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Alexandria Park in Siedlce

The famous Polish sentimental park

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Renovated park alleys, Alexandria Park, Siedlce

Renovated park alleys, Alexandria Park, Siedlce

The City Park called Alexandria extends north of the Ogiński Palace. Initially, it was designed in the first half of the 18th century as a regular walking park called the Italian garden. Princess Aleksandra of Czartoryski began to possess the town of Siedlce in the second half of the 18th century. She decided to change the appearance of the park. Princess Ogińska transformed the old park into one of the first sentimental parks in Poland. Fashion for such parks came to Poland from England and France, while those countries had received it from China.

Alexandria Park, 1826, Siedlce

Alexandria Park, 1826, Siedlce

Szymon Bogumil Zug (1733-1807) was the chief designer of the Siedlce Sentimental Park. He belonged to the greatest architects of Polish classicism. He himself was of the Saxon origin, and he lived in Poland from 1756 until his death in 1807. He designed residences for magnates, rich townspeople and the king himself. He also made theatrical decorations, therefore Princess Ogińska became his client. During her lifetime, Siedlce was a Melpomena tabernacle known throughout the country. Szymon Bogumil Zug had designed the most famous sentimental gardens in the vicinity of Warsaw (at Książęca, Mokotów, Powązki, Jabłonna) and Arkadia in Nieborów. Like in these parks, the arrangement of paths and channels in Siedlce park, and, above all, the nature of numerous buildings, had symbolic significance.

A view of Alexandria Park, Siedlce

A view of Alexandria Park, Siedlce

The facilities in Aleksandria Park were based, among others, on mythology, oriental fascination, and even masonic symbolism. Princess Ogińska and her contemporaries, during their stay in the park, enjoyed the wild groves, flower beds, winding roads and channels, numerous islands, as well as various buildings such as: residential houses, gazebos, bathrooms, a fishing house, a Turkish mosque, a conservatory, a stable, a windmill and many other facilities. Princess Ogińska received King Stanisław August Poniatowski in this park in 1783. She arranged a spectacle on a lavish scale.

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The map of the palace and park complex, 1832 / The house with a broken column, Alexandria Park, Siedlce

By creating this park, the owner of Siedlce applied for the palm of priority in the so-called “Tournament of Dames", in which, beside her, the representatives of magnate families took part: Izabela Flemingow née Czartoryska, Helena Radziwillow née Przeździecki, Elżbieta Liubomyrska née Czartoryska.

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The representatives of magnate families, Siedlce:
Princess Aleksandra Ogińska, Izabela Flemingow née Czartoryska, Elżbieta Liubomyrska née Czartoryska, Helena Radziwillow née Przeździecki.
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Coat-of-arms of the Czartoryskis / Coat-of-arms of the Rawicz-Siedleckich

In the years 1869-1909, the park already belonging to the city was surrounded by an iron fence from the south and west and a brick fence from the north. In order to increase the health condition of the park and the surrounding area, all channels and one pond were buried in 1908-1909, the second pond was buried in 1922. Only one pond survived from the original objects. It has a small island.

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Historic photographs of the city by Adolf Gancwol, Alexandria Park information boards, Siedlce

The current character of the park basically deviates from the original. Its area was decreased, and it lost its former arrangement and became a typical city park. The current park basically deviates from the original. They say that today, a brick bridge is the only surviving building of the old park now. However, many trees of about 200 years remained, of which the most considered were recognized as nature monuments.

The 18th-century map of Alexandria Park, Siedlce

The 18th-century map of Alexandria Park, Siedlce

Aleksandria Park in Siedlce became a part of the park-and-palace complex, entered in the register of monuments in 1962. The park is inseparable from the palace that is distinguished by its original baroque spatial layout. This is a unique place in the eastern part of Mazovia.

Historic Alley contains a lot of information boards telling us the rich history of Alexandria Park and Siedlce

Historic Alley contains a lot of information boards telling us the rich history of Alexandria Park and Siedlce

I was impressed by a poem on one of the information boards and decided to translate it for you here.

The poem about Podlasie by J.Derenski in my English translation

The poem about Podlasie by J.Derenski in my English translation

Siedlce from the second half of the 18th century is an example of the positive influence of women from powerful families on various aspects of life. In the case of Siedlce, it was cultural, social and intellectual life as well as economic, urban and construction activity.

