The Potocki Palace

The Potocki Palace

The main entrance to the Potocki Palace

The Potocki Palace. “Corner of France in Lviv” – as many call the elegant Potocki Palace, which preserved the charm and beauty of the past, comparing it with the magnificent creations of the architecture of the Parisian suburbs. For many years, he was modestly called the “home of happiness.” Did it correspond to its name? The history itself answers this question.

In comparison with others, Potocki’s palace can not be proud of a long chronicle, pompous events or frequent shifts
owners. But this does not prevent him from being a brilliant diamond in the crown of Lviv architecture. Getting behind marvelous beauty of the fence of the palace, as if you find yourself in another dimension, surrounded by beauty and splendor past centuries.
The history of the splendid Potocki Palace in Lviv has been conducted since 1822, when the heir of the noble family Alfred Wojciech Potocki sold the old Lviv palace inherited from Jan Nepomuk Potocki and acquired new lands within the city limits. The construction of the palace did not begin immediately. Even in the first half of the century, as evidenced by urban plans dating from the XVIII – the beginning of the XIX century, in future palace and park areas were hunting grounds and several modest buildings of stone.
Initially, Alfred Wojciech Potocki did not think about the construction of new lands, but frequent stay in Lviv and high noble status required him to live in dignity. Planning of construction took almost forty years. Neither Alfred Wojciech himself nor his son Alfred II, who was growing up, Józef Marian Potocki, took the time to begin the laying of the palace. Only in 1861 the building areas were cleared from the forest and old buildings. Then began a long search for the architect. Suddenly, in January 1862, the wife of Pototsky, the elder Josephine, Maria Czartoryska-Potocka, died. The inconsolable widower lived without his beloved wife for only a few months and followed her into a different world.

The Potocki Palace

The Blue Hall

1822 Purchase by Count Alfred Wojciech Potocki of the land at the site of the future palace.
1860-1861 Demolition of old buildings for the construction of a new residence.
1862 The lands on which the palace will later be built are inherited by Alfred II by Józef Potocki.
1880 The beginning of the construction of the palace by Julian Cibulsky under the project of Louis Alphonse Rene Doverney.
1889 Alfred II dies of Józef Potocki. The unfinished palace is inherited by Roman Potocki.
1890 End of the construction of the palace.
1915 The palace is inherited by Alfred II Potocki.
1918 Strong damage to the palace during the Polish-Ukrainian war. The first restoration of the palace began.
1921-1931 The second restoration of the palace.
1931 Inventory of the palace was made and the building was put up for sale.
1941 The headquarters of the Italian army is quartered in the palace.
1972-1973 In the palace there is a city registry office.
1973-1975 Restructuring of the palace in accordance with the requirements of the registry office.
1975 Renewal at the Palace of the Civil Registry Office.
1992 The palace is closed for reconstruction.
2000 In the Potocki Palace the department “European art of the XIV-XVIII centuries” of the Lviv Art Gallery was located.

The Potocki Palace

The inner courtyard of the Potocki Palace

According to the right of inheritance, the Lviv lands were taken over by Alfred II. But the heir did not seek to quickly settle on them.
Until 1871 Potocki, Jr. was engaged in the state affairs of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and spent most of his time in Vienna or in his family estate Lancut.
Alfred Józef returned to the construction of the palace only in 1880.
The construction project was commissioned by the Parisian architect Louis Alphonse, René Doverney, and the Polish architect Julian Cibulski was entrusted to implement the plan. The palace was built in the style of French classicism, the only one beloved by Count Potocki. Particular attention was paid to unsurpassed decor. Stucco molding, wall paintings and sculptures were created by Leonard Marconi and his pupil Peter Gerasimovich. However, Alfred Józef did not see the palace in all its glory. The count died in 1889, a year before the end of the construction work. His new owner, the son of Alfred II, Roman Pototsky, took a long time. He and his widowed mother, Maria Clementine Sangushko-Potocka, had to finish building a family residence.
For a quarter of a century Potocki’s palace was owned by one of the richest people in Europe – Roman Potocki. His wealth was legendary, and any appearance of a count in a secular society instantly aroused public interest and the curiosity of the press. In 1901 on December 31, the publication Berliner Tageblatt published a message from Vienna correspondent that on December 7, 1901 Roman Pototsky lost at the local Jockey Club casino in baccarat. The loss amounted to 3 200 000 Austrian kroner. In 1901, for 30,000 Austrian kronor one could buy a one-story house, that is, the loss of the count was equivalent to a huge estate with a palace and furnishings. However, as mentioned in the same note, the owner of the vast estates in Galicia and Russian Poland, this fact is not very upset. The heir to Potocki in all his wild life did not manage to squander all the money of his grandfathers and great-grandfathers. So the son of Roman Potocki, Alfred III, got a fairly worn, but very significant condition.

The Potocki Palace

1. Chandeliers and candlesticks of gilded bronze.
2. Picture of Paul Trogir “Innocence punishes Cupid”.
3. Gold-plated stucco in the form of laurel wreaths.
4. The walls are upholstered in crimson silk with a pattern of heraldic lilies.
5. Chest of drawers.
6. A fireplace made of marble with inserts of gilded bronze. Embroidered fireplace screen.
7. A set of parquet from valuable species of wood.

In 1915, when Roman Potocki died, Alfred III Antony Potocki entered the legal possession of the palace. The plans of the heir included renting out the palace or selling it. But the repair work of the building was barely completed, in 1918 the Polish-Ukrainian war began. The palace was seriously damaged. Restoration began immediately after the end of hostilities, in 1919. Alfred III wanted to bring the palace in order and offer to place in it the residence of the Entente countries. But his plans remained unrealized.

The count sued the government of Galicia for damages. The trial of Alfred III Potocki was won, and in 1921 he received compensation from the Polish state. Restoration work lasted ten years. After their completion, in 1931, an inventory of all the property of the palace was made and the building was put up for sale. However, those who want to pay one million zlotys for the palace (Count Pototsky announced this price for his father’s house in 1939), you were not in a pre-war Europe with a delicate collection of paintings and furniture. By the way, in 1939 for 80 zlotys it was possible to buy a cow; kilograms of sugar cost 1 zloty, and a pood of grain was sold for 2 zł.
During the German occupation of Lvov in 1941, Count Alfred III left the city and settled in his Polish estate Lancut. In the palace the military headquarters of the Italian army were quartered. There were rumors that Benito Mussolini himself visited the Potocki residence in Lvov.

Galicia is a historical region that existed since 1141, after the unification of Galicia, which was called the Galician Principality. The capital of the city was Galich, from which the name of the region came. Galicia occupied the territory of modern regions of Ukraine: Lviv, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk, as well as Podkarpackie and Malocarpathian voivodeships in Poland.
The Polish-Ukrainian War of 1918 – lasted from November 1, 1918 to July 17, 1919. The military conflict was due to the lands at that time of Ukrainian Galicia, the western territories of which were inhabited mainly by Poles (West Slavic people), and the eastern ones by Rusyns (East Slavic people). At the same time, in the eastern part of Galicia, by the beginning of the 20th century, there were several large Polish settlements, most of which were in Lviv.
The result of the war was the victory of Poland over Galicia, the division of the lands of the self-proclaimed West Ukrainian People’s Republic between Poland, Romania and Czechoslovakia.

