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 Coat of arms  “Leliwa”        Motto  “Tendite in astra viri”

Since 1547, Hereditary title of Count of the Holy Roman Empire (SIR)

Hereunder is a brief genealogical tree of the Tarnowski clan, covering 700 years of  it’s existence through 17 branches, of which 6 still exist  today.  Those branches are specifically  indicated hereunder and also in the Genealogy with the first three capital letters of their ancestral castles, palaces or domains as well as the Irn number and name of its first and last hereditary bearers.

It is important to note the 2 following points:

As elsewhere in Europe, the Tarnowski ancestors in the XIV and XV centuries were called the Leliwa Lords of their original domain which was the fortified city of Tarnów with its castle founded in the early
XIV century by Comes Spicymierz. The Leliwa Lords from Tarnów became simply Tarnowski in the XVI century (since in Polish, the ending in ski means from).

The Wielowieś-Dzików, is the main branch or trunk of the Tarnowski Tree as Wielowieś was the oldest part of the estate belonging to the Tarnowski since the 2nd generation till 1944. It was there in fact, that their first ancestral castle was located till its complete destruction by the Swedish army in mid XVII century. Dzików, which belonged to the Tarnowski since 1522, became then the main residence since it was located closer to the city of Tarnobrzeg founded also by the family. It was not destroyed during the II world war, but confiscated with the whole estate by the authorities in 1945 and has been used as a school ever since.

Comes  SPYCIMIERZ  Leliwa de Tarnów (Est.1275-1352)


 2. TAR--TARnów: 1330, Rafał z Tarnowa (#392) .......... 1567, Jan Krzysztof z Tarnowa (#756)


 3. TAR--MELsztyn: 1340, Jan z Tarnowa i Melsztyna (#407) .......... 1540, Jan z Melsztyna (#446)


 4. TAR--JARosław: 1395, Spytek z Tarnowa. i  Jarosławia (#576) .......... 1521, Hieronim z Jarosławia (#718)


 5. WIElowieś--1449, Jan Feliks z Tarnowa (#384) .......... 1638, Michał Stanisław Tarnowski (#364)


 6. WIE--RZOchów: 1509, Stanisław z Tarnowa (#783) ..........1647, Jan Tarnowski (#811)

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 7. WIE            PODleszany: 1600, Jan Gratus Tarnowski (#806) .......... 1767, Stanisław D. Tarnowski (#857)


 8. WIE


 9. WIE--KOZangródek: 1610, Jan Joachim Tarnowski (#888) .......... 1696, Piotr Stanisław Tarnowski (#926)


10. DZIków    POCzajów: 1767, Jan Amor Tarnowski (#543) .......... 1862, Marcin Tarnowski (#549)

        |                |                     

11. DZI--WOŁ: 1697, Aleksander Dominik Gratus Tarnowski (#568) .......... 1939, Jan Tarnowski (#518)      

        |                |     

12. DZI          KRAsnobród: 1826, Feliks Adam Tarnowski (#496) ... 1928, Jan Stanisław Amor Tarnowski (#490)


13. DZI--DRAżgów: 1780, Rafał Tarnowski (#622) .......... 1847, Władysław Jan Tarnowski (#629)


14. DZI--CHOrzelów-ZAKlików: 1825, Michał Tarnowski (#84) ........ In 2002, descendants live in Poland.


15. DZI--WROblewice: 1835, Walerian Spicymir Tarnowski (#73) .......... 1939, Stanisław Tarnowski (#152)


16. DZI--RUDnik: 1874, Stanisław-Kostka Tarnowski (#68) ......... In 2002, descendants live in Poland and England.


17. DZI--Końskie-SUCha:1893, Juljusz Tarnowski (#53) ... In 2002,descendants in Poland, France, Switzerland.


18. DZI    


19. DZI 


20. DZIków:     Tarnów 1330, Rafał z Tarnowa (#392) ............. Wielowieś 1449, Jan Feliks z Tarnowa (#384) .......   
1638, Michał Stanisław Tarnowski (#364) …....... In 2002, descendants live in Poland and Canada.

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*** Historical notes by the late Ct. Adam Tarnowski from Dzików (1866-1946) ***

Our family’s greatest moments of political significance, were the XIV, XV and XVI centuries, when lords of Tarnów, Melsztyn and later Jarosław were from father to son supporting the Polish Kings (Piast and Jagellon), and holding the highest ranks in the land, namely ten times Palatin of Kraków and 6 times Castellan of Kraków. This line-up of senators began with the trustworthy adviser to the last Piast Kings, Comes Spicymierz, our ancestor, who in 1320 is already Palatin of Kraków, and in 1331 becomes the highest secular dignitary by becoming the Castellan of Kraków. Moreover, for services rendered to  King Łokietek at times of war, he received huge tracts of land bordering the river Dunajec where he founded the city of Tarnów (abt.1320), and built 2 fortified castles (abt.1330), one in Tarnów and the other in Melsztyn.


After Spicymierz, Melsztyn passed to his older son, Jan, who, like his father, became in 1360 first Palatin and later Castellan of Kraków. The younger Rafał became Castellan of Wiślica and inherited  Tarnów, which property he enlarged with tracts of land around Sandomierz, parts of which belonged still to the Tarnowski family until in the XX century: The Dzików estate, and specifically Wielowieś. Melsztyn passed afterwards to Spytek, Palatin of Kraków, feudal lord of Podole and hero at the battle of Worskla (1399). After Rafał, came his son Jaśko from Tarnów, General Superintendent of Ruś, then Palatin of Kraków, and finally Castellan of Kraków. Those two first uncles attained the highest rank in the kingdom, as well as exceptional  wealth from enormous grants and privileges from territories like Jarosław, Sambor, Podole and others... Our ancestors leading role in the feudal history of Poland was ensured through the  bringing together of Princess Jadwiga from Hungary and Prince Jagiełło from Lithuania, and then their coronation which began the Jagellon Dynasty.


