Hunting Lodge of the Prince Radziwill family in Antonin
A magic place you long to return to...
There are places on earth that are in gods’ good graces, places which attract celebrities and inspire artists. Antonin, situated amidst forests between Ostrów and Ostrzeszów, is one of them. It is a place often visited by admirers of music, culture, lovers of nature, longing for retreat and moments of nostalgia.
The spirit of Prince Radziwill – lover of music, culture and art
Large stretches of forest used to surround the old path. At the fork of roads, where the roads from Upper and Lower Silesia meet, Prince Antoni Radziwill, the owner of the estate decided to build his summer residence. He commissioned the celebrated German architect, Karl Friedrich Schinkel with this task. The larch hunting lodge, completed in 1824, became a place where the Prince and his family could enjoy a lively social and artistic life.
It is worth mentioning that Prince Radziwill was not only the Duke-Governor of the Grand Duchy of Posen (in the Kingdom of Prussia), but also a great lover of art, a graphic artist, a composer, and a cellist. The Duke-Governor’s residence was frequently visited by personages from the world of politics, culture and art. Antoni Radziwill itself the composer of music to Goethe’s “Faust”, enjoyed playing the role of a patron of the arts. For these, and many other reasons, he was a well-known, respected, and highly influential person.
His artistic spirit was sparked when Prince Radziwill invited to his lodge a young, but already acclaimed pianist, Frederic Chopin. The time spent at the Radziwill’s residence was quite varied: preoccupied with music, young Chopin played the piano, gave piano lessons to young Princess Wanda, talked with the host about the complexities of composing, and ..... he composed itself. The Introduction and Polonaise in C-major op. 3 for piano and cello is a piece composed in Antonin. It is also worth mentioning that the Piano Trio op. 8 in G minor was dedicated to Radziwill, who expressed his thanks for the piece in his letter to the composer.
Chopin has been a patron of the place for many years. His music fills the place throughout the year at numerous concerts given by outstanding pianists. The most widely known event organised in the Antonin lodge is the Chopin in the Autumn Colours festival. The lodge boasts a memorial room in which instruments from the artist’s period, pictures, lithographic prints, and a cast of Chopin’s hand can admired.