The Potocki Palace

Objects of the interior of the Potocki Palace

The bonds of Hymen
In 1973, the building began reconstruction work with a partial reconstruction of premises, which were conducted until 1975. After their termination the functioning of the registry office in the palace walls continued, marriages were registered here until the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
There is an opinion that during the period when the Potocki residence was in the status of a “house of happiness”, the building was badly damaged by restoration and repair work. It has lost not only in the luxury of decor. When repairing utilities, builders did not count with the age of the structure, which at that time was approaching the 100-year boundary, and made serious technological mistakes that were revealed in 1992, when the palace was again closed for reconstruction. It turned out that in the foundation of the building there were huge gaps that were fraught with collapse of the entire structure. The situation was aggravated by another grandiose construction project, planned by the authorities of Lviv.
In the late 1980s, works began in the palace park to lay tunnels of the metro, which was designed as far back as 1942. In 1998, it was proposed to place the residence of the president of Ukraine in the palace, but the idea proved to be unsustainable, besides, not all repair work was completed by that time.
By the beginning of the new millennium, the Potocki Palace, despite all the difficulties of the restoration work, was still possible to bring it as close as possible to its original form, and in 2000 the former count’s residence was transferred to the Lviv National Gallery of Arts. Today in the palace walls there are unique objects of painting and sculpture of the department “European Art of the XIV-XVIII centuries”, which have a great cultural and historical value.
Count Potocki, Alfred II, even at the stage of the dream of a new palace, decided that only the best and ambitious masters will build it. And his plan was a success. There were not a select few, but they managed to create a magnificent
Neo-Renaissance – one of the forms of architectural historical style, with the reproduction of which methods and forms of classicism were widely used and the echoes of the Renaissance were clearly discernible. The most widespread was in Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the XIX century. The distinctive features of the neo-Renaissance are in the fractionality and monotone and repetition of the decor in large areas of the facades.
architectural monument.

The Potocki Palace

Park Sofiyivka. Uman, Ukraine

King of Architecture
Education architect Julian King received in Lviv, where he moved from his native Lancut for training in the Technical Academy, in the XX century, renamed the National University “Lviv Polytechnic.” In the XIX century it was the first higher educational institution in Ukraine and one of the leading academic schools in Europe. From the first days of his life in Lviv, giving in to the charm of the city, Tsibulsky clearly understood that he would become his favorite in the world, and the architect would devote his entire creative life to him.
After graduation from the academy in 1882, graduate Tsibulsky received an invitation to practice in the architectural bureau of the famous architect of that time Vincent Ravsky. The beginning architect could only dream of such success, because he was to join the erection of the largest buildings of Lviv, and besides, Ravsky was very scrupulous in choosing employees, only the most talented and diligent masters could work for him. After a couple of years of successful practice in the architectural bureau, Cibulsky’s ability was appreciated by the professor of the polytechnic school Gustav Bisanz, who offered the budding youth the place of his assistant. Tsibulsky agreed; However, he did not stay in his new job: in 1885, three years after graduation, he received a construction license and the opportunity to independently design and build. In the same year he created a creative alliance with Lviv architect Ludwik Ramult.
The building workshop that they opened performed the construction of the building of the main post office in Lviv, conducted the construction of buildings for the Greek Catholic Seminary under the project of Sylvester Gavrishkevich and the Pototsky Palace, designed by Louis Alphonse Rene Doverney. At the same time, Tsibulsky conducted his own architectural projects, which were distinguished by the refinement of the style of the French Renaissance, historicism and secession.

The Potocki Palace

Windows with stained-glass windows in the palace. Main entrance

The latter differed in its style from all other buildings, since it was executed in the spirit of neo-Renaissance, and this despite the fact that in order to complete the building of the building. In 1903, Tsibulsky had already completely left work in this architectural style, completely devoting himself to his favorite destinations – baroque and secession. The most bright style preferences of Julian Carol Cibulsky can be traced in one more of his work, on which he worked together with the architect Ivan Levine, – in the secession decoration of the interiors of the Lviv Hotel George in 1901.
For two years, from 1893 to 1895, Julian Tsibulsky took the place of deputy of the city council, combining his work in the council with the position of treasurer of the engineering chamber. Later, in 1904, he was elected to the post of vice-president of the Engineering Chamber of Lviv.
Throughout his life, Julian Tsibulsky was the creator of the beautiful in stone. He died on November 25, 1924, with regret watching the decline of the years, how the ages change, not for the better, transforming his creations.
The ingenious genius

Baroque – artistic and architectural style. The name of the style comes from the Portuguese Lagoso, a word that sailors, and later jewelers, called pearls that had irregular shapes. Since the XVI century, this definition has become firmly embedded in the architectural dictionary in determining the forms and style of Roman architecture. Defining features of baroque – dynamics and expression. Buildings in this style are characterized by spacious staircases, twisted columns, curved facade decorations. The ancestor of the Baroque is Michelangelo.

Secession – the architectural style that emerged in the late XIX century in Vienna. Secession was opposed to the style of eclecticism, opposed academicism and realism in art. In terms of its expression, the closest to her style is symbolism. The name of the style comes from a group of young artists “Secession”, which in Latin means “leaving” or “apostasy” – it fully corresponded to the aspirations of young artists forever to break with the traditions of past mastery and create a new direction in which technical innovations combined with the departed romanticism. In different countries, the style of secession had its name. So, in Russia secession was called “modern”, in Germany it was called “Art Nouveau”, and in France this direction is known as arnuvo.
Leonard made his first creative steps in his father’s workshop. In 1859, after two years of training at the School of Arts in Warsaw, at the then only sculptor-teacher of this school K. Gegl, he went to Rome, where for three years he studied at the association of artists of the Academy of St. Luke from Adam Tadolini.
In 1862, Marconi returned to Warsaw, where he worked for almost 12 years, first with his father, and later in collaboration with his wife’s brother Anzhei Prushinsky. In the Polish capital, he created more than 20 architectural works and sculptures, portraits and compositions on religious themes.
Unfortunately, most of them have not survived to the present day. After moving to Lemberg, as Lvov was called at that time, Marconi, due to his great practical experience and talent, was immediately assigned to the position of professor and teacher of drawing and modeling at the Technical Academy. In the 1850s, together with his Polish colleagues, Marconi created many sculptures that glorified Rzeczpospolita. In his studio, many famous sculptors from Lviv started their creative career: the ornamentalist Petr Gerasimovich; Petr Voitovich is the author of sculptures on the pediments of the opera house, in the former church of St. Elizabeth, the Lviv railway station, the parliament in Budapest; Anton Popel is the creator of monuments to poets Adam Mickiewicz and Karol Weiski, tympanum of the opera house, as well as little-known sculptors, such as Karol Klos, with whom Marconi worked in Lviv over the tombstone Frederick Chopin.

The Potocki Palace

Priorat cabinet

Leonard Marconi appeared on the architectural arena of Lviv in the 1870s, when his presentability was much inferior to other major European cities. At this time in Europe, the era of neo-renaissance reigned. Vienna created its Ring, in Florence, for six years, took the title of the Italian capital, in the 65-70s of the XIX century on the site of the old fortification walls began to build boulevards. And the new power that was annexed by Germany, the Alsatian Strasbourg, wanted to make a city with a German face, in the style of neo-Gothic, but still powerlessly dropped its hands before neo-Renaissance, and therefore before the prevailing tendencies of liberalism and cosmopolitanism. As a result, at the end of the 19th century Strasbourg was thoroughly imbued with Italian tendencies in architecture. And even the Berlin Reichstag for the sake of fashion was built in the style of neo-Renaissance, which corresponded to the synthetic ideals of the construction of that era.
Lviv also needed changes that swept across Europe, as well as new construction ideas and new creators.
Neo-Gothic – a direction in architecture, reviving the architecture of medieval Gothic architecture. For the first time, buildings in the Neo-Gothic style appeared in the 40s of the 18th century in England.

