Saxon Palace, ca. 1890
|Architectural style||Neoclassical (1838)|
|Town or city||Warsaw|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Adam Idźkowski (1838)|
The Saxon Palace (Polish: pałac Saski w Warszawie) was one of the most distinctive buildings in prewar Warsaw, Poland. It was destroyed in World War II and not rebuilt as of 2019. There are however discussions regarding reconstruction of the building.
Up to World War I
The Saxon Palace had been preceded by a manor house belonging to Tobiasz Morsztyn. After 1661 his brother and heir Jan Andrzej Morsztyn had replaced the manor house with a baroque palace (Pałac Morsztynów, "the Morsztyn Palace") with four towers.
In 1713 the Morsztyn Palace was purchased by the first of Poland's two Saxon kings, Augustus II (reigned in Poland 1697–1706 and 1709–33), who began enlarging it. In 1748 the palace's rebuilding was completed by his son, King Augustus III.
The Palace was remodelled in 1842.
After World War I, the Saxon Palace was the seat of the Polish General Staff. In 1925, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was established within the colonnade-topped arcade that joined the Palace's two symmetric wings.
In this building, the German Enigma machine cipher was first broken in December 1932 and then read for several years before the General Staff Cipher Bureau German section's 1937 move to new, specially designed quarters near Pyry in the Kabaty Woods south of Warsaw.
During World War II, after the German suppression of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, the Saxon Palace was blown up by the Germans as part of their planned destruction of Warsaw. Only parts of the central arcade remained, housing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which escaped destruction.
Since World War II
There are plans to reconstruct the Saxon Palace. The palace cellars were excavated in 2006, uncovering some 20,000 objects. The palace's reconstruction was formerly scheduled for completion by 2010. The reconstructed building was planned to house Warsaw's city hall, but due to Warsaw's budget problems caused by the recent global financial crisis, and subsequent cuts, the reconstruction has been on hold. On 11 November 2018, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Poland's post-World War I independence, President Andrzej Duda reaffirmed the intent to rebuild the palace.
The Palace (middle) and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (top) before 1924, when the Cathedral's demolition began
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saxon Palace.|
- State Archive of the Capital City of Warsaw, Oś Saska. Pałac Saski [Saxon Axis. Saxon Palace] (in Polish), retrieved 2013-01-16
- A. Franta, O Placu Piłsudskiego, tożsamości i ładzie [Marshall Pilsudski Square in Warsaw - good or wrong? - identity, harmony, catastrophy] (in Polish and English), retrieved 2013-01-16
- "Urban revitalization. Breathing New Live into Historic Sites". The official website of the City of Warsaw. Archived from the original on 2008-09-17.
- State Archive of the Capital City of Warsaw, Oś Saska. Druga Wojna Światowa [Saxon Axis. Second World War] (in Polish), retrieved 2013-01-16
- "The City Voice. As good as new", The official website of the City of Warsaw, 2006-03-01, archived from the original on 2008-05-20
- "History Unearthed at Saski Palace", The Warsaw Voice, 2006-12-06, retrieved 2013-01-16
- "Up, up and away: president announces plans to rebuild historic palace in the heart of Warsaw", The First News, 2018-11-18, retrieved 2019-03-31
- Władysław Kozaczuk, Enigma: How the German Machine Cipher Was Broken, and How It Was Read by the Allies in World War II, edited and translated by Christopher Kasparek, Frederick, Maryland, University Publications of America, 1984, ISBN 0-89093-547-5.
- (in Polish) Warsaw before 1939
- (in Polish) Picture gallery of Saxon Square
- (in Polish) History of the Saxon Palace and the Saxon Axis