Palace complex in Osiek, Małopolska Voivodeship, Poland, with the main palace being rebuilt in 19th century in Mauritanian style. Sources of pictures: [1,2,3,4,5]
“The village of Osiek was located in the Middle Ages. It belonged to the Duchy of Oświęcim up to the middle of the 15th Century, when it was purchased by Casimir IV Jagiellon as loan collateral.
In the 16th Century, the Branicki family inherited Osiek, first to Wanda of the Szembek family, and later to a son – Hetman Franciszek Xawery Branicki. The village, at that time, was one of the richest estates in the Oświęcim area. In the second half of the 18th Century, there were five granges operating, and the estate also encompassed a brewery, a distillery, an apiary, three taverns, several mills, a paper mill, several dozen fish ponds, and large stretches of forest. At that time the Baranicki family’s palace was made of brick, with two dome-shaped towers, and an Italian garden.
In 1784, Xawery Branicki sold the estate to Baron Karol Wacław Larisch. The Palace in Osiek was later redeveloped in 1835-1839, probably according to the project of Francesco Maria Lanci. The founder of this new palace was Baron Karol Józef Eugeniusz Larisch.
The new building was wholly created in the Mauritanian style, which is exceptional on the scale of the whole country (most frequently this included only elements of gardens, interiors, and pavillions). The outer body is of irregular shape and features details characteristic of this style. But the facade is not the only thing to be admired. The exquisitely-decorated interiors are even more beautiful, and have been perfectly preserved to this day.
Through marriage, in 1867, the Osiek estate passed to Stanisław Dunin-Borkowski, and several dozen years later – after his death – it was sold to Oskar von Rudziński, Prus III coat of arms.
Oskar Rudziński was the founder of the Osiek line of the Rudziński family and initiated the greatest development of Osiek. As an educated agricultural engineer, he implemented the latest solutions in his property. He ameliorated the land, imported – the best – Belgian cattle, built a brewery, two distilleries, two brickyards, and a sawmill. The long-lasting carp breeding which was maintained in the whole vicinity, and run in the traditional way, i.e. based on natural conditions. The Rudziński family introduced modern pond irrigation and fertilisation systems, and also adequate feeding, crossbreeding, and selection regimens. Owing to these actions, carp from Osiek became known and valued. For breeding a new specimen of carp, Edward Rudziński was awarded a gold medal at the Public National Show in Poznań in 1929. Even President Ignacy Mościcki himself came to Osiek, that year to witness the results of the breeding.
The Palace in Osiek housed many illustrious personas. We have already mentioned Ignacy Mościcki, Józef Piłsudski visited the place twice, and also General Józef Haller. The lands were also visited by the water-colour painter Julian Fałat. Prince Adam Stefan Sapieha also frequented this place.
The Rudziński family, after the seizure of the estate by the Nazis, moved to Słupia, where they continued their activities for the benefit of the country – this time of a conspirational kind. They organised classes for the students of the Jagiellonian University, acted in the Armia Krajowa (Home Army), and gave shelter to Jews.
The new authorities nationalised Osiek possessions in 1945. First, the palace housed the Academy of Learning, and later the National Reproductive Breeding Farm, which maintained the tradition of the Osiek carp. In 2007, the last heir – Maciej Rudziński – managed to reclaim the family palace." [text source]