Travel lovePoland Magazine June 2020


We invite you to another, summer issue of the Magazine. We finished preparing it at the beginning of June, so well before the beginning of the high tourist season. However, due to the prevailing pandemic conditions, we encourage you to check information regarding travelling to Poland (also on our social sites). This time we start with a special length reportage by Marek Kalisiński: The Centre of Slavs and Vikings – Wolin, Jomsborg, Vineta. Staying in northern Poland, we encourage you to visit the Wolin National Park – and a little further, in Masuria – the war quarters of the Wolf's Lair. As always, we could not miss a visit to Polish cities – this time it will be medieval Toruń, beautiful Muszyna in Konrad Rogozinski's photography and a bit less known, but still worth visiting Chęciny with the text and photographs of Michał Piorun.
And there are the conversations that we consider pretty special – with a windmill enthusiast Wiesław Szkopek and with two artists: Arkadiusz Andrejkow in the text Silent Memorial and with Sasha Nazim, now a Cracovian, a painter and a creator of photography documenting Kraków and its life. For literature and film enthusiasts, we recommend visiting places related to the famous series The Witcher based on books by Andrzej Sapkowski. Marcin Nowak will take you to these places. As usual, we devote some time to photographs associated with Polish nature – these time, these will be, beautiful in their simplicity, photos by Rafał Bojanowski. Kasia Skóra – as our regular guide to Polish traditions – will tell you about the customs associated with the birth of a child. After this interesting reading, Karolina and Konrad will invite you to Czorsztyn for slightly crazy adventures.  August is also another anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising. This time, we offer you to learn about its history  through a discussion about the book Faith of a Little Insurgent by Wendell Speer. Of course, in the magazine you will find many other topics, including another recipe of Polish cuisine. Don't forget to check what one of our partner 2Poland, has to offer. Feel free to check all of that on your own!
Contributors to this issue: 
Arkadiusz Andrejkow, Dominika Bednarczyk, Rafał Bojanowski, Konrad Janik, Marek Kalisiński, Sasha Nazim, Marcin Nowak, Michał Piorun, Marta Papierowska, Konrad Rogoziński, Jerzy Rajecki, Przemysław Sękowski, Katarzyna Skóra, Wendell Speer and Wiesław Szkopek.




some of our our top packages

and many more on our website

TO THE HORSES! Feel like a pioneer riding

through the Bieszczady wild-lands!

A 5-day horse ride through the beautiful wilderness of Bieszczady.

Saddle your horse and go through the Połoniny fields, rivers, mountains

and woods. During the trip you will pass ruins of orthodox churches and

villages – silent witnesses of rough Polish-Ukrainian history.

LOG-OFF AND REST. A mysterious weekend on

Grand Lakes of Masuria!

We offer you a chance to slow down, log off from the digital world, and

dive into nature. A cozy houses with apartments in tree crowns are

waiting for you at the end of the world – The Grand Lakes of Masuria.

Here you calm down, relax, and recover your nerves. Far from the city

rush, deep into the green nature, you will find peace and quiet.

CASTLEMANIA Experience the most exiting

medieval castles in Poland!

This adventure will take you deep into Silesian Medieval era. You will

have chance to see and visit witnesses of rough history of Silesia region.

Splendid castles, breathtaking views, and wild nature provide

unforgettable experience. You will visit castles Czocha, Grodziec,

Chojnik, Książ. As a special attraction we provide a traditional medieval

Polish feast!

CULTURAL POLAND Taste the Poland's classic

itinerary served with a glass of adventure!

This trip will let You discover Poland’s culture on its every plane. During

8 days of traveling you will visit astonishing places in the country, taste

all the best Polish cuisine can offer, and experience history in the way

you have never done before. Living culture in historical

buildings, flavours of the past served in modern interiors, tradition and


Book your adventure in Poland!

+48 661 634 971

Sven Edvardson

Adam of Bremen also wrote about Wolin in 1074: "At its

mouth, there is the serious city of Jumneta, a centre greatly

visited by barbarians and Greeks living around. This is indeed

the largest among the European cities. Slavs and other

nationalities, Greeks and barbarians, live there. This city, rich

in all north goods, has every possible pleasure and rarity.

There is a Volcano pot, which the inhabitants call Greek fire”.

Due to its convenient location and trade, Wolin developed

quickly and became the centre of the religious life of Slavic

worship of Svetovid and Triglav. They pursued independent

policy until 967 when they lost the battle with Mieszko I and

the city was incorporated into Poland while maintaining great

autonomy. During this period, a hook construction rampart was

erected around the city, which was a structure widely used in

Poland. An interesting fact is that the Danish king Harald

Bluetooth took refuge in Wolin in 987, fleeing his son Sven,

and died of wounds here. Inhabitants of Wolin, apart from

craft and trade, began to deal with piracy and it was so

effective that some Danish islands were depopulated and their

native population was replaced by Slavs. This situation forced

the Danish King Magnus the Good to retaliate and in 943 he

invaded the city, conquered and destroyed it. There is also

some information provided about the invasion of Danish troops

of King Eric in 1098, which conquered the boroughs, but they

did not attack the city itself as the spoils from the borough

were highly satisfying for them. After this period, the city was

rebuilt and the Wolinians were independent until 1121, when

they became subordinated to the Pomeranian prince

Warcisław, who was a vassal of the Polish king Bolesław III

Wrymouth. The second half of the 12th century was the fall of

Wolin, which was associated with numerous invasions of the

Danes, which caused the destruction of the stronghold, which

was further contributed to the disappearance of trade, which

was the basis of the wealth of residents, as well as the

shallowing of the Daugava River, which resulted in the

impossibility of using water transport. After this period, Wolin

did not regain its previous splendour. What made Wolin the

most famous today are the Scandinavian sagas in which he is

called Jom or Jomsborg. Among many sagas, one of the most

important is Jomsvikingsaga (The Saga of Jomsborg Vikings),

which largely describes the history of the Vikings of Jom. It

was created at the beginning of the thirteenth century in

Iceland at the Thingeyra monastery and it can be said that it is

a compilation of earlier records and traditional oral

communications of Scandinavian skalds celebrating the heroic

deeds of the Wolin warriors called Jomsvikings, and the second

such rich source is the Olav Tryggvasons saga from the midtwelfth

century. According to many historians, the sagas

cannot be treated as a historical source, because history,

literary fiction and differences in the description of the place

and time are very much mixed up.

However, recent archaeological achievements and the

addition of new cognitive tools contribute to changing these

views and intensifying research on sagas. Reports about

Jomsvikings in sagas differ significantly and for this reason

there are two versions of the tradition, which are described

as older and newer. The older one states that the first

founder of the Jomsviking stronghold was the Danish king

Harald Bluetooth, who was to conquer the Slavs and

establish a fortified stronghold in Wolin- Jomsborg. And in

the newer version, the first founder is thought to be a

Viking called Palnatoki, the earl of the island of Fyn that

became the first jarl (the title given to Scandinavian chiefs,

warriors), who came to Wolin with thirty long boats and was

to receive these lands from the Slavic ruler Buryslaw to

manage on his behalf and protect them. Palnatoki is

probably considered a legendary figure. The stronghold was

to be surrounded by solid embankments with a palisade, it

also had a sea gate closed with gates and was secured with

iron chains and a stone bridge led to the fortress. Both

accounts state that this armed formation was established to

defend the Jomsborg area. I would add that in his work

Gesta Danorum Saxo Grammaticus presents another version

in which Harald Bluetooth conquered the settlement of

Julinum and gave it to the Swedish prince Styrbjorn

Olafsson. Only men who lived alone could belong to the

Jomsviking order. Women could not stay in the castle either.

Their most important task of Jomsvikings was performing

famous deeds. They were famous for their incredible

courage and bravery. The sagas describe a situation in which

several dozen Jomsvikings were taken prisoners during

fights with Jarl Hakon and all were sentenced to death by

beheading with an axe.Facing death, they laughed and

mocked their torturers.


Portrait of an early medieval merchant

The Jomsvikings became famous for their courage and

bravery in many sea and land battles in Poland,

Scandinavia and even England. According to scientists, the

crew of Jomsborg after the year 1000 consisted mainly of

Scandinavians and Slavs.

Nowadays, the Icelandic sagas, and especially the

Jomsviking saga, have become an inspiration to create a

historical festival from this period, which took place in

Wolin on July 2, 1993. The festival's organizers were

contemporary Vikings from Denmark under the leadership

of the late prof. Geoffrey Bibby. At that time, the events

were taking place in Wolin in the city itself, only in 1999

the festival was moved to the nearby island of Wolińska

Kępa, where the reconstruction of the Jomsborg castle

was initiated. Already in 2002, the association "Centre of

Slavs and Vikings Wolin Jomsborg Vineta" was established,

which set itself the goal of building an early medieval

open-air museum. The first fortified gate was built in

2003. As the founders of the association recall, it took

several years from the dream to the implementation of the

project. Finally, the dreams came true and the museum

was officially opened on April 7, 2008. During this time,

the museum has gained such fame that reconstruction

teams from all over the world come to it. It happens that

at the festival there are from 2000 to 2500 reenactors

considered the largest in the region while the numbers of

tourists visiting the festival are estimated at dozens of

thousands. The main program of the festival takes place

cyclically in the first days of August each year, while craft

workshops usually begin two weeks earlier.

The festival program is very rich. Entering the fortified

gate into the museum area, you have the feeling that you

stepped back into that era. This impression is further

intensified by live medieval music, but many tourists do

not perceive this effect. However, the performers who

stand out from tourists, are really eye-catching. The place

is crowded and colourful, tourists mix with musicians in

colourful costumes decorated with rich, various jewellery.

In addition, everywhere there are replicas of tents,

inhabited by artists, traders and craftsmen. Wandering

around the museum, we can see craftsmen who represent

various professions, showing the manufacturing process of

their products and they are blacksmiths, shoemakers,

tailors, weavers, carpenters, potters, goldsmiths,

armourers, boatbuilders, wickerwork masters, amber and

horn crafters and many other professions. We will also

meet the stands of traders specialising in our offer, on

some we can buy swords, bows, spears and all other

weapons, on other chainmail and helmets, leather and

horns or antlers, robes and materials, jewellery and many

other products. On the banks of the Dźwina River there is

a port where replicas of Viking and Slavic boats moor.

Depending on the program, Viking and Slav fights are reenacted,

showing sea skirmishes or boat races. Attention is

also drawn to daredevils, who are showing off their agility

and run along the rows of oars protruding from hoopoes

above the water. Individual or group fights of warriors are

shown. Archery competitions, spear or axe throws take

place. There are also staging performances of the weddings,

funerals, conquests, burning villages, showing assaults or

skirmishes, baptisms of pagans and princes, trials on

criminals. We can also use the fortune teller service and learn

about our future. There is a temple in the open-air museum,

where we can learn about the rituals and spirituality of that

period from the Żerca (Slavic priest). The visitors may enter

wooden cottages with thatched roofs decorated in an early

medieval style illustrating how the inhabitants of the castle

lived and what their living conditions looked like. There are

talks, lectures and scientific sessions as well as meetings

with authors of books referring to the peoples of the Baltic

Sea. Starving tourists have not been forgotten, in many

places you can taste a wide range of old-fashioned snacks

and dishes. The festival's biggest attraction is the staging of

the battle of Slavs and Vikings, in which 600-800 warriors

take part. Depending on the wealth (as it was in the early

Middle Ages), we can see warriors wearing wonderful

chainmail and helmets and decorated weapons, and more

modestly dressed warriors even without protective chain

mail. Looking at them, you may feel that we are at those

times. The sound of the big drum heralds that soon the

warriors will appear on the battlefield. Its sound and

vibration and rhythm put participants in a sublime mood and

it encourages the warriors to fight. They stand in two rows

facing each other, but before the fight comes, according to

tradition, a fortune telling celebration shall take place to

reveal their destiny.


army on the battlefield.


Depper in the foreground.


The sun is scorching hot, the warriors, united, try to do

their best to win. Two rows of warriors wave like a snake,

pushing the fighters one way and the other. Suddenly a

downpour comes, giving the fighters some cooling from

the August heat. There will be wigs on the green. The

commanders of both sides introduce reserves, which wedge

into tight ranks to break or weaken them. The scale of

victory tilts back and forth, until the opponent's forces

break down and the fight is over. The battle is carried out

three times, until it is won by one of the sides. The winners

announce their victory in triumphant voice. The warriors, in

squads, slowly leave the battlefield marching to their camps.

There they meet with their commanders, their faces still

show emotions and the signs of enormous effort. The

commander gives a fiery speech, mobilising the squad to

acting together. After the speech, the commander's camp

slowly gets empty, the warriors go to rest.

The day is slowly coming to an end and tourists are

leaving the open-air museum. In the evening, the

performers gather around the fire, finally being able to

eat a meal together, talk, sing and drink some noble

beverages. During this time, they also visit other camps

or host visitors. This moment, when the sun sets and in

the sky you can still see red flames and darkness slowly

covers the open-air museum, then the light of sparkling

bonfires and lanterns comes out, the sound of music and

singing surrounds everything, it is time of silence,

contemplation of what happened and what is still going

on, this is the moment of that era.

Even the best descriptions and photos will not reflect the

mood at the Wolin festival. You just have to be there, see

and feel it for yourself. Come and enjoy!

Marek Kalisiński

Szczecin, June 2020


Skirmishers are fighting against two enemy armies to show their

bravery and glorify themselves

Jomsborg Army.

