Zakopane

The Red Manor
A villa in the highlander style, built in 1902 by Wojciech Roj, which served as a pension, initially under the name of “Władysławka”. Artur Rubinstein stayed there in 1904 and this is when he made friends with Karol Szymanowski. In 1907 the name of the villa was changed to the “Red Manor”. In 1930, having decided to settle in Zakopane, Szymanowski moved there and stayed in a small cottage (which does not exist anymore) in the villa garden. Works he composed there include Veni Creator op. 57.

The Obrochtas’ House
At 9 Małe Żywczańskie Street stands a highlander’s house occupied in the inter-war period by Jan Obrochta – son of the famous musician Bartuś Obrochta. This is where Karol Szymanowski used to come with his friends to listen to highlanders’ music played by the Obrochta family band. Later the house became a home of Jan Obrochta’s son-in-law – the famous raconteur Adam Pach.

The Rojs’ House
The house at 11A Do Rojów Street, on the Cicha Woda stream, was the venue for the famous wedding of the highlander Helena Gąsienica-Roj and the Warsaw writer Mieczysław Kozłowski, known as Jerzy Mieczysław Rytard. Karol Szymanowski was the best man at the wedding during which he got to know the music and dances that would later become the basis of Harnasie. Helena-Roj Rytard was the author of the main themes for the ballet.

Museum of the Tatra Mountains
Established in 1888 and run in the inter-war period by Juliusz Zborowski, the Museum of the Tatra Mountains was (and still is) the main repository of knowledge of old customs from the Podhale region, as well as highlanders’ music, dance and art. Karol Szymanowski was a friend of Zborowski’s and would often visit him; the composer was also a connoisseur of collections kept at the Museum.

Gąsienica Family Chapel – Old Cemetery
After Szymanowski’s death many people thought that his heart should be placed alongside Chopin’s heart in Warsaw’s Church of the Holy Cross. Then another proposal was made (advocated mainly by the director of the Museum of the Tatra Mountains, Juliusz Zborowski, and other Szymanowski’s friends from Zakopane) to place the urn with Szymanowski’s heart in the wall of Zakopane’s oldest church – the Gąsienica Family Chapel in Kościeliska Street. Nothing came of it before the outbreak of WWII and during the Warsaw Uprising Szymanowski’s heart burnt down in the fire that was destroying the dying capital. Efforts are now being made to put up a commemorative plaque honouring Karol Szymanowski at the Old Cemetery in Zakopane.

Atma
The building which since 1976 has housed Karol Szymanowski’s museum (a branch of the National Museum in Cracow) is a 19th century pension which acquired its present form and name in 1926. Karol Szymanowski rented the house from Helena Obrochta and lived there between 1930 and 1935. It was there that he composed his last works, including Kurpie songs for voice and piano op. 58, Litany to the Virgin Mary for soprano, female chorus and orchestra op. 59, Fourth Symphonie Concertante for piano and orchestra op. 60, Second Concerto for violin and orchestra op. 61 and the last Two Mazurkas for piano op. 62, and wrote the instrumentation for the last tableau of Harnasieop. 55.

Limba
An early 20th century villa on a high embankment on the Młyniska stream (almost directly opposite “Atma”) in which Karol Szymanowski stayed between 1922 and 1927, renting a room on the ground floor from the owner, Józef Roj-Bukowian. This is where he composed a large part of the opera King Roger op. 46 and the cycle of 20 Mazurkas for piano op. 50, which a sometimes referred to as “Podhale mazurkas”. It was also here that he began to work on the ballet Harnasie op. 55.

Nosal
A pension in a villa facing the mountain of the same name. The building, which has not survived, stood on the site occupied today by the Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Hospital of the Jagiellonian University’s Medical College. Witkacy lived there with his mother before WWI and Karol Szymanowski spent with them Christmas and New Year in 1913/1914.

Stamary
A hotel-pension in Marszałkowska Street (today Kościuszko Street), which led from the railway station to Krupówki, built in 1902 by Maria Budziszewska. Karol Szymanowski stayed there for a few days in 1922 during his first visit to Zakopane after WWI. The noise and the impossibility of working in peace soon made him move to the pension in the “Limba” villa.

Trzaska – Giewont – Gazda
The intersection of Krupówki and Kościuszko Streets is regarded as the central point of Zakopane. The site where today stands the “Orbis-Giewont” hotel was occupied in the inter-war period by Franciszek Trzaska’s famous restaurant which Karol Szymanowski frequented. From 1932 the first floor hosted the Zakopane Club, founded by Tadeusz Koniewicz, which organised lectures, exhibitions and bridge evenings, in which Szymanowski took part. Opposite the building, on the site of today’s “Gromada” hotel, may have stood a house used as a surgery by Doctor Kazimierz Kruszyński whose sister-in-law, Anna Szymanowska is said to have stayed at his apartment with her children during the future composer’s purported first visit to Zakopane.