Special Interest Tour
Footsteps of Fryderyk Chopin
Poland has the long and lively history of music. The origin of the Polish music can be tracked as far back as to the 13th century when one of the nation’s most famous melody Bogurodzica was composed. The following epochs brought the development of the national music up to the 16th century when Italian musicians were guests at royal courts of the King Sigismund III Vasa and Wladyslaw IV bringing first opera performances to Poland. Warsaw, after Florence, Rome, Mantua and Bologna, was the fifth city in Europe where this new kind of musical performance was presented. The true eruption of the Polish music brought in fact Romanticism with its most famous composer Fryderyk Chopin and his piano music transcending the Romantic style.
Other famous composers of this epoch are: Henry Wieniawski - the violin genius, the pianist - Jan Paderewski and Stanislaw Moniuszko- the composer of the operas. The 20th century brings new composing talents: Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, Karol Szymanowski, Krzysztof Penderecki and Henryk Gorecki to name a few. The present day music life in Poland brings numerous opportunities to experience music festivals and performances of the world’s highest standard. Planning a music trip to Poland with participation in the best concerts and visiting cultural cities of the country creates fantastic opportunities to build a unique artistic package.
One of our music tours, named “Footsteps of Fryderyk Chopin” starts in the capital of Poland - Warsaw. You will visit the Royal Lazienki Park with Chopin’s monument, followed by walking one of Warsaw’s major roads namely Krakowskie Przedmiescie Str. which leads you straight to the Old Town. Here you will visit a poor flat where Chopin had been living for a couple of years. After that, there is a visit to the Holy Cross Church, where Chopin’s heart is symbolically kept, and the Ostrogski Palace - Fryderyk Chopin Museum. The tour also includes: the Pilsudski Square and the Saxon Gardens, the site of the Saski Palace, one of the places where Chopin stayed, the Kazimierzowski Palace – a former residence of Fryderyk Chopin and the National Philharmonic where Chopin’s International Competition is held. Visit Powazki cemetery, where Chopin’s parents and sister are buried.
The tour continues to Zelazowa Wola. On the arrival, a private piano recital to be arranged at the Chopin Family Manor. After the concert, a guided visit of the Chopin’s birthplace including the manor where the local museum holds family portraits, documents as well as a few of the composer’s manuscripts.
Visiting the surrounding large park. After that, heading to Brochow and visiting a Renaissance basilica where Fryderyk Chopin was baptised and where Chopin’s parents as well as his sister got married. Continue for Sanniki, a place where Chopin stayed for holidays. Next day departure for Antonin. The Antonin hunting palace was built in the years 1822-24 according to a design by the famous Berlin architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. It is a four-storey timber building laid out on the plan of a Greek cross: an octagonal main body with three-storey wings, each on a square plan, built onto four sides.
Fryderyk visited Antonin at the Duke Radziwill invitation in the autumn of 1829. His stay lasted just over a week during which time music as well as discussions on musical subjects could be frequently heard at the palace. Also during his stay, Chopin composed his Polonaise in C major, Op. 3 for the piano and cello, probably intended to be performed with the duke, who for his part showed Fryderyk the still incomplete score of his music to Faust.
Continue for Strzyzew. The composer stayed in Strzyzew several times. He did not rule out visiting Strzyzew, for example, on the way back from his holidays in Vienna, in the early autumn of 1829, although we do not know if this visit came about. Most probably, he spent a little time there over a month later, after 20th October that year.
Continue for Poznan. Here, on the 9th September 1828, Chopin with Professor Jarocki visited Poznan, where they had only a two-hour break in their journey. Reaching Poznan, two travellers set off in the direction of the Archbishops’ Palace in order to deliver the eagerly awaited parcel in person to Archbishop Teofil Wolicki. It is possible that the Archbishop invited his guests to dinner, at the same time encouraging them to spend more time in Poznan on their return journey from Berlin. After a city tour continue to Torun. Chopin visited the town in the middle of the summer of 1825. Chopin could admire the specific, highly diversified architecture, including the mediaeval burgher buildings-the granaries and also the Gothic town hall. He also mentions the splendid churches standing in the vicinity of the town hall. It is very likely, therefore, that he visited three Gothic churches.
Continue for Szafarnia. Towards the end of July 1824, Fryderyk set off on a long-awaited holidays for the Dziewanowski family estate at Szafarnia. Today, the mansion is home for a Chopin Centre, equipped with the concert hall and small museum. The building is set in a three-hectare park with six natural monuments. The small annex to the right of the mansion was most probably already present at the time.