Starting from right to left from the bottom of the photo:

Anie Lepper – Jarl of all world Jomsvikings,

Igor D. Górewicz – voivode of the Castle Team 'Trzygłowa', commander Jomsborg East Storm,

Szymon Hofman – team voivode Nordelag,

Maximas Von Bracey – team founder Silver Wolf (Moskva), For many years the commander of the Armed Forces,

Omat Bhatti – Quenan - Jomsviking and member of Ulflag (London), East Storm

Attack under the cover of a spear

Jomsbork's leader Igor D. Górewicz triumphs over the invaders

Słowiński National Park


The bright beaches of the Baltic Sea border here on the

largest stretch of moving sand dunes in Europe and

extensive swamps.

By the sea Słowiński National


source of information:

The Słowiński National Park is located in the middle part of

the Polish Baltic Sea coast, in the Pomorskie Voivodeship. It

protects the Łeba Spit and the Gardeńsko-Łebska Lowland.

The spit has separated numerous coastal lakes from the

open sea, including Łebsko, the third-largest lake in Poland

(on which ship cruises are organised); Gardno, which is also

quite big, and Jamno. The Słowiński National Park is visited

by thousands of tourists, fond of the beauty and variability

of its landscape. In order to maintain one of the most

precious tie of indigenous nature, which undoubtedly is the

Land of Water, Wind and Sand, there have been appointed

only representative, selected areas of the Park for tourism

practicing. The information on regulations, under which the

tourist movement comes on the terrain of the Park, one can

find along the tourist tracks or at the car parks.

The park's pride is the largest stretch of moving sand dunes in

Europe. The dunes, which move to the east by up to 10 metres each

year, resemble a sandy desert stretching along the narrow split

between the Baltic Sea and Lake Łebsko. They look really

impressive, especially near their highest peak – Łączka, which is

over 40 metres a.s.l. high. The highest peak of the entire

Słowińskie Coast is the post-glacial Rowokół Hill (114.8 metres

a.s.l.), which is now a nature reserve.

At the top is an observation tower, which enables visitors to admire

the landscape with Lakes Gardno and Łebsko and the Baltic Sea

coast. In the Słowiński National Park, there are numerous peat bogs

and swamps, which serve as mainstays for 260, mainly wetland,

bird species. These include herons, cranes, ospreys and white-tailed


The birds are most frequently seen in the area of Lakes Gardno and

Łebsko; therefore, strict nature reserves have been established


The entire park has been included by UNESCO in the World Network

of Biosphere Reserves and listed among the areas protected under

the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.


Hints and tips when visiting

The study of nature of the Słowiński National Park is

feasible by dint of the network of foot tracks as well as

educational nature paths. At present there are over

170 kilometres of routes. Tourist and didactic

structures, which enable the direct contact with the

Park nature without infringing the regulations of its

protection, constitute the attraction for the

determined tracks. Out from numerous towers and

view footbridges, one can admire the opulence,

diversity and mosaic arrangement of ecosystems and

landscapes of the park. In the museum premises, you

can find the exhibitions, which reflect the dynamics of

the processes and phenomena observed in the Park at

the scope of the whole year.

A visit in a museum of Smołdzino, Rowy, Kluki or Rąbka

will be the supplement for performed observations

while usually too short holiday period. Foot tracks are

rendered accessible for practicing bicycle tourism. We

cordially invite to take the advantage of using this

active form of rest. In case of not having one's own

bicycle, the rental shops may be found helpful situated

in Rowy, Smołdzino, Smołdziński Las or Rąbka.

We suggest differentiating the excursions throughout

familiarising with the bicycle tracks located in the

lagging of the park, just to name the track of

"Dissolved Railway" leading through old rail

embankment from Ustka to Rowy, or the track of "The

Checked Land". In the summer months there exists the

possibility of cruising through the Łebsko Lake on the

passenger boat "Ohar" with the itinerary of Łeba-

Kluki-Łeba, or taking the boats "Alka" and "Kormoran"

with the itinerary Łeba-Rąbka-Wyrzutnia-Łeba.

In addition – a dog enthusiasts do not have to separate

from their favourites while being in the park. However,

for the good of the animals and other visitors, the dog

owners are requested to use the minimal limits with

their pets like a leash and a muzzle.

Horse-riding enthusiasts are recommended to have

horse-riding classes in Nowęcin, Smołdziński Las and


In The Słowiński National Park there binds an absolute

ban on using wheeled vehicles apart from specially

designated areas. The number and the location of carparks

facilitates to plan the sojourn and meet all the

"corners" of the Park. Let us leave the car at the

parking lot, considering the fact, the internal roads in

the park do not constitute the highway.

For people intending to use solely sun and sea bathing,

special free of charge passages to the beach have been

marked from the car park on the terrain of former

military station in Czołpino and from the car park on

the lake of the Dołgie Duże.


Additional info

The nature of the park characterises with unique values

and is concurrently characteristic for the Baltic mid-coast.

These peculiar features of the Park nature are appreciated

not only in Poland but also abroad. The largest opulence of

objects, phenomena and natural processes may be found at

the Łebska Spit and seaside lakes. The opulence of

different eco-systems and their unusually dynamic spatial

relations need to be classified as the most unique value of

the Park environment. For example, the alterations of

positioning the Baltic Sea coast line in the macro-scale

have been occurring throughout many thousands years, but

almost every day on the beach, one can follow this process

in the micro-scale, observing lagoons formation and filling

them up with the sand being thrown to the shore by the

sea waves. is also active.

Also, when visiting the Słowiński National Park, remember

about exploring the nature paths of the following

characters: phyto-sociological, eco-cultural and

ornithological. Their assignment is to present natural

phenomena in the background of history.

Filming and photographing is permitted with no limits only on

the selected tourist tracks and transit routes.

The park does not possess its own accommodation amenities.

In its lagging, there exists an ample offer of hotels, pension

houses, private lodgings of diversified service standard and

price conditions for all means.

Information upon the rules of rendering accessible the park

for land and water tourism practicing, may be obtained at the

Head Office of The Słowiński National Park in Smołdzino as

well as tourist information offices at the following telephone


Słupsk (+48 059 8424 326), Łeba (+48 0598662 288)

Smołdzino (+48 059 8117 215), Ustka (+48 059 8146 041),

Rowy (+48 059 8141 818).

Tourists can also visit the heritage park in Kluki near

Smołdzino, which depicts the early life of Słowińcy, who used

to inhabit the shores of Lakes Łebsko and Gardno. A 25

metre-high historical lighthouse in Czołpino and some other

places (see list on the next page) is also worth visiting.






Known as Skwer Kościuszki in Polish,

it is the tourist hub of Gdynia. Built on

an artificial peninsula, the Southern

Pie, which stretches out far into the

sea, with John Paul II Avenue, is an

extension of the Square. The place

features a monument to Maritime

Poland, Modernist townhouses and a

fountain. The ORP Błyskawica

museum ship and the Dar Pomorza

sailing ship are moored at the quay; a

little farther ahead, you can see

Poland’s only Passenger Ship Avenue

and the Joseph Conrad monument,

with the Sails monument closer to the




A fishing and summer village in the

commune of Ustka situated at the

mouth of the Łupawa River, nearby

the Gardno Lake. A terminal moraine

makes a cliff here at the height of

35m. The legend describes, that the

village was founded by shipwrecked

people, the refugees from Wolin after

the attack of the Vikings. The church

from 1844-49 in the Neo-Roman style

built from post-glacial stones; the

cemetery situated by the church

where the seamen from the wrecked

ships are buried. A summerhouse

timbered in the croft no. 12, an oven

from the beginning of the XX century

in the croft no. 34.


A commune village situated at

the Gardneńska Lowland on

the Łupawa River, at the foot of

the Rowokół, a cult mountain of the

Slovians. The church of the XVII

century in which there is placed the

epitaph of the founder Anna Croy and

her son; in 1823 the church was

enlarged and in 1874 a cross aisle was

added. On the ceiling there are 49

pictures from the original ceiling, 2

candlesticks, an altar and a baroque

pulpit of XVII century. The tradition

announces, that in the basements,

there are bricked up the last Slovinian

books sentenced for extermination in

the mid of the previous century.




A village on the southern bank of the

Łebsko Lake in the commune of


Izbica came into being only in the XVI

century; the first written recordings

come from the documents of

Pomeranian knights and the families

of von Stojentin and von Putkamer.

In the village there is a church from

1930 decorated with a slim, partly

timbered tower. The onion-like,

turned to green helmet is the most

splendid element. Inside, there are

frescos with the biblical scenes of the

fishermen lives.

Nature sanctuary, partially of peat,

"Izbica Marshlands" of the area of

281,18 hectares.

A fishing village in the commune of

Smołdzino, situated on the western

bank of the Łebsko Lake on the terrain

of the Slovinski National Park.

The name was settled in this form in

1769; following the local, verbal

tradition, the village came into being

from small crofts inhabited by the

Kleks. The village became in the XVIII

century and consisted of a few parts -

Kluki Smołdzińskie, Kluki Żelazne and

Kluki Ciemińske. Throughout the

centuries, strictly isolated from the

world, until the World War I, it was

adequately remaining as cut off from

civilisation. The Skansen Museum in

Kluki was established in 1963. The

Skansen Museum still expands and it it

will comprise 20 structures including 7

huts, 7 little cow-sheds, 2 barns, 2

bread ovens, a boat and fishing

equipment stock as well as a fishing


A village in Smołdzino commune, on

the Gardno Lake. Currently it consists

of two combined villages: Gardna

Mała and Gardna Wielka. Slovian

settlements and the first strongholds

appeared on this terrain already in

the VII-VIII century. The buildings'

layout resembles along the street

model with a square in the village

centre, presumably the location of the

middle ages stronghold. The relicts of

traditional building: old fishing huts

and utility buildings, brick nogged

timber wall, often with pedimentalsmoke

hole-roofs from the beginning

of the XIX century. The church from

the XV century, rebuilt in 1842. On

the Stone Island there is an erratic

bloc, called "a devil's stone", with

which many legends are associated.

The island is a strict sanctuary with

the breading grounds of rare birds.

Park Tourist Information

source and tourist information:

Head Office of The Słowiński National Park

Warszawy Street 1A

76-214 Smołdzino

Park is open:

From 01.05 to 30.09 from sunrise to sunset: fees (1 day full price ticket 6 PLN)

From 1.10 to 30.04 from sunrise to sunset: free entry

For anglers

The Słowiński National Park invites all angling amateurs to The Słowiński National Park fisheries.

Fishing from shore or boat available at the following fisheries:

Fishery: Łebsko, Fishery Gardno, Fishery Pustynka, Fishery Rowokół

Car parks:

Rąbka car park, Czołpino Leśny – forest car park, Czołpino car park (J.W.), Czołpino (J.W.), Czołpino Leśny – forest car parks


Słowinski National Park






Wiesław Szkopek

Passion to the windmills Project


"I have created this website in order to document the dying world of

windmills. I am collecting every item with windmill imagery and every

item which represents windmills in any way. The majority of my

assemblage are photographs and postcards, as they tend to be

excellent iconographic material".

We met with Mr. Wiesław Szkopek quite by coincidence. Namely,

he wrote to us asking about the location of one of the windmills

in Podlasie, in the photo by Jerzy Rajecki, probably already

known to you. It gave us an opportunity to have a look at the

link to the website sent to us in the message. After entering the

attached website, we saw an amazing archive of windmills not

only from Poland, but also from other parts of Europe and many

corners from around the world. The windmills, which can be

seen today only in old photographs, but also those that can still

be found and admired in various parts of Poland. So we decided

to invite Wiesław for a short conversation about the genesis of

the project itself as well as his passion. Feel free to visit his

website at on your own. Some

descriptions are in German and English, but most of them in

Polish. Anyway, the photographs and images speak for


TLP: Wiesław, apparently your passion for windmills started

almost half a century ago. You say that you took this fascination

over from an engineer – Feliks Klaczyński. What caused this

fascination as probably the acquaintance with Engineer

Klaczyński itself was not enough? Where did this fascination

begin and what were the first exhibits collected?

WS: Yes, I shall confirm; my adventure with windmills started in

the early 1970s. Maybe I'll start with a reminiscence of my

mentor. Feliks Klaczyński from Poznań (1900-1987) was a big

fan of windmills. For several dozen of years he pedantically

collected and created all documentation about windmills. On its

basis, he made at least 60 faithful copies of windmills in a 1:40

scale, of which over 40 are presented at the Mill Museum in

Jaracz, and a dozen or so models exhibited in other museums,

e.g. in Brno, Gifhorn and Suhlendorf.

This activity brought him wide recognition and international

fame. Family "tradition" was also significant. Each of us used

to collect something. For example, my father collected

packaging (bottles and stoneware) for meads (a drink

consumed in Poland and Lithuania since the Middle Ages),

calendars and menus from gastronomic establishments. His

collections were donated to the Raczyński Library in Poznań

and the National Agricultural Museum in Szreniawa.

Sightseeing was another inspiration for becoming interested in

wind mills.

For many years, like my parents and my brother, as a tourist

guide, I showed tourists around Poznań and Wielkopolska

(Greater Poland). Initially, I collected press articles and

publications about windmills. Later I became interested in

postcards with windmills.

I paid more attention to the photos of wind mills when I

received from a relative from Grodzisk Wielkopolski a

collection of over 250 photos of windmills taken by him in the

second half of the 20th century.

The method he obtained them was interesting, too. Well, he

searched for a windmill on the army staff maps, and then he

rode a motorcycle there, often tens of kilometres, to take a

photo of the mill – that was his hobby. Most of them

presented objects from the Wielkopolska region.

The collection began to grow rapidly when my children left the

family home and in one of the rooms (approx. 10 square

metres), I could display windmill treasures, so far buried deep

in wardrobes and in cartons.

TLP: How did it turn into a project to present your extensive

collections in a form available to a wide audience? It was not

an easy task to accomplish, was it?