Timpan – an internal triangular or semicircular field of completion of the facade of the building (pediment).
In this connection, it became necessary to create not only a construction department and a modeling department at the Technical Academy, but also the opening of an industrial school with the corresponding faculties. With the development of the Technical Academy in the 1870s, large-scale construction begins in Lviv, the city is trying on a new capital costume. The decorative frame of the city became fashionable at the time the neo-Renaissance, which, unlike Neo-Gothic, personified the relative independence of form from the design. Presentable character of facades, aesthetic ease in the perception of Renaissance forms led to the original choice of specific decorative motifs. According to many researchers, the very possibility of choosing a style became the commandment of mainstream liberalism. The era of neo-Renaissance gave the architects the opportunity not only to express their thoughts on paper, but also to embody the boldest ideas into life.

Leonard Marconi became one of them. At this time, just came the flowering of his creative activity. For a very short period, he did a lot, namely: he decorated the sculptures with the attic of the new building of the Technical Academy and the regional court (nowadays it is one of the buildings of the Lviv Polytechnic University), decorated the facades and internal premises of the Galician savings bank (now in this building Museum of Ethnography and Arts), the former building of the Directorate of Railways, as well as the Galician Seimas, the House of Vicegerency (the modern building of the Lviv Regional Administration) and the Lviv Hotel s «George».
Leonard Marconi was the author of the monument to the Polish playwright Alexander Fredro, later transferred to Wroclaw from Lviv, participated in the development of architectural projects of the Art and Industrial Museum, the Grand Hotel, and two stone houses on S. Krushelnytska Street. His death did not allow him to realize his project of the opera house. In addition, the architect was engaged in teaching, teaching a new generation of famous in the future sculptors. Lectures of Marconi enjoyed immense popularity: in 1875, when he was not yet approved as a teacher, more than one hundred students attended his studies. When in 1877 the Lviv Technical Academy moved to another educational building, the architect received several rooms in the new building to accommodate their own training classes, for which later he was reproached by another famous Lviv sculptor Tadeusz Baroncz.
However, despite all his talents and achievements in the field of architecture, Leonard Marconi was a surprisingly unessential person. He did not fulfill any orders, even sculptures for the fountain in the Palace of Arts in Stryi Park – the oldest and most beautiful in Lviv – in which the regional exhibition was held in 1894, Marconi completed only a week after the opening of the event. As a professor, he constantly clashed with teachers during the scientific sessions of the Technical Academy, leaving them in protest. Newspapers accused him of protectionism, and fellow sculptors – in plagiarism and usurpation of all major sculptural works in Lviv. Lawsuits continued to come to the address of Marconi even after his death. However, these circumstances only increase interest in the personality of the artist, who made an obvious and irrefutably significant contribution to the development of ornamental and decorative plastics of Lviv architecture.
Leonard Marconi died in 1899 in Lviv.

The Potocki Palace

Mirror Hall

Any person, when looking at the palace of the Counts of Potocki, gives the impression that he was transferred to France, to the Piazza of Paris or to the neighborhood of the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte, or even to Versailles, where Louis XIV himself strolls, surrounded by a large retinue, “the sun king “.
Attic – a small wall, decorated with reliefs or inscriptions above the cornice of the architectural structure. In buildings of ancient architecture, the attic was usually completed with a triumphal arch.

Ornamental and decorative plastic – a three-dimensional image of details of a sculptural composition, organically inscribed in a floral ornament. Most often it was created by modeling.

The very first buildings in the style of French neo-Renaissance appeared in the 1830s. One of his examples is the School of Fine Arts, designed by Jean Felix Duban in Paris.
In the middle of the XIX century in Paris, the construction of buildings in the style of neo-Renaissance with the use of metal structures. The top of its development this direction has reached in the works of the architect Henri Laburt, who made a great contribution to the rethinking of the use in the construction of metal structures. Raising in Paris in 1858-1868 the Library of Saint Genevieve and the National Library, he used elegantly designed metal structures and lattices in the domes of buildings and their supports as building and finishing materials. Following him, the fashion for metal structures was picked up by the architects Gustave Eiffel, the author of the project of universal stores in Paris “Le Bon Marche” (1876), and Paul Sedil, creator of the largest Paris department store “Printemps” (1865).
In 1895, the French neo-Renaissance reached Russia: in the center of Moscow, on the project of architect Alexander Pomerantsev, a huge building for those times was built-GUM. The retail space of the new store occupied a whole block and had one unique innovation – glazed passages.

The Potocki Palace

The building of the Lviv Polytechnic University. Here Julian Tsibulsky took the first steps on the way to great creativity

Lviv’s Versailles
The sudden sensation of France on Copernicus Street in Lviv is not accidental. The palace grew in this place according to the project of a Parisian architect, and the owners of this magnificent structure, from the first owner of Alfred II Potocki, under which it was laid, and until the last, Alfred III, forced to abandon his grandfather’s inheritance for his own salvation, always felt a passion for everything French.
At its base, the structure has an H-shaped base. The yard from the street is separated by a ceremonial monumental gate with two wings connected by a stone arch decorated with a cartouche with the Potocki coat of arms.
Behind the brick plastered facade of the palace there are exquisite interiors that, despite numerous re-planning and changes in decor, dictated by different epochs and a change of owners, have preserved their former charm to the present day. On the ground floor of the palace there are ceremonial rooms, where 120 years ago, numerous guests of the Potocki gathered for balls sponsored by the owners of the estate. When decorating these rooms were used valuable wood species, figured molding, colorful marble, gilding and art painting.
The first time to decorate with stained glass windows and doors began in the temples of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome. From time immemorial, technology has developed more. If, from the very beginning, a primitive pattern of alabaster or selenite tiles was laid out, as it was in the 5th-6th centuries, it was already in the 10th-12th centuries that the stained-glass windows were made of various shapes, mostly red and blue. Glasses were fastened together by lead stripes.
Mature historicism – the architectural direction of the XIX century, accurately reproducing the spirit and form of historical styles that existed before. The architecture of mature historicism is determined by style diversity, depending only on the purpose of construction and the means of the customer. In the buildings of this period, often mixed with a rich decor, inherent in the architecture of the Baroque, with strict lines of houses in the Gothic style.
Ionic column – a high column with a capital, decorated on the sides with two curls. Ancient Greek architects installed ionic columns at a very wide distance from each other, thus adding lightness and elegance to buildings.

Rusticatsiya-architectural and artistic technique of decoration, imitating the natural texture of the stone. The use of rustication gives the building a special power and massiveness. For the first time rusticization began to be used even in ancient times, the technique was most popular in the Renaissance.
Sandrik – a detail of the architecture in the form of a small ledge by an incomplete or doorway. It can be round, triangular, rectangular.
From the vast central lobby, guests found themselves in a commensurate hall, smoothly flowing into two corridors. The right part of the building was occupied mainly by business premises, and the left part was intended for the owners of the palace and their guests. From there you could go out onto the terrace leading to the garden. The interiors of the ground floor rooms, like the entire palace, are designed in the style of King Louis XIV.

