Śmiełów is a locality situated in County of Jarocin, ca. 5 km north of Żerków.
Śmiełów first appears in 14th-century documentary accounts. As of 1784, the estate was purchased by Andrzej Ostrorog Gorzeński, municipal regent, royal chamberlain and chairman of the civil tribunal at the Poznań Department in the time of the Duchy of Warsaw. It was on his initiative that a new splendid palace complex was set up in the late 1790s. This classicist residence was surrounded by a landscape park and farm buildings in the period’s style.
The Śmiełów estate was inherited in 1821 by Andrzej’s son Hieronim, officer of the Napoleonic army. On his invitation, Adam Mickiewicz was entertained at Śmiełów for quite a long time in 1831. And it was there that he met Konstancja Łubieńska. Tradition has it that the locals, their customs, as well as local buildings and landscapes provided inspiration to certain scenes of his Polish national epic, Pan Tadeusz [‘Master Thaddaeus’].
1886 saw the sale of the indebted and auctioned estate to Franciszek Chełkowski: the buy that protected Śmiełów against takeover by the Colonisation Commission. The property was passed on in 1898 to Józef Chełkowski; in his time, Śmiełów was visited by representatives of political, scientific and cultural life, incl. Henryk Sienkiewicz, Ignacy Paderewski, Ludomir Różycki, Wojciech Kossak, Cardinal Edmund Dalbor, General Stanisław Taczak, Gen. Józef Haller, and others. The estate remained in the Chełkowski family’s hands until 1939 The Śmiełów palace was erected in w 1797 and situated on a height, with a broad view on the Lutynia valley and a range of Żerków hills. The excellent-class palace was designed by the respected Warsaw architect Stanisław Zawadzki; it is owing to him that the building owes its quasi-C-shaped form with a centrally positioned main body, covered with a tall hip roof. The side-annex pavilions (one-storey, with residential lofts hidden within tall broken roofs) are connected with the body through quarter-circular one-level galleries.
The palace’s main body is founded upon a rectangular plan. The front elevation’s central section displays a monumental four-pillar portico, preceding the main entrance. The interior features polychromes by Antoni and Franciszek Smuglewicz, as well as a stuccowork decoration made by Michał Ceptowski.
A manorial farm with farm buildings, also designed by Stanisław Zawadzki, used to form an integral part of the complex. Today, the palace is home to Adam Mickiewicz Museum, a branch of the National Museum of Poznań.
The Adam Mickiewicz Museum in Śmiełów [Muzeum Adama Mickiewicza w Śmiełowie]
63-210 Żerków, Poland
Tel. +48 62 740 31 64