WS: As probably every collector, I wanted to show "MY

WINDMILLS", but in the apartment it was not possible. Hence

the idea to share them on the Internet as a virtual museum.

I received help in this regard from the Kórnik Library of the

Polish Academy of Sciences, which, since 2012 has been

digitising "MY WINDMILLS Collection – Virtual Museum" and

making it available on the Internet as a publication of the

Wielkopolska Digital Library – I consider it ennobling for my




After all, WBC is a joint initiative of the Poznań academic

community. The participants of the project are Poznań scientific and

public libraries. In addition, I show exhibits from the Collection on

the website I created 3 years ago As it

turns out, it enjoys considerable interest. To date, it has been visited

by over forty-six thousand people. However, the beginnings of the

presentation project were modest. I remember that for the first

time I presented the Collection to a wider audience in 2010. This

presentation included 16 slides.

At that time, I had not digitised the collections yet – a colleague

helped me taking pictures of selected exhibits. For several years, all

exhibits have been digitised (photographed and scanned) on a

regular basis, thanks to which I can actualise the "MY WINDMILLS

Collection Virtual Museum " frequently on the Internet.

Over the years, the presentation of "MY WINDMILLS" has grown

rapidly. Currently, the study, made available on the Internet,

contains a total of 5,250 pages / slides in 25 sections.

It is also worth adding that starting this year, the "MY WINDMILLS

Virtual Museum Collection" has been expanded to include inventory

and technical-building documentation of windmills, from which you

can learn, among others, numerous design details for wind mills. And

if anyone would like to see "MY WINDMILLS" in a more varied form, I

also share them in the Video Gallery. If anyone wanted to watch all

these films, he would have to spend at least 7.5 hours on it.

TLP: Your collection is probably an invaluable archive of knowledge

combined with documentation of these disappearing architectural

objects. Could you tell us about the cultural and economic function

of windmills that they had throughout history and their gradual

disappearance as an important economic component?

WS: Scientists should comment on this topic, but I will try. The

oldest mention of wind mills come from ancient Sumerian sources.

They are over 4000 years old. In Europe, the first records of

windmills come from the 12th century. The oldest mentions about

windmills in documents from today's Poland date back to the 13th


Wind-milling flourished in our country in the 18th century. During

this period there were 20,000 windmills, including 12,000 in Greater

Poland. In 1924, 6.360 wind mills operated in Poland.

After 1945, 2.5 thousand of them still remained in Greater Poland,

and in the 1980s there were only 200 of them. In the 1960s, no

windmill in the country was started by wind power. The matter

looked particularly interesting in this respect in my hometown

Poznań. No windmills were erected in the medieval stronghold of

prince Przemysł.

This was due to the fact that the numerous watercourses found

there favoured establishing water mills.

The windmills were not built here also because "water" millers had

the privilege saying that in the areas of operating water mills, wind

mills could not be erected. Windmills in Poznań and the surrounding

area began to be built only in the last years of the 18th century.

a windmill ?

At the beginning of the 19th century there were already several

dozen of them. In the second and third quarter of the

nineteenth century there was a sharp decline in the number of

water mills and windmills. It was caused by the creation of two

industrial mills in Poznań. Their production capacity was equal

to 15 traditional mills. There is only one windmill that has

survived in Poznań to this day – made of brick, of American


There are three basic types of windmills in our country: a postmill,

the most common in Poland, which name derives from the

base structure on which the whole body rotates, it is rotated

with a drawbar to the wind direction, the first mills of this kind

were built in the 13th century; a tower mill, called Dutch, has a

movable cap (turret) with propellers, it is often made o stone;

this kind of mills were erected since the 17th century; a rollermill,

like the post-mill, in which the whole body rotates to the

direction of the wind, is placed on rollers that rest on a circular

base; mills of this construction were built from the 19th


Museum of Folk Architecture, Sanok, 1973

The post mill is the earliest type of European windmill. Its defining feature is that the whole body of the

mill that houses the machinery is mounted on a single vertical post, around which it can be turned to

bring the sails into the wind.


You are asking me to talk about the cultural and economic

role of windmills. This is an interesting and broad topic, but if

you agree I will talk about it on another occasion.

TLP: (That's ok, we can come back to the subject). Let's talk

about your collection now. How many objects did you manage

to collect? What kind of documentation is it? What part of

your collection still waits to be digitised? What meaning does

the collection have for you?

WS: It is difficult to count all the collected objects. I estimate

that I have from 4,500 to 5,000 exhibits in the Collection.

Indirectly, their quantity is evidenced by the size of the online

publication MY WINDMILLS Virtual Museum Collection, which

presents all the exhibits and which, as I said, contains 5,250


I collect windmill exhibits in various ways. First of all, I search

for them at flea markets and online exchanges. My son helps

me a lot in online shopping. Over time, the collection has

grown to an impressive number of objects, obtained from all

continents. So my windmills come from Europe, Asia, Africa,

North and South America and Oceania – in total 164 countries.

Over time, it turned out that as a result of my passion, a

collection was created presenting wind mills from various,

often simply amazing perspectives. However, in my opinion,

its greatest value is that it is an important iconographic

document. This is a great treat for history lovers, as many of

the exhibits present objects that no longer exist today.

You ask about digitising the collection. At the beginning it was

not easy, because I started documenting the Collection only in

2010. Several thousand objects had to be photographed or

scanned. For two or three years, this has not been a problem

anymore. I archive all new acquisitions on a regular basis, and I

prepare synthetic descriptions for postcards and photos with

windmills. I will talk about the kinds of exhibits I have acquired

while characterising the Collection.

recommend you to see the objects that are in the Museum of

the First Piasts on Lake Lednickie. On the lake itself, right

next to the ferry crossing to Ostrów Lednicki, where there

are ruins of the palatium of our first historical rulers –

Mieszko the First and Bolesław the Brave, there is the oldest

windmill in Poland. It is a post-type mill, it dates back to 1585.

In the neighbourhood, in the Greater Poland Ethnographic

Park, you can see a group of three windmills, including a brick

one. And further away, a few kilometers from Lednica in

Moraczewo, on Wiatraczne Hill, three post-mills proudly

present themselves. I would mention here one more object

located near Poznań – in Rogierówek, where you can admire

and visit the tower windmill from 1905. It is made of wood,

which is an exception in the case of Dutch type mills.

In turn, near Leszno, I would recommend visiting the private

Museum of Milling and Agriculture in Osieczna. There is a

unique complex of three historic post – windmills from the

18th century. In addition, the owner of the facility at the

beginning of 2020 erected a fourth mill in Osieczna – it is a

model of an economic windmill, in which milling into two types

of flour is made.

And finally, I would recommend visiting the Mill Museum in

Jaracz. There is a meticulously restored post-type windmill

from the end of the 18th century. In this building you can also

admire 40 models of windmills mentioned by me, made by

Feliks Klaczyński.

TLP: You also collect objects connected widely not only with

windmills themselves, but also studies on windmills and

milling, coins, stamps or toys, to name a few. What are these

objects, what role do they play in documenting the 'material

culture' related to your main subject of interest?

WS: Photos and postcards reign in the Collection – I have over

three thousands of them. They constitute an important

archival documents.

TLP: Despite the disappearance of windmills from not only

Polish landscape, I have the impression that we can still see

some of these objects. Are there still many windmills in Poland

that perform their utility functions? Do you have any

favourite, still existing windmills, that you would recommend

to see?

WS: It is difficult to answer this question. According to the

National Heritage Board of Poland, on March 31, 2017, 85

windmills were found historic in the Greater Poland

Voivodship, with a large part of them in poor technical

condition or even in ruins. I am attracted to wind mills that

are already in poor condition. In their case, I feel they have a

soul. However, in my homeland – Wielkopolska I would

Lednica, 2015


Wyszanowo/ Wischen, early 60' (does not exist any longer) collection of prof Marceli Tureczek

It is worth noting that the discussed collection also includes at least

several dozen unique photographs and postcards of wind mills that

no longer exist today. It should also be emphasized that a few

dozen of windmills, captured in photographs, are currently in poor

technical condition, or even in ruins. These photos are perhaps the

last traces of their existence. It also happens that these pictures

show a more optimistic aspect of the history of windmills, showing

that some of them are renovated or after renovation relocated to

new, friendly places.

You ask what other objects, despite postcards and photos, I

collect. Actually, I collect everything presenting windmills in any

form. It is impossible to list them all. In addition to philatelic,

phillumenist and Breweriana collections, these include telephone

cards, rally stamps, police uniform badges, all kinds of kitchen

utensils and accessories, clocks, candlesticks, lamps, pipes, jewellery

and buttons, collectible spoons, calendars, posters and gramophone

records. The Collections includes as well a potty and glassware, a

razor, an aquarium aerator, a baseball bat, office paper clips or

guitar picks. Of course, there are images of windmills on all of these


TLP: Are there still any objects you know about that exist but you

didn't manage to find them or the materials that would describe

and document them? What are your future plans for the collection

and its online presentation?

WS: There are certainly some that are still waiting to be

discovered and bought. I am aware of the existence of a

number of facilities that, due to their high price, are beyond

my financial capacity. This is the case with several coins and

banknotes with the image of a windmill, for example. It also

happens that postcards and photographs from the turn of the

19th and 20th centuries are too expensive for me and I have

to resign from them. There are also objects that I've been

hunting for years – the most desirable one is a postcard

issued in Poznań in 1900, depicting an impressive post-type

windmill, which was located on today Wildecki Market in

Poznań. However, I am satisfied that I have, if not all, then

almost all postage stamps on which the windmill is visible,

starting with the oldest, issued in Spain in 1905. Among the

numismatics, probably as the only one, I have a collection of

over 100 "windmill" notgelds, i.e. German substitute money,

issued at the beginning of the 20th century.

The oldest dated exhibit in the Collection is an English token

from 1794, and the smallest is a Spanish stamp of 14x18 mm

from 1947. It is intriguing that the collection is expanding with

further categories of exhibits. For example, from packaging

and labels with a windmill, over time I separated 2 subsets:

phillumenist, containing several hundreds of match labels and

Breweriana, in which I also collected several hundred labels,

stands and beer caps with the image of a wind mill.

You ask about the possibility of reaching descriptions of

windmills. It is not easy. There are, however, more and more

scientific studies on wind milling. It makes things easier. On

the other hand, when I tried to determine the history of a

given windmill, it happened that its current owners or heirs do

not know it. The greater the satisfaction, when, for example,

a few years ago, I was able to determine the history of a brick

tower windmill (the so-called Dutch mill) in the town of

Jankowo Dolne near Gniezno. The more that I can now

illustrate it with many unique photos and postcards. I am

currently trying to get as many photographs as possible with

the image of the windmill. My friends help me but I also get

help from people I didn't know before. There are also

sensational discoveries. Recently, my daughter-in-law spotted

images of two windmills among the frescoes in the church, in

the town of Małujowice, in Opole region. As it turned out,

after consulting the scientists that these are wall paintings

from the time just before or from the mid-15th century, thus

it is the oldest painting depiction of wind mills preserved in

Poland. So, I am happy to attach to the collection each new

exhibit with the image of a windmill and each subsequent

acquired photo with a windmill, because they enrich the

knowledge about these old, impressive technical monuments.

Wiesław Szkopek


Passion to the windmills

Rawicz/ Rawitch, 1907


Suwałki , 1916

Osieczna, 1960


Turek, 1972


Book Promotion





contact us!

Jerzy Rajecki, the photographer from Podlasie debuting with this

album, deservedly grouped his works according to obviously

imposing subjects. Thanks to this, the Author of these

photographs – avoiding conceptual riddles and pop-culture

banalities – made this book a journey, and at the same time a

story about people, places and time, which is sincere in its

simplicity. The photographer co-creates a small cosmos of locality,

which slowly rotates in unchanging cycles of the ritual year,

between home and nature, between the sacred and the profane,

between beauty and ordinariness. The titles of the chapters (there

are six of them) lead the viewer through the still real world, which

in Central and Western Europe is gradually moved to open-air

museums and amusement parks. This world, captured on Jerzy’s

unpretentious (un-retouched) photographs, however, opens up

inter-thematic fields of associations, evokes key words whose

content runs not only linearly, page by page, picture by picture,

but also across chapters, diagonally of artistic intentions of the

album author and editor. Here, as he completes this journey, he

saves unnamed topics that are close to the pen: longing, light,

silence, vitality, work, toil in other words life in harmony with the

nature and order of God’'s wisdom.

Krzysztof Szymoniak, art critic

get your copy via:

or via

Book Title: "Klimaty Podlasia" – The atmosphere o Podlasie

Hard cover, First edition: 2020, pages: 200 (300 photographs)

catalogue price: 70 PLN

languages: Polish/English

example of postage: to the UK 64.20 PLN


Miejscowi – Local people

Drogi i bezdroża – Roads and sideways

Polami, łąkami -Through fields and meadows

Rzeki i rozlewiska – Rivers and backwaters

Domostwa – Homestays

Podlasie mistyczne – Mystical Podlasie


and surroundings


Konrad Rogoziński

Muszyna has the characteristics of a piedmont spa and

lies in the valley of the River Poprad and its tributaries

the streams Szczawnik and Muszynka. The town lies at

an altitude of about 450m above sea level in the Sadecki

Beskid mountain range and only about 5km from the

Slovak border. It also lies close to the Poprad Landscape

Park which is one of the largest in Poland.


towns and places

photos: Konrad Rogoziński,



This picturesque holiday-resort town is situated in the valley of the

Poprad river and it's two tributaries – Muszynka and Szczawnik.

Muszyna is located at an altitude of about 450 m above sea level

and lies near the border with Slovakia (5 km), approximately 11 km

from Krynica-Zdroj. Muszyna has about 5000 permanent residents,

but in season this number increases several times.

