Momorabilia Room dedicated to Ignacy Jan Paderewski

Already during his life, I. J. Paderewski was said to be a double hero: a hero of art and a hero of his country. As an artist, he knew how to impress others and grab the largest audiences of the time with his works of art and powerful talents. Thanks to it, he could pave his way to the world of politics and, as a result, do so much good for the country he worshipped, respected and which he served above all else. When he embarked on a political mission with the intention to work for peace and independence of Poland, great figures of his contemporary world said, with full respect due to a statesman, that no other country could wish to have a better defender. In an address to the Polish diaspora in America, he wrote: "The idea of great and strong, free and independent Poland was, and is, the essence of my existence, and its realisation was, and is, the sole purpose of my life".

The Officer Cadets School houses the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Memorabilia Room dedicated to this remarkable pianist, politician and Polish prime minister. There, every visitor can look closely at the grand piano from 1867. The instrument which Paderewski got in 1919 was kept in the master’s suite in the Bristol hotel. Interestingly, in 1932 Paderewski donated the piano to colonel Józef Beck on the occasion of his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

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Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941)

Born on 6 November 1860 in Kuryłówka in the Podolia region, in a family of an administrator of land property. In 1872, he begun studies at the Warsaw Institute of Music, continued his education in Berlin, and later perfected his piano skills in Vienna. At that time, he also composed. In 1888, he played a series of concerts in Salle Érard in Paris. They initiated his brilliant career of a pianist. Three years later, he enjoyed a great success during his tour in the United States. Since then, he performed in almost all countries of Europe, North America and South America, as well as in Africa and Australia. He was considered one of the greatest pianists of his era.

During World War I, taking advantage of his numerous contacts in the world of politics, Paderewski supported the Polish pursuit to regain independence. On 28 June 1919, as Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, together with Roman Dmowski, he was in charge of the Polish delegation at the Paris Peace Conference, and signed the Versailles Treaty on behalf of Poland. He withdrew from the position of Prime Minister on 9 December 1919. In January of 1920, he departed for Switzerland.

During World War II, again, he sought help for Poland in the United States among other countries. He died on 29 June 1941 in New York. He was buried in the military Arlington National Cemetery in Washington. In 1992, his ashes were brought to Poland and laid to rest in St. John’s Archcathedral in Warsaw.

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The Great Annexe

Toward the end of the 17th century, a smaller building stood in the place of today’s Great Annexe (Officer Cadets School). It served as a kitchen, where meals were prepared for the residents of the Bathhouse of Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski. In the time of Stanisław August, the building was considerably expanded (according to a design by Domenico Merlini) and then named the Great Annexe. The exterior of the one-storey building, which had been designed on a rectangular horseshoe floor plan, was raw and simple as it was used to serve the Palace on the Isle. Apart from the kitchen, pantry and cellar for alcoholic beverages, the Great Annexe contained residential rooms. Several of them were occupied by Elżbieta Grabowska, a long-standing friend of the king; members of Stanisław August’s court lived here too: Major General Arnold Byszewski, cup-bearer Antoni Luciński, head cook Paul Tremo, royal butler and servant Ludwik Brunet and pageboys of Stanisław August. 

Until the outbreak of World War I, the kitchen was connected with the Palace on the Isle by a roofed wooden corridor lined with a marble floor.

Officer Cadets School

In 1822, the Great Annexe was handed over to the Infantry Cadets School from which the name of the building currently in use originates - the Officer Cadets School.

Piotr Wysocki (1797-1875)

He studied at the Infantry Cadets School in Warsaw, where he became lecturer in 1828. He was an infantry instructor, but he did not teach military subjects only. He founded a secret patriotic association called Sprzysiężenie Wysockiego (Wysocki’s Plot). After the start of the uprising, he was appointed captain and adjutant of the commander-in-chief Michał Radziwiłł. He took part in many battles of the uprising and gained the rank of colonel through service. In 1831, he was taken prisoner by the Russians and deported to Siberia. As a result of an amnesty in 1857, after a quarter of a century, he returned to Poland and settled down in the town of Warka. His bust stands in the Łazienki Park, near the Officer Cadets School.

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