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Jolanta Widlarz - The Last Resident of Kadenówka

According to Mrs. Jolanta's account, the first administrator of Kadenówka, after its takeover by the state, was the Rabka health resort. At that time, there was a tailor's school in Kadenówka, which was located on the ground floor of the building. The first tenants began to live in the house, settling in rooms on the second floor.

In later years, Kadenówka was taken over by the Institute of Mother and Child (now the Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases), where Mrs. Jolanta worked as a nurse. At that time, the house was divided into smaller apartments, where doctors and nurses lived. The building was not surrounded by a fence, and the entrance to the property was a wooden gate with a gable roof, with two benches flanking the passage. The benches were also under the roof. Mrs. Jolanta recalls that the gate had relief ornaments with highlander motifs.

​At the time of the Institute of Mother and Child, Kadenówka was divided into five apartments/rooms. The largest space, inhabited by the families of doctors, was located on the ground floor and included the main hall, two rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. On the ground floor, in two rooms to the left of the service entrance, there was a small flat for nurses. Previously, it was used as a room for a maidservant and an auxiliary kitchen. The first floor was almost entirely dedicated to Mrs. Jolanta's apartment. Three rooms were separated in it, occupying the right part of the first floor. Nurses usually lived on the same floor, in the room under the stairs. Doctors lived on the second floor, usually without families.

Mrs. Jolanta remembers that the first tenant living on the second floor mentioned that the room with a window overlooking the stairs was used in the heyday of Kadenówka as a "fur room" The cabinets in the walls are supposedly the original furnishings of the villa. Mrs. Jolanta also mentions that in the apartment on the second floor there was a huge mirror 

in a carved frame.  Unfortunately, she is not sure whether it was owned by the first tenant or was the original equipment of the villa.


The cellar door had bars forged into a floral motif, but it was stolen. The original equipment of Kadenówka, found by the new tenants, included also brass illuminators for paintings and brass handles. All bathroom walls were lined with crystal mirrors. After each renovation of the building, several more mirrors were missing. 


In the main kitchen there was a boiler to heat the water, a large stove, and next to it a hatch to the basement. There was, and still is, a direct access from the kitchen to the main hall. The housekeeper's room was right next door. The main kitchen was equipped with a tiled stove with brass frames. During the demolition of the stove, one bright tile was kept

by Mrs. Jolanta. She later handed it over to Rafał Kaden in case he wanted to recreate the stove after the villa was passed back to his family in the 1990s. In the corner of the room, on the right side of the window, there was a locker with a sliding lattice. According to Mrs. Jolanta, originally there were two kitchens in Kadenówka – one by the service entrance, with an adjoining room for a servant, and the other, the 'representative' one, on the right from the main entrance.

In the early 1960s, after Ms. Jolanta moved to Kadenówka, the garden adjacent to the building was reaching the river below the property. It grew, among others, plums and hazelnuts, there were lilacs along the sidewalk, and wild roses grew along the road on the other side of the street. There were no shrubs in front of the villa's main entrance. In the beginning, there was only evenly cut grass. The swimming pool in the garden was not used in accordance with its function, and rather as a dumping ground for garden cleaning waste (composter). In the 1970s, the current plot was marked out.

​ Aleksandra Idler, 2017

"Adam Kaden was the eldest son of doctor Kazimierz Kaden, the owner and the actual founder of the Rabka health resort, because what he found, after purchasing it from the previous owners – the Zubrzycki family – was completely primitive."

"When I was a child, my grandmother and I have often visited the Kaden manor, down behind the railroad tracks, near

a miniature market square or marketplace. Then, after the death of Adam's father, Dr. Kazimierz, and after the division of the inheritance, his oldest daughter, a wife to a teacher named Wieczorkowski, donated the old mansion for a middle school. Adam built a villa of his own design on the border of the village of Ponice [Kadenówka]. From the porch with stained-glass windows with highlander motifs – also the work of Kaden, who was not only a poet, but also a painter and sculptor – you could see Babia Góra on the horizon."

"[...] Adam Kaden, having relinquished the management of Rabka to his brother, Kazimierz – a doctor like their father – settled in Krakow, then built the villa in Ponice and worked. [...] he sculpted, created architectural designs, and painted (mainly nudes, but also still life) and, above all, he wrote."

"The house in Rabka was very Polish, full of tradition. Kilims, old furniture, paintings."

Quotes from an unknown publication from the archives of Mrs. Jolanta Widlarz

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