The expropriation of historical immovables for the sake of the State Treasury is a special legal instrument used in the name of collective interest and concern for the national heritage. The expropriation of immovables consists of the deprivation or limitation of ownership rights, the right of perpetual usage or other rights concerning immovables. Intervention into the right of ownership of historical immovables, which involves expropriation, should be realised in accordance with the binding law. The legal foundations for expropriation can be found in three types of regulations: the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, statutes and international public and European law. Decisions pertaining to a temporary seizure of historical immovables and expropriation have been divided between two organs of public administration: the voivodeship conservator of historical monuments and the starosta, with the former acting as the advisory and motionfiling organ, while the starosta conducts the expropriation procedure and makes decisions about the expropriation of the immovables. The expropriation of historical immovables conceived as legal institution, which is to guarantee the preservation of historical monuments by the state, is both correct and regular. Its application, however, calls for the observation of administrative procedures, which considerably increase the time of the procedure. As a consequence, it causes a considerable delay of conservation undertakings aimed at saving the original historical substance. In view of the fact that expropriation usually relates to the most damaged and neglected monuments, chances for the preservation of even the smallest fragment of the original are often slight, and the institution of expropriation, whose purpose is to salvage historical monuments, could contribute to a rapidly progressing and irreversible reduction of the original historical substance. The conservation milieu, mindful of scientific accomplishments and the postulates of the charter for the protection of historical monuments, strives at a preservation of the original historical substance as little altered as possible. It seems more correct, therefore, to opt for a less radical path - to persuade the owner to agree to conservation or sale. Expropriation, envisaged as a form of legal coercion, should be applied in exceptional cases, when the repertoire of other possibilities has been exhausted. On the other hand, it should not be avoided, keeping in mind the fact that historical monuments are supposed to survive not only for the sake of our generation, and that their protection, perceived as a public goal, justifies expropriation.