A view of the park pavilion, Siedlce

A view of the park pavilion, Siedlce

A historic photograph of the park bench

A historic photograph of the park bench

Princess Aleksandra Ogińska (1730-1798) made Siedlce an important center of intellectual life on a nationwide scale, especially theatrical life. During her time (1775-1798) Siedlce was a Melpomena Temple known throughout the country. Franciszek Karpiński, Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, Franciszek Dionizy Kniaźnin, visited the city and performed here. Cultural life went on, among others in the park, where theater plays and ballet performances were staged.

Princess Aleksandra Ogińska was a lover of literature and frequented the park for reading in the open. However, she did not do it in the open sky on a park bench. The aristocratic ladies of that time avoided the sun. The tan was then a sign of belonging to the pleb, and the complexion of a real lady should be flawlessly white. Although many trees grew in the park, but probably not all of them were as lush as they are today. In addition, Princess Ogińska’s park included dozens of buildings, some of which offered luxurious conditions for reading and rest after the hardships of walking. The concrete bench integrated into the barrier on the edge of the pond often appears in the pictures of the Siedlce park. It was one of the favorite places of Princess Ogińska during her stay in the park. The bench, with its interesting form and its relatively well-lit place attracted both amateur and professional photographers at the time when there were no digital cameras yet.

Duck feeding in Alexandria Park is not forbidden, Siedlce

Duck feeding in Alexandria Park is not forbidden, Siedlce

We admire the old trees that must be over 200 years old. Several of them were recognized as nature monuments. They are: oaks, white poplars, maples, Canadian maples, chestnuts, ash-trees and lindens. They reached impressive sizes (circumference above 300 cm, height up to 30 m). There are six oaks that are the oldest protected trees in Siedlce. They became state protected trees in 1973.

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Hetman Oak / El Greco Oak / Mezer Oak

Hetman Oak received its present name during the 7th Siedlce Days in 2020 to commemorate the great crown hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski, who was selected as the Patron of the 4th High School in Siedlce in our days. The year 2020 was the year of Hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski.

El Greco Oak, the Nature Monument since 1973. The tree was named during the 1st Siedlce Days in 2014 to commemorate the famous Greek painter Domenikos Theotokopulosa aka “El Greco”.

Meżer Oak received its name during the 7th Siedlce Days in 2020 in remembrance of Andrzej Meżyrycki - actor, director, creator of the ES Theater, a long-time director of the Culture and Art Center in Siedlce.

24816600-2660-11ee-a5c8-b9caaae12299.JPG2409ec10-2660-11ee-9e87-bd1c81a57db0.JPGJacek Hornbeam memorial stone, Siedlce

Jacek Hornbeam memorial stone, Siedlce

Jacek Hornbeam became a Nature Monument in 2016. It is the oldest tree in the area. The tree was named in November 2013. It is the only tree in the park that has a memorial stone dedicted to it. The inscription on the tone reads,

Yatsek Hornbeam
the age-old witness of the history of Siedlce
The only preserved tree from the park alley
dating back to the time of Princess Aleksandra Ogińska in Siedlce in the years 1775-1798
Siedlce, 2015

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Aleksandria Park, Siedlce

Aleksandria Park, Siedlce


The large-scale revalorization works carried out in 2021-2022 helped to preserve almost all objects from the time of Princess Ogińska. They regained their former splendor. Now the park located in the historic city center is willingly visited by city residents and tourists. We have attended several great concerts that take place in the park pavilion every weekend.

Mayachenia Concert in Alexandria Park: Maya Harasim and Maya Khazan

Mayachenia Concert in Alexandria Park: Maya Harasim and Maya Khazan

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City choir concert in Alexandria Park, Siedlce

Each time we visit this park, we approach the amazing Elk monument. It's a hunters' gift to the city of Siedlce.

The Elk monument in Alexandria Park, Siedlce

The Elk monument in Alexandria Park, Siedlce


The inscription on the pedestal reads,
A gift for the city of Siedlce from the hunters of Siedlce District
on the 90th anniversary of the Polish Hunting Association
2013

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Posted by Vic_IV 20:34 Archived in Poland Tagged masovia mazovia siedlce oginski

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Comments

What a beautiful park! I love all those statues.

by irenevt

seems like a nice enough park for a stroll! :)

by Ils1976

You are right, Ils! We come here often and enjoy a stroll or a weekend concert.

by Vic_IV

Hello, Irene! We enjoy visiting the park every week. Of course, it is not in its original state, but what has been preserved and renovated is impressive.

by Vic_IV

I can see why you enjoy visiting this park so much, very beautiful and tranquil place! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Yes, you are right, Henna! It's great to return to this park every weekend.

by Vic_IV

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