held on 1 May.   During this event, the President of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski, and the First Lady, together with Varsovians, will walk from the Belvedere Palace to the Royal Łazienki, visiting the photographic exhibition “The Revitalization of the Royal Łazienki Museum 2010–2015”.  The photographs in the Open Air Gallery along Al. Ujazdowskie will present the most significant conservation work carried out in the Royal Łazienki Museum over the past five years. 

The Picnic programme features a host of surprises for both adults and children.  The opening event at 10.30 a.m. will be a concert for children, “Melomaluszki” by the Fryderyk Chopin monument.  Visitors to the Royal Łazienki will have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of music – from classical string quartets, through marching brass bands, to the “Dancing Europe” procession.

For those wishing to find out more about European culture, we have prepared “European Masterpieces” charades, focusing on European works of art, and the “Europa Eureka” animation on the symbols and values of the European Union.  During the picnic we will present the European Community’s most significant ideas, its history, flag and anthem – said Magdalena Lewna, Head of the Royal Łazienki Museum’s Educational Centre. 

In addition to European games contests, horse-riding shows and the AKT Theatre’s colourful Elves and Butterflies parade, the guests will also be offered a selection of refreshments—10,000 doughnuts and drinks provided by the event’s sponsors.  The final event of the 3rd European Picnic will be the “Ode to Joy Procession”, at 5.30 p.m., which will march along the Chinese Avenue.

On 2 May, you are invited to celebrate the Flag Day with a concert at the renovated amphitheatre, as part of the 11th Marek Grechuta Enchanted Songs Festival.  The idea behind the festival is to discover talented singers among the disabled.  The festival is organized by Anna Dymna’s “Mimo Wszystko” Foundation, while the artistic curator is Irena Santor.

On the 3 May National Holiday, visitors to the Royal Łazienki Museum will have the chance to see the original Constitution of 3 May 1791 at the Palace on the Isle.  Each visitor will be able to admire from close-up the first Constitution in Europe, and second in the world only to that of the United States.  In the afternoon, a concert by the group “Red Shoes czyli Boogie Band” will be held in the Amphitheatre.

During the European Days, we will launch a new series of European Debates entitled “Is Europe a utopia?”  The first debate will take place on 6 May on the first European Wednesday, during which international experts will discuss the multiculturalism of Europe.  Speakers at the debate, chaired by publicist Marek Ostrowski, will include Professor Didier Francfort from the Bronisław Geremek Institute of European History and Culture in Lunéville, Professor Halina Grzymała-Moszczyńska from the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in Religions and Cultures of the World (Jagiellonian University) and political scientist Klara Geywitz, Member of Parliament of Brandenburg Landtag and member of the Management Board of the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation.

The co-organizers of the European Debates are the Foundation of the Professor Bronisław Geremek Centre, the Lunéville Castle in France and the Prince Pückler Bad Muskau Park in Germany.  Subsequent debates, “Memory, Self and Citizenship” and “What does it mean to be European?” will take place on 7 October and 4 November, respectively.

On 13 May, a lecture entitled “Stanisław August – the collector: truths and myths about the Royal Picture Gallery”, will be given by Dorota Juszczak and Hanna Małachowicz from the Royal Castle, authors of a new catalogue of paintings from the Stanisław August Poniatowski gallery at the Royal Łazienki Museum.

Another great attraction for visitors to the Royal Łazienki Museum is the Night of the Museums. On Saturday 16 May, they will be able to see a projection of the painting “Solomon’s Dream” by Marcello Bacciarelli, court painter to Stanisław August Poniatowski, in the Palace on the Isle.  This will be an attempt to digitally recreate the paintings which were destroyed during the Second World War.  The Night of the Museums will also include a concert by the well-known Polish musicians Adam Strug and Wojeich Waglewski, who will perform on the Stage on the Water – said Izabela Zychowicz, Head of the Museum Centre.

Sunday 17 May at 12 noon and at 4 p.m. sees the launch of the inaugural Sunday summer concerts under the Chopin Monument.  The concert will present interpretations of the composer's pieces by Julia Kociuban – who will be representing Poland in the Chopin Competition this year.  The pianist will be accompanied by the symphony orchestra of the Fryderyk Chopin University in Warsaw, conducted by Marcin Nałęcz-Niesiołowski.  The Sunday recitals, popular not only for the beauty of the open-air venue but also for the quality of the performing artists, attract thousands.  Held from May until the end of September, these concerts are attended by as many as 80, 000 people: Warsaw citizens and tourists alike.