A few kilometres from Szydłów, in the village of Grabki Duże there is a late Baroque palace, built in the oriental style. It was built by the Castellan of Małogoszcz Stanislaus Rupniewski, family crest Śreniawa, in 1742 after he was released from Turkish captivity. It served as a ... harem.
According to a legend, Rupniewski was attracted by a beautiful girl from Szydłów, a ward of the local priest. Rupniewski fell in love with her head over heels, but his endeavours came to nothing. Finally, he decided to kidnap her and put her in his palace in Grabki. The plan failed. Although Rupniewski kidnapped the girl, the dashing carriage did not brake and crashed on the tree right in front of the palace and the castellan impaled on his own dagger and died.
Palace in Grabki Duze. Photo by P. Walczak
The palace was designed by a royal architect, Francesco Placidi – of Roman origin and at the same time one of the greatest creators of the late Baroque in Poland. The building was erected on an octagonal plan. There is a huge room on the ground floor that is symmetrically surrounded by smaller rooms. The first floor features a number of rooms, also laid out symmetrically. In one of them there is an inner balcony from which the entire living room can be seen. The palace has also a basement with a system of corridors. Near the palace there are two pavilions. One of them used to serve as a tea-house, after the Turkish fashion, while the other one was a prayer-house. The palace and the pavilions are covered with a copper tented roof with the so-called bent profile.
The building can be viewed only from the outside since it is a private property.