Upon the passing away of the Great Spytek, the Melsztyn line loses its greatness, and declines rapidly, particularly after the confederation initiated against the king by his son, who later died at the battle of Grotniki (1439). From the Tarnów line, Jaśko’s sons fulfilled their duties as knights at the battle of Grunwald (1410), and then divided their inheritance. Jan, Palatin of Kraków settled in Tarnów, whereas Spytek, palatin of Sandomierz, took over Jarosław  where he founded a new family branch who called themselves “heredes de Tarnów, Domini in Jarosław” (issued from Tarnów, Lords of Jarosław).


Jan from Tarnów left 5 sons. Two of them as well as their first uncle, Spytek from Jarosław, died with king Władysław at the battle of Warna in 1444. The third one became a priest, whereas the last two divided their inheritance. Jan Feliks was Palatin of Lublin, while Jan Amor, lord of Tarnów, became first Palatin of Kraków, and then later in 1490 Castellan of Kraków. When Jan Amor was Castellan of Kraków, his cousin, Spytek from Jarosław became Palatin of Kraków. Upon Jan Amor’s death in 1501, Spytek from Jarosław became Castellan of Krakow, Jan Feliks “Szram”(scarface), the son of the above mentioned Palatin of Lublin obtained the rank of Palatin of Kraków. Together with these two Leliwa emblazoned leaders of the secular senators, the son of Jan Amor was also Palatin of Ruś. In the same period his younger brother, Jan Aleksander died with king Olbracht during the Bukowina expedition (1497), and his youngest step-brother, Jan-Amor, the future Great Hetman, was in 1500 only 12 years old, and would attain the highest ranks of Palatin and then Castellan of Kraków in 1535/36.


Jan Amor became the Great Hetman in 1531 after the battle of Obertyn, where he refused to retreat from a five times superior enemy, and even succeeded to lead a handful of the polish knights to a decisive victory. The polish armed feats of glory were then forever joined with the name of the Great Hetman Tarnowski, glory which was later even reinforced through further deeds of arms under his leadership. The Great Hetman’s pride was the fact, that under his command, the polish armed forces were never defeated, and it must  be said as well that this uncommon man was also above average in his role as “Lord Castellan of Kraków”. Raised and educated in his ancestors tradition of oligarchic government, this man of action must have lost patience at the sight of the polish nation leadership left at the discretion of all this multitude of landed gentry, while the elders lacked  the will to govern. As long as he lived and acted, he was certainly one of the most significant figures of his period.

In addition to the highest senatorial rank as palatins and castellans of Kraków, the Leliwa Lords from Tarnów held three times the palatinate of Sandomierz, four times the castellany of Sandomierz, three times the palatinate of Ruś, seven times the general  starostie of Ruś, three times the starostie of Kraków, three times the rank of marshal to the court, once that of great marshal, twice the rank of treasurer, once that of Hetman, and many other titles. Often, the Leliwa Lords  held the highest ranks at the same time, and their importance in the realm was strengthened even more through the family solidarity with which they acted.


It’s in this fashion, that our family history and its historical role was forever intertwined with that of the Polish nation. This role, particularly this ancient one during the middle-ages, sounds like an epic, noble and beautiful, but also interesting, since it was not based on fantasy, but on true historical facts. This epic’s  last act happened quickly through the passing away of all the Leliwa male descendants from Melsztyn and Jarosław already in the first half of the XVI century, as well as through the untimely death in 1567 of Jan-Krzysztof, the Great Hetman’s son. How differently  would have unfolded the Tarnowski’s history, either if Jan-Krzysztof, upon his death, had left male descendants, who would have then inherited the enormous Hetman’s properties including Tarnów, Przeworsk and Jarosław. Or, having created the Leliwa realm, if the Great Hetman, through all his connections with the court, and his various political plays, could have also stipulated through a codicil in his last will to exclude Tarnów with castle and properties for one of his nephews, who would have known how to love, defend and preserve this ancestral family residence  for future generations of the Leliwa Tarnowski.


The loss of such three bastions like Melsztyn, Jarosław and finally Tarnów which through Jan-Krzysztof’s widow and his sister passed to other families, weakened the Tarnowski family, bringing closer the end of their important historical role, which coincided with that of the great Jagellon dynasty. The other lines of Leliwa Tarnowski could not find within themselves sufficient stamina and motivation to compete with the newer aristocratic families and move for gain to the south-eastern lands. Voluntarily, they had removed themselves from the political scene. Although they had nobility, they were awkward and weak, but they never forgot their sworn duty to the armed defence of their country. They were at the battles of Psków, Połock, Ostrów, Orynin and Chocim. They fought and died also during the Swedish and Napoleonic wars, as well as in all the armed insurrections of the XIX century. We cannot somehow blame our ancestors for their lack of competitive drive to go after new fortunes in Ruś, since belonging to the oligarchy in those times was rather a dubious honour. It is indeed very pleasant for the Tarnowski to know that in the XVII and XVIII centuries, during the complete decay and anarchy of the Polish nation, we were included in the aristocratic oligarchy only nominally  through politeness, and consideration for our great past. But in reality, we didn’t  belong there at all, and didn’t  have any access to important affairs of state.


This  deprived us indeed of the splendour with which shone the families who were then more powerful than ours. However, it had its good side as well, since an error or omission wouldn’t have to weigh heavily upon our conscience by the damage it could have caused to the nation. Thus without influence and importance in the nation, the Leliwa Tarnowski stayed in their ancient family residences working on their heritage. When the need arose, they took up arms by either leading  a group of soldiers, or by putting their own lives on the firing line, but they would have nothing to do with politics, and for this reason they had never been mixed up in any shady affair, or God forbid any treason. During the final decline and the dismemberment of Poland, the Tarnowski were not at the forefront of these tragic happenings. One of the few living in those times, Rafał from Dzików (1741-1803), motivated by a noble reaction to the Russian violence, joined the Bar Confederation as one of its Marshals.  The next national reflex was the Kościuszko uprising, which drew Marcin Tarnowski from Kozin (1778-1862) straight from his school bench.  In 1803, hearing about the armed revolt against tyranny, he joined the uprising and took part in the defence of Warsaw and Praga. In the years 1809-1815, his soldier’s soul spoke up again, when he participated in the Napoleonic wars, this time leading his own regiment, armed partly at his own cost. Wounded several times, he received at Moscow the French Medal of Honour, the Polish Virtuti Militari as well as a special citation from the emperor, but at the end was taken prisoner at the capitulation of Drezden, This noble man was then condemned by the Russian oppressors to four years of hard labour in St-Petersburg, and then exiled to Kursk, from where he returned only after the uprising in 1831.

