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Castle Museum in Łańcut

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Orchid House

Between 1893-1904 on the instructions of Roman and Elisabeth Potocki the Vienna company Griedl built a palm house in the park opposite the riding arena (after 1923 it was pulled down). Many plants brought from other continents were collected in this place.

In its backup the gardener Alois Philipp erected a greenhouse, which at the beginning functioned as a store for the palm house. Here many plants were cultivated and grown, for example orchids, that gave the greenhouse its name.

1923 Ferdinand, the King of Romania with his spouse Queen Maria and four years later Ignacy Mościcki, the Polish President, came to see the Orchid House. 1937 it was visited by Prince George, Duke of Kent, who came to Łańcut for a few days together with his spouse, Princess Marina.

After the II World War the Orchid House was assumed by the State-Owned Agricultural Enterprise, which continued the cultivation of orchids until the 80’s of the 20th century. The next owner of the greenhouse suspended to heat and to care for the Orchid House, which fell into disrepair very quickly. The Museum acquired the remained species and genus of the historic orchid collection.

In April 1994 the Museum assumed the completely destroyed Orchid House. Since then efforts were made to restore its past greatness.

The first stage was building of a new boiler room in 2000-2002. This became possible thanks to the financial help obtained from the National- and Voivodeship-Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. In 2004 the preparations for the reconstruction of the Orchid House and its arrangement started. A project called “Revitalization of the historic buildings of the riding arena, casino and orchid house”, which is implemented in the years 2007-2009, is co-financed with the funds granted under the Norwegian Financial Mechanism.

The old function of the Orchid House has been restored and does now delight the eyes of all enthusiasts for wonderful, exotic flowers anew.

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The Orchid House consists of an exhibition, a back part divided into three climatic zones and a summer cafe.

The Orchid House is equipped with advanced device which serves to keep optimal condition for the cultivation of this demanding group of plants.

In the exhibition many species and genus of orchids are presented. This is where the most effective, blooming plants are brought. The remaining part of the year they are cultivated in one of the three greenhouses in the back part, under proper conditions for the origin climatic zone. In the exhibition we can see orchids growing in the ground, litophytes (growing on rocks) as well as epiphytes (growing on tree branches).

Here we can see contemporary cross-breeds cultivated by men, botanic orchids created by nature without the invasion of men, as well as historic species and genus of orchids from the Potocki’s collection before war, but also those mentioned in the famous study „Reichenbachia” from the 19th century, which is kept in save custody of the castle library in Łańcut.

Among the corollary plants we can find tree branches with epiphytic orchids, that represent a very big group of plants, which is very characteristic for tropical and subtropical areas. The specific structure of their roots is capable to soak up water from the atmosphere.

Our collection is systematically improved by adding new orchid species.

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