Scieżka turystyczna po Warszawskiej Pradze
Scieżka turystyczna po Warszawskiej Pradze

40. Zabinski Villa in Warsaw Zoo


Within the Warsaw Zoo stands a historic facility, revitalized by the European Regional Development Fund. Villa Zabinski established in the interwar period, and served for the Director of the Garden – Jan Zabinski and his family as an accommodation. During the World War II it was called “Villa under the crazy star”. This site has a fascinating, multi-layered story that was the basis of a renovation project in order to incorporate it into the urban tourism path named “The Pianist Route”, following the footsteps of Wladyslaw Szpilman, the great Polish pianist of Jewish origin.
A bridge between the Szpilman silhouette and the Zabinski Villa is not only the fate of the Jews hiding in Warsaw Zoo, but also the element of music. At a time when the Zabinski Villa were hiding fugitives from the ghetto, the piano standing in the living room became a kind of warning tool. In situations of imminent danger wife of Director Zabinski began to play music, the choice of which transmitted certain information. Through the music she was warning of danger or informing that it is safe to leave the shelter. There was no shortage of threats, as in that time abandoned garden area was open only for the Germans, who were willingly visiting the place without realizing the enterprise led by the Director and his wife. For their heroism Zabinski family was honored in 1965 by the Yad Vashem with title “Righteous Among the Nations”.
Today Zabinski Villa is the heart of the “The Pianist Route”. It is open to the public. In its interior the Chamber of Remembrance was created. The Villa and the adjacent garden will hold cultural events – in particular the piano concerts – but also lectures, exhibitions, lectures and recitation evenings.

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