Łazy Palace: History of the Property
The origins of the village of Łazy date back to at least 1451, the first recorded reference to the locale. Etymologically, the word “łazy” indicates an opening in a forest that had been cleared by burning trees and underbrush. While much of the countryside to the west, south, and east of the village is now farmland, the area’s origins as a dense forest can still be seen in the Kampinos National Park, lying just north of Łazy, and in the wooded nature of the Łazy estate itself.
Establishment of the Łazy estate
The estate that now houses Łazy Palace had come into existence by the 18th century, when it was the property of Onufry Bromirski (1740-1834) of the Pobóg coat of arms, a nobleman who served as the starosta of Płock and Płońsk, who owned much property in the city of Sierpc, and who was a recipient of Poland’s two highest honors, the Order of the White Eagle and the Order of St. Stanisław.
It was Bromirski who built the one-story wooden structure that served as the manor house during the early years of the Łazy estate; that building would later be significantly expanded into a two-story brick palace in the neo-baroque style. For the most part, the estate in Łazy offered a bucolic refuge from the bustle of Warsaw – although the area saw its own share of tumult over the years; for example, in November of 1806, Napoleon’s army battled Russian and Austrian forces across the countryside of Sochaczew county, in which Łazy was located.
Łazy in the era of Chopin
Łazy’s first patriarch, Bromirski, was a patron and promoter of the arts who was well known for the lively dinners for writers and artists that he hosted each Sunday. His family also enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the family of composer and pianist Fryderyk Chopin. As the son of a Skarbek, Onufry Bromirski was a first cousin of Kacper Skarbek, on whose estate in the neighboring village of Żelazowa Wola Chopin’s parents worked and in whose manor house Fryderyk Chopin was born in 1810. Onufry’s first cousin once removed, Fryderyk Skarbek, was also Fryderyk Chopin’s godfather and musical patron. Moreover, Bromirski may also have been a distant relative of Chopin’s mother Justyna, whose family had long lived on and helped manage the Skarbeks’ properties. After Fryderyk Chopin moved to Warsaw, members of the Bromirski family periodically dropped in to visit him, as the composer alludes to in his private correspondence. You can read more about the connection between the occupants of Łazy Palace, the Skarbeks, and the Chopin family here.
From the Bromirski family to the Karnkowski family
The Łazy estate would later pass from the Bromirski family into the hands of the Karnkowski family through Ludwika Bromirska, who, after the death of her first husband Władysław Bromirski, married Gustaw Karnkowski. In late 1914 through early 1915, the countryside in which Łazy is located was subject to intense fighting between German and Russian forces that destroyed many homes and devastated entire towns; however, the Łazy Palace estate emerged intact. Stanisław Karnkowski, who oversaw the estate at that time, expressed his gratitude in a plaque added the base of a statue of Christ located in the estate’s park, whose inscription explained that “For the salvation of Łazy on May 13, 1915, this monument is dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus by Stanisław Karnkowski.”
The gem at the heart of Łazy
In its heyday, the Łazy Palace estate encompassed much of what is now the western portion of Kampinos National Park, extending nearly as far north as Krzywa Góra and including a number of forest villages – among them the village of Bromierzyk, which had been founded by the Bromirski family and included a chapel dedicated to St. Teresa. The Łazy Palace estate that is available for purchase through Castellan now encompasses 4.37 ha of enclosed park land and represents the historical heart of Łazy.