Besides Marcin Tarnowski, Stanisław Tarnowski from Dzików fought also in the Kościuszko uprising. Michał Tarnowski from Dzików, later in Chorzelów, joined Marcin Tarnowski’s regiment as a lieutenant, and came back from the campaign with the Virtuti Military medal for valour. This honourable distinction received as well Władysław Tarnowski from Drążgów, Rafał’s son, while serving on the staff of a cavalry division. Moreover,  young Kazimierz Tarnowski from Krasnobród took part also in the 1812 campaign, and was killed at the battle of Mir. In addition to the mentioned Tarnowski who fought on their country fields of glory, there were others who wished to serve in a different manner, like for instance, Jan Feliks from Dzików educated in the atmosphere of the 4 years parliament by his grand-father, Stanisław Małachowski, and by his mother’s brother, Tadeusz Czacki, and in 1815, under the leadership of Stanisław Zamoyski, he took part in the delegation to the Russian emperor in the Congress at Versailles. After the resurrection of the Polish Kingdom, he became a castellan-senator, member of the National Council, and member of the Education Commission as well as other functions. His son, Jan Bogdan, began slowly to take over his father’s responsibilities, but unfortunately, while proceeding to join the 1831 uprising, an inflammation of the brain kept him bedridden for several weeks and prevented him to fulfil this sacred duty. His younger brother, Walerian, did it in his stead, serving in the cavalry corps led by general Różycki, and came back decorated with the Medal of Merit.


The oldest among Jan Bogdan three sons, Jan Dzierżysław, had to replace his dead father  prematurely, guarding the ancestral residence, and taking care of the whole family destiny. Nevertheless, with his usual conscientiousness, he worked in the Lwów parliament, as president of  the agrarian society in Kraków, in the Vienna House of Lords, in the district council for Tarnobrzeg, and in 1886 as the Marshal for the nation. People said of him: “ He worked like he would live forever, and lived like he would die tomorrow “. The second son, Stanisław, began his adult life with a prison term, when upon the failure of the 1863 uprising, he was first locked up in Kraków and Lwów, to be afterwards condemned to 12 years of hard labour in a fortress, of which he served only two thanks to an amnesty. He devoted the rest of his life to higher learning. He became a professor of polish literature, dean of the Jagellon University and president of the Polish Academy of Science in Kraków. He left many books,  wrote and spoke beautifully in Polish. At the 50th jubilee celebration of his professorship, the great polish writer, Henryk Sienkiewicz said: “ The professor is leaving us, but the bearer of the national colours remains ... You defended the purity of the polish spirit, the purity of our thoughts, the purity of the white eagle’s emblem “. The youngest of the three brothers, Juljusz, was born in 1840. He was cheerful, witty, noble, and at the first news of the uprising, he said: “It’s a duty for one to get killed! “. And in spite of his conviction, that the 1863 uprising was doomed from the start, he nevertheless decided to join up, since he believed it was part of the family’s tradition and ancestral duty. When others are sacrificing themselves, then there must  be also someone from Dzików. On the 20-th of June, 1863, he joined a small detachment of cavalry, crossing the river Wisła just above Dzików, and then volunteered for the first attack on foot with bayonets, during which he died a heroes death, bringing sorrow and glory to the family. Juljusz was killed at Komorów, just like 464 years earlier, Spytek from Melsztyn at Worskla, who stayed and fought on the field of battle, while the Grand Prince Witold and others were fleeing to save their lives, and also like all those Tarnowski, who didn’t desert King Władysław Jagiello in 1444 at the battle of Warna. The Juljusz memorial in the Dominican church at Tarnobrzeg, is at the same time a monument for the whole Leliwa Tarnowski family. It’s a magnificent testimonial to the level of their commitment and duty to the nation maintained for so many centuries. But first and foremost it’s a clear sign  tracing the path of duty for the youngest generation,  and for all those that will follow there-after.


After the cruel loss suffered in1863, came a long period of quiet and peaceful  work. This work was undertaken by Juljusz Tarnowski’s brothers, Jan-Dzierżysław, the nation’s marshal, and Stanisław-Kostka, the professor, as well as the following generation, which began to fulfill its citizenship duties towards the end of the XIX century. This important and essential work was possible and difficult under the Austrian parliamentary rules, but under the Russian rule, and the terror that reined there, it was dreadful and really dangerous. The Tarnowski never stayed away from this volunteer activity. This is confirmed by the fact that in Kraków, Radom or Warsaw, through personal choice they became presidents of the agrarian societies.


In addition three members of my own generation (XIX), Zdzisław from Dzików, Stanisław from Wróblewice and Jan-Józef from Chorzelów, were elected to the parliament from Galicia. During the times, when Poles were participating in the Austrian government in Vienna, which constantly was looking for this kind of support, I too entered this service, first in the administration and later in the diplomatic corps. After the Polish revival, the year 1920 gave the youngest generation of the Tarnowski the possibility to fulfil the sacred soldier’s duty for their country. Ten volunteered to defend  Poland against the Russian attack, and with pride, they brought back 7 Medals for valour. “


Unfortunately, the regained freedom lasted only about twenty years. Already on September 1 1939, Germany invaded from the west, and some two weeks later Russia attacked from the east. As always, the Tarnowski were ready to defend their country. Over the next six years, they fought and died on all fronts for Poland’s freedom, while some of them were locked up in German and Russian camps, and others simply disappeared during the turmoil of war. It was all for nothing, since after Germany’s capitulation, Poland never regained its real freedom, being within the Soviet Union’s orbit. The consequences of the war were tragic, as with the changes of Poland’s borders and the new law on agrarian reform, we lost everything including our ancient family residences full of souvenirs and mementos accumulated over centuries. In addition, the communist system caused  the family to disperse, and to emigrate partly abroad.

