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History of Paszkowka Palace

Paszkówka is a village located 30 km to the south-west of Kraków and 15 km west of Skawina. It was first mentioned in writing in 1381, which is quite late; however, the settlement  must have existed much later, judging from its name which is of patronymic character. This learned phrase means that the village must have been owned or just founded by some Paszek and then inherited by his successors. The literal sense of the name is “ the inheritance of Paszek’s successors”.

The first spelling of its name was Pascouicz, then it was changed to Passcow, and later to
Paschkouice. The present version of the name appeared in the 16th century. Who was Paszek? We do not know. Such names were common in the 13th century in Malopolska region. One Paszek even had the title of Komes, or a prince. Perhaps he was the founder of our village? The sources of the 13th century describe the village as a knight’s property and a homestead of a non-important noble family which adopted a surname Paszkowski. Their coat of arms was Zadora, or “the Flame” and featured the head of a fiery cockerel with opened beak and protruding tongue shaped like a flame. The Paszkowski estate was small, as it consisted only of two villages:
Paszkówka and Pobiedro located on two small hills divided with a small creek with a couple of ponds, located among meadows and fields. In the 19th century Paszkówka merged with the other village which became its district. Since that time, both villages have been formally combined into one commune. At some stage, the Paszkowski estate included also neighbouring villages such as Bęczyn or

The oldest known member of the Paszkowski family was Henryk, who lived on the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries. The family of Paszkowski grew and multiplied. In later centuries, the basic family line derived from Paszkówka sprouted the line of Mazowsze, Brest and Lithuania (the largest one) and several smaller lines. The family had borne none particularly renowned personalities – its members did not appear in state and regional authorities, but many talented sons of the family were sent to serve the Church, The most important personality was Marcin (died after 1ó21),who served the Lubomirski family in Wiśnicz and then went to the Wawel Castle where he worked for the administrator of Kraków Jan Płaza. Marcin was a well known writer and poet.

In 1454 Paszkówka was owned by Queen Elisabeth of Austria who went to marry king Casimir the Jagiellonian. The oldest descriptions of the village come from the 15th and 16th century. In the 15th century part of the village was a parish estate of one of the church divisions at the Wawel Cathedral in Kraków.

Other renowned representatives of the family come from other lines; among them is the last aide-de-camps of Tadeusz Kościuszko, General. Franciszek
Maksymilian Paszkowski (died in. 1851), the first President of the Committee for the Kościuszko Mound in Kraków.

It is difficult to visualise now the former Paszkowski homestead. For certain, some manor was erected in the village in the 15th century. It was probably made of timber and constructed on the site of the present palace. A chapel was built beside it.

The manor, which from times immemorial has been linked with the local Paszkowski family, does not seem to be a large building. The cadastre plans of 1845 show also a garden, with boundaries suggesting that it must have been planted according to some plan. Around 1860 the manor with neighbouring lands was bought by Leonard Wężyk, of an old noble family with a coat of arms featuring a snake. The Wężyk estate had 350 ”
morgas” [1 morga = 55 ares]  of arable land, 45 morgas of meadows and gardens, 19 morgas of pastures and 50 morgas of forests, while the remaining residents of the village had altogether
396 morgas of arable land, 71
morgas of meadows, 22 morgas of pastures and 30 morgas of forests. The new owners quickly built a large, magnificent palace with unique architecture, rarely met in Poland

Some historians of art say that the palace is neo-Gothic, others claim that formally it is not compliant with characteristics of the style and that it should be described as pseudo-Gothic. Clearly marked architectural projections and a tower, crowned with a relief, contribute to the characteristic silhouette of the building. A more in-depth analysis of the building suggests some reference to English Gothic, but it is difficult to say to what extent the design followed personal taste of the new owners. In the 1880s the palace was owned by Ludwika Wężyk, and in 1890- by Jan Wężyk. After
1945, the estate was taken away from the owners and split into parts under the farming reform.. The palace with 4 ha of the garden went from one accidental owner to another: first to the local farmers’ society, then it was used as a mushroom growing farm, afterwards it became a primary school and then a holiday resort
”Kasztelanka” owned by the Turysta Travel Bureau of Kraków. After 1989, the estate went to the commune of Brzeźnica.


     1997 became a turning point in the history of the Palace, which was bought by Jan and Anna Oleksy, who, following the example of other owners of similar estates throughout Europe decided to turn it into a luxury hotel which can host conferences and also individual persons wishing to relax in peaceful, natural environment.

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