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Temporary exhibition

Wooden Architecture Świdermajer Style

Admission free

Świdermajer villas in Otwock, Poland: Image: Tomasz Brzostek/Bardzo Ladnie Foundation

The National Museum of Ireland - Country Life is delighted to host an exhibition about the unique 19th century Świdermajer wooden villas of Otwock, Poland.

Curated by Bardzo Ladnie Foundation, the exhibition is on display as part of a nationwide campaign called Integration Through Culture. It consists of photographs of Świdermajer villas by Tomasz Brzostek and information panels about the style. 

Świdermajer Style is unique to the area of Otwock - a summer destination on the outskirts of Warsaw. The style is named after Świder - a picturesque river that flows through the region. Characteristic, light wooden constructions with rich ornamental detail fit perfectly into the landscape of forested banks and sandy beaches.
The story of Świdermajer buildings starts with famous painter and illustrator Elwiro Michał Andriolli who in 1880 bought 202 hectares of land on the banks of the River Świder. He designed and built 14 wooden houses - one for himself and the rest as rentals for summer visitors. The specific style of his buildings inspired others when building their summer villas and sanatoriums in the area, which in the meantime had became a popular summer destination.
The place was favoured by notables from the arts and science community in Warsaw. Many artists, writers or doctors had their summer houses in the area as well as leaders of different religions.

Otwock was especially popular among the Jewish population and before World War II, at least a few Hasidic leaders had lived there permanently.
The architecture of these wooden villas, called Świdermajery by locals, is one of a kind and is treated as a seperate style by many historians and architects. In fact it is a very skilful mixture of three different styles: a local Masovian style, the Swiss Alps chalets, and the cottages of Tsarist Russia. This surprising combination makes these buildings one of the most important elements of the region's heritage.
Integration through Culture is an educational campaign consisting of a series of exhibitions in public spaces, webinars with experts, and education activities on social media. The main goal is to use selected motifs of Polish culture as starting points for conversation and reflection.


Wooden Architecture Świdermajer Style is located at:
Turlough Park,
Co. Mayo
F23 HY31

An exhibition about the unique Świdermajer Style architecture from the Polish town of Otwock. This exhibition is part of the Integration through Culture educational campaign, which uses selected motifs of Polish culture as starting points for conversation and reflection.


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Country Life

Turlough Park,
Co. Mayo,
F23 HY31

+353 94 903 1755