 Six years after the fall of communism, in August 1996, many from the family in Poland and abroad gathered in Dzików. Among the various resolutions discussed, they decided to form an Association of the Tarnowski Family. This successful first reunion, and a second one 4 years later drew the family once again closer together. It also confirmed that war, communism, emigration and all the other difficulties of modern life didn’t destroy our spirit, and like all our ancestors before, we are ready, wherever we live, to reach once again for the stars

(Marcin J. Tarnowski).

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By Paul Tarnowski

The bulk of the information comes from the following publications: "Tarnowski's Castle in Dzików" by Alexander Janas and Adam Wojcik and "Castle in Dzików" by Adam Wójcik.

The most interesting and possibly the most important moments of the Tarnowski history happened before Dzików belonged to our family. It took place in the XIV, XV and XVI centuries, when our ancestors from Melsztyn, Tarnów and later from Jarosław stood next to the kings of Poland, from father on to son, occupying the highest positions in the kingdom.


Starting with our oldest ancestor Comes Spycimierz from Melsztyn (around 1300) who during the time of King Władysław Łokietek, contributed greatly to the unification of the Polish lands and to the restoration of the Polish Kingdom. For these services the Monarch granted Tarnów the right to become a city. Thanks to a very favourable location on the river Vistula and intelligent management by the Tarnowskis, especially during the times of their greatest star, the Great Hetman Jan, Tarnów quickly became the most attractive city and the most important cultural and industrial centre in South-Eastern Poland. The high position enjoyed by the Tarnowski family at the King's court and the favourable development of Tarnów greatly contributed to increase the family's fortune.


Ian Tarnowski (1488-1561) the first Great Hetman for life was a prominent politician and an unequalled tactician on the field of battle. Under his command the Polish army gained great respect in Europe and was feared by its neighbours, making Poland's borders very secure. Hetman gained fame and glory at Obertyn in 1531, when he soundly defeated a much superior Moldavian army that was threatening the Polish borders.


Hetman Ian also defended Christianity against the Turks at the head of a privately outfitted army. This deed brought him the hereditary title of Count, awarded to him by Charles V, Roman-German Emperor. It can be truly said at that time about Hetman Ian that in Poland he was only second to the King. Unfortunately his son Ian Krzysztof (1537 -1567) died with- out leaving a son which put an end to the Hetman dynasty and Tarnów passed on to the Ostrogski family.


Dzików was added to the Tarnowski estate in 1522 and remained so until 1944 under 13 owners:


  • Spytek Jan 1493 -1533

  • Józef Mateusz 1708 -1744

  • Stanisław Spytek 1514 -1568

  • Jan Jacek 1729 -1808

  • Stanisław 1541 -1618

  • Jan Feliks 1777 -1842

  • Michał Stanisław 1590 -1655

  • Jan Bogdan 1805 -1850

  • Jan Stanisław 1642 -1676

  • Jan Dzierżysław 1835 -1894

  • Michał Jacek 1675 -1718

  • Jan Zdzisław 1862 -1937

  • Artur 1903 - 1984

Jan Spytek Tarnowski (1493-1533, 1st owner), cousin of the Great Hetman, purchased the Dzików property with a wooden castle from the Toporczyk family, in order to consolidate the family estate in that region. Their main family residence was located at that time in Wielowieś and remained there for another 200 years. Worthy of mention is that King "Zygmunt Stary" wishing to honour Jan Spytek for services rendered to the throne, was his guest in Wielowieś with the entire court when a plague devastated the region of Kraków in 1543.

If one wanted to find a dark moment in the history of the Tarnowski family, it took place in 1570. Not able to accept the loss of their family nest Tarnów, the Tarnowskis with Stanisław (1541-1618, 3rd owner), leading them, conquered once again the city of Tarnów by force. The King, exasperated by this behaviour ordered Stanisław to give back Tarnów to the Ostrogski family, levied a very heavy fine on him, and forced him to renounce forever any rights to that property.  He regained his popularity at the king's court very quickly and in 1593 King Zygmunt III Waza granted him permission to build a new town in the vicinity of Dzików.

During the next 150 years, the Tarnowskis expanded and fortified the castle of Dzików. During that period the Tarnowski family greatly contributed to the development of the new town that took the name of Tarnobrzeg. Our family strongly believed in those days that you must develop not only the people's minds but also their souls. The schools and churches that the family built confirms that: secondary school, called Miechocin's Academy, well known in the area for its high standards; a chapel in the Dzików castle, churches in Wielowieś and Miechocin, also a cloister and a church for the Dominican fathers in Tarnobrzeg; the last one was erected to deposit and care for the portrait of the Madonna from Dzików. It is at that time that the 'General Confederation" (1734) was signed in Dzików in support of King Stanisław Leszczyński and the freedom of Poland. Józef Mateusz (1708-1744) the 6th squire of Dzików played a minimal role in this treaty as he did not participate in politics. He was of poor health and died at a young age.

The Dzików castle retained for many years, the shape, appearance and character, it took during the rebuilding and expansion done at the time of Jan Jacek (1720-1808, 8th owner). It is during Jan Jacek's days that began the decorating of the rooms with old family and national memorabilia as well as period furniture. It added a very polished touch to the residence.

Ian Feliks (1777-1842, 9th owner), was the most important owner of Dzików. The transformation of the castle began by his father, Ian Jacek, was further developed and enriched by him. He entrusted this project to an excellent Italian architect, Francesco Maria Lancia, who was able to transform a baroque castle into an elegant residence. He added other buildings that complemented Dzików: horse riding school, a carriage garage, kitchens, ice-house, and a greenhouse. He also transformed the fortifications and moats surrounding the castle, into a romantic and picturesque park. Ian Feliks was a lover and an expert connoisseur of art and culture. Together with his wife Waleria, they gathered the Dzików collection that later became famous throughout Poland. Travelling with the family in Italy, France, Germany and Austria, they purchased works of art from the most outstanding European artists. I enumerate the best known from the Italian school: Veronese, Lorenzo Lotto, Salvatore Rossa, Annibale, Carracci, Francesco Albani, Gaspare Landi; from the Dutch school: Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Susterman, Ian Gossart.