The genesis of the name "Muszyna" is not unequivocal. Probably it

comes from the streams near which the town was located.

Moisture makes the edges of streams and stones river covered

with moss. Musci, Latin word for "moss" gave Muszyna it's name.

There is also another hypothesis – centuries before there were

fees collected for the use of a trade route. They were paid in

goods exchanged for the corn, which in turn, was measured in socalled.

"Mussach”. Still, another theory believe that the city takes

it’'s name from the bishop of Cracow Muscata, who in the

early XIV century expanded the settlement here.

Undoubtedly the origin and development of this settlement

are closely connected with old Hungarian trade route. The

eldest document from 1209 mentions this settlement. It is a

document in which Hungarian king allow the parish priest

Adolf to take a tax on the river Poprad. During this time

Muszyna belonged to the Niegowicki family of Polkozic coat

of arms.

In 1288 the place was added to the properties of the

bishops of Cracow. In 1356 Muszyna became a town thanks to

King Casimir the Great’'s privilege. The present shape of the

market square and the main streets dates back from that

time. King Wladysław Jagiello gave the town to the Bishops

of Cracow in order to get their support and friendship.


With another town and 35 villages that land was treated as

independent state with it’'s own jurisdiction and administration and

even an army (an infantry troops called Harniki). It was named

“Muszynian State”. Bishop’'s representatives ruled the land. They

were called Starost and many of them made quite a name for

themselves like famous Stanisław Kępiński (a friend of Polish poet

Jan Kochanowski who wrote a poem about him). Merchants who

passed the Hungarian track had to sell some of their goods in the

town. Starost mercilessly dealt with all highwaymen and supposed

witches. The army of the state had 5000 armed men, which was

quite a lot. They defeated the Swedish troops during so called

Swedish Deluge (1655-1660) in the battles near Cracow and Nowy

Sącz. From the very beginning there was always a castle over the

city which guarded the track and guaranteed safe passage for the

travellers. It was a kind of keep, one of the guard castles between

Poland and Hungary, situated high on the steeply mountain slope

between the valley of Muszynka and Szczawik. At the beginning

made of wood and earth with time developing into bricked

structure. Many times it was plundered, burned and destroyed. At

present only fragments of southern walls and the tower are visible.

In fifteenth century Lemkos came. They settled in Krynica, Izby,

Żegiestow, Berest, Czyrna, Polany, Florynka, Milik, Jastrzębik,

Kamianna, Leluchów, Banica, Piorunka and Złockie. They were all of

Greco Catholic confession, that’s why there are so many orthodox

churches. Lemkos were mostly farmers and shepherds. In those

days Muszyna was the only Polish enclave in numerous Lemko

settlements. After the First Partition of Poland Muszyna was

punished for supporting the Confederates who fought here in

Poland’s defence in 1768 –9 (they founded their biggest camp here)

The Austrian government confiscated the properties of the Bishops

of Cracow and Muszyna itself was degraded to the role of

an insignificant place. When the railway was introduced between

Tarnow and Leluchów in 1876, Krynica and Zegiestów made a huge

career as spa centres. For a long time Muszyna remained in their

shadow. Luckily the World War I didn’'t leave any visible signs here

and during the twenty years between the wars Muszyna became one

of the most illustrious Polish resorts. The outbreak of World War II

terminated effective development of the city. Thanks to it’'s

strategic location it became extremely active point in the Polish

Resistance Movement, mostly by being a good place to smuggle

people from Poland by Slovakia to Hungary. A virtual centre of a

secret teaching was created here (The Nazi allowed only grammar

schools in Poland). Among the many activists was Antoni Kita who

helped Polish pilots to escape from prison in Muszyna. They fled but

he was caught and put to death. Apart from a few buildings

Muszyna had not been destroyed by the Nazi. After the war the

communist government made Lemkos to go. They were forced to

desert their homeland and move either to Soviet Union or the west

part of Poland. It was not until 1958 then the town regained it’'s

status as a spa. Since 1973 it is the seat of the municipality, but

Muszyna remains a quiet and peaceful place. Muszyna as a local

centre of power and economy (former capital of "Muszynian State").

On the Kita’'s street there is a building which once belonged to the

starost of Muszyna – S. Kępiński. However, most of the buildings

surrounding the manor house don’t exist anymore. Opposite to the

Starosta's House there is a Regional Museum which contains a lot

of interesting historic, ethnographic and artistic objects. In the

market place a two small shrines are situated, both dates back

from the end of eighteenth and beginning of nineteenth century.

One devoted to St Jan Nepomucen, the other to St Florian. On the

edge of the town a church of St Joseph The Bridegroom is

situated. Most probably it was once a defending building as well as

church because it still has embrasures in the wall. The church

dates back from 1676.The interior decorations are typically of

seventeenth century with unique sculptures of Virgin Mary with

Child, and of St Hedwig. Main assets of Muszyna are numerous

sources of mineral water with such elements as calcium,

magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, selenium, and lithium. People

who have trouble with digestive system or with respiratory

system may seek help here.


The resort offers a lot of possibilities like lodgings in spa centres,

resorts, boarding houses and lodging houses. One of the

attractions is the possibility of free access to the pump-rooms or

seasonal intakes of mineral water. In the middle of the town there

is a quite extensive (around 100, 38 ha) reserve of lime trees

“Obrożyska” set up in 1957. In 2008 Muszyna became connected

with the ski centre in Wierchomla Mała through 10 ski lifts. In the

south part of the town, above the Porad river, there is a railway

station where you can catch the trains leaving Krynica and a night

train Cracow –Budapest. In the Market Place there is a bus station

where you can find a bus line: Szczawnik – Muszyna – Krynica –

Słotwiny. There are also two tourist routes crossing the town: a

green one (named after the Wincenty Pol). From Muszyna across

Jaworzyna Krynicka in Wysowa’'s direction and a yellow one from

Wojkowa, across Muszyna, Szczawik to Żegiestów.

Today Muszyna is firmly on the map of recognised spa resorts.

The operating sanatoria offer spa treatments and rehabilitation

programmes as well as organising interesting pastimes for

patients recovering after surgery. Muszyna specialises in the

treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, diseases of the

respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, neurological conditions,

metabolic diseases and gynaecological and psychosomatic

disorders. The city provides further cultural and recreational

amenities. The landscape of Muszyna and its surrounding area

offer an invitation to explore either on foot, by bike or on

horseback. The resort is open throughout the year and visitors

come for only a few days to escape from the stress of everyday

life or to restore their physical and mental energies. In the vicinity

of mountains it appears to be easier to put into perspective about

what is most important, namely one's own health.





Krzywa 1 Str

33-370 Muszyna

tel. +48 18 534 91 61



Today Muszyna is firmly on the map of recognised spa resorts. The operating sanatoria offer spa treatments and rehabilitation

programmes as well as organising interesting pastimes for patients recovering after surgery. Muszyna specialises in the treatment of

musculoskeletal disorders, diseases of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, neurological conditions, metabolic diseases and

gynaecological and psychosomatic disorders.


P H O T O S : K O N R A D R O G O Z I Ń S K I ,

W W W . F A C E B O O K . C O M / O D K R Y J B E S K I D

nearby: The Greek Catholic Parish Church

of St. Jacob the Younger in Powroźnik

The Greek Catholic Parish Church in Powroźnik

(currently a Roman Catholic Parish Church) was built in

1600 and is therefore the oldest Orthodox Church in the

Polish Carpathians. It was repeatedly repaired, and in

1813-14, after a flood, it was moved to its current

location. The interior layout is tripartite with square

rooms. The walls of the sacristy are covered by precious

figurative polychrome from 1607. The rich church

fittings include an iconostasis from 1743-44, currently

partially dismantled, an C18th baroque side altar with a

painting of Christ at the Column, and many valuable

icons including The Last Judgment from 1623.


discover Beskid Sądecki



off the beaten track treasure


V i s i t T o r u ń ' s t o u r i s t

w e b s i t e :

w w w . t o r u n . p l / e n

Toruń is a beautiful, medieval city in North-Western Poland, situated on

the Vistula River. Its architecture has managed to escape bombing, and as

such represents one of the only examples of true gothic architecture in

Poland. Still reasonably off the radars of most European travellers, one can

expect to have an amazing Polish experience here without the nightmares

of a million and one interrail travellers. The city is located near the

Geographic Center of Europe. Toruń's medieval Old Town or Starówka is

on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Toruń is a birthplace of world famous

astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. The house where Copernicus was born

and the chapel where he was christened are still standing in the city. From

Middle Ages the town is known for its gingerbreads.

Toruń is famous for the biggest number, after Kraków, of

authentic works of Gothic art and architecture in Poland.

Gothic style is the most distinctive feature of the city. Thus

the official promoting motto: Toruń – get gothic. Toruń was

founded in the medieval times (the Foundation Charter was

signed in 1233). Throughout the dramatic history of Poland,

the city was fortunately saved from the considerable

destruction. For that reason the city is abundant in

monuments, many of which date back to the medieval

period. Additionally, the significant number of the

monuments was erected in accordance with the Gothic

canon. The authenticity of the medieval and Gothic skyline

of Toruń was one of the arguments supporting the decision

to add Toruń to the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites

on 4th December 1997.

In the Middle Ages Toruń witnessed many historic events.

This city took part in the process of Christianisation and

colonisation of Prussia, was the main intermediary in the

Hanseatic Commerce with Eastern Europe, became the

major centre of creating the sense of townspeople’s

identity, and a place of signing the Toruń Treaty in 1466.

In Toruń numerous of medieval structures have been

preserved to present times. Residential buildings are the

biggest and the best-maintained examples of Gothic

residential architecture in Northern Europe.




Nicolaus Copernicus, the most famous and the most outstanding

citizen of Toruń. He was born here on February 19th, 1473 at St.

Anne Street, today 17 Copernicus Street, which now houses a

museum dedicated to the astronomer. The fame of Copernicus is

connected with his astronomical theory, the heliocentric theory,

which assured Copernicus a place among the most outstanding

scientists in history. In the town of his birth, Copernicus was

baptised in a parish church, today’s St. Johns Cathedral, spent

his childhood there and a part of his youth. Nicolaus spent his

early childhood probably at a home at 36 Old-Town Market

Square (the present Powszechny Dom Towarowy – General

Department Store). After his father's death, the financial

situation of the family worsened and a rich uncle, bishop Łukasz

Watzenrode, took care of them. Nicolaus began his education at

a municipal school at St. John’'s church (the corner of Łazienna

and St. John's Street). The basic knowledge that he acquired

there enabled him to continue his education. He started to study

at a university department of liberal arts. In 1491, at the age of

18 Nicolaus began to study at the University of Cracow. At that

time he left his home city, but he never forgot his origins. During

the four years spent at the university in Cracow, Nicolaus was

exposed to many scientific disciplines and listened to lectures by

many great scholars, among others, in Grammar, Rhetoric,

Poetics, and also in Astronomy which had a considerable

influence on his future. Thanks to these lectures he learned all

the secrets of Astronomy.

In autumn 1503 he came back to Lidzbark in the Warmia Land

where for several years he lived at bishop Watzenrode's court.

Already in Lidzbark, around 1507, Copernicus worked out the

first heliocentric sketch of the construction of the universe (the

so-called "Little Commentary"). It contained three theses about

the triple movement of the Earth and it moved the Sun to the

foreground in the universe. After 1510 Copernicus left for

Frombork, where he gave up the church and his political career,

and devoted himself to astronomy. The first edition of the work

"On the Revolutions of Celestial Bodies" was ready in 1530.

Nonetheless, out of fear of the reaction of church authorities,

Copernicus did not want to publish it. At last, it appeared in print

in March 1543. It rationally presented the real existence of the

world and was to cause a revolution in the opinions on the

construction of the universe. However, at the end of 1542

Copernicus fell heavily ill and was unable to see his printed work.

On the 24th of May, 1543, Copernicus died in Frombork and was

buried in the local cathedral. In 1853 a monument in honour of

the great astronomer was erected in Toruń, and the street in

which he was born was named after him. One of the best Polish

universities bears the name of the great astronomer: The

University of Nicolaus Copernicus in Toruń, and also the

producer of the most famous Polish cookies, the Toruń

gingerbread cookies: The Confectionary Factory "Kopernik"

(Fabryka Cukiernicza "Kopernik").

on the list: what to see

Stare Miasto (Old Quarter)

A UNESCO World Heritage List site dating back to medieval times.

Nicolaus Copernicus Museum

Ul. Kopernika 15-17 (Old Town). Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was born in

Toruń in 1473. The museum is situated in Copernicus's house which is a pretty

building. Unfortunately the museum's "collection" mostly comprises of copies

and facsimiles with very few explanations.

Ratusz Staromiejski (Old Town Hall)

Rynek Staromiejski 1 (on the Old town square). One of the most beautiful

Gothic town halls in Europe. Despite its many treasures it is however not too

rewarding for foreign visitors as it is almost entirely explained in Polish.

Translations are very sparse or non-existent. The Museum consists of Gallery

of Gothic art, Exhibition of old Toruń 1233-1793, Exhibition of Toruń coins,

Court hall, Hall of Polish kings etc. Climb the tower for a beautiful view!

Cathedral of SS. Johns'

Ul. Żeglarska. Gothic church where astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was

christened. On its tower hangs Tuba Dei bell from 1500, one of the largest

Medieval bells in Europe.

View from left bank of the Vistula Rive

Excellent panorama from left bank of the river Vistula.

Bydgoskie Przedmieście (Bromberger Vorstadt)

(west of the Old Town) Mostly residential district build in the late 19th and

early 20th century. It comprises many monuments of architecture, as well as

a city park and zoo-botanical garden.

