Built in the 15th century castle equalled the magnificence of magnate residences from the era. It is one of the most beautiful museums in Poland, the collection includes about 2000 folk instruments.ul. Sowińskiego 2, Szydłowiec (map)
Museum closed until further notice
The museum is housed in a Renaissance castle located on an artificial island, surrounded by a moat. Built in the 15th century by the Szydłowiecki family (founders of the city), the castle equalled the architectural magnificence of magnate residences from the era. Its subsequent owners, the Radziwiłł family, and the last owner Anna Sapieżyna of Zamoyski, enlarged and embellished the castle, making it one of the most beautiful museums in Poland. The Szydłowiecki castle also hosts concerts and jousting tournaments.
The Museum collection includes about 2,000 exhibits, which represent two-thirds of all the folk instruments collected in Polish museums. The permanent exhibition displays about 200 exhibits, from simple leaves, whistle straws and feathers - which any child can make - to sophisticated instruments, requiring expertise and experience from both the maker and the player, such as harmonicas, violins and bagpipes. Parts of the presented instruments are closely or exlusively linked with certain Polish regions such as the bagpipes or 'złóbcok' (a type of violin) from Podhale, the 'mazanki', a devilish violin from Wielkopolska, and the 'Burczybas' from Kashubia. The Museum also displays reconstructed instruments that are not used anymore, such as Lublin 'sukas', hurdy-gurdies (also known as wheel fiddles) and 'oktawkas'. The oldest objects presented are a Kalisz and Mazovian bass from the 18th century and a Tarapata from the 19th century. The exhibition is completed by sound recordings, so visitors can listen to each of the instruments’ unique sounds.
Location: 130 km south of Warsaw.
Tue.-Fri. 7.30 am - 3.30 pm, Sat. 9.30 am - 5.30 pm, Sun. 9 am - 5 pm
regular - 4 PLN, reduced - 2,50 PLN
Saturdays admission free