Żelazowa Wola – the birthplace of Frederic Chopin, and… one of the most beautiful parks in Poland

Whether you love classical music and Frederic Chopin compositions or not, the Żelazowa Wola village is the must on your “to visit list” in Poland.  And it is because of the most beautiful park that surrounds the birthplace and the Museum of Frederic Chopin. If you live in Warsaw – it’s just 55 km or Łódź – 100 km. And if you don’t live in the center of Poland, you can combine a trip to Chopin’s birthplace with a weekend visit to Warsaw.

Zelazowa Wola, Birthplace of Frederic Chopin, park, Utrata river

Frederic Chopin (his nickname was “Frycek”) was born in Żelazowa Wola in 1810. At that time it was a noble mention of the Skarbek family. Chopin’s mother – Justyna – was their poor relative and a housekeeper and his father – Nicolas, an immigrant from France – was tutoring their children.

Zelazowa Wola, Birthplace of Frederic Chopin, park, museum

Nicolas Chopin was French, he moved to Poland when he was 16 years old with a Polish aristocratic family he had been working for back in France. So some people wonder if Frederic Chopin with a French father, French family name and last years in Paris, is of Polish nationality or French? Well, the good enough answer is that he was a great pianist and composer of the Romantic period. But let me warn you – this is a question you do NOT ask in Poland;) Chopin is the most precious Polish treasure and heritage. It’s a sacrilege to claim otherwise. You will hear it as soon as your airplane lands in Warsaw and the flight attendant welcomes you to “Frederic Chopin Airport”.

Zelazowa Wola, Birthplace of Frederic Chopin, park, Utrata river

The Chopin family lived in a poor servant annex, with no wooden floors. When Frycek was 6 months old they moved to Warsaw for good, and return to Żelazowa Wola only for summer breaks or Christmas. So they didn’t spend there much time. However, Żelazowa Wola is the place where young Chopin used to play music and gave his very first piano concerts (during summer time the piano was in the garden).

Zelazowa Wola, Birthplace of Frederic Chopin, park, historic piano

And here comes the most fabulous and delightful park. In Poland, there are for sure bigger parks, but the one in Żelazowa Wola seems just beautiful and perfect. It is not so huge, you can easily walk around with small kids.

Zelazowa Wola, Birthplace of Frederic Chopin, park, kids playing in park

The park was developed in 1932-1939 but it was renovated for the 2010 Chopin Year Celebrations (200th birth anniversary). It has new paths, benches, bridges (the Utrata river flows through the park), ponds, and pergolas – everything very elegant and modern, but modern in a good way – that brings comfort and is visually unobtrusive.

Zelazowa Wola, Birthplace of Frederic Chopin, park

Also, this is not a regular park – everywhere you can hear Chopin’s music, played quietly from BOSE speakers hidden all over the park in bushes, grass or ivy. With bigger kids, you can just seat, relax and listen to music.

Zelazowa Wola, Birthplace of Frederic Chopin, park, Bose speakers

Kids will love to walk around and discover new paths. The park is not monotonous at all – kids will love to play there.

Zelazowa Wola, Birthplace of Frederic Chopin, park

As a result of the 2010 renovation works, there were built two stone and glass pavilions. Now you enter the park through the first pavilion which hosts a ticket office, a gift shop, toilets, small exhibition area, you can rent the audio guides available in 7 languages. The second pavilion hosts a casual restaurant.

Zelazowa Wola, Birthplace of Frederic Chopin, park, restaurant

How to get there? What are the business hours? Click here to learn our tips!

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Day Trips From Warsaw