The Library

It was situated on the first floor of the Palace, in the little room of the former tower. It was a two-storey interior, with an entresol, and bookshelves on each storey. It did not have windows. Its ceiling was a glass cupola letting in a small amount of light.

Deeper, behind the library, the “Room of the Librarian” was located. Its first resident was Marek Ludwik Reverdil, and later his successor, John Baptist Albertrandi. Both librarians would read aloud texts in French, English, and German to the King every day, even up to eight hours a day. On the wall connecting the room with the Library stood six book cabinets adorned with depictions of the nine Muses.

Unfortunately, the Library burned down in the mid-19th century. In the times of Stanisław August, two thousand books were stored in the collection. However, it was only a small part of the entirety of the King’s collection of books, which, in 1793, counted 13 thousand volumes. The Royal Łazienki Library comprised books which featured light, “relaxing” themes and which were read for pleasure. They included biographies, travel journals, romance novels, poetry, or works concerned with art.

The Library was a very important place for the Polish Monarch. Stanisław August collected books not just to follow the contemporary trends in the magnate circles. The Polish King was an erudite and bibliophile – a reader who treated books in a modern, enlightened way. For him, written texts were the source of information enabling him to draw the knowledge necessary for governing the country.