Palace history

Sobienie Szlacheckie used to be known as Sobienie Murowane. The first mention of the village dates back to 1415 and describes the “nest” of the Jezierski family. Ludwik Jezierski acquired part of the estate in 1752, and the palace remained in the hands of the family until 1945. The Jezierski family took its name from the village of Jeziory. The most famous member of the family was Jacek Jezierski (1722-1805), a treasurer, sword-bearer, and Castellan of Łuków since 1755. In 1801, he received the title of Galician Count. He served as a member of the Sejm (Polish parliament) from 1758. Took active part in the proceedings of the Four-Year Sejm. He called for implementing economic reforms and ensuring economic development in towns without giving political rights to townsmen. A pioneering figure in the metallurgical industry and a merchant, he accumulated a vast fortune and wanted to become a large-scale stocking manufacturer. Jezierski died in the Otwock Wielki Palace.

In the 1760s, Jacek Jezierski, not yet known to the wide public, inherited the village of Sobienie Szlacheckie, where he had a brick castle erected; he named the village Sobienie Murowane (“Brick Sobienie”). Supposedly, he had King Poniatowski to stay at the palace. As an outstanding politician and entrepreneur, Jezierski quickly became rich. In 1775, he became Castellan of Łuków and came into possession of many villages in the area, but in the end, apart from Sobienie Murowane, he only retained Sobienie Kiełczewskie, Zambrzyków, Radwanków, and part of Śniadków and Szymonowice.

Foreseeing the downfall of Poland, Jezierski tried to prevent it by publishing various political writings and by making speeches in the Sejm and to provincial assemblies. He grew interested in steel manufactories and bought several villages with smithies in the Kielce Region. He also looked with hope at Sobienie, located near the capital. It all happened suddenly, in the early 1780s. For the location of Jeziory, he chose a hill on the Vistula, first mentioned in documents in 1782. That year, he also bought his first smithy in Maleniec near Opoczno and had it populated with settlers from Silesia and Saxony; many of their descendants still have German‑sounding names. Near Jeziory, the castellan ordered the construction of great smithies, which became Poland’s first scythe factory in Sobienie. As reported in the Dziennik Handlowy (Journal of Commerce) in 1786, “the landlord does not hold this factory, but has it run by master craftsmen and buys the scythes they make at 27 groszes apiece and 90 zlotys per a hundred. If he sold each scythe for 1 złoty, he would get a 10-złoty profit per each 90 złotys, which is not at all insubstantial”. The article notes that “our country’s privation is detrimental to such factories”. Jezierski also built a stocking manufactory here, where “he made a profit of over 200 red zlotys on his goats, having ordered that yarn be spun and many beautiful stockings be made”. The factories worked smoothly and made good profits, especially since the production could not satisfy the demand. Jezierski himself observed that Poland was 2 million scythes short at the time. Jezierski’s factories also made steel household appliances for peasants in the area and provided blacksmith services. At the turn of the 19th century, his plants, including 8 fineries in Maleniec, a great furnace in Miedzież and a factory in Sobienie, yielded steel comparable to that from Sweden. They produced scythes, saws, hatchets, files, irons, coffee grinders, combs, axes and tin shovels - all easily sold. The motive behind establishing the scythe factory in Świnków near Miedzież and Sobienie near Warsaw was to prevent the import of sickles and scythes from Austria, Prussia and England, and the resulting outflow of money from the country. The number of people in the castellan’s villages grew considerably.

The palace was constructed in the mid-19th century for the Jezierski family, which continued to own it until the end of World War II. After the war, the palace was badly devastated.

The old classical Jezierski Palace also has neo-Renaissance features. Originally, a single-floor brick manor house stood here. Its present shape, approximately from the mid-19th century, probably dates back to when the estate was inherited by Franciszek Stanisław Ignacy Jezierski. The last owners were Władysław Jezierski and his wife, Zofia Maria née Potocka. Władysław Jezierski died suddenly of a heart condition in Kępa Radwańska, where his cross stands. In 1939, their son Jerzy made it to England and has lived there to the present day. The palace served as a shelter for escapees and the wounded and hosted clandestine classes. On 15 June 1942, the day before the wedding of Countess Jezierska and Cavalry Captain Michał Jaczyński, who took refuge at the palace, the Gestapo took her to the Pawiak interrogation prison, and then to the Szucha prison. She never returned. The estate was then placed under German administration. In 1944, Soviet forces were quartered in the palace for several months. In the 1950s, there was a plan to set up a mansion for President Bierut here. The palace was renovated in 1952. It housed the “Cerata” cooperative, and then the manufacturing and service company Ledrox.

There is a legend connected with the name “Sobienie Murowane”. The legend has it that King John III Sobieski built a palace here, but reportedly not for himself. So, people asked, in an ironic tone, “Not for himself? For whom, then?” (“Sobie nie? A komu?”).

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