Przedmieście Świętej Katarzyny (Wilhelmstadt)

Built in the late 19th and early 20th century east of the Old Town, is a specific

combination of residential and military architecture. St. Catherine's church is

located at Wilhelmstad's main square; with its over 80 meter high tower it still

remains the highest building in Toruń.

Teutonic Knights Castle Ruins

ul. Przedzamcze. 10 am-6 pm. An outdoor museum. The castle is almost

completely destroyed except for one tower and a dungeon that you can set

foot on. Admission tickets.

Dybowski Castle Ruins

Opposite the river and small walk from the bridge (From the Old Town, cross

the bridge to the other side of Vistula, then turn right and walk a cobblestone

road you found under the bridge). An old skeleton of what is left of the old

Castle, built by Polish king Władysław Jagiełło in 15th century. You can

explore the ruins at your own leisure and walk the walls (can be dangerous)

Krzywa Wieża (The Leaning Tower)

Ul. Pod Krzywą Wieżą. Part of old Toruń defense wall system built in the 13th

century. Poor foundations led the tower to substantially lean at an angle soon

after its construction.

Ethnographic Museum

An open-air museum showing the folk architecture of many regions of Poland.

Dwór Artusa (Artus Court, Artushof)

Rynek Staromiejski 6. Monumental building on the place of medieval Artus

Court in the end of 19th century. Now it hosts cultural centre.


One of the biggest tourist attractions in Toruń. It is the most technically

advanced planetarium in Poland. Due to its characteristic architectural design -

the semicircular dome and rotunda shape, the building is easily recognisable

among other structures of Toruń Old Town.


medival Toruń

Walk Away fot. press materials

China Moses fot. Sylvain Norget


Toruń under the

care of the angel

The angel is an element that distinguishes the crest of Toruń

from among the heraldic signs of other Polish cities. The profile

of the angel appeared in the crest of Toruń after the end of the

thirteen-year war in the 15th century and has survived to our

times. Thanks to this, the angel is one of the most important

symbols of Toruń.

The figure of the angel was not used in the municipal signs of

Toruń from the beginning of the city, i.e. from the moment of

the foundation of Toruń by the Teutonic Knights in 1233. The

oldest seal of the city, inspired by the presence of the Teutonic

Knights in Toruń, represented two round donjons with a gate in

the middle. In the arc of the gate the Virgin Mary with infant

Jesus sat on a throne. The Madonna from the seal was dressed

in a veil, she had a crown from three lilies on her head, and a

locket hung on her breast. Its imprint was made on e.g. the

famous Peace Treaty signed in Toruń in 1411 after the battle of

Grunwald, but also on the document that confirmed the

annexation of Toruń by the Prussian Union in 1440.

Toruń broke administrative relations with the Teutonic Knights

in 1454. The homage paid by the townsmen of the Chełmno

Land in Toruń to King Kazimierz Jagiellończyk marked an actual

incorporation of the city into the borders of the Republic of

Poland. The first document with the new seal was issued in

Toruń in January 1470, when, for the first time, appeared the

motif of the Toruń angel supporting the earlier used escutcheon

which represented the three municipal towers with a half-open

gate in the middle. The introduction of the angel into the coat of

arms of Toruń in the context of the long lasting and the very

war which was a burden for the city can be explained by the will

of the inhabitants to appeal to divine help. Towards the end of

the 15th century, a new version of the seal was introduced, on

which the angel was presented in a slightly changed position:

kneeling and slightly leaning over the escutcheon it held. The

angel in this version of the seal remained for over 300 years.

The angel of Toruń appeared also on the seals of the Magistrate

of the main City of Toruń in the period of the Warsaw Duchy,

and also during the partitions in the 19th century. The angel

guarded the city also in the period between the two world wars.

In 1936 the Minister of Internal Affairs approved of the crest of

Toruń on which „the escutcheon is held by a kneeling angel in a

blue gown with silvery wings. The hair of the angel is black, the

face and the hand of the natural colour”. The angel from the

Toruń crest was removed, however, after World War II.

Fortunately, it came back to its place at the end of 1991. Today

the angel of Toruń guards, as in the past, the whole of Toruń. Its

image is present especially in the Old Town of Toruń. Among

other places, it is present on the gable of the building in the

Caesar Arc, on the facade of the Arthur’s Mansion, over the gate

of the Old Town Hall or in the stained-glass window over the

entry to the main building of the Office of the City of Toruń.

how to get to Toruń

By Car

from Warsaw:

road no. 7 (direction: Gdańsk), before Płońsk turn onto road no. S-10,

direction: Bydgoszcz, to Toruń. Distance: 214 km.

from Gdańsk:

A1 Motorway (distance: 152 km)


road no. 91 (former road no 1), direction: Łódź, to Toruń. Distance: 182 km.

from Bydgoszcz:

road no. 80 (direction: Warszawa, Toruń) to Toruń. Distance: 46 km.


Toruńska street to road no. S-10, direction: Szczecin, Toruń and road no. S-

10 to Toruń. Distance: 51 km.

from Poznań:

road no. 5, direction: Bydgoszcz, in Gniezno turn onto road no. 15, direction:

Toruń, to Toruń - via Strzelno, Inowrocław. Distance: 156 km.

By plane

The nearest airport is located in Bydgoszcz (about 50 km). The journey from

the airport to Toruń is possible by car or by train. Toruń is likewise accessible

from the airports in Gdańsk (the most comfortable journey from the Gdańsk

airport - highway A1 to Toruń), Poznań, Warsaw, Łódź, Kraków and Wrocław.

By train

Toruń has direct railway connections with all large cities in Poland.

don't forget to

travel around

Bydgoszcz – the 8th biggest city in Poland with a nice

riverfront, 40 km from Torun.

Włocławek – has many historical monuments (Cathedral

Basilica, Copernicus Square polish Plac Kopernika, Vistula's

Boulevards, Church of St. John the Baptist), museums

(Diocesan Museum polish Muzeum Diecezjalne have paintings

of Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) or group of Caravaggio,

Museum of the Kujawy and Dobrzyn land, clubs and nature


Chełmno – beautiful well preserved medieval town in 40 km

north from Toruń.

Chełmża – beautiful old town with a lake beach that is

perfect for relaxing and sunbathing- 15 km from Toruń.

Golub-Dobrzyń – former Teutonic Knights' Castle, 40 km east

from Toruń

Szafarnia – Frederic Chopin museum, 45 km east from Toruń

Ciechocinek – famous Polish spa, 25 km south from Toruń

Biskupin – archaeological reservation of the Lusatian Culture

settlement (650-550 year BC), 90 km from Toruń


medival Toruń

China Moses fot. Sylvain Norget








Rabianska 9 Street, very centre of

the old town

Opening time: 9am-6pm

First admission at 10, last at 5pm.

photos: Mariusz Cieszewski /


Visiting The Living Museum of Gingerbreads in Toruń get

involved in an interactive show. Throughout visitors are

guided by Master of gingerbread bakery and the Witch.

Having sworn the oath you become member of the guild.

First you will prepare dough the way it has been done for

centuries, you will kneed it. You will also use traditional

baking-moulds then you'll bake your own gingerbread. As the

museum is located in an old granary you'll be shown how to

produce flour using old mill stones as well. And remember –

should you break the oath you shall be punished. If you hace

passed with flying colours little examination and endured

hardships of working at bakery you'll be also promoted and

become a craftsman. Show takes up to one hour. This

museum forms part of gingerbread tradition which Toruń is

famous for.

The Museum of Gingerbreads is the first so interactive

museum in Europe. It has existed since 2006 and it is located

at 9 Rabiańska street, in the middle of the city center (199

steps from The Nicolas Copernicus Monument).

Crossing the gates of the Museum will guarantee you two

time travels. The first floor magically takes the visitors to

the Medieval times. Here you can learn about every ritual

connected with baking gingerbreads. It all takes place under

the watchful eyes of Gingerbread Master and

charming Gingerbread Witch. The visitors prepare dough by

themselves and then bake the specialties of Toruń in

traditional wooden molds.

The second floor is a manufacturing room from the 19th and

the early 20th century, managed by the Rabiański siblings.

Here the visitors will see, for example, the original German

machines (which were used to bake ginberbreads), a vintage

baking oven and the collection of wax gingerbread molds.

What is more, everyone has a chance to decorate their own

gingerbread with icing and take part in gingerbread

decorating workshop led by the rzez Painter.

Museum welcomes all those who want to learn about

the tradition of baking gingerbreads in Toruń, the history of

our city and its medieval culture.


photos: Mariusz Cieszewski /

During peak season you should book your visit beforehand unless you plan to show up on Sat-Sun. Open from 9 am to 6 pm. Off-peak season (from January to the end of

March) open from 10 am to 6 pm. There must be at least 5 persons to start show, this condition does not apply at 4 pm. Need more information? Do not hesitate to phone

this museum or e-mail them at

It is true that specialists in computer special effects actually

changed the landscape around the castle quite seriously, adding,

among others, a gorge that is not there.

Today, the castle is the most frequently visited and most popular

of the Jurassic castles, which, as the "Eagle Nests" in the form

of ruins, permanent ruins or watchtowers, can be seen on the

beautiful landscape route from Krakow to Częstochowa. The

exception is the Bobolice Castle, restored and renovated

according to preserved sketches and plans. This one, however,

gained great popularity as a location of the popular Polish

historical soap opera "The Crown of Kings". Does the choice of

Ogrodzieniec mean that tourists will massively come to Poland to

discover Jura? We hope that this will happen after the

epidemiological conditions are over. It is worth mentioning and

inviting to you to the second castle, which also, for a moment,

appeared in the show. It is also situated on a limestone hill and

surrounded by beautiful landscapes. And yet, it is not in the

Kraków-Częstochowa Upland.

The castle in Niedzica, hanging over the surface of the dam Lake

of Czorsztyn on the border of the Pieniny and Spisz, is one of

the most beautiful Polish castles with an interesting Polish-

Hungarian history.

It's a kind of a symbol, considering the Hungarian recording

centre of the series. In the series, the Polish fortress was

presented twice, in winter scenery, as Vizima, the stronghold of

King Foltest. Special effects' specialists and computer graphics'

designers were tempted to conduct an interesting gimmick also

here. Well, they erased, or literally removed the surface of the

lake from the film frames, replacing it with a thick coniferous

forest. This is how this landscape was presented. That is why

only the most attentive watchers noticed from the first glance

the similarity of both castles.

The neighbouring castle, Old Vizima, was to be the place where

Geralt fights with Striga. Symbolically, it was shown in the place

where the ruins of the Czorsztyn castle are today, however Old

Vizima was actually played by another object, the castle in

Leobendorf in Austria. Undoubtedly, as the example of another

popular series – "Game of Thrones" – shows, film tourism, built

on the basis of a new phenomenon in pop culture, known too

many people at once, is a new but frequent trend. Everything

indicates that after a successful, in terms of audience and

reception by the community, first season, a large group of people

will appear in Poland, only to see for themselves Pieniny

landscapes or the castles along the Trail of the Eagles' Nests.

This is called "setjetting", or traveling to places recognisable

from movies or TV series. Of course, as soon as the situation

normalises. This is what New Zealand tourism is heavily based on,

as it is strongly dependent on the success of the ‘Lord of the

Rings’trilogy. It is only regrettable that there is so little of Poland

there, that the film makers did not like the mystical Podlasie

swamps and backwaters, the castles of Lower Silesia, the Tatras

or for examples the cities such as Gdańsk or Toruń and that the

second season is to be filmed mainly in the British Isles.


Ogrodzieniec Castle

Ogrodzieniec Castle is a ruined medieval castle in the semi-mountainous highland region called the Polish

Jura in south-central Poland. Rebuilt several times in its history, the castle was originally built in the 14th–

15th century by a wealthy noble family. The castle is situated on the 515.5-metre-high Castle Mountain

(Polish: Góra Zamkowa), the highest hill of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. Located on the Trail of the

Eagles' Nests, the ruins are open to visitors. According to local folklore, the Ogrodzieniec Castle is

haunted by the "Black Dog of Ogrodzieniec", seen prowling the ruins at night, pulling a heavy chain. The

dog is to be the soul of the Castellan of Kraków, Stanisław Warszycki, whose soul also supposedly haunts

the ruins of the Dańków Castle, where it appears as a headless horseman.



Chęciny Castle

Erected on the limestone hill in 1306 by king

Władysław Łokietek

Michal Piorun


During the partitions, Chęciny came under the Austrian partition.

They slowly lost their significance, becoming a provincial town in

the shadow of Kielce, developing nearby. In 1809, the town of

Chęciny was incorporated into the Duchy of Warsaw, and in 1815

into the Kingdom of Poland This period was fatal for the Chęciny

fortress. The castle, deserted and deprived of proper care, was

partially demolished by the local people who obtained

construction materials there. The World War II was a tragic

period in the history of Chęciny. On June 2, 1944, the occupation

authorities pacified the city. Dozens of the city citizens and the

residents of surrounding areas were murdered. The fate of the

Jewish population was particularly cruel. In 1941, approx. 4

thousand people were imprisoned in the ghetto, and then in

September 1942, they were transported to the German Nazi

extermination camp in Treblinka. Chęciny is a town of numerous

monuments. The most famous is the medieval castle. Towering

over the area, it is visible from a considerable distance. In the

1960s, battle scenes for "Colonel Wolodyjowski" film, directed

by Jerzy Hoffman, were shot on the slopes of Castle Hill. For the

needs of the film, a magnificent reconstruction of the castle in

Kamieniec Podolski was erected here. From the castle towers

you can admire a picturesque panorama of the Świętokrzyskie

Mountains, with their highest peak – Łysica (614 m asl). With

good visibility, you can see the Beskids and the Tatra Mountains.