The great Hetman Jan (1488-1561 )
Portrait by Bacciarelli

Jan Felix Tarnowski (1777-1842)
Portrait by Unknown Artist

Standing Jan Zdzisław surrounded by his family in Dzików Portrait by Pochwalski, 1922


Family portraits painted by Polish artists of that period, several old Polish paintings and a beautiful collection of miniatures by Vincent Lesseur completed the Dzików gallery. The archives and a very rich library where could be found important documents dealing with the history of the family and of the Nation, as well as old books and manuscripts, made the Dzik6w collection one of the most interesting and beautiful in Poland. With Ian Feliks, the political role of the Tarnowskis changed. From being military defenders of the nation, they became protectors and custodians of the national culture and traditions. Even after the partition of Poland in 1772, in spite of the fact that our country did not exist on the map of Europe, Tarnowskis were involved in politics, sitting in foreign parliaments, but always in defence of individual's rights, Polish culture or the area's inhabitants; and if duty called them to take arms, they never faltered and were always ready to stand up and defend their country.

The last four squires of Dzików Jan Bogdan (1805-1850), Jan Dzierżysław (1835-1894), Jan Zdzisław (1862-1937), and Artur (1903-1984), were raised and lived in this kind of atmosphere. The administration of such a large and diversified estate that extended for several villages and included more than 30,000 acres of farm land, pastures, orchards and forests as well as the breeding of various animals, was becoming more complicated and required more expert supervision. It also included several enterprises and workshops necessary to support the estate.

The Tarnowski family reacted positively to the changes that revolutionized the end of the XIX and the beginning of the XX century by modernizing their large farming and breeding undertakings as well as their enterprises. They also added new enterprises like a brewery, distillery, a brick-kiln and large fish farms, these were necessary to increase the estate's revenue to cope with rising costs and to gather capital necessary in modernizing the estate. It is at that time that Ian Zdzislaw, the second last squire of Dzików, installed central heating at the castle, built an electric generating station and made the ceiling of the large hall fire proof by installing a metal plate.

The owners of Dzików that followed Jan Feliks also added to the famous collection, but they rather concentrated on Polish culture and art. Portraits by Matejko, Juliusz and Wojciech Kossaks, Malczewski and Pochwalski were added. Later Jan Zdzisław also obtained Mickiewicz's manuscript "Pan Tadeusz" from his cousin Hieronim Tarnowski. That acquisition became the most valuable piece of Polish literature in the collection. That national treasure was miraculously saved from being deported into Germany at the end of he second World War and is on permanent deposit at the Ossoliński museum in Wrocław. At the beginning of the XXth century a very nationalistic sentiment existed throughout Poland. When a large tract of a very beautiful forest that bordered on the Dzików estate came on the market, Jan Zdzisław, after consulting with the family, sold the most valuable portrait in the Dzików collection, "the Polish Rider" by Rembrandt, to the Frick Museum in New York because he felt compelled to acquire this land and prevent it from falling into foreign hands.

The first World War brought great losses and destruction to the region as the battle front crossed Tarnobrzeg several times. However, it marked the beginning of the Polish Republic. Our country became free and Dzik6w flowered again. The castle and its collection had come through this cataclysm without any major problems.

The owners of Dzików, while occupied in gathering and preserving their Dzików collection, never forgot about the well-being of the inhabitants of Tarnobrzeg. The good relations that traditionally existed between the squires of Dzików and the inhabitants of the region can be attributed to the Tarnowskis' strong belief in respecting their responsibilities as owners and the rights of inhabitants. The old inscription above the entrance to Dzików seems to have guided for four centuries the action of the Tarnowski family: "Allow us God to live in the home of our ancestors and grant us good health and a clear conscience". There are many examples of assistance by the Tarnowski family to the local population in times of need. I will remember the roles played by the wives of the last two owners of Dzików.  Zofia, the wife of Jan Zdzisław organized free kitchens and assistance to the needy at the hospital in Tarnobrzeg and at the castle during the first World War. She also personally visited the sick and the wounded at the hospital. A member of the regional government at that time wrote: "The Tarnowskis were the greatest protectors of the region...nobody left their estate empty handed". Rose, Artur's wife, took in several members of the family exiled by the Germans during the second World War. She also organized the delivery of food to needy people in the region in spite of orders by the German authority to the contrary. She did not hesitate to conceal partisans while German troops occupied more than half of the castle.

People magnificently repaid the Tarnowski family. When the fire broke out at the castle in December 1927, many brave volunteers took part in saving the collection. There were students and teachers from the gymnasium, workers from Dzików and the surrounding farms and many local people from Tarnobrzeg. The fight to save the collection was lead by Dr. Marczak, the librarian, because Jan Zdzisław and his family were away at the time. Unfortunately at the height of the fire, the ceiling in the large hall, which supposedly was fire proof, collapsed, killing nine volunteers and seriously wounding seven. The Tarnowski family will always remember that the people from Tarnobrzeg saved the Dzików collection.

The Tarnowski residence remained a very happy nest for its last squire to raise his family until the beginning of World War II. Artur married Rose Zamoyska in 1931 and they had a daughter, Maria and three sons Jan, Marcin and Paweł.  Aside from administering the family estate of Dzików,  Artur performed a number of public functions and was also a member of parliament respecting the region. When Germans invaded Poland in 1939, Artur joined the army to defend our country. He was taken prisoner and spent the rest of the war in a prisoners' camp in Germany. He never returned to Poland. When he was liberated by the Allied troops he chose to remain in the west. He knew that if he returned to Poland he would be put in prison because he had spoken against communism while a member of parliament before the war. Rose, his wife, left Poland in 1946 with the children and was reunited with him in Germany, They later lived in Belgium from where they permanently emigrated to Canada and established themselves in Montreal, Quebec.

I would like to emphasize that Artur strongly believed that his obligations as the owner of Dzików did not stop when he left Poland. In spite of his limited means as an emigrant to Canada, on several occasions he helped' inhabitants of Tarnobrzeg in need, and when the tower on top of the Dominican Church in Tarnobrzeg was damaged by heavy winds in 1958, he personally financed most of the repairs. His great dream until the end was to once again reunite the Tarnowski collection at the Dzików castle and add to it works of art owned by other branches of the Tarnowski Family. He corresponded with the Communist Authorities in Poland on that subject but without results. Artur died in Montreal on December 19, 1984 and his ashes have been brought back to the family crypt under the Dominican Church in Tarnobrzeg.

Dzików at the end of the XIX century









Wedding of Artur and Rose Tarnowski
July 15, 1931, last Squire of Dzików


Jaś and Marzchna Tarnowski, 2001

New Altar in Dzików Chapel
sculpted by Jan Wojnarowski


Dzików, 2001

Reunion 2000 in Dzików

Karol and Stephan Tarnowski in concert

Souvenirs of the Ball


Pick nick in Rudnik


Jaś, known as Głowa, Artur's oldest son, returned to Poland in the early 90's and established himself in Warsaw. He represents the Dzików Branch in all family matters in Poland and he is trying to realize Father's last wishes, reuniting the Tarnowski collection in Dzików and making it accessible to the local community so those who sacrificed their lives in the Dzik6w fife did not do so in vain.

After the end of World War II, Agricultural reforms took away from the Tarnowski Family the entire estate. The collection was cast away to libraries and museums in Warsaw, Krakow, Lancut and Rzeszow. In the post-war chaos many valuable objects and old books were lost or destroyed. The castle and the surrounding buildings as well as the park were taken over by an agricultural technical school. The castle seems to have survived the last 45 years under the school's care in reasonably good condition. Much worse could have happened and it could have turned into ruins, like Rudnik and many other residences in Poland.

Since Jaś' return to Poland and the beginning of procedures to recover the family estate, only the paintings for which the family had deposit slips from the National museums, have been returned to the Tarnowskis. The ownership of the Mickiewiez manuscript "Pan Tadeusz" by the family was only confirmed thanks to the Director of the Ossolineum in Wrocław. It is for that reason that the Tarnowski family has decided to leave it in Wroclaw as a permanent deposit. The founding of a Museum in Tarnobrzeg has allowed Jaś to leave there a number of family paintings that have been returned and thus make them accessible to the local inhabitants.

Administrative procedures undertaken by Jaś to recover the family estate and Dzików have been fruitless and the court procedures have been going on for years without any results either. However, in the summer of 2000 it appeared that Dzików's dossier might get resolved. The highest court in the area had stated that Dzików, the surrounding buildings and the park had been taken away from the Tarnowski Family illegally. During the family Reunion in 2000, the three Tarnowski brothers, Jaś, Marcin and Pawel, met with Tarnobrzeg's authorities and emphatically stated that in case the castle is returned to the family, the Technical school will not be evicted and the family intends to gradually reunite the Dzików collection and establish a museum for it in the castle. We also stated that we could not realize this project alone because the family does not dispose of sufficient capital for such an undertaking and that we propose to create a Foundation, with the family donating Dzików and the entire Tarnowski collection while the governments, national, regional and municipal must ensure the installation of the museum and its operation. The mayor of Tarnobrzeg informed us at that time that new premises are under construction for the school and that by the end of 2002 the Technical School will gradually vacate the premises.

Since then Jaś' and Marychna's efforts to obtain a decision from the Wojewoda (regional government) concerning Dzików have fallen on deaf ears. Similarly, there has been no reaction from Tarnobrzeg's Authorities to our proposal of creating a foundation. Tarnobrzeg has only allowed the restoration and re consecration of the chapel in Dzik6w.

At the outset of 2001, the interest of local people increased and lead to the creation of the Association "Dzików". Its main purpose is to restore the. Dzików castle and create a museum for the Tarnowski collection. Senator Dr. D. Kreczek, Vice-Mayor Tadeusz Zych and Jan Wojnarowski are at the head of that Association. Thanks to Mr. Jan Wojnarowski's work, his organizational skills and his perseverance the project of restoring the chapel in Dzik6w has been completed. He personally sculpted the new altar from an oak tree because the original altar could not be removed from the Dominican Church in Tamobrzeg.

The financial support for this project came from the local population, from the Association of the Tarnowski Family and from individual members of the family: Rose Tarnowski, Lula Markowska, Marys Siemieńska, Wilek and Rose Siemieńscy, Stach Siemieński, Jaś Tarnowski, Marcin, Tomasz, Michał, and Artur Tarnowski, Yolande, Paul, Julia and John Tarnowski.

The official consecration of the Chapel took place during a ceremonial mass on May 25,2001 in the presence of dignitaries, several members of the Tarnowski family, and many local citizens. The Association "Dzików" and the Director of the Tarnobrzeg Museum organized a three-day exhibit in the large hall of the Dzików castle where they were able to show a few well-chosen valuable documents, old books and major portraits from the Tarnowski collection. These were brought in from National Museums thanks to the influence of Senator Dr. Kleczek. The three day exhibit proved very popular with the local population. Maybe it will stir public opinion and speed up the decision about Dzików.

In addition, Jaś and Marychna are conducting four separate court cases dealing with the return of the portion of the Dzików collection that has been taken to the National Library in Warsaw, the Library of the Jagielloński University in Kraków and the museums in Lańcut and Rzeszow. Jaś received an early Christmas gift from the National Library in Warsaw in a statement by which they were confirming ownership by the Tarnowski family of all the articles in their possession that were taken from Dzików after the second World War, and that they were proposing to sign a document confirming the deposit. Jaś agreed immediately and has since received the document. We sincerely hope that this will influence other institutions to follow suit.

The decrease in the price of sulphur in the 90's on the world markets has resulted in the closing of the mine in Tarnobrzeg and the loss of the most important employer in the area. Tarnobrzeg has deteriorated ever since. Jaś has recently suggested the possibility of Dzików becoming an extension of the Jagiellonski University in Kraków. It is hoped that this, coupled with the restoration of the Dzików castle to house the Tarnowski collection, will spark new interest in the area and improve Tarnobrzeg's position for the future.

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By Marcin Brzeziński

The history of Końskie is closely linked to three great Polish Families: Odrowąż, Małachowski and Tarnowski. The first ruled over those lands from the XII to the XVII century. Końskie's period of grandeur began when Jan Małachowski, the King's Grand Chancellor, acquired the settlement and made it the centre of his estate.

Thanks to his efforts, Końskie was granted the right to become a city in 1748. A period of rapid expansion followed. New manufacturing plants were opened, large steel smelters and a foundry were erected just outside the city limits.  Special gunsmiths were brought in from Bavaria to manage the pistol factory established by Ian Małachowski.

The Chancellor began the construction of a magnificent palace to replace the old residence. During his lifetime only two wings of the palace and a pavilion in the park that are still in use today were completed. The centre, which was to be the main element of this project, was never built.

Unfortunately the heirs of Ian Małachowski were not skilled administrators and one of the largest fortunes in contemporary Poland started to decline rapidly. The majority of institutions and establishments had been leased to Jewish interests, large tracts of forests had been cut down without a re-seeding program, and the property was heavily mortgaged. Włodzimierz Małachowski, the Chancellor's great-grand son, declared bankruptcy in 1870 and the estate was auctioned.

It is at this moment that the Tarnowski Family became involved in the history of Końskie. Jan Dzierńysław Tarnowski of Dzików, his brother professor Stanisław of Rudnik, their cousin Jan Stanisław Tarnowski of Chorzelów, and Franciszek Mycielski, decided to save the Końskie estate by purchasing it for 250,000 rubles. Their decision was dictated by two reasons: primarily because Końskie was their mother's home (Gabriela Małachowska -Tarnowska was Jan Dzierżysław's and Prof Stanisław's mother), and because they wanted to prevent the estate from falling into German hands.

Jan Dzierżysław was a good businessman and an even better administrator. He very quickly and successfully rebuilt and modernized the commercial establishments on the estate. This allowed him to buyout his partners within 14 years and became the sole proprietor of an estate that included a magnificent residence and park in Końskie, a second residence in Modliszewicach, foundries in Stąporków, Wąsosz and Gosan, iron mines in Osicowa Góra i Smarków, paper mill in Stadnicka Wola, several flour mills, saw mills, a brewery and 20,000 acres of forests and agricultural lands.

In 1893, his son, Juliusz (1864-1917) took over a very well-managed estate, which included industrial establishments that could compete with the best in Poland. The new owner, a graduate from the mining Academy of Loeben, greatly modernized the foundry of Stąporków which employed 800 miners and became the pride possession of the Końskie estate. It was eventually purchased by the Lilpop Brothers from Warsaw.

Juliusz was interested in many matters outside the local affairs in Końskie.  From 1901 he presided over the association assisting in trade and commerce with Russia.  Also from 1899 to 1910 he sat on the board of the association of industrial Mines and Foundries in Poland. These organizations included amongst their members representatives of large financial institutions and technical associations.

Tarnowski, 1864 - 1917

Anna Branicka Tarnowska



Juliusz Tarnowski married twice. His first wife, Gabriela Starzeńska left him no children.  Anna Branicka, his second wife, came from Stawiszcze in the Ukraine. They settled permanently in Końskie at the beginning of 1900.  Anna remodeled the private apartments and the guest rooms in the residence. Under her influence the home and gardens took on new life. Anna and Juliusz had four children: Władysław (1899-1941), Juliusz (1901-1989), Gabriela (1903-2000), and Stefan (1906-1943). They became very involved with and supported various organizations and associations in Końskie, even presiding over a number of them. They organized the volunteer fire brigade, founded the expansion of St. Michael's Church and spearheaded the establishment of the first high school in Końskie. In 1911 Juliusz was one of the first large landowners in Poland to establish a foundation to ensure that upon retirement each worker on the estate received a suitable pension. He was amongst the founders and sat on the advisory committee of the School of Agriculture in Warsaw; also he presided over the Regional Farmers Association located in Radom. His wife was just as active socially, organizing lotteries for charitable organizations, running a summer camp for the children of mines in the area and even financing personally a residence for orphaned children.

During the four years of the first World War, Russian, German and Austrian officers were successively stationed at the Tarnowski residence. Anna, very conscious of the suffering, organized a field hospital in the park for wounded soldiers and fugitives from the war. At that time Juliusz Tarnowski became involved with the Regional Citizenship and Rescue Committees, both organizations assisting and protecting local civilians from compulsory deportation. He died in 1917 at age of 53 and never enjoyed a free Poland. He willed half of the estate to his wife and the remainder to his children. At that time the estate included: the main residence Końskie and the second home in Modliszewice, 12,500 hectares of forests and agricultural lands; the farmsteads of Modliszewice, Pomorzany, Karolinów, Browary, Koczwara, Kościeliska and Dyszów; commercial establishments -two saw mills, two turpentine producing plants, two foundries, an iron mine, a quarry, a brick-kiln and seven flour mills.

For 18 years Anna administered the estate with the assistance of a Family Committee. In October, 1935, Władysław, their oldest son, took over and gradually became the sole proprietor after buying out his sister Gabriela Tarnowska Potocka and his brother Stefan. Juliusz, Władysław's second brother, received the property of Sucha, near Kraków, as his share.

During the period between the two World Wars about a third of the agricultural land and forests was parceled off and sold in order to finance modernization of the commercial establishments and repairs caused by the war. In 1936 the estate had an area of 8,000 hectares.  All those lands were taken over by the communist government in 1945, as well as two residences, all commercial establishments and farmsteads.

Władysław Tarnowski, the last squire of the Końskie estate, began his adult life by participating in the Bolshevik War. He joined the First Krechowiecki Regiment of Lancers in November, 1918, and was later decorated for bravery. He completed his secondary education in 1920 at the Stanisław Kostka Academy in Warsaw and later graduated from the Kraków Business School.  In 1928 he married Maria Wielopolska from Chrobrza. She bore him three sons: Juliusz (1929), Marek (1933) and Alexander (1934).

The young couple, like their parents, became very quickly involved with the social economical and cultural life in Końskie. They supported schools, sports and charitable organizations in the area with generous donations. Władysław took great pride in presiding over the voluntary fire brigade.  Maria assisted her mother-in-law with the shelter for orphaned children and the collection of food and clothing for the poor through the organization of St. Vincent and Paul. She also worked at the Polish Red Cross In Końskie.

