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There is probably nobody who have not heard of Versailles - the seat of French kings. It is one of the most beautiful monuments of the country at the Seine. Silesia could also boast of a similar structure, if it was not for a sad story ...
Upper Silesian Versailles (the Small Versailles) was formed in the second half of the nineteenth century on the initiative of Count Guido Henckel von Donnesmarcka. For nearly 70 years he was the pride of the park in Swierklaniec. In 1945 the mansion was destroyed by a fire caused by Soviet troops. A beautiful edifice was destroyed almost completely. In 1961 the socialist authorities completed the work by blowing up the remains of the walls. After the old palace there left only a few old photographs and monuments. They are the last relics of the former splendor of the place.
Park in Swierklaniec, despite the loss of the monument, still attracts a large group of walkers. Surrounded by old trees, they can relax from the daily noise. Entering the park, you pass the old guardhouse, once guarding the gate. Going forward, we can enjoy beautiful spaces, at first in front of our eyes appear a fountain surrounded by alleys full of flowers and benches. On the south side of the old palace you can see the Amphitheatre. There shall be held events such as festivals, harvest festivals or Swierklanieckie Choral Meetings.
In the shade of trees, the Cavalier Palace is hidden - once it was the house where the Count welcomed important guests. Today it is a hotel with a restaurant and a pizza house, which hosted, among others Hanka Bielicka, Krzysztof Krawczyk and Boguslaw Woloszanski. In the Cavalier Palace the movie "Przedwiosnie" by Filip Bajon, and several episodes of "Sensations of the twentieth century" were produced.
Going deeper into the park we see a beautiful lake. On Sunday afternoons you can find here many walkers and lovers of bicycles or roller skates. Because of the crowds you can go there during a week, when there is less traffic. While walking it is also necessary to go to the shaft of the nearby Swierklanieckie Lake to see the beautiful panorama and get warmer in the sun.
In the northern part of the park you can find a mini zoo, located in the old stables. In the park there is also a small church, where on every Sunday Masses are held. It's a unique place in Silesia which impresses with its fauna, flora and incredible energy. In your free time, enjoy this oasis of peace, located in the heart of the Upper Silesian tumult.
Upper Silesian Versailles was built by Guido
Henckel von Donnesmarcka for his wife - Marquise Blanche de Paiva. She was
considered as one of the most enlightened women of her time. In the castle
there were 34 chambers, of which 8 were decorated according to the wishes of
the swierklaniecka Lady - each in a different style.
According to the legend, in the property grounds, treasures of Donnesmarck family are hidden.