Parish Church of St Bartholomew

The Parish Church of St Bartholomew is located at the rock terrace cut in the slope of the Zamkowa

Mountain (300 m above sea level). The construction was started around 1315 and was finished in the

times of Kazimierz III the Great.

Radkowska 4 Str, 26-060 Chęciny

On the slopes of Castle Mountain, above the Chęciny market,

there is a gothic temple – St. Bartholomew Church. In 1614, a

Renaissance chapel of the Three Kings, also called the chapel of

the Fodyga family, was added to it. According to the legends,

the church is supposed to be connected with the castle by an

underground passage.

Below the church, the market square is located, which is a part

of the historic, medieval spatial arrangement of Chęciny. There

is a town hall, some tenement houses, a monument to

Władysław Łokietek and a monument dedicated to the victims

of June 2, 1944.

At Małogoska Street, the oldest tenement house from 1570,

called Niemczówka, has been preserved. Its first owners were

Walenty Września and his wife Anna from Niemczów. You can

view the historic interiors here. There is also a Tourist and

Historical Information Centre of the Commune of Chęciny and

different meetings, exhibitions and concerts are organised. The

episode entitled "Gardener" for the series "Father Matthew"

with Artur Żmijewski in the lead role was made in Niemczówka in

2011. In the vicinity of Niemczówka, there is St. Mary Magdalene

Church and the Monastery of Bernardine Sisters from the 17th

century. Originally, it belonged to the Poor Clares.


At the beginning of the 20th century, the tsarist authorities

forbade the admission of novices, contributing to the slow

liquidation of the Chęciny order. In 1930, Bernardines nuns came

from Vilnius and started to take care of the church and the

monastery. Opposite the church of St. Mary Magdalene, you can

see a monument to the Victims of World War II.

Within the medieval town, there is also a Franciscan church and

monastery, founded in the fourteenth century by King Casimir

the Great. In 1817, Tsar Alexander I issued a decree to

confiscate the church and monastery from the Franciscans and

to allocate the buildings to prison. Within the walls, they also

organized a "marble factory," or a marble processing plant.

The prison existed for 110 years. It was liquidated in 1927. Then

there was a town court and a school. During the Second World

War, the monastery was taken over by the German army. After

World War II, it housed a primary school, a stonemason's school,

a hotel, and a restaurant. From 1991, the object returned to the


A Jewish synagogue from the 17th century has survived on

Długa Street, and a Jewish cemetery on the southeast slope of

Castle Mountain.

The Rzepka quarry houses the European Centre for Geological

Education - a research and development centre of the Faculty of

Geology, the University of Warsaw, created in 2015.

Chęciny is a unique town. It combines the history of a rich,

developing mining city with the tragic fate of the fall,

destruction of the Swedish wars and enslavement of the

partitions. Its narrow streets hide numerous monuments which

often become topics of mysterious tales and legends, told by

local residents. The soaring towers of the royal castle are well

visible from every alley. "Marble city" breathes with calmness

and nostalgia. From Chęciny, we can go to unusual places

scattered around the area. Marked tourist routes will lead us

to the Piekło Cave, to Zelejowa Mountain, Miedzianka or the

Paradise Cave.

We can get to Kielce or to a

historic town of Małogoszcz.

Nature lovers will find

numerous nature reserves

here, and an interesting

geological structure will let us

discover the ancient history of

not only the Świętokrzyskie

Mountains, but also of the

whole Earth. I invite you to the

Świętokrzyskie Mountains.

Michał Piorun



Chęciny points of interest

Royal Castle – The construction of the fortress probably began

around the 13th or 14th century. Around this date the upper

part of the castle, consisting of the upper courtyard with

housing unit and two rounded defensive towers, was built. The

castle had its own chapel, located by the eastern tower. The

castle treasure was being kept in the room above the chapel. It

is certain that the castle existed in 1306, when King Ladislaus I

presented it to the Archbishop of Kraków, Jan Muskata. In

following years a dispute on ownership title of then Lesser

Poland has been raised between the king and the bishop. As a

result of the dispute, after detection of a plot against the royal

power, the castle was returned to the king. King Ladislaus soon

made the royal castle in Chęciny the centre of his political and

military power. In 1318 the treasure of the Archdiocese of

Gniezno was transferred and hidden inside the castle to

prevent it from being captured by Teutonic Knights. The castle

played a significant role as a place of concentration of Polish

troops departing for Battle of Płowce with the Teutonic

Knights in 1331. In the first half of the 14th century the

stronghold was enlarged by King Casimir III the Great. Then the

lower courtyard with a rectangle tower was constructed,

forming the existing shape of the castle. At that time Chęciny

became a residence of the king's second wife Adelaide of

Hesse. It was also a residence of Elisabeth of Poland, Queen of

Hungary, Sophia of Halshany and her son Władysław III of Varna

and Italian by origin – Polish Queen Bona Sforza, who departed

Poland in 1556. Later it was used for many years as a state

prison with main dungeon located underneath the eastern

tower. Among imprisoned here were: Michael Küchmeister von

Sternberg future Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights,

Andrzej Wingold, King Jogaila's half-brother. The castle briefly

regained its former glory due to reconstruction initiated by

Stanisław Branicki, Starost of Chęciny. However, in the second

half of the 16th century, the castle began to decline. In 1588

the parliament ordered to transfer the castle's inventories to

the Chęciny Parish Church. In 1607 the Castle was captured and

burned by the Zebrzydowski Rebellion. In 1657 the Castle was

again partially destroyed by the Rakoczy troops. During the

Swedish Deluge the Castle turned into a ruin and remains in

that state to this day. The ruins of the Castle have been

preserved several times. First major construction works were

undertaken in 1877. Between First and Second World Wars the

castle was preserved by then mayor of the city Edmund

Padechowicz. After the Second World War the castle was again

preserved and partially reconstructed with middle tower rebuilt.

Since then the eastern tower serves as a scenic viewpoint. The

Parish Church of St Bartholomew is located at the rock terrace

cut in the slope of the Zamkowa Mountain, 362 metres (1,188

feet) above sea level. It was probably founded by Ladislaus I.

The construction was started around 1315 and was finished in

the times of King Casimir the Great. In 1568–1603 it served

The Polish Brethren – members of the Minor Reformed Church

of Poland, a Nontrinitarian Protestant church that existed in

Poland from 1565 to 1658. Brethren were popularly known as

"Arians" or "Socinians" and after their expulsion from Poland,

"Unitarians". The church gained its contemporary appearance

during the last alteration in the years 1830–40. In the tomb

the mummified bodies of miner and alderman of Chęciny –

Kacper Fodyga as well as his wife Zuzanna of Grodzianowice

are buried. Niemczowka tenement house built in the

Renaissance style, in the terrace building development, with

the spacious transit entrance hall. It belonged to Walenty and

Anna Niemiec Wrzesień. It was built in 1570. In the past it was

an inn. On the ground floor in the big room there is a threepiece

window with Renaissance columns, and also the ceiling

joist, on which there is the date 1634 and the surname of the

contemporary chęciński mayor Walenty Soboniewski. Originally

the building was one-storey, at present it also has the

mezzanine built into the roof and adapted to council flats.

There are also cloister vaulted basements.

A Renaissance burgher house known as Kamiennica Niemczówka


C H Ę C I N Y , A S M A L L T O W N F U L L O F H I S T O R Y

W W W . F A C E B O O K . C O M / P I O R U N O G R A F I A



Franciscan monastery complex is an interesting place. It was

established In the second half of the 14th century, founded by

King Casimir the Great in 1368. The church is built of stones in

the gothic style. The whole courtyard is surrounded by

buildings and stone-wall from the 17th century. In 1465 the

church was burned with the majority of house estates.

Between 1581–1603 the temple, captivated by Protestants,

was seriously devastated. After the reconstruction undergone

by the starost Stanisław Branicki the monastery was again

destroyed by the troops of George II Rákóczi, who, plundered

the monastery in search of treasure, murdered three monks,

which is commemorated on the marble plaque inside. Another

difficult time was the expulsion of the monks during the reign

of Tsar Alexander I Then the monastery was turned into one of

the strictest prisons in the świętokrzyskie mountains. Later,

the building was used as public lavatory and tourist shelter. In

the 1960s, the complex was restored and adapted for tourist

purposes: the church housed the restaurant and the hotel.

Despite continuing protests addressed to the then communist

government party and state, this state lasted 19 years. In 1991,

the monastery was turned back to the Franciscans.

Synagogue was built in 1638 due to the privilege of King

Władysław IV Vasa, who granted Jews the right to build a

double-chamber house of prayer.

In 1657, after it was partially destroyed by the troops of

Rákóczi the building was reconstructed and refurbished. In

1700 the entrance to the prayer chamber was lowered with a

new door portal placed founded by noble and affluent

members of the Jewish community. New interior paintings

were added in the 19th century. In 1905 the building was again

partially destroyed with a fire. In 1906 due to the funds of the

Jewish community the synagogue was renovated with a new

roof, staircase and interior paintings. During the II world war

the interior was completely demolished by the Nazi soldiers.

After the war it served as the public library and cinema.

In 1958 the roof was reconstructed and synagogue was

refurbished to house the local cultural centre. In 1991–1992

some works were also done mainly with respect to the floor,

walls and main entrance door. The synagogue was built on a

rectangular plan in the late Renaissance style. The building is

covered with a Polish-style shake roof. The windows are

framed with a late Renaissance stone frames.

The corners of the building are reinforced with buttresses. The

main chamber is lowered to the level of the street, and is

covered with a barrel vault with lunettes.

Preserved remains of stucco and polychrome decoration from

the mid-19th century, and on the east wall the Mannerist Aron

Kodesh (the Torah Ark) of the 17th century are to be found

inside the main chamber. Aron Kodesh is made of black

Dębnica marble inlaid with Chęciny marble in the form of a

portal topped with cartouche and crown of the Torah. In

addition, it is decorated with marble cannonballs placed on the

stone imposts on a simple cornice.

Medieval shape of the center of the town, with a market

square and 17th- and 19th-century houses.


C H Ę C I N Y , A S M A L L T O W N F U L L O F H I S T O R Y

W W W . F A C E B O O K . C O M / P I O R U N O G R A F I A


Michał Piorun

Checiny ,


by Katarzyna Skóra

Katarzyna lived almost all her life in the Low Beskids. She is particularly interested in

everyday life in the former Lemko region. The imagination plays an important role in her

life, helping to feel the atmosphere of the visited places. She is into handicrafts, and

specifically crocheting. Working on various projects allows you to relax, in a sense it has

become a way of life. She is also passionate about photography. She tries to capture in her

frames inanimate nature, landscapes and the transience, in the broad sense of the word.

Weekly photo trips have already become a tradition.

Old customs and beliefs associated with births in the Lemkos Land

and the Uplands

The family became full when they had children. Having a child

was important not only for the family, but also for economic

reasons. When children grew older, they could help in the farm

and later take it over, which allowed villagers to maintain

continuity of ownership and management. Fertility was widely

recognised as God's blessing. It is amazing how many of the

old habits have survived in an unchanged or slightly modified

version to this day. Let's take pregnancy as an example. Have

you ever heard that a daughter steals her mother's beauty?

Already at the end of the 19th century it was believed that a

nice appearance and a smooth complexion of a pregnant

woman predicts the birth of a boy. On the other hand, spots on

the face and worse condition of the skin said that a daughter

should be expected. It will be a story about beliefs, traditions

and rites related to the expectation, birth and baptism of a

child in the Low Beskids and the Foothills region.


Family members and the local community were required to

treat a pregnant woman in a special way. If It's not becoming

of every woman to act is any specific way, then during

pregnancy it might be all right. It was widely believed that a

woman in the family way could not be denied anything. If she

asked for something and got a negative answer, then "mice

would eat everything". Hence, everything we would refuse to

offer to a pregnant woman, would go to waste anyway. When

the belly was pointed, it announced the birth of a boy and the

round belly forecast a girl. The "sweet tooth" of a pregnant

woman heralded the birth of a daughter, and the desire for

salty and sour things was a clue that a son would soon be born.

A pregnant woman, like a woman during menstruation, is

considered unclean, so she can't be invited for a christening or

a wedding. She is also not allowed too many mundane daily

household activities, such as preparing preserves in jars for

winter. It is believed that If she starts making the preserves,

everything will get rotten. Pickling cabbage or cucumbers are

the activities forbidden for pregnant women. It is still widely

believed in my hometown in the Upland that a woman during

menstruation or pregnancy cannot undertake such works.

Baby's birth

Today, as a result of the development of medicine, these are

much rarer cases, but in the past miscarriages were quite

common. Pregnancy was not monitored or controlled in any

way. So, the cases of such natural selection used to occur. The

biggest problem of a premature, dead foetus was the lack of a

baptism. Such children were buried outside the cemetery,

where, usually on windy evenings, soft voices could be heard

crying: "baptism, baptism...".

The Lemkos believed that the miscarried foetus should be

temporarily buried in the room under the table and only on the

day when it was due, it ought to be symbolically baptised and

buried in the cemetery.

The soul of an unbaptised foetus, buried in a non-sacred place,

after years of wandering around the world, will become a devil

seven years after being born.

If no one baptises such a child, it will become a kite that flies in

the sky and sparks. It flies over empty fields, it looks like a large

bird with very long legs and a long neck.

Having children was important, but often, due to material

reasons, too many children used to become an excessive burden

– unfortunately long time ago no methods of preventing

pregnancy were known. Therefore, the attempts to cause

miscarriage were nothing unusual. The most common ways

included jumping from a height or lifting weights. Plants causing

early abortion, such as juniper berries and willow bark, were also


At the end of the 19th century and until the middle of the 20th

century, most rural women gave birth to children at home, and

village midwifes helped in these cases.

