Palace complex, Zamość
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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An important constituent part of the urban layout of the Renaissance “ideal town” designed by B. Morando towards the end of the 16th century. The complex started its life as a castle of the chancellor J. Zamoyski and was subsequently transformed into a Baroque residence during the mid-18th century, with further alterations performed during the 19th century. As centuries went by, many eminent architects and engineers have left their mark on the overall design and appearance of the palace.


Initially, the site of the current palace was occupied by a castle erected by Jan Zamoyski, intended to supplement the ideal, fortified town; today, all that remains of this castle are fragments of the walls that were incorporated into the structure of the palace. Our knowledge about the construction of a new residence in Skokówka village, subsequently incorporated into the nascent town, stems from the contracts and other correspondence between Jan Zamoyski and the renowned architect Bernardo Morando. The decision on the construction of the castle was taken by Jan Zamoyski in 1578, with the construction process itself taking place in years 1579-1587. The original castle stood on a separate plot of land shaped as a regular rectangle, its dimensions being 116 x 200 metres; the castle was surrounded by a wall with four corner roundels and a gate that faced the town beyond. The building was designed on a rectangular floor plan, its dimensions being approximately 16 x 30 metres; following its extension towards the south in years 1581-87, it attained its final shape of an elongated rectangle (18.5 x 55.55 metres). The building was a two-storey, two-bay structure made of brick and limestone. The dominant feature of the castle was a quadrangular tower taking the form of a belvedere (otherwise known as the “gloriette”) which featured an observation deck on top. The front façade followed a fourteen-axis design with a four-axial top section, its large, square windows being arranged in an irregular fashion. The building was covered by a hip roof, with the tower being adorned with a decorative roof parapet. Two flights of monumental, broad stone steps with a two-storey, four-bay arcaded loggia adjoined the eastern façade, leading up to the representational first floor (piano nobile) of the palace. The ground floor was accessible by means of two entrances positioned on the outermost axes of the arcade. The ground floor rooms followed a two-bay layout and featured groin vaults or barrel vaults with lunettes. At a distance of 27.5 metres away from the main castle building stood two pavilions (a residential pavilion and a kitchen pavilion) designed on a rectangular floor plan (14.3 x 23.3 metres); both were two-storey structures which followed a two-bay interior layout. The current appearance of the palace and its surroundings is the result of numerous construction and alteration works. In 1685, the first major series of works began, the general idea being to transform the castle into a lavish palace designed in the Baroque style; in years 1689-90 the palace received an additional storey designed by J. M. Link, while in years 1747-52 the entire palace was redesigned by J. de Kawe and J. A. Bem. The alterations performed at this stage included lowering the tower to the third storey level and the removal of the decorative roof parapets; in addition, two pavilions and outbuildings were added towards the east, while towards the west another addition in the form of arcaded galleries was made. A rear outbuilding was also added as a result of the merger and upward extension of two older structures (pavilions). A carriage house was erected in years 1769-72, while in 1793 the external stairs were demolished. Years 1806-1809 saw the modernisation of the palace, which received a new, Classicist appearance; the interiors were refurbished after 1831, while in the 1870s a second storey was added and the gallery arcades were bricked up. Finally, in 1975 both the palace and the pavilions underwent a comprehensive restoration. Shortly after the departure of the Zamoyski family in the early 19th century, the palace and the accompanying buildings came under military command and were used as storage facilities and army barracks. During the interwar period, the complex served the justice department, while during World War II it was used as a hospital. From 1950 onwards, the complex was once again adapted for use by the judiciary. From 1918 towards the end of the 20th century, the northern outbuilding served as a printing house, while the back outbuilding and the galleries were converted into apartment buildings after 1918. The former carriage house became a boarding house and a tailor’s workshop.


The palace complex is located in the western part of the Old Town, on the east-west axis thereof. The open complex of buildings includes the palace, the back outbuilding, two rear galleries, the southern and northern pavilions as well as the northern and southern outbuildings and the former carriage house.

The palace is located at the very centre of the complex; having undergone numerous alteration and extension works over the ages, the palace ultimately attained its current, cuboid form. It is a three-storey building with a basement, covered by a hip roof. The palace was designed on a rectangular floor plan, with a three-storey annex on an L-shaped plan adjoining it to the west. The front (eastern) façade follows a symmetrical, 14-axis layout, while the western one is an asymmetrical, 12-axis design. The two remaining façades are likewise asymmetrical and follow a three-axial layout. The façade decorations are rather restrained, consisting of a modest plinth, a profiled crowning cornice and pilasters with stone bases at the corners. The two front entrances are framed by decorative portals, with corbelled benches below the ground floor windows. The first floor windows are adorned with cornices positioned directly above the window openings. The former tower which used to rise on the central axis of the building can still be easily discerned today. The interior follows a two-bay layout, with the individual storeys accessible by means of two staircases that flank the former main entrance located on the axis of the palace. The surviving fixtures and fittings include five original stoves, all of which have been substantially modified over the years.

