Chopin Museum at Warsaw’s Ostrogski Castle restored
Run by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, the project, Chopin’s Heritage on the Royal Route in the Ostrogski Castle in Warsaw, restored the Fryderyk Chopin Museum at the castle. It set up a new permanent exhibition designed by Migliore+Servettto Architects and dedicated to the great Polish composer of the Romantic era. It contributed to the conservation of the castle and its fixtures and fittings. The project advanced the institute's objectives of preserving and promoting Chopin's legacy.
" The modern Fryderyk Chopin Museum, representing an integral part of the Royal Way, significantly increases Warsaw’s attractiveness to tourists. By virtue of its location, it has become an obligatory stopping point on programmes of excursions for both Polish and foreign tourists. The building is regarded as a place of great significance for researchers into the life and oeuvre of the composer, as well as for artists and music lovers. "
As well as restoring the Ostrogski Castle and its ornaments, mouldings, ceilings and furnishings, the project opened up abandoned and deteriorating areas of the basement to provide extra exhibition space and the new concert hall.
Collections related to Chopin’s life and work were secured and made available to the public. In addition, the museum became one of the first in Poland to use new technologies and electronics for an exhibition – while emphasising the value of the exhibits.
An enhanced cultural offer
A key aim of the project was to increase the attractiveness of Warsaw’s cultural and tourist offer, of which the Royal Way – a series of streets with a number of historic landmarks – is a vital part. It did this partly by protecting the historic structure of the Ostrogski Castle and retaining the original atmosphere of its architecturally diverse interior, and partly by turning the building into a modern, multifunctional museum and educational institution adapted to the needs of people with disabilities.
The museum is the only one focusing on Chopin’s life, organised in line with contemporary museological standards. Its task is to awaken interest, especially among young visitors, in the universal and timeless values transmitted by his work.
Inviting visitors to travel back in time, starting from Chopin’s childhood and youth, passing through the years of his crowning achievements and travels around Europe, up to the day of his death, the museum offers a variety of aesthetic experiences and interpretations. The renewed museum established international cooperation with other museums all over the world in many areas, including exhibitions, education, loans and other types of activities, raising awareness of Chopin and Polish culture across Europe.
A centre of musical knowledge
In Poland’s Mazowieckie region, the museum constitutes a centre of knowledge about Chopin, his music, family and social relationships, and cultural life in 19th-century Warsaw. Its impact on the region can be seen in other restoration initiatives at places associated with the composer, such as Chopin’s birthplace and park at Żelazowa Wola, which is a branch of the Chopin Museum in Warsaw; the church of St. John the Baptist and St. Roch in Brochów, where he was baptised; and the palaces in Sanniki, Tułowice and Rościszewo, where he was present as a guest of his friends.
Awakening feelings of a connection with Chopin among local people will open opportunities for social integration, economic initiatives and employment. The project created six jobs and more than a dozen positions for volunteers. The latter group acquainted visitors with Chopin’s life and work, the Romantic era, the museum building and exhibitions, and the activities of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute. The volunteers have helped at recitals and other cultural events in the Ostrogski Palace concert hall.
Finally, another important benefit of the project was that it enabled the museum to play a full part in the events held in 2010 to mark the bicentenary of Chopin’s birth.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for the project “Chopin’s Heritage on the Royal Route” is EUR 20 349 615, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 6 679 654 through the “Infrastructure and Environment” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Culture and cultural heritage”.