These were women specialised in labour assistance, they had

knowledge of folk medicine and magic. In addition to delivering

babies, they also helped with bathing and caring for the newborn


It was commonly believed that when a child is born, the mother

cannot have any knots on her and everything around her must

be open. Therefore, wardrobes, drawers, chests were opened.


It was believed to facilitate the labour, but despite such

operations, difficult deliveries were still frequent. In such cases,

the woman was seated on a pot with a hot herbal infusion,

which facilitated body loosening and, as a consequence, used to

make the childbirth easier.

In Gładyszów, a midwife rubbed the loins of a pregnant woman

using vodka with a "strong herb" - that is, bluebonnet

(interesting fact is that the bluebonnet is still called "strong

herb" around Gorlice today).

New-born boys had their umbilical cord cut on an axe – to

become a craftsman. A child who was born with hair on its head

was considered happy, and a baby with teeth – for wise.


Nymphs called 'mamuna' were depicted as women dressed in

ribbons, who at night washed their underwear in the quiet of

the forest streams, taping their "titties" against the washboard

or throwing their baggy breast over their shoulders. It was

believed that they were souls of bad women or mothers who

died during childbirth. They exchanged the babies of young

mothers. To this end, they came to the village, looked out

through the windows to locate a young mother with a baby and,

using a moment of inattention, kidnapped the new-born baby,

and tossed there their own child, which was nasty, clumsy, had

bulging eyes, was still crying and did not want to eat anything.

And when there was nobody home, that baby would come out of

the cradle and eat everything out from the pots. The way to get

rid of the freak baby was to carry it to the ays-tall and beat it

with a birch rod until the mamuna, attracted by the cry of the

child, comes out of the forest and gives away the kidnapped

infant, taking back her own. In some villages, for example in

Bieśnik, they used reportedly more "humanitarian" method,

beating the trash around a child, because the child was

screaming anyway, and the effect was supposed to be similar.

First bath

The first bath was very important because it was supposed to

guarantee strength and health. Various herbs were added to the

water, as well as items related to popular and well-paid

professions. Such a bath was prepared by a grandmother.

Health and strong bones were to be ensured by the bath in a

decoction of hazel or oak leaves. Herbs such as sedum, thyme

and chicory were also popular. In the village of Rabe, it was

customary to add peas to the boy's bath – to make his hair

curly, and to the girl's bath – long rye straw – for her hair to

grow long. The most popular was throwing coins into the first

bath to ensure wealth.

Child's baptism

A few days after the baby's birth – usually up to a week – a

baptism celebration was organised. It usually took place on

Sunday just as it is usually today. According to information from

Łoś, before World War I there was a custom of inviting 18-20

mates (called kumy) to a boy's, and 4-6 people to a girl's

baptism celebration. Two most worthy of these people used to

become godparents.

females in Bednarka, photo: Hans Hildenbrand

Florynca, 1934 photo: Roman Reinfuss field rocking cradle photo: NAC

Fot. Zdzisław Postępski

Nobody could refuse the invitation for this type of ceremony.

Godparents were considered second parents, and when the child

became an orphan, for example, they were obliged to look after

their godchild.

The name for the new-born was chosen together, usually it was

simply the name of a saint memorised on the day when the baby

was born or baptised. Pretty often children were given the names

after the patron of a local temple.

It happened that the names were given by the clergy themselves.

They used to do it especially in the case of illegitimate children.

These were unusual names, e.g. Kordian, Maurycy, Pelagia,

Urszula. The invited guests would bring gifts to the feast taking

place after the baptism. The women were supposed to bring

canvas called "chrism", while the male guests brought money and

vodka for the party.

Shortly after baptisms, 'rodowiny' took place, constituting another

excuse to celebrate the birth of a child. This type of celebration

was arranged especially if the first boy was born.

Wywód (Escort)

The official ending of the postpartum period, meaning the

isolation of the woman, was the "escort" (in Polish called


What was it about?

Well, after a few weeks spent at home (1-3 weeks), the young

mother would go to the church, where the priest led her to the

altar and prayed for her. From that moment, the woman could

go to church, visit her neighbours, and work in the field. Young

mothers were usually in a hurry to "escort", because after this

ceremony, mamuna had more difficult access to the mother and

her child.

Care for a new-born baby

What can I say, in the past there were not so many facilities for

young mothers as now. There was no baby powder or versatile

Sudocrem. The skin burns were eliminated by sprinkling mulch

from linden wood, turned by a worm directly on them. A similar

role was played by mashed and sifted linden wood coal.

Babies were breastfed for quite a long time, from one to two

years. Currently, many mothers do not feed at all or do sit only

until the age of 6 months. On the one hand, such a long period of

feeding with natural mother's milk certainly made the children

have good immunity, but on the other hand, nursing mothers

often did it for three years, believing that it would protect them

from becoming pregnant again.

Today's medicine leaves no doubt – it doesn't work that way...


The baby cradle was positioned in the place where neither the

sun rays nor moonlight could fall on it. The former were harmful

to the eyes, while moonlight could have caused the child to be a

sleepwalker. The tansy decoction was to help with the parasites.

The second way – quite effective, because it still applies today –

was to drink acid from sauerkraut. Children were often taken to

the field, where they were given characteristic, makeshift cradles.

There was not much time for raising the babies. They were

usually taught prayers, sometimes sent to school. Even small

children were engaged in work on the farm – they looked after

geese, took care of their younger siblings. Older children used to

graze cattle, herds and horses.

What’s the situation like today?

Over a hundred years, there have been huge cultural changes. The

Lemkos were also displaced from their land. It is interesting that

for centuries the Lemko and the Upland cultures have been

intermingled in some way. Therefore, even after displacement,

some beliefs remained in a similar or slightly changed form in the

Upland. Nowadays, it is commonly believed that a pregnant

woman should not look at the crippled, ugly or old people for a

long time, because she will "get stared" and the child may

become similar to them. Going under a ladder, tying knots...there

are many restrictions and things that should be avoided for the

good of the child. There is also vivid belief that "similar gives

birth to similar", for example, a woman expecting a child should

not take part in a funeral, and it is particularly dangerous for her

to look into the grave, because the child may be born dead.

Such examples can be multiplied. They survived hundreds of

years and will survive next decades since they are passed down

from generation to generation. Although most people think that

it is inappropriate to believe in such things, but still, just in case...

There is never enough caution, it is better not to tempt the fate

– and many people follow these recommendations.

However, nobody believes in kidnapping children anymore.

Usually, slightly larger children are baptised, usually after 3

weeks of age.

Nowadays, just as it was earlier, the birth of a child is the most

important event in a newly formed family. It merges and makes

it complete.

Katarzyna Skóra

Milik, 1936 photo. Roman Reinfuss

Sanok Museum photo : Kasia skóra Sanok Museum photo : Kasia skóra






Wolf's Lair

P h o t o s : l o v e P o l a n d a r c h i v e


I must admit that history has always had a special place among my interests.

That's why you can find many references to it in our magazine. This history

passion is probably a kind of national trait of Poles. This is probably due to the

particularly rich historical tradition of Poland. There were numerous past

events that stayed recorded in the collective consciousness of Poles in a

remarkably positive way, but there are also traumatic events to which we

return as we do not want to forget about the tragic part of our history and the

lesson we can learn from it.

I would like to invite you today to an expedition taking us back to World War II.

In an unusually picturesque part of Poland, there are ruins of one of the most

important war quarters of Adolf Hitler, i.e. the Wolf's Lair. About the object

itself we are writing below, but I would like to encourage you, if you are already

in Masuria, to visit other objects related to this dark part of history, including:

Goering's Headquarters in Szeroki Bór or the Headquarters of the Supreme

Command of Land Forces OKH in Mamerki (maybe someday we will write about

these places as well).

You can start your trip, or actually sightseeing of the Wolf's Lair, already in its

car park. Almost in its centre, there are the ruins of the former drinking water

pumping station with water filters station No. 0. On its walls you can see

perfectly preserved original masking plaster, imitating moss and lichen. Right

next to it, there is a board showing the plan of the headquarters and the route

of the sightseeing visit, which you can see below.



Gierłoż 5, 11-400 Gierłoż





15 PLN full price, 10 PLN reduced

Parking: 5 PLN (easy access, no booking needed)


street food style/ snacks/ drinks


payments: cash or cards

dogs are permitted

remote location

All photos have a historical purpose and they absolutely do not propagate

ideas related to Nazism or Fascism.


The next item to see is facility No. 1 – nowadays, a restaurant.

During the operation of the headquarters, the building housed the

garages at its bottom, while at the top floor there were living

quarters for Hitler's Guards (FBB) and Reich Security Service

(RSD). After the front passed by, the building was only slightly

damaged, so it could continue functioning. After renovation and

adaptation, a restaurant (downstairs) and a hotel (upstairs) were

created there. The pipes protruding from the walls of the building

are original. They drained the excess of water from the roof,

where, as masking elements, grass, trees and shrubs used to grow

in special roof bowls, filled with soil. The superstructure visible on

the roof was constructed after the war, for the needs of the

restaurant and the hotel.

On the opposite side of the restaurant, you can see the ruins of

the former emergency power supply building. Behind the

restaurant and the car park, concrete fragments of the shelter

(without a number) that was once the headquarters of Otto

Dietrich, the head of press service, are visible in the forest, on the


On the left side, the ruins of a brick building with number 2. Its

entrance stairs and front wall with terrace are still visible. It is a

remnant of the building of the Reich Security Service and Hitler's

Guard. High up, at the edge of the roof, you can see half-round

handles of thick rods protruding from the wall. These handles

were used to attach some wires, which were later pulled to the

trees nearby and tied to them. These wires were used as a frame

to fasten some masking nets. Today, the remains of masking

consist of a bunch of wires ingrown into the oak on the right side

of the road.

Wolfsschanze is derived from "Wolf", a self-adopted nickname of Hitler.

He began using the nickname in the early 1930s and it was often how he

was addressed by those in his intimate circle. "Wolf" was used in several

titles of Hitler's headquarters throughout occupied Europe, such

as Wolfsschlucht I and II in Belgium and France and Werwolf in Ukraine.

Although the standard translation in English is "Wolf's Lair," a Schanze in

German denotes a sconce, redoubt or temporary fieldwork.

The Wolf's Lair (German: Wolfsschanze; Polish: Wilczy Szaniec)

was Adolf Hitler's first Eastern Front military headquarters

in World War II. The complex, which became one of several Führer

Headquarters in various parts of Central and Eastern Europe,

was built for the start of Operation Barbarossa (the invasion of

the Soviet Union in 1941). It was constructed by Organisation

Todt. The top-secret, high-security site was in

the Masurian woods about eight kilometres (5.0 mi) east of the

small East Prussian town of Rastenburg, (Kętrzyn in presentday

Poland). Three security zones surrounded the central

complex where the Führer's bunker was located. These were

guarded by personnel from the SS-Begleitkommando des

Führers, Reichssicherheitsdienst and the Wehrmacht's

armoured Führerbegleitbrigade. Despite the security, the most

notable assassination attempt against Hitler was made at Wolf's

Lair on 20 July 1944. Hitler first arrived at the headquarters on

23 June 1941. In total, he spent more than 800 days at

the Wolfsschanze during a 3 1⁄2-year period until his final

departure on 20 November 1944.



Hitler's bunker had become the largest, "a positive fortress"

containing "a maze of passages, rooms and halls". Junge wrote,

"We had air-raid warnings every day" in the period between

the 20 July assassination attempt and Hitler's final departure

from the Wolfsschanze in November 1944, "but there was never

more than a single aircraft circling over the forest, and no bombs

were dropped. All the same, Hitler took the danger very seriously,

and thought all these reconnaissance flights were in preparation

for the big raid he was expecting. No air attack ever came. It has

never been revealed whether the Western Allies knew of

the Wolfsschanze's location and importance. The Soviet Union

was unaware of both the location and the scale of the complex

until it was uncovered by their forces in their advance towards

Germany in early 1945. Hitler would begin his day when he was in

residence by taking a walk alone with his dog around 9 or 10 am,

and at 10.30 am he looked at the mail that had been delivered by

air or courier train. A noon situation briefing was convened in

Keitel's and Jodl's bunker and frequently ran for two hours. This

was followed by lunch at 2 pm in the dining hall. Hitler invariably

sat in the same seat between Jodl and Otto Dietrich,

while Keitel, Martin Bormann, and Göring's adjutant General Karl

Bodenschatz sat opposite him. After lunch, Hitler dealt with nonmilitary

matters for the remainder of the afternoon. Coffee was

served around 5 pm, followed by a second military briefing by

Jodl at 6 pm. Dinner could also last as long as two hours,

beginning at 7.30 pm, after which films were shown in the

cinema. Hitler then retired to his private quarters where he gave

monologues to his entourage, including the two female

secretaries who had accompanied him to the Wolf's Lair.

Occasionally, Hitler and his entourage listened to gramophone

records of Beethovensymphonies, selections from Wagner or

other operas, or German lieder.

The Red Army reached the borders of East Prussia during

the Baltic Offensive in October 1944. Hitler departed from the

Wolf's Lair for the final time on 20 November when the Soviet

advance reached Angerburg (now Węgorzewo), 15 kilometres

(9.3 mi) away. Two days later, the order was given to destroy the

complex. The demolition took place on the night of 24–25

January 1945, ten days after the start of the Red Army's Vistula–

Oder Offensive. Tons of explosives were used; one bunker

required an estimated 8,000 kg (18,000 lb) of TNT. Most of the

buildings were only partially destroyed due to their immense size

and reinforced structures.

The Red Army captured the abandoned remains of

the Wolfsschanze on 27 January without firing a shot, the same

day that Auschwitz was liberated farther south. It took until 1955

to clear over 54,000 land mines that surrounded the installation.