The Potocki Palace

The building of the Lviv Polytechnic University. Here Julian Tsibulsky took the first steps on the way to great creativity

Restoration of history
Priory is the governing body in the knightly orders.
During the years of Soviet power, in a merciless war-time, as well as when the palace was being built by the Hymenyi Temple, the building suffered serious damage. Many items of interior decoration and details of the decoration of the facades were irretrievably lost, so the restorers faced a serious task – to recreate the original appearance of the palace with the utmost precision.

Restoration work started from the roof of the building. It was decided not only to bring the structure closer to the image that Roman Pototsky saw, who took a job at the sculpture of Julian Cibulsky, but also to keep all the details of the history of the palace for sure. For example, restorers had to defend for a long time the option of coating the roof with slate and to prove its advantages over the copper roof. In favor of the copper coating, there were such solid arguments as the durability of this material, as well as its low cost relative to oil shale. However, the restorers were not inferior in their perseverance. And their only argument that during the Potocki times the roof of the palace was made of slate, still outweighed.
Restorers lost. Materials for the roof were transported to Lviv from the Czech Republic. However, in order to meet the budget allocated for the restoration work, only part of the roof, which is viewed from the Copernicus street, was covered with the slate, those parts that go out into the courtyard were laid out with the remaining slate tiles of the old roof. Expensive shale was also covered by wings at the palace gates and guard houses in the park.
Slate is a rock of a layered structure. Used for finishing works of facades of buildings, as well as for the upper layers of the roof.

Due to the winds and rains, year after year falling on Potocki estate, the stone facing of the retaining walls of the main entrance, the terraced fences and the basement of the palace were badly damaged. The new building material corresponds exactly to what Yulian Tsibulsky ordered during the erection of the building, even the facing stone was brought from the same quarries located in the Nikolaevsky and Skolevsky districts of the Lviv region.

The upper part of the palace was excavated with numerous cracks, the plaster fell off. The attic floor suffered most in this respect. For a long time he gaped holes of the destroyed windows.
In Potocki’s time, the palace was a richly decorated building with various rustic and stone vases in a depth and size, and all this was necessary to be restored, having re-examined the practically lost technologies that were then used. Much has been recreated with jewelry accuracy, but some elements of the exterior and interior decoration restorers were forced to create without history. So, irrevocably lost the technology of stone casting, on which most of the decor of the palace facade was performed. To restore the lost capitals, the portico of the main entrance above the terrace, the count’s coat of arms was already in accordance with the modern method of concrete casting.
Concrete casting – a method of manufacturing products of small thickness, such as facing or paving slabs, as well as elements for the decoration of building facades and interiors. Products made by the method of concrete casting, are particularly strong, waterproof and resistant to sudden changes in temperature.
The capital is the upper base of the column or pilaster. By its size, the capital is always done a little more than a column. The capital can be decorated with flower-leaf ornament or curls.
“There is a black pond in the old park …”

The Potocki Palace

Lancut Castle in Poland

And although there was no black pond in the park that stretched around the palace, lilies in numerous palace beds grew in abundance. Fragile fragrant buds decorated the Potocki residence. They were a symbol of the monarchy and were for the noble Polish race a tribute of love for everything French.
Many of us are familiar with the song of the musketeer Athos about the fatal beauty of the Countess de JIa Fehr, better known as Milady, from the movie “D Artagnan and the Three Musketeers”. In the sad story of the musketeer about unfortunate love, the lily appeared. The image of this flower was tattooed and on the shoulder of the spy of Cardinal Richelieu, and on the bands of the Musketeers, and even on the terrace of the entrance to the palace from the courtyard, where the script was located the mansion of Jean Arman du Peire, the Count de Treville, the captain-lieutenant of the French royal musketeers. The exquisite building in ocher tones was the Potocki Palace in Lviv. And the heraldic lily, caught in the frame of the film, still adorns the front entrance of the Potocki Palace and sends us back to the time of the French “sun king”. As is known from the history of heraldry, the lily, or, as it sounds in the translation from the French fluer de lys – “lily flower” – has for centuries been one of the four most popular symbols along with the cross, eagle and lion depicted on the coats of arms of the famous European surnames . An ancient French legend, explaining the importance of the flower in the heraldic hierarchy, relates us to the reign of the King of the Franks of Clovis. After in 496 the ruler of the lands of the future France adopted Christianity and turned his subjects into the faith, an angel appeared to him and handed him the golden lily as a sign of purification of the soul of Clovis and all his people from past sins.
There is one more, more militant version of the appearance of the lily on the arms of the French monarchs. In accordance with it, the water lilies growing in the Rhine River helped Clovis to win the battle, prompting the king for safe places, where it is possible to cross the river for a wade and thus to get ahead of the enemy.
However, no matter how legendary the “royal” flower was fanned, the French monarchy adopted this symbol only in the 12th century. Finally, the lily became the symbol of royal power only at the very end of the Middle Ages, and then very few people remembered the legendary past of the flower: it had its traditional Christian meaning – the innocence of the Mother of God.
Lilies were depicted on the robes and shields of kings. Therefore, commanding decorators and gardeners to leave the image of the lily and decorate the gardens with gardens and parks, Alfred II Potocki, probably subconsciously dreamed of ascending to the monarch Olympus.
Waiting for the King …
It is in the Red Hall that the echoes of the style of Louis XIV are felt. Along the walls there are richly decorated consoles, chests of drawers and chairs, made mainly of solid pear, chestnut, walnut and oak. For upholstery upholstery used satin, velor and Damascus. Handles of chests of drawers, as was customary with the “sun king”, are made in the form of lion heads or fantastic birds and animals. The surface of furniture is painted with patterns with plant motifs: oak and laurel leaves, which are repeated in a single motif on the walls and ceiling.

Count Potocki possessed such enormous wealth that even kings had to reckon with them. The ancestors of the future family of the family were brave people. But with each new generation of courage faded away, as if one of them had made a deal with the higher forces and without looking at exchanging boldness for jewelry and banknotes.
me, Potocki, expanding, only increased their influence in the territories of Eastern Europe.
The genus reached its heyday by the beginning of the 17th century, when Stanislav Revera Potocki, who headed the Tyshovets Confederation, glorified him with his selfless struggle against Bogdan Khmelnytsky, victories over the troops of the governor Vasily Sheremetev in 1660 under Chudnov and the rout of the Russian Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich in 1665 near Okhmatovo . From the marriage of Stanislav Potocki and Sofia Kalinovskaya, the heir of the family, Andrzej Pototsky, was born.