The second World War brought ruin to the rural economy. It started in Końskie in early September, 1939. Władysław, fearing the worst for his family, decided to flee East, which proved to be a fatal decision.  He was arrested in Minsk and jailed by the Russians. He was never heard from again, dying most likely in one of the camps for Polish officers.

Maria Tarnowska luckily made it back with her three sons and decided to settle in Modliszewice because by then the main residence was already occupied by the Germans.  She lived in Modliszewice until the fall of 1942, when the German authorities exiled her. She then moved in with the Potocki Family in Chrząstów.  At the end of the war, in the fall of 1945, Maria moved permanently with her sons to Kraków. She remained there until her death in 1979. After the second World War Juliusz and Róża Tarnowski and Gabriela Potocki emigrated from Poland.  When the communist government took over the Końskie estate in 1945, little was left in the main residence.  Most of the furniture and the valuable paintings had been taken away during the occupation by the Germans and the balance had been plundered in early 1945 by the local population.  A few family portraits that have been preserved can be seen at the Museum in Oporów. The town's administration moved into one wing of the main residence in Końskie, the other being occupied by the municipal library.

After the fall of communism in the early 1990s, Juliusz, Władysław's oldest son, initiated several court cases to recover the family estate. To this day, he has recovered less than 100 hectares of land.  Several cases are currently in front of the courts each representing a specific part of the estate. The case involving the recovery of the main residence in Końskie is being reviewed not only by the Constitutional Tribunal in Poland, but also by the International Tribunal for the protection of the individual's rights in Strasbourg. Juliusz Tarnowski underlines that "Today, it is still too early to plan the future of the Końskie estate. First we must resolve the case of ownership".

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By Adam Tarnowski

In 1898, when Poland was still under Austrian domination, Sophie Honpesch sold the Kopecko-Rudnicki estate to Rose Branicka-Tarnowska, wife of professor Stanisław.  Upon their arrival, the couple was very cordially greeted with bread and salt by the residents of the estate and the town of Rudnik who had decorated the entrance gate with their coat of arms and flowers. 

The estate covered an area of 6,500 hectares of pastures and forests and included a mansion, a chapel, stables, and a large grain warehouse. The home was located 2 km from the town of Rudnik on the San River in the southeastern part of Poland. The Rudnik mansion was originally a one-story building and was first referred to in 1750. During the first half of the XIX century a second floor was constructed and towards the end of that century a wing was added.  Next the residence was remodeled in a gothic style by adding two towers and a number of ornate balconies. Today's shape and neo-classical appearance of Rudnik is owed to the rebuilding project that my grandfather, Hieronim Tarnowski began in 1913.

Since my great-grandfather, Stanislaw Tarnowski, was professor and rector of the Jagiellońlski University, he spent most of his time in Kraków, only accompanying his wife and the children to Rudnik during the summer.  Shortly before World War I, Hieronim took over the administration of the estate and eventually became its owner in 1920. He was an excellent administrator, erecting a generating station, a mill and adding a chapel.  He brought in telephone lines and running water, adding at the same time modern bathrooms. Finally he installed new kitchens in the basement, from which ready-to-serve food was shipped by special elevator to the dining room.  At that time the family also brought in specialists to Rudnik, such as a doctor and a pharmacist, which also benefited the residents of the region.  It should be mentioned that each worker at the estate was fully covered for medical care at the owner's expense. He also had an allowance for personal needs in terms of firewood, crops and food.  In addition he could count on the owner's assistance in case of a disaster or major sickness.

During World War I, the Russian front passed directly through Rudnik, resulting in considerable damage to the estate and a lot of suffering to the local population. My Grandfather Hieronim took part in the campaign of 1914-18 against the Russians.  Upon his return he found the crops destroyed, a shortage of food and much sickness amongst the local population. To this day he and his wife, Wanda, are remembered for the compassion that they showed the residents of Rudnik during those difficult times. Rudnik was well known for its hospitality and a good hunt.  It was often visited not only by members of the Tarnowski family, but also by such people of prominence as Brother Albert Chmielowski, Bishop Pelczar from Przemyśl, the young Polish, writer Lucjan Rydel, General Bór Komorowski who later became the leader of the Polish underground Army during the German occupation, and even an Indian Maharaja. The beautiful forest  that surrounded Rudnik was well populated by large game and guaranteed a successful hunt which was so highly valued by uncle Zdzisław Tarnowski from Dzików.

During the II World War, only Hieronim and his mother, Rose Tarnowska, resided in Rudnik.  My father, Stanisław Tarnowski fought in the West and his sister, aunt Sophie Tarnowska-Moss, worked for the Polish Red Cross. Half of the home was occupied by the German Air Force, who displayed a rather civilized behavior. My grand- father is well remembered because of the assistance that he provided to the Polish underground and to the local population during the German occupation.

In July 1944 the house was occupied by the communists and on October 30 of the same year, the authorities evicted my grandfather from his home only allowing him to take a small suitcase even though workers from the estate and local peasants had intervened on his behalf.  This was not only an expression of respect and devotion for the owner but also a demonstration of courage.  It didn't help my grandfather and he was expelled mercilessly.  For a short while NKWD occupied the house.  Afterwards it was taken over by a girls school for Domestic Sciences and finally until 1990 it was used as sleeping quarters for students from a local trade school.  During the next six years the house was left empty while the local authorities pondered the sale of the property to the Tarnowski family, a period during which the house fell into disrepair.

In May 1996, with the consent of its rightful owners, namely aunt Sophie Tarnowska-Moss and my father, Stanisław Tarnowski, I became the new owner of Rudnik.  My wife Dorota and I have already put in a tremendous amount of work and energy to bring the house to a livable condition. A much greater challenge awaits us however to restore Rudnik to its prewar splendor.


First Squire, Professor
Stanisław Tarnowski

Rose Branicka Spouse to Stanisław
(1854 - 1942)

Their son Hieronim

Rudnik 1913 View from the front


Rudnik 1913 View from the


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Last updated on 11 July, 2003