Poland to celebrate 200th birthday of princess
Lower Silesia in Poland is celebrating 2010 as the "Marianne-von-Oranien Year" - marking the 200th birthday anniversary of a princess of the same name from The Netherlands. As the Polish tourism office notes, the princess married one Prince Albrecht, a son of Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II, and then lived for a long period in the Silesian region of the south-western part of modern-day Poland, dpa reported.
A new "Marianne-von-Oranien Route" also pays homage to her, running from the town of Zabkowice Slaskie to the town of Bilad Voda in the Czech Republic. That is where Marianne had a palace built, in 1853.
The most important stopping-point along the new route, according to the Tourism Office, is Kamieniec Zabkowicki, a one-hour drive south of Wroclaw. There visitors can see the neo-Gothic style, fairytale palace which the architect Karl-Friedrich Schinkel designed for the princess. It is thought to be the last work of Schinkel, who was a star architect of his time. The castle's grounds were designed by the equally-famous Peter-Joseph Lenne.
In 1873, Marianne von Oranien gave the palace to her son. After World War II, the palace was partially destroyed in an arson attack, and for some time now, according to the Tourism Office, restoration work has been going on.
A further point along the route is the former gold-mining city Zloty Stok. Amongst other sites of interest, the ruins of a lime kiln can be seen which was used to produce the bricks for the construction of the palace. Further attractions along the route include a number of churches and alms-houses which the Oranien princess donated to the local residents.
The "Marianne-von-Oranien Year" also includes a series of festivities, including an open-air photography exhibition in Wroclaw. On May 8, in Kamienic Zabkowicki, an exhibition devoted to the princess, who died in Germany's Rhineland region in 1883, will be opened. Likewise, in Bystrzyca Kodzka, the town museum will be open on May 16 for a "Night at the Museum" and will also open a special exhibition about the life of Princess Marianne.