The Castle

The Castle in Gołuchów

The division of National Museum in Poznań

2 Działyńskich Street

63-322 Gołuchów

Tel. + 48 62 7615 094



The history of the castle towering above the Trzemna River is over 400 years old. Its todays shape is an effect of three building stages.

The castle was built around 1560 by RafałLeszczyński, as a renaissance fortified manor house. RafałLeszczyński, whose coat of arms was Wieniawa, was a member of significant Polish lineage.

Second building stage was connected with Rafał’s son – WacławLeszczyński.  He inherited Gołuchów in 1592 and at the beginning of 19th century transformed the castle into impressive magnate residence. Today’s main corps of the castle with arcade, although it is hidden in the French binding, it is a piece of work of WacławLeszczyński. 

The brilliance of Leszczyńskis residence in Gołuchów ended with the decay of 17th century. The castle owners sold all the Gołuchów’s goods and among them the castle, which for over 150 years was abandoned. The Castle’s following owners – among themSłuszkowie, Swinarscy, Chlebowscy, Suchorzewscy – lived outside the Gołuchów. Lack of proper care leaded to the situation that in the middle of 19thcentury, the magnificent castle changed into ruin.

In 1853 TytusDziałyński – the owner of Kórnik goods, bought Gołuchów with its goods for his only son Jan. In 1857 Jan got married IzabellaCzartoryska, the duke Adam Jerzy Czartoryski’s daughter, who was also the leader of the Lambert Hotel emigrant association in France. Since they have married, Gołuchów became their residency.

Young couple enjoyed Gołuchów not for a long time. Jan Działyński was sentenced to death by Prussia authorities for his participation in the January Uprising in 1863 and his goods were overwhelmed by the Prussia government. For several years he lived abroad, mainly in France. During this time he has gathered impressive collection of Greek vases, which after his comingback to the country he gifted, together with the castle, to his wife Izabella on her absolute possession. In this way he repaid the debt which he had made before the January Uprising joining.

Izabella who was firstly rather reluctant to Gołuchów, over time she become its great lover, calling Gołuchów, her “terrestrial paradise”. In 1872 both Izabella and Jan started the castle renovation thereby we can admire an impressive building today.  They brought marvelous artists from France. Among them were an architect Maurycy August Ouradou, sculpture Karol Biberon and painter LudwikBreugnot.

Izabella wanted to respect the first owner of the renaissance polish castle, the Leszczyńskis Family. All the inside and outside details from the Leszczyński’s time were preserved, as well as the coat of arm of Leszczyńskis Family - “Wieniawa’ was inbuilt in the main number of castle fire places. The whole building was designed in the French renaissance, which archer were famous royal  castles upon Loire.

Gołuchów castle is one of the few buildings in Poland which is said that it had been ”dressed up” in French costume. Numerous decoration which visitors can admire on the courtyard are original renaissance details, which were bought by Działyńska in French and Italian antique shops. Outside the castle you can find copies of pieces of well – known renaissance buildings from Southern Europe.

The main aim of IzabellaDziałyńska nee Czartoryska was creating the museum in the castle. Thanks to Izabella’s collection, the castle in Gołuchów, next to the Czartoryskis Museum in Krakow (which was founded by Izabella’s brother – Władysław) became one of the best known Polish museums up to II World War.

Izabella died in France, in March 1899, but she was buried in the chapel in the park Gołuchów, which was specially prepared for her. Six years before her death she established  the Ordinance Act of Gołuchów Princes. In it she guaranteed the general availability of her collection as well as its indivisibility. This kind of private museum worked incessantly  up to September 1939.

II World War was a tragedy to IzabellaDziałyńska nee Czartoryska’s collection. It was robbed by the Nazis, many exhibits were destroyed, numerous were lost. Those which had survived came back to Poland in 1956 from the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The castle was taken over by the National Museum in Poznań in 1951.


On the ground floor visitors can watched the Antique Vases Room where at present there are only 56 out of 259 exhibits presented. They had been gathered by Izabella and Jan Działyński. Among them there are Egyptian  dishes as well as this from Cartagena and Gallia. Moreover in the room there is  monumental, late renaissance fire place and richly sculptured table from 19th century from the collection of baroque altar sculpture. After Izabella’s death it was used as a catafalque for several months.

Antiquity Room is presently fulfilled with antique culture relics from the collection form National Museum in Poznań. Among them there are marble torsos looked up to antique sculpture as well as paintings of Italian renaissance painters. Dutch Margaret Bedroom – was originally prepared for Dutch Margaret – Izabella’s sister in law, during her stay in Gołuchów. At present we can admire the four-poster bed as well as posters connected with Leszczyńskis Family. In the room there are also valuable paintings of Italian school painters from 16th and 17th century, hutch desk encrusted with ivory and a fire place made of sandstone at the beginning of 17th century. Gothic rooms – these are three rooms, where gothic masterpieces were gathered. The sculpture presenting St. Ursula is especially worth seeing, which was made in Utrecht at the beginning of 16th century – it was one of the first objects bought by Izabella in Paris. The stairs case  - so called great castle’s stairs – is the great example of including history into the craft art at the end of 19th century.

On the first floor you can visit the Library where you can find valuable collection of manuscripts and old prints from 16th – 18th century, as well as antiquarian catalogues from 19th century.  In the Polish Portrait Room visitors can admire among all members of Czartoryskis Family portraits as well as Anna Chlebowska nee Swinarska portrait – one of the Gołuchów’s owner from 18th century. In the Bastille Room, Chinese and Japanese vases are exposed. In the Royal Room there is a royal bedroom decorated with a set of valuable tapestries. Today, this room is decorated in rather modest style. The worth –seeing element is the beam with the paintings of polish kings profiles. Salon is decorated with masterpieces of French paintings from 17th and 18th century. On the door which lead to the cloister you can watch sculptures presenting scenes from Old Testament: “Adam’s Creating”, “Eve’s Creating”, “Original Sin”, “Paradise Banishment”. Visitors can also admire porcelain from Delphi with its characteristic white and navy blue colors, similar to Chinese porcelain. In the Table Room the dominant element is the Polish King Stanisław August Poniatowski’s portrait, painted by Marcelo Baccarelli. In the room called Sideboard, which names came from Leszczynskis time, there is a great renaissance Italian fire place from 16th century and above the door there is a wooden wedding platemade around 1540 in Germany.

Polish Room in the undergroundpart of the Castle – the exposition here coming back to tradition of Polish Room which was organized by IzabellaDziałyńska nee Czartoryska.  Above the fire place there is a portrait of the duke Adam Jerzy Czartoryski (1770-1861), Izabella’s father, portraits of Jan kantyDziałyński (1829-1880) and IzabellaDziałyńska nee Czartoryska (1830-1899). There you can also find portraits of last Gołuchów owners: Adam ludwikCzartoryski (1872-1937) and his wife Maria LudwikaCzartoryska nee Krasińska (1883-1958). In the Museum Room which was designed as the Dining Room in the Chaumont castle, Izabella exposed artistic craft collection: enamels, French and Italian ceramics, Venice glass and silvers. Today, the dominat element of the room is a monumental fire place. Walls are covered with tapestry presenting battles of Punic Wars.