The back building stands in parallel to the palace on the western side thereof and is connected to the main palace building by means of two galleries. It was designed on an elongated rectangular floor plan and features an irregular, two-bay interior layout. It is a two-storey building with basement under parts of the structure, covered by a low, four-sloped roof. The façades are once again rather austere in appearance, with pilasters adorning the corners and a modest cornice at the top and additional cornices running beneath the individual windows. The façades are asymmetrical in design, with the eastern, western and side (southern and northern) façades following a 14-, 15- and 3-axial layout respectively.

The galleries are positioned perpendicularly towards the western side of the palace, forming a connection between the palace and the back building and creating a quadrangular, closed inner courtyard in the process. Both galleries were designed on an elongated rectangular floor plan. They are two-storey structures following a single-bay layout with an arched gateway on the middle axis; both buildings are covered with mono-pitched roofs. The distinguishing features of the galleries are the bricked-up arcades supported by rectangular pillars which project slightly ahead of the walls. The sole decorative flourishes present on the façades of the galleries are the cornices. The ground floor rooms feature cross-barrel vaults, with flat ceilings being used for the upper storeys.

The southern pavilion adjoins the southern façade of the palace, with the space between the palace itself and the pavilion being filled by a connecting section with a broad passage topped with a basket-handle arch taking up the entire ground-floor level thereof. The southern outbuilding adjoins the pavilion to the east. The outbuilding is a two-storey building with a gable roof, designed on a rectangular floor plan and featuring two annexes to the south. The annexes are both single-storey structures, covered with a shed roof and a three-sloped roof respectively. The interiors follow a two-bay layout; the ground floor level is accessible through the annex, while the first floor can be accessed through the connecting section from the palace. The eastern and western façades both follow a symmetrical, five-axial layout, with the northern façade being a two-axial, asymmetrical design. All façades are adorned with crowning cornices, blind windows and decorative panels, while the windows also feature decorative surrounds with label stops. The ground floor rooms feature original crown mouldings adorned with acanthus leaves, while the former Orthodox chapel on the first floor features an elaborate rosette in the centre of the ceiling.

The northern pavilion adjoins the northern façade of the palace, with a similar connecting arrangement as in the case of the southern pavilion. It is a two-storey building with a gable roof, designed on a rectangular floor plan and featuring a two-storey northern annex with a staircase. The interior layout is comprised of two bays. The eastern and western façades are both symmetrical, five-axial designs, while the southern façade is asymmetrical and follows a three-axial layout; the overall appearance of this building mirrors that of the southern pavilion. Fragments of trompe l’œil wall paintings have survived on the ground floor of the building.

The northern and southern outbuildings, connected with the southern and northern pavilions, form the southern and northern arms of the horseshoe-shaped complex. They are both single-storey buildings designed on an elongated rectangular floor plan, covered with gable roofs. Each of them features a pair of two-storey pavilions designed on a square floor plan covered with tented roofs. One of these pavilions is positioned at the end of each outbuildings, while the second one intersects it halfway through, with the walls of the pavilions projecting slightly ahead of the walls of the outbuildings themselves. Both of the middle pavilions feature a covered passage which leads across each building. The façades of both outbuildings are almost totally devoid of any decorations, with the sole stylistic flourishes being the cornices and lesenes. The front façades overlooking the courtyard follow a 19-axis, asymmetrical design, while the eastern façades are symmetrical in appearance, each of them featuring three axes in total. The interiors mostly follow a two-bay layout.

The former carriage house - which also saw use as a stables and riding fall - is a single-storey L-shaped building following a two-bay interior layout, its shorter side abutting the southern outbuilding. The carriage house is covered by a gable roof, with the section adjoining the outbuilding featuring a shed roof. The façades of the former carriage house are asymmetrical in appearance, their corners adorned with rusticated pilasters. Other decorative flourishes include the crowning cornice and the smaller cornices which run underneath the individual windows.

Limited access to the historic building.

compiled by Ewa Prusicka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 08-11-2014.


  • Czterysta lat Zamościa, J. Kowalczyk (ed.), Wrocław-Łódź 1983
  • Herbst S., Zamość, Warsaw 1954
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, compiled by J.Z. Łoziński, J.A. Miłobędzki, B. Wolff, typescript - Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw 1953
  • Record sheets, Palace and park complex (..) Zamość, compiled by J. Studziński 1997, Archive of the Regional Office for the Protection of Historical Monuments in Lublin, Zamość Branch; Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw.
  • Kędziora A., Dawna architektura i budownictwo Zamościa, Zamość 1990
  • Kędziora A., Encyklopedia miasta Zamościa, Chełm 2000.
  • Klimek A., Rezydencja Jana Zamoyskiego w Zamościu, Kwartalnik Architektury i Urbanistyki, 1980, vol. 25, pp. 107-114.
  • Sawa-Sroczyńska, Pałac w Zamościu, “Zamojski Kwartalnik Kulturalny”, 1998, No. 1/15.
  • Zarębska T., Zamość - miasto idealne i jego realizacja, /in:/ Zamość miasto idealne, J. Kowalczyk (ed.), Lublin 1980
  • Zin W., Kadłuczka A., Pawlicki M. 1982, Z badań nad najstarszymi dziejami pałacu zamojskiego, “Teka Komisji Urbanistyki i Architektury”, vol. XVI, pp. 215-226.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: 1579-1587
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Akademicka , Zamość
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district Zamość, commune Zamość
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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