Kazimierz Pułaski

Casimir Pulaski

The Manor in Winiary

The manor in Winiary, in which the Museum of Casimir Pulaski is located, was built around 1689, as a residence of a wealthy magnate, Stanisław Antoni Szczuka, the Lithuanian Deputy Chancellor of the Treasury and the Royal Referendary. Both the palace and the grange in Winiary were designed by an excellent architect, Augustin Vincent Locci. Analyzing his achievements one can only wonder at the high quality of his artistry of the Palace in Winiary. Today there is nothing left of it but a broad outline of a block. Around the half of the 19th and then 20th century it was thoroughly rebuilt.

In the 18th century, Winiary belonged to Joseph Pulaski (1704-1769) – the father of Casimir Pulaski, the starost of Warka district, an advocate, a politician, and the first marshal of confederate army. The last owner of Winiary, since 1921 to 1946 was a count Wacław Godzięba Dąmbski. After the realization of the directive of the agricultural reform, the manor together with the park, became the property of the Treasury. After the war, there was here, the first in Warka, Communal Junior High School with the dormitory and lodgings for teachers, and later also a High School. In the fifties, PTTK (Polish Society for Tourism and Culture) regional museum came to being. It presented Warka’s and the region’s history. During the years 1962-66, the building underwent a general overhaul. The High School was relocated to the centre of Warka. In January 1967, historical-biographical Museum of Casimir Pulaski, was opened.

The Museum of Casimir Pulaski.

The Museum of Casimir Pulaski is a historical-biographical museum dedicated to the hero of Poland and the United States, Casimir Pulaski, as well as to Polish emigration, with particular reference to the United States of America.

Permanent exposition is presented in six rooms: the first one illustrates Casimir Pulaski’s activities in Poland, the second presents the hero’s American period, the third is dedicated to Thaddeus Kosciuszko, and the fourth one to Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz. In the fifth room there is a presentation of the active participation of Poles in the cultural life of the United States. The sixth room is the so called Green Parlor. On the second floor there are temporary exhibition rooms and a library.

The permanent exposition of the museum was organized in the spirit of the old, Polish manor of the late 18th and the early 19th century. The interior is reminiscent of a house of an affluent noble of Stanislaw August Poniatowski’s times. Here are gathered furniture sets, paintings, tapestries, weapons, silver, porcelain, as well as documents, old maps, and old prints. Paintings are representing dominantly portraits and battle scenes.

In temporary exposition rooms, there are presented exhibitions dedicated to Polish emigration, in particular to Polish people who made a contribution to American cultural and social life, and also historical, ethnographic, and modern art exhibitions.

Since the beginning of its existence, the Museum of Casimir Pulaski documents the history of the city of Warka and Grojec region. It organizes scholarly and publishing activities. It popularizes music and poetry through concerts, poetry evenings and author meetings. There are also museum lessons, meetings and competitions related to fine arts for children and young people.

Every year in October, in front of the monument of Casimir Pulaski, the Polish Day of Casimir Pulaski is celebrated. Since 2005, at the start of July, the Museum organizes historical and cultural Picnic entitled VIVAT PULASKI to celebrate the American Independence Day..

Park in Winiary

The museum is surrounded by a scenic park, an area of ca fifteen hectares spreading over the escarpment and the slopes by the Pilica river. It was made in the second half of the 18th century and transformed in the 19th and 20th century. The park of Winiary is the most picturesque element of Warka, a place for a walk or a rest of the inhabitants of the city and tourists. According to tradition, the park was a favorite playground of Casimir Pulaski; and Thaddeus Kosciuszko is said to have rested in the shade of one of the lindens. The value of the place was likewise appreciated by Joseph Mehoffer, who spend here a summer holiday in 1935.

In the centre of the upper park there is a monument of Casimir Pulaski, founded on the bicentennial of the hero’s death and unveiled on the 13th of October, 1979. The author of the project was a sculptor from Warsaw, Casimir Danilewicz.

The park in Winiary exemplifies a harmonious linkage of the garden composition with the existing natural environment. Among historic parks of Mazovia, this park makes an exceptional example of scenic solution, where the mesa environment was linked to the river valley. The park has also a great dendrological value. The microclimate of the place creates good conditions for relax and recreation.

Casimir Pulaski

Casimir Pulaski was born on the 6th of March, 1745 in Warsaw. He spent his childhood in Warka, where he attended a parochial school. Subsequently, he graduated from a school run by Teatin priests in Warsaw. In October 1762, his father sent him to Mitau, the capital of Courland duchy, to the court of prince Charles, the son of August III. In may 1763, Russians forced the Polish king August III to recall his son.

On the 29th of February in 1968 in Bar, Podolia, four years after Stanislaw Poniatowski was elected the king of Poland, a part of Polish nobles drew an act of confederation to defend their liberties and Catholic faith. On the 4th of March, 1768 they formed armed forces of confederation, called Bar Confederation, of which the first Marshal and Commander was Joseph Pulaski. Casimir and his two brothers, Francis and Antony became commanders of confederate detachments waging fierce battles against Russian and royal armies. In April of 1769, Joseph Pulaski died in prison in Kopanka, and in September of the same year, Francis Pulaski died in Wlodawa.

In September 1770, Casimir stopped with his detachment at Czestochowa and a few months later he defended Jasna Gora against Russian armies commanded by Iwan Drewicz. On the 16th of January, 1771, Casimir Pulaski made Drewicz retreat. The fame of young commander, however, which already reached beyond the borders of Polish Kingdom, was put to heavy trial. On the 3rd of November, 1771 the king Stanislaw August was kidnapped. Quickly liberated king accused confederates of conspiracy. Casimir was blamed for the abduction, but he claimed till the end of his life that he had nothing to do with it. On the 31st of May, 1772, disguised as a merchant, Casimir Pulaski emigrated. On the 7th of August, 1773 he was sentenced to death in absentia (the sentence was annulled only in 1792). Casimir stayed first at Kuszęcin, at duchess Franciszka, and then he went to Turkey, Germany, and finally to France. In Paris he met Benjamin Franklin – the representative of American Congress who persuaded him to go to America and gave him a letter of recommendation to George Washington. Casimir reached America. Washington made the young Pole a commander of light dragoons. After the battle of Brandywine Creek, Pulaski was promoted to the post of the general of the brigade and took part in battles of Germantown, Haddonfield and Warren Tavern. In March, 1778, Congress endorsed the creation of Pulaski’s Legion, cavalry regiment commanded by Casimir. The regiment fought the battle of Little Egg Harbor and successfully defended Charleston.

On the 9th of October 1779, Casmir Pulaski and his Legion took part in the Battle of Savannah, where a moment after the commencement of the charge he was mortally wounded and carried from the battlefield. He died aboard the privateer merchant brigantine Wasp on either 11th or 15th of October 1779. General Pulaski was most likely buried on Greenwich plantation near Savannah. On the 21st of October a symbolic funeral ceremony for Pulaski in Charleston took place.

Up to this day, the 11th of October in the USA, as well as in Warka is celebrated as Pulaski Day, a holiday dedicated to the Knight of Freedom fighting for the independence of Poland and the United States.

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