The area was cleared of abandoned ordnance such as land mines

following the war, and the entire site was left to decay

by Poland's Communist government. The Wolf's Lair has been

developed as a tourist attraction since the Fall of Communism in

the early 1990s. Visitors can make day trips

from Warsaw or Gdańsk. Hotels and restaurants have grown up

near the site. Plans have periodically been proposed to restore

the area, including the installation of historical exhibits. As of

2019, the site was drawing almost 300,000 visitors a year. The

District is also considering building a hotel and restaurant, and

staging re-enactments with static figures in Nazi uniforms.

Critics worried that the planned changes could turn the site into

a place for neo-Nazi pilgrimages, although the District's

spokesperson said that they would "make every effort" to

maintain "due seriousness and respect for historical truth".

"The scars left by the war should be preserved and presented as a lesson, a warning.

Exhibitions should explain the history, contextualise the place, but not completely

overshadow it."


Ruins of Adolf Hitler's bunker (No. 13). It was the largest object in the quarter

(60 × 36 m with outbuildings, the shelter itself measured 36 by 36 m). Today,

only one wall and the ruins of outbuildings remain relatively well preserved.

Unlike other shelters, it not only had a protective function, but was also Hitler's

apartment. His personal rooms (study, bedroom, bathroom, wardrobe etc.) and

the rooms for his service assistants, secretaries, security workers etc. were

located here, as well as telephone exchange and teletypes. On the remains of

the roof, above the entrance, you can see three pines planted in 1944 as one of

the masking elements of this object. On the side wall, on the right, there is a

ladder leading to the roof, used by soldiers from anti-aircraft positions.


Birds by Rafał


Birds like people have some personality traits. A

particular species, depending on whether it is

from urban or more remote areas, may have a

different behaviour. But not only because of the

location. Sometimes in the same place birds of

the same species behave differently.




Rafał Bojanowski

Rafał Bojanowski: My adventure with nature photography began in 2007. Then, while I was observing the breeding struggles of the couple

of fieldfares, the desire to change the binoculars into a camera was born, in order to capture these wonderful, interesting, but fleeting

moments. Engrafted with bird fascination during my field trips, I began to notice that in the nature that surrounds me there are many

beautiful and interesting birds that I have not known so far. Hence, I decided to photograph subsequently all newly known species. At the

beginning, it was only an intention for documentary photography. However, over time, I decided to improve my photographic workshop by

gaining new theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as investing in more professional equipment. And so, till the present, I have been

totally devoted to my passion, i.e. observing and photographing moments in the life of birds, which are the main subject of my photos.

About birds, birds' nature and photography,

we would like to talk to Rafał Bojanowski:

wildlife photographer – especially interested

in the birds of Poland.

As our proverb says: "One swallow does not

make spring" (in the UK it does not make

summer) but starting from early spring you can

already hear and see more and more species of

birds outside the window. Summer, in turn, is a

real bird paradise, although it is not probably

the best time of a year to observe them. Poland

may boast of huge diversity of habitats and the

variety of bird species. Although for several

winter months we cannot see swallows or

storks here, other species take their place.

Summer, however, abounds in great variety of

them. To see slightly more unique species,

however, you need to go to more remote places

where nature dominates over urbanised life.

TLP: Rafał, on your website you say that

"nature photography is one of the most

beautiful, but also the most demanding fields of

photography. It's a constant search for the

dream frame, giving joy and delight in

communing with wildlife. The main topic of my

works are birds. These photographs are the

result of hard work, many hours spent in the

field observing, preparing the place for

photography, building hideouts."

I would like to use your introduction to further

conversation about birds and your photography.

Do you remember your childhood, especially things

related to nature? I come from very green areas of

Lubuskie Voivodeship myself and I still remember

trips or even kind of 'escapes' to the surrounding

forests. Has nature accompanied you from a young

age? Has it influenced what you are into today?

RB: I remember my childhood very well, but it was

not oriented towards nature in any special way. I

grew up in Porajów, a small village, but not a typical

one that comes to mind when we think about the

Polish countryside. It's a post-German suburb of

Zittau, so more a settlement, but nicely situated in

the Lusatian Highlands among fields and meadows

of small forests, so of course nature was visible and

heard from all sides. In my childhood, the forests

were more like a playground for guerrilla games

than for observing their inhabitants. Catching

newts, frogs, water beetles, this was my communion

with wildlife. I remember that the sight of a flying

stork, crane or heron always impressed me a lot,

probably because of their large sizes. I also

remember very well an event from my preschool

age, when for a few days, with a fever, I despaired

over a wounded Norwich Cropper, which is a breed

of fancy pigeon, that my father used to keep. Maybe

it was the germ of my future passion for birds. It

took me a long time to understand how much this

passion means to me. It began in my adulthood, at

the age of 30, with an observation of a pair of

fieldfares on the tree just outside the window of my

house, which fiercely defended their nest against

birds larger than themselves.


Curious about bird adventures, I bought binoculars, a bird atlas

and then I began to notice that there are many interesting

species in the close surroundings that I had not noticed before,

it was just then that I realized it was exactly what I want to fill

with every free moment of my time.

TLP: So you take pictures of nature. It would seem that this is

one of the most enjoyable activities possible, but you say:

nature photography is a 'hard work'? What is the reason for

this 'nuisance'? Can the effects of work compensate for hours

spent in uncomfortable conditions waiting for the right shot?

RB: Saying that I deal with nature photography, one would think

that photography is my passion, and as the subject of my work

I chose nature, especially birds. Well, actually these are bids

which are my real passion, you could say that I am a

birdwatcher in the first place, and the camera serves me only

to capture them. So I don't consider myself a photographer, I

think the photographer has a different approach. I use the

camera like millions of people around the world photographing

my passions (chefs or confectioners photograph their dishes,

pastries and show them on their blogs, we will not call them


The way birds are photographed can be divided in two ways:

The first is easier without much commitment, i.e. a method

using 'stalking approach", we can use it on any walk, bike ride

and other situations, just have a camera on hand and take

advantage of the opportunity that comes. Of course, you can

also get more involved and walk up birds using camouflage

clothes. In such case, we creep quietly to the object, taking a

picture every few steps. At the beginning of my adventure, I

would use this method to take documentary pictures of newly

discovered species. I remember my beginnings with great

agitation, when I discovered how many previously unseen

species live around us. All I had to do was to open my eyes a

little wider. With time, when I was looking at the pictures in

another atlas (as I collected more and more of them on my

bookshelves), I decided that maybe I would give it a try too,

because if I take pictures, then why not make them look exactly

like those in the atlas. And here we go to the second method of

photographing birds, which I use now – photography out of

hiding. Such pictures are not accidental, in the case of most

bird species they are planned several months earlier. To take

such a photo you need to spend a lot of time in the field

exploring, then preparing the place for shooting, supplementing

your knowledge about the habits of the genre, learning about

the sounds they make. Everything is planned, the place for a

hideout, even a stick, a stump or a tree on which the bird is to

sit. And this is what I love the most, this time in the field,

looking for the place of occurrence of a given species that we

want to photograph, building a hideout, waiting for a dozen or

so hours in it, so that at the very end you can press the

shutter to capture the whole story. Looking at my

photographs, I can see the whole sequence of activities that

had to be completed before the picture could be taken. So

when I write about hard work, I mean the whole process, from

the emergence of an idea of a species to be observed to the

final snapshot. It can be said that depending on the species

we photograph using this method, we prepare for the photo

for a day, week, month, year, and taking the photography

itself lasts from a few seconds to several minutes. And the

path to the goal, i.e. the dream photo of a given species, can

last for several seasons.

TLP: You come from a little known and seldom visited part of

Poland – from its edge – the border between the Czech

Republic and Germany. Can you photograph rare "specimens"

near Bogatynia, where you live? Something to boast of in

Poland, or maybe in the world? In Poland, despite

appearances, bird watching is probably not well developed and

more bird lovers in our area come from abroad and especially

from Germany?

RB: With a few exceptions I mainly photograph in my poviat

and here you can observe about 160 species of birds. Actually,

there are a few that you can boast with not only in the

country but also in the world, and these are Eurasian pygmy

owl, boreal owl and horned owl. Bogatynia is located between

the Lower Silesian Forests and Sudetes, which are one of the

most important habitats of these species in the country.

Therefore, smaller forests around Bogatynia are also

dominated by these species due to the fact that they are in

the corridor of their flights between the mentioned regions.

It is true that there are not as many bird lovers in Poland as in

the UK, a leader in this field. There are many websites where

bird enthusiasts share their observations or photos taken.

This hobby is rapidly developing, gaining more and more

enthusiasts of this passion. Around this passion, there are

numerous, commercial hide-outs being created, frequently

visited by guests, also from abroad. Tourist offices organise

trips to the Białowieża Forest, Biebrza Marshes. From year to

year, a large increase in birdwatching can be observed.

TLP: Our conversation takes place in early spring but the

article will be published in summer. What is the best time for

bird watching – in terms of season and time of a day?

Apparently spring is a great period for ornithologists and all

nature lovers – and how does it look like in the summer?

During the day, most of the birds probably hide to avoid heat,

but you can probably observe birds of prey and wading

species, hovering in the chimneys of warm air during this



RB: Spring is the best time to observe birds and listen to

them, because it is a fact that we are more often able to hear

the birds rather than see them, and some species are so

secretive that only their singing makes us aware that they are

nearby and here, of course, it is useful to recognise bird

singing, which is a skill that you can learn from recordings.

Already at the turn of February and March we can hear the

songs of the lark, and 30% of the European population of this

species lives in Poland. At the same time, cranes appear,

followed immediately by storks in the second half of March.

But for many of us, it is the swallow which is a real harbinger

of the upcoming spring and although, as the saying goes "one

swallow does not make spring", this species heralds the

upcoming spring warming.

Spring is the season of returns for a significant proportion of

birds. From early morning to late evening, males lure females

with their singing and inform competing males of their

breeding sites. A real concert for thousands of beaks. The

weather is also very important. Birds sing to be heard.

Therefore, when the conditions are unfavourable, it rains, a

strong wind blows and it gets cold, the birds go silent. Then,

they would rather look for food. Then, after pairing and

choosing breeding sites, they begin to build nests, cavity

nesters look for suitable places. And then the time to raise

and feed the offspring comes, bird-parents are then busy

from down till dusk, trying to satisfy the chicks, constantly

calling for food. It's the perfect time to observe birds all day

long. Early summer can still be counted as increased activity

period. It is getting worse since July, the birds are becoming

quieter, of course there are also species that are more active

in summer due to their late arrivals unlike most species, but

these birds are not numerous and summer months are no

longer as interesting as spring ones. The next interesting

period is autumn, and even late summer, when some

noticeable movements start in the birds' world; birds prepare

for autumn migration, gathering in larger clusters, so it's a

good time to observe and photograph wetland birds, seeders.

In winter, in turn, you can observe birds at feeders, to which

you can lure over 20 species, including such rarities as the

hawfinch, bullfinch, brambling. At this time, we are also visited

by the birds which cannot be seen at any other time of the

year, as waxwings or bramblings. Winter is also a great time

to photograph birds of prey. White-tailed eagles, buzzards.

TLP: And where is the best place to look for birds in Poland?

Is there any specialised knowledge needed for it? it may seem

that they are everywhere, in the countryside, on the river, on

the lake, by the sea and even in the city. So it may seem that

all you need is patience and careful observation. I do not know

whether to agree with this opinion? It is hard for me to

remember any peculiar encounters with birds and it seems to

me that this requires specialised knowledge?

RB: It depends on what birds we are interested in, but we can

safely say that we can observe birds everywhere, in city

parks, squares, in home gardens, fields, trees, forests, rivers,

lakes, by the sea. A dozen or even several dozens of species

can be found in the vicinity of several kilometres, regardless

of where we are. Birds are everywhere, so we can meet for

example tits, thrushes, ravenous birds. It is enough to pay

some attention to them. But there are also a lot of places for

more demanding birdwatchers, visited not only by Polish bird

lovers come, but also those coming from Europe, and from

other parts of the world In spring, these locations include the

Biebrza River region, which is a real paradise for observing

water birds such as various ducks, battalions, and plovers. In

early summer – Karsiborska Kępa – where we can observe

over 100 species of various birds, and what is the most

interesting – unique Aquatic Warbler Refuge. The mouth of

the Vistula River at the turn of summer and autumn is another

interesting location, where hundreds of thousands of birds

stop in the "Seagull Sandbank" reserve. The Warta River

estuary in the fall gives an opportunity to observe hundreds

of thousands of geese as well as cranes and a large number of

white-tailed eagles. And in winter, the Baltic coast provides an

opportunity to observe goldeneyes, ring-necked ducks,

mergansers and newcomers from the north, as it is the only

possible time for the observation of i.e. common eider, longtailed

ducks. There are other places like Milickie Ponds,

Białowieża Forest, they are the most famous places in Poland,

but there are many more and you can find something

interesting in almost every region.

TLP: Do you have any interesting observations regarding

birds? They are supposed to be very communicative. Do birds

have their moods? Can birds do politics? Build a coalition to

do something together? Are birds also ruled by emotions or

emotions are given only to people?

RB: Birds like people have some personality traits. A particular

species, depending on whether it is from urban or more

remote areas, may have a different behaviour. But not only

because of the location. Sometimes in the same place birds of

the same species behave differently. As in humans, there are

more courageous individuals, one could indicate here the

distance of escape, i.e. how far a given individual of one

species will allow us to approach. Some bird species use the

close proximity of other species, e.g. due to the fact that the

black-headed gulls gather in clusters during the attack of

other birds and thus alert about the threat which helps to

chase the intruder away, other smaller species nest nearