Antonin: Prince Radziwill Hunting Palace

Antonin: Prince Radziwill Hunting Palace

In the first half of the 19th century, the owner of the estate in Antonin (a village situated in the present Wielkopolska province, about 10 km south of Ostrów Wielkopolski), Prince Antoni Henryk Radziwill of the Trąby coat of arms decided to build a summer residence.

In 1824 a classicist palace was built, in which the prince and his entire family led an animated social and artistic life. The hunter's residence visited important personalities from the world of politics and art. The Radziwill Palace was designed in hunting style by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The wooden structure on the foundation of the turf ore filled the brick walls, which were covered with larch beams, which gave the impression of a completely wooden structure. Inside the building a huge Doric column was erected as a fireplace with two fireplaces. The architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel surrounded the palace by an English-style landscaping park, perfectly encircling the forest surroundings. At the palace begins the area of the nature reserve "Wydymacz", which is administratively part of the Antonin Forest District.

In the years 1827 - 1829 Frederic Chopin visited the residence of Prince Antoni Radziwill several times in the summer. Chopin wrote about his stay in Antonin in a letter to a friend:
I received your last letter […] at Radziwiłł's residence in Antonin. I was there for a week, and you’ll not believe how well I felt there. I returned by the last mail-coach and barely excused myself from extending my stay. As for my own person and passing amusement, I would have stayed there until I was chased away, but my affairs, and my Concerto in particular [the first, in F minor], not yet finished, and impatiently awaiting the completion of its finale, compelled me to leave that paradise.

As Mieczyslaw Tomaszewski writes: In Antonin, Chopin hunted in the morning, gave lessons to Lady Wanda and posed for Lady Eliza in the afternoon, then listened to excerpts from the music that his host, Prince Antoni Radziwiłł, had composed to Faust, and in the evening showed off his skills as a pianist and duetted with the cellist prince.

In Antonin Frederic Chopin composed Polonaise in C major Op. 3 for piano and cello. Chopin also dedicated his Piano Trio in G minor op. 8 to Prince Antoni Radziwill. For the composition the Prince thanked in a later letter to Frederic Chopin:

Antonin, November 4, 1829

My dear Chopin, I admit with great gratitude the dedication of the Trio of your composition, which you are willing to dedicate me. Please, may you even accelerate its printing, so that I have the pleasure of playing it with you during your stay in Poznan on the way to Berlin. Accept, dear Mr. Chopin, reassurance of the sincere interest that your talent has raised in me, as well as my high respect for him. Antoni Fr. Radziwill.

Frederic Chopin's stay in Antonin resembles a music parlor with period instruments, paintings and lithographs, and a composer's hand held in the Palace.
Frederic Chopin's music resounds in the Hunters' Palace in Antonin during numerous concerts by famous pianists and the annual Festival „Chopin in Autumn Colors”.

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