The Potocki Palace

Hall of French Art in the Potocki Palace

Militant beginning

Ancient genus Pototsky “silver”, or hetman, Pilava originates in the XV century from Matsei Potocki. The ancestors of future counts and princes have always played a significant role in serving the glory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Commonwealth. Thus, Yakub Pototsky, the son of Maciej, served as a judge in the Sub-Marine Court and decided land disputes between the feudal lords of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. His son Mykola in 1550 received the rank of nobleman and held the post of captain at the royal court, in the declining years of having been taken over by the Khmelnitsky and Kamenetskoe villages.
The exact date of his birth has not been reliably established, but historians have carefully traced the life of Andrzej as a great general. He was much earlier than his father, began to win victories on the brigand field. In 1659, Potocki Jr. bravely commanded soldiers in the Battle of Konotop, having received for his valor and courage the title of the King’s great chorus. After 14 years he gained new victories, leading the cavalry troops in the Battle of Khotyn, and at the head of the Polish troops defeated the Krymchaks in battles near Kalushin in 1675. It is necessary to pay tribute to Andrzej Pototsky – he possessed not only the talent of the destroyer, but also had creative abilities. Thanks to him, Stanislavov (the modern Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk) was founded.
The son of Andrzej, Joseph Potocki, was a valiant continuer of the deeds of his ancestors, and although in military successes he was less fortunate than his father and grandfather, he managed not only to preserve the significance of Pototsky’s name, but also to become the founder of the “silver” hetman line of the Pilava coat of arms .
But centuries passed, one generation was replaced by another, and in the XIX century Alfred II Potocki became the main representative of this ancient family in his time. However, the former courage of his ancestors, he did not differ. About Alfred II Potocki began to speak of a man as a soft-bitten person, who does not believe in success. It was about him that the Polish historian Stefan Kenevich wrote that “even the enemies respected him, even supporters did not consider him”. Nevertheless, this did not prevent Count Potocki from occupying leading posts in the Austro-Hungarian government, the Galician Seym, and being a famous diplomat for a long time, and from 1875 to 1883 he was appointed governor of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria.
Captain – Polish military rank of senior officer in the cavalry. First mentioned in the XV century.
Khorunzhiy – the commander of the banners – so in the Polish-Lithuanian army the division was called in the time of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which today corresponds to the concept of a company. Since the XIV century, the post had not only army value, but also wore a court direction. The king made a great crowning chorus. In all the Polish kingdom and the principality of Lithuania there could be only one chorus.
The Tyshovets Confederation is a temporary political union of the Polish gentry. The Confederation was established on December 29, 1655 in the town of Tyszovce, Lublin Province, from which it received its name. The Tyshovets Confederation aimed to unite the people for the liberation of the Polish-occupied lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The Potocki Palace

The Potocki Palace. Courtyard. The palace porch, decorated with heraldic lily

The coat of arms of Pilava
Potocki belong to the Polish gentry aristocracy, whose ancient history is shrouded in a halo of mystery. The first documented information about Potocki is found in the XIII century, when Sulislav, son of Bartholomew, founded a monastery on the banks of Potok. In 1236, the Polish king Boleslav confirmed the sons of Sulislaw – Clemenz, Fulk, Sezim and Tomko – the right to land near the monastery.
In 1250, the rights to the monastery were transferred to Bach from Potok. His sons were Berthold, Varzhinek, Peter.
Each nobleman had his own coat of arms. The emblem is an emblem, a special hereditary sign, concluded in accordance with the laws of heraldry in a combination of figures and objects that had a symbolic meaning and expressed a certain historical tradition. The coat of arms of Potocki was a white cross on a blue field. The blue color symbolized fame, honor and fidelity, and white – wisdom, innocence and purity. The tribal legend tells that this coat of Potockie was received back in the end of the 12th century for heroism and courage. Polish King Casimir the Just awarded Janusz, one of the ancestors of Sulislav, a sign of the monastic Order of Pilava for the courage shown in the battles near Pilava against the Prussians, where in a fierce battle Janusz saved the Cracow Bishop. In 1400, when Vladislav II Yagello was the Polish king, Potocki finally recognized the gentry (nobility) and enshrined the coat of arms “Pilava”.
In time, after the division of the genus into two branches, two versions of the coat of arms appeared: Pilava Zolotaya (its ancestor was Pavel Pototsky (? -1674)) and Pilava the Silver (it comes from Joseph Potocki (1673-1751)). The difference in the image consisted only in the color of the cross in gold and silver, respectively.
After receiving the Potocki Count’s title, the tribal shield on which the coat of arms was depicted was crowned with a crown with five white ostrich feathers. The shield was drawn by the stamp with the motto of the Potocki clan: “Scutum opponebat scutis” – “The shield is opposed to the shields”.
Enlighteners of the genus
Against the background of their warlike ancestors, the descendants of Iosif Pototsky, who lived in the 17th century, look less bright, but the scale of their activity in the field of development of culture and enlightenment has not been ignored by historians. So, Alfred II Potocki was a famous patron and actively participated in the life of the creative intelligentsia. And his grandfather – Jan Nepomuk Potocki – and Yan’s brother, Severin Pototsky, played a large role in the development of education in Russia and Ukraine.

The Potocki Palace

Portrait of Elbeseta Potocki. Artist Domenico Cuengo, etching, 1782 year

Portrait of Anna Teresa Ossolinskaya. Lithograph of an unknown artist, the middle of the 18th century
The parents of Jan and Severin – Jozef Pototsky and Anna Teresa Ossolinskaya – gave the children a magnificent education in the spirit of that time – the Enlightenment.
Already at the age of seven, Jan Potocki, together with his brother, Severin, who at that time was just six years old, in 1768 were sent to study in Switzerland. After spending more than ten years surrounded by the greatest scientists of the time, learning the world and comprehending various sciences, by 1779 the brothers were already formed personalities, capable of independently choosing their own life roads. Jan Potocki was carried away by travel and devoted himself to historical and geographical research until the end of his days. And Severin on his return to Poland devoted his life to serving the state, and the Russian state. He, like his father, had a penchant for politics pursued by Catherine II, and in every possible way welcomed any undertaking by the great empress.
In 1793, Severin Potocki came to St. Petersburg in search of a career, and Catherine II gladly accepted her loyal vassal. However, the success of the young man at the Russian Imperial Court did not last long and was overshadowed by the death of the empress. During the reign of Paul I Severin lost all honors and awards, and on January 21, 1799 Pototsky was read the highest decree to remove him from the post of chamberlain with the heir to the throne of the Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich. The reason for the collapse of his career was his absurd nature and desire everywhere
and everywhere openly express their thoughts, even if they are contrary to the views and policies pursued by the acting sovereign.
However, failures could not last forever. With the accession of Alexander I to the Russian throne, Severin Potocki once again opened up beautiful prospects.
By a decree of June 4, 1801, the young emperor appointed Pototsky a secret adviser, and a year later Severin received a seat in the Commission on Schools, to become a member of which had a chance only those who were particularly close to the emperor.
In his post, without changing his habitual behavior, he was harsh in his judgments on any innovations that he considered incorrect, and loudly declared his positions. For example, Severin opposed the opening of a university in St. Petersburg, explaining this by the fact that there are already many educational institutions in the northern capital. He was glad that the education system, financed from the state treasury, would be financially supported in other cities of Russia. He made a significant contribution to the development of educational institutions in Kharkov. With the assistance of Severin Potocki, a unique faculty was formed at the Kharkov Imperial University. The count did not spare his strength and money to support this institution and was his first trustee.
The casket style in literature is the principle of a nesting doll.
He refers to the artistic technique in which the heroes of the work tell each other stories, often connected by plot or characters. Due to the fact that one work can often consist of one hundred or more stories intertwined, the reader finds himself in a literary labyrinth from which one can get out only after reading the work to the end.
The brother of Severin, Jan Nepomuk Potocki, became famous not only as a talented historian and archaeologist. He also shone with his literary talent. His pen belongs to the novel in novels “A Manuscript Found in Zaragoza”, which took an honorable place among the labyrinthine novels of the so-called casket style, which include the brightest product of Miguel Cervantes “Don Quixote”, “Decameron” by Giovanni Boccaccio, as well as the pearl of Eastern literature “Thousand and one night. ” However, the fate of the talented ancestor, who was Count Alfred II Potocki grandfather, was tragically cut off at the age of 54 years. Jan Potocki committed suicide. The reason for the suicide of the romantic writer was the headaches that persecuted him for more than 20 years. November 20, 1815 in the estate of Uladovka Jan Potocki after a brief conversation with his chaplain and a strange request that the priest bless the silver ball of sugar bowl, closed in his office. A few moments later, a shot rang out. Pototsky killed himself with a shot in the temple with a silver bullet, which was that same blessed ball. The Count seemed to want to once and for all expel from his body the demon who tortured him for many years.
No matter how famous any famous family may be, and in almost all of them there is a so-called “shame of the family”. Potocki were not an exception. No matter how much they hide the dubious pages of their history, but the stormy streams of time will still open them and bring to the shore of human curiosity.

The Potocki Palace

The main gate of the Potocki Palace with outbuildings

Family Nest
The Potocki Counts had huge fortunes and extensive estates on the territory of Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine. This is the palace in Tulchin, and the estate in Umanovka, and the Potocki Palace in Lviv, and other wonderful, luxurious and deserving many other epithets in an excellent degree of ownership. However, perhaps the most famous residence Pototsky was in the Polish city of Lancut. It has a long history, to which we will try to touch …
The date of foundation of Lancut is considered to be 1349 year. It was the time of the reign of Poland Casimir the Great. The existence of the city for many centuries is inextricably linked with the castle, towering on one of its hills. This place was later built and the palace, which received the same name with the city – the palace in Lancut. For many years the estate belonged to the ancient Polish families of Pilecki, Stadniczykh and Lubomirski. But the last owners of the palace were representatives of the Pototsk clan arms of Pilava.
To build a residence in the northern part of the city of Lancut began on the instructions of Stanislav Lubomirsky in the period from 1b29 to 1642. The case came thoroughly: the residential building, crowned with towers, was surrounded by bastion fortifications. Famous architects of the XVII century were invited to build the fortress: Giovanni Battista Falconi, Maciej Trapola and Krzysztof Mieroszewski.
The history of the ownership of the palace in Lancut by the Potocki family begins in the second half of the 18th century, when the great-grandmother of Alfred II of Józef Potocki, Princess Isabella Czartoryska-Lubomirska, settled in it. This period is considered gold in the life of the Polish residence. In the seventies of the XVIII century the fortress walls of the palace were demolished, and instead they were ordered to break the park with lime alleys. Changes took place not only in the external appearance of the building – for work on the interiors of the building Isabella Czartoryska wrote out the best European masters of painting and decoration. The walls and ceilings of the exquisite residence were painted by Vincenzo Brenna, Shimon Bogumil Zug, Jan Christian Kamsetzer, Peter Khristian Aigner and Friderik Bauman. The palace was filled with beauty. Through the efforts of the princess, the estate in Lancut at the end of the 18th century became one of the best in Poland.
In 1816, after the death of Isabella Czartoryska-Lubomirska, all the property of the princess became the property of her grandson Alfred Wojciech Potocki. His son, Alfred II Józef, visited his father’s estate not so often, spending most of his time in Vienna at the royal court

Neo-Baroque – architectural style of the XIX century, arose against the background of a new interest and passion for baroque architecture, when owners of estates, representatives of royal families and industrialists who wanted to imitate aristocrats began to receive orders for the construction of houses “under the Baroque”.
The Habsburgs, therefore, when Alfred Wojciech died, the rarely visited castle was completely empty. Without owner’s care there was also a park.
After the death of Alfred II, the palace in Lancut was given to his son, Roman Pototsky, who, together with his wife Elizabeth Radziwill, returned the palace to its former glory.

The Potocki Palace

The Bakhchsarai fountain of tears, admired by the Russian poet A.S. Pushkin

As soon as in 1889 Roman Potocki accepted the rebuilt palace in Lviv from architect Julian Tsibulsky, he immediately took up the arrangement of the Polish estate. From 1889 to 1911 the French architect Aramn Boko and Italian artist-decorator Albert Pio held a reconstruction in the palace. For twenty years, the interiors of all floors, almost lost forever in the times of the orphanage of the palace, were restored, sewerage, water and electricity were carried out. Significantly transformed the facade of the building, reconstructed in the style of the French neo-baroque.
In 1890, work began in the palace park, stretching for fourteen years. Its area has increased in size, a lattice fence has been built along the new borders, an Italian-style garden has been broken in the immediate vicinity of the palace building, and the refined avenues of roses have stretched in the southern part of the park.
After careful reconstruction and modernization, the palace and park ensemble in Lancut became one of the most luxurious in all of Europe. Even before the last decorator left the walls of the palace, the glory of him already thundered in all the royal courts of Europe. In the Lancut residence of Potocki, the Austrian crown prince of the Habsburg dynasty, Rudolph, and the Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand often stayed.
At the beginning of the 20th century, this palace was the fifth largest in Poland. The last owner of it in 1915 was Alfred III Potocki. In the 1920s, the Lancut residence was again modernized: central heating, underground garages and marble bathrooms. The palace began to be designed for the friendly meetings of Count Potocki with the world’s top people.
In 1944 life in the famous Potocki estate froze. Alfred III was forced to leave the patrimonial nest. He ended his years in exile in Switzerland, never having a chance to return to his homeland.
Fountain of Tears
Two of these residences of Count Potocki, Lviv Palace and Lancut, store many secrets of the owners. Their walls remember every word of their inhabitants, even uttered … in a whisper.
Once, on March 22, 1822, at a dinner party, Russian general Ivan Nikitich Inzov broke out a dispute between two great minds of that time, equally hot-tempered and straightforward. A heated discussion was about serfdom and soon turned into a battle. The dispute could end in a duel if one of its participants did not find the strength and wisdom to cede to a younger opponent. The last was Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin, and a wise man with great experience in matters of diplomacy, a man with gray hair, who entered into a dispute with the poet, was none other than Severin Pototsky. While Pushkin, in his peculiar, cocky manner, argued that all the nobility should become the initiator of the abolition of serfdom in Russia, since everyone in the family had a relative, who would have to experience the torment of slavery, the proud ear would retort that, perhaps, Someone has such black spots in the family, but not the Count Potocki! On this argument, Alexander Sergeevich answered that from where would the legend of the concubine of the khan Maria Potocka come from, what is Severin Pototsky’s relatives. As evidence of the truth of his words, the poet referred to Sophia Witt-Potocki, who allegedly told this story to him. However, the mention of the person who was the widow of his late cousin, Stanislav Shensna Pototsky, finally took the Count out of himself, and in rather disingenuous words declared that this lady was a famous liar, but recovered himself and recovered himself in time.
The scandal over time, all forgotten. Everything, but not Pushkin. He was apprehensive about Severin’s reaction to a mere mention about the family legend, and the poet decided to get to the bottom of the truth. The mysterious story of the Polish girl Mary, who received the name of Deliar in the harem of the khan of Crimea-Giray, excited his imagination even from the time of visiting the Khan’s palace in Bakhchisaray. The story was heard from the lips of Sofia Witt Potocka, and then the daughter of Stanislaus Schensna and Sofia, Sofia Pototskaya, the youngest (since 1820 by her husband Kiseleva), invited the poet to capture in the verses their family legend. And Pushkin began work on the poem. However Severin was against its publication, not wishing to make this story public. Count Potocki believed that the mother and daughter fettered the poor poet’s head, the faded one for everything mysterious. In addition, Pushkin probably was in love with Sophia, the younger, and she was famous not only for her beauty and her ability to seduce, but she was also a big dreamer. However, the Count surrendered under the pressure of persuasion of numerous friends of Pushkin, whom the poet with enviable persistence sent to Severin. As a result, on March 10, 1824, the first edition of the poem “The Bakhchsarai Fountain” was published. The work made a lot of noise, but even more impressive was the story of the unhappy Maria Potockaya.
Sangushko is one of the oldest Volyn tribes, whose history dates back to the middle of the 15th century from Prince Fedkovych, who owned the villages of Kovel and Ratno in the Galicia-Volyn principality. For three centuries, the Sangushka have accumulated huge land holdings and wealth in their hands. They owned palaces in Slavuta, Izyaslavl and Lubartuve.
The birth of the Potocki and Sangushoks intersected more than once. The daughter of Andrzej Potocki, one of the ancestors of Alfred II Potocki, was married to Roman Evstafievich Sangushko, a cornet of the cavalry regiment, who participated in the Polish uprising of 1830-1831. Alfred II Pototsky himself was married to Maria Sangushko, the daughter of Eustaphy Jeromeimovich Sangushko, the army general of Napoleon.
Men’s faithfulness.

The Potocki Palace

Lviv in the year 1939. In the photo: a parade on the streets of the city. From the “Illustrated Newspaper” of the publishing house “Pravda” No. 21 of November 7, 1939. Reproduction of Nikolai Akimov

Female betrayal
The stories of unhappy love from the time of the mysterious Mary Potocki were pursued by the ancient Polish race. Literally, all women without exception, on which the Count Potocki married, were not only the first beauties of noble families, but also the muzes of their talented spouses. Although … almost every one of them had his own skeleton in the closet.
The charming Julia Lubomirskaya-Potocka, the first wife of Jan Nepomuk, the mother of Alfred Wojciech and Arthur Janovich, in the long months of the absence of a legitimate husband who often traveled around the world, shared a marriage bed with an ardent lover named Sangushko.
Was there a passionate gentleman from the princely family of Sangushko, history is silent, but the love of the couple was all about the higher world. And only the husband of Julia Lubomirska Jan Potocki either did not know, or did not want to know about the unfaithfulness of his wife. He was madly in love with her. When in 1794 Julia was a hair’s breadth from death and another bout of consumption, it seemed as if her end was inevitable, a faithful husband, despite all the protests of doctors, categorically forbidding him to be near an incurable patient, sat by her bed, took his hand and told stories that she invented right there, at her bedside. And it was in such an evening wrapped in the smells of laudanum that one of the strangest and most mysterious specimens of European literature was born: The Manuscript Found in Zaragoza.
However, after the death of his wife in the role of inconsolable widower Jan Nepomuk Potocki did not stay long. Already in 1798 he married his cousin niece Constance Potocki, the daughter of his cousin Stanislav Franzevich Shensna Potocki. Similar marriages between close relatives in noble births were at that time a phenomenon not uncommon. Besides, Constant’s father reflected on the fall of morals: he was young when he saw that baseness, which people can go to in order to preserve their high aristocratic position.
The name of Stanislav was to give him not only wealth, but also happiness – “puppies” in translation from Polish “happy”. However, this did not happen. When the young Count turned 19, he fell immeasurably in love with the young Gertrude Komorowska, the daughter of a landowner, whose estates were located not far from the Potocki Palace in Kristinopol. The violent romance developed rapidly, the 17-year-old beloved became pregnant … Her parents insisted on marriage. And no one resisted him, except Father Stanislaus, Franz Silesia, whose son unsuccessfully tried to beg the parental blessing for the wedding. Komorowski were uneven noble Polish family, besides against the background of Potocki’s wealth, the future bride was considered practically a beggar.
However, the wedding was still held. The wedding ceremony went secretly, against the will of the parents, and modestly, in the Greek Catholic Church, which further angered the Count’s relatives. The future fate of the newlyweds was sad … Parents Stanislav Pototsky decided to once and for all get rid of their daughter-in-law and found him a more successful party – the new narrower was to be Josephine Mniszek, the rich princess, in whose veins the blood of the infamous Marina Mnishek flowed. Gertrude decided to send to the monastery against her will, and therefore – by force. However, the Cossacks, who had served with Franz Pototsky, overdid it and brought a lifeless body to the monastery gate. The girl suffocated under a pile of pillows, which they threw on her so that a sorrowful howl would not be heard. It was winter; sweeping tracks, the corpse of Stanislaw Potocki’s young wife was simply thrown into the hole, without worrying about the further consequences. And in the spring the body of Gertrude surfaced …
When all the truth was revealed, the parents of the murdered tried to look for the law on the criminals in court, but where they were to compete with the authorities. And Stanislav, distraught with grief, wanted to commit suicide. From his suicide saved a servant, almost at the last moment took the owner out of the loop.
After a while Stanislav “happy” nevertheless married Josephine Mniszek. This marriage was the largest in the history of the Potocki family, it had 12 children. But it was rumored that Josephine was quickly tired of family life and her husband was born only to the first three children.

Almost 20 years Stanislav Shchenna Potocki tolerated debauchery in the family and as a result, in 1790 he started all the hard. At a ball at Grigory Potemkin in Iasi, he met Sophia Witt, wife of Count Jozef Witt.
Russian Mata Hari
From the first day of Stanislaus Schensna’s acquaintance with Sophia Witt Count Potocki, as, indeed, all the men who came under the influence of this woman were ready to place not only their heart on the altar of love, but also to abandon their homeland. Countess Witt knew the price of her charms and the virtuosity of their use could well compete with the famous spy seducer Mata Hari. The first victim of Sofia Witt was her husband’s husband Count Jozef Witt, when in 1788 there was a scandal due to frequent visits to the countess of the Russian military camp, where she visited for the meetings with the Duke Charles Joseph de Lin, who was in the service of the Russian Empress. The Poles were very unhappy that the commandant’s wife (the post that Josef Witt occupied in the Polish army) was in contact with the Russians, and forced Witt to abandon the rank and break all ties with his native Poland.
Left out of work, in 1789 the couple went to Russia, near Ochakov, where the General Field Marshal Grigory Potemkin’s rate was located. They already had the honor to meet him a couple of years ago. Besides, Sofia Witt was sure that Potemkin would not refuse an unhappy woman a small favor – to provide her and her husband with a worthy of her beauty existence. The Countess did not fail. Potemkin’s loving heart belonged to her from the first minute of the conversation. And after some time, the fairest prince Tavrichesky suggested that Witt serve the interests of Russia. Sofia immediately agreed and soon became an agent of Potemkin, helping him to settle complex political issues, especially those relating to relations with the Commonwealth. In addition, Catherine II, who heard about the spy abilities of the countess and her ability to fine-tune rather complicated intrigues, brought her closer to her to fulfill political assignments.
After the death of Potemkin, Sofia continued her agency work. At this time, Russia was preparing a plan for the second section of the Commonwealth, and the services of the charming Countess Witt were very welcome. Thanks to her participation, it happened that the Poles, without the knowledge of Russia, could not change either the state system or enter into an alliance with other powers. In fact, the Russian Empire took Rech Pospolita into its administration. And this happened largely thanks to the new lover of Sofia, Stanislav Shensna Pototsky, whom she persuaded in 1791 to oppose the new constitution of Poland and to side with the pro-Russian hetman party. It was opposed by the patriotic party, whose members did not lose hope for the independence of the Polish-Lithuanian state and the return of the Commonwealth of 1772 borders. However, the strength of the Hetman party turned out to be much greater, if only because the biggest financial flows were concentrated in the hands of the Pototsky magnate and it was not worth it to attract even the king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Stanislaw II August Poniatowski.
In 1795, Stanislav Pototsky asks the Russian Empress Catherine II to allow a divorce from his second wife and to bless her with a new lover. The Empress was categorical and did not allow the count to divorce herself from Josephine. In addition, against the marriage with the Countess Witt all the relatives of Potocki spoke. However, the Count was adamant. After the death of Catherine the Great in 1796, lovers quickly divorced their spouses, and April 17, 1798 in the city of Tulchin, Stanislav’s wedding with Sofia took place. Pototsky was madly in love with his third wife.
What else could the Count do for her? He gave her a palace in Tulchin, Park Sofiyivka and most of the property. But the heart of Sofia Witt, thrown to her feet gifts, he could not conquer. She wanted new adventures. And maybe she would part with the count, if not for one “but” – the new obeisance object lived with the husband who harassed her under one roof.

The Potocki Palace

Gallery of Italian art in the Potocki Palace

Several years have passed since the wedding hymns that glorified the newlyweds were sounded, and the young wife spun a new romance with Stanislav’s eldest son, Jerzy (Yuri), who was 16 years younger than his stepmother. It was for the count to blow in the back. He could not survive such a disgrace, – all the nobility amused him, and as a result Stanislav Pototsky withdrew from the society. Last years the “happy” spent in complete solitude. He died on March 15, 1805, and before his death, forbade his servants to let Sophia Witt-Potocka bid farewell to him. Moreover … he implored everyone not to let her even to his coffin.
It is well known that Count Alfred II Potocki was fond of art and was a philanthropist. He did not spare money for the content of talented sculptors and artists. His great-grandmother, Isabella Czartoryska-Lubminskaya, has always been at the center of the cultural life of Europe and communicated with the most ingenious creators of the eighteenth century, leaving a huge collection of paintings and sculptures donated to her or bought from such great masters as Antonio Canova . Therefore, it is not surprising that the former Potocki residence in Lviv has become the continuer of the business of the first owners of the palace.
decorated with stucco molding with gilding, marble fireplaces inlaid with valuable wood and inserts with carvings on the stone. On the second floor, a magnificent collection of fine art from French, Dutch, Austrian and Italian masters is collected. Picturesque canvases, sculptural compositions and objects of small plastic plunge visitors into the depths of the works of European masters of the past centuries. Here you can see the magnificent pearls of the Renaissance and Enlightenment.
The most valuable exhibits of the department are the works of the Dutch painter – the brightest representative of Romanism, the brush of Sofinisba Angishola, 1558 by Jan van Skorel, “Visiting Mary Elizabeth”; “Portrait of a young patrician” brush first in the history of art of a woman, known to the whole world of the Italian portrait painter of the XVI century Sofinisba Angishola.

In 2000, after a long restoration, the Potocki Palace opened the doors for visitors in a different capacity. In the new millennium, it became one of the richest in the number of rare exhibits and collections of paintings and sculptures of museums, not only in Ukraine, but throughout Europe. The exposition of the branch of the Lviv National Art Gallery, located in the Potocki Palace, acquaints visitors with the European art of the XTV-XVIII centuries.
Starting from the first floor of the palace, admirers of history can contemplate the magnificent interiors, carefully recreated by restorers. Bronze chandeliers illuminate the ceremonial halls, richly for a long time serving as a court painter of the Spanish King Philip II; canvas “Fishing of coral and pearls” by the mani -rist from Tuscany Jacopo Tsukki and one of the most expensive canvases in the world, which has a huge historical and cultural value – the picture of Georges de La Tour “The Moneymaker” (“Payment”), written in the XVII century.

Romanism is a direction in the Dutch painting of the 16th century, which arose thanks to the strengthening of cultural ties between the Netherlands and Italy. The emergence of Romanism was due to the crisis of the Dutch art culture at the turn of the XV-XVI centuries. During this period, the work of Dutch artists is enriched with new style solutions, new images from ancient mythology appear in their works, and interest in nudity increases. There is a new type of artist – educated and enthusiastic about knowledge and self-development.
In total there are 32 paintings of this great artist in the world, differing in a special manner of painting, borrowed from Caravaggio, by contrasting bright colors with dark space. How the picture got into the funds of the Lviv Art Gallery, no one can say for sure, but it is known that the first mention of the most valuable canvas in Lvov refers to 1905-1907 and they were found in the records of the buyers of antiques. Particular attention deserves a collection of sketches of monumental drawings by Austrian artists, who created in the style of the late Baroque, Anton Franz Maulberch and Paul Troger.
History in miniature
Outside the palace walls visitors of the aristocratic residence of Potocki await a lot of interesting things.
In autumn 2009, work was begun on the creation of a park of miniatures depicting all the most significant castles and fortresses on the territory of Ukraine. In the spring of 2010, visitors to the Potocki Palace saw with their own eyes a copy of the Zolochiv Castle, the Kamenets-Litovsky tower, a Templar castle in the village of Srednee Uzhgorod district of Transcarpathia and the Lviv High Castle. In total, according to the idea of ​​the creator of the park of miniatures, the re-enactor of old times Igor Kacher and his ideological inspirers, the director of the Lviv national art gallery Boris Voznitsky and the adviser of the governor of the Lviv region Yuri Gnatkovsky, there should be no less than fifteen buildings in Potocki Palace Park. Much of what visitors will see is, in reality, already irretrievably lost, much is created according to the original plans. For example, Kacer presented the version of Oleskiy.
Mannerism is a literary and artistic style that arose in Western Europe at the end of the 16th century. In its form became a continuation of Romanism. The most widespread was in Rome, Mantua and Florence. A characteristic feature of the style is the sublimation of eroticism. People in the pictures are depicted more often in tense poses, the human organs are drawn deformed and in many cases hypertrophically enlarged.

The castle is not in the form in which it came to our days after perestroika in the XVII century, and its earlier form, dating from 1340. No less unique specimen is a sample of Ukrainian fortification architecture – the Orthodox Church of the Intercession of the XV century from the village of Sutkivtsi in the Yarmolinsky district of the Khmelnitsky region. This pearl of the church’s defense architecture along the perimeter of the church has loopholes, as the servants of the church often had to defend themselves against enemy raids, both from the west and from the east.
So everyone who peeps at least beyond the gates of the magnificent Potocki Palace will be guaranteed an amazing journey through time, through centuries and ages.

Address: 79000, Ukraine, L’viv, ul. Copernicus, 15.
Opening hours: The Palace is open for visits every day, except Mondays. In the summer period: from 11:00 to 18:00, the ticket office is open until 16:00. In the winter: from 10: 00 to 17:00, the ticket office is open until 16:00. On Sundays, regardless of the time of the year, from 12:00 to 17:00, the ticket office is open until 16:00.
Attention! The days and hours of work can vary. Please check details in advance.
Tel .: + 7-10 (032) 261-41-45.

The Potocki Palace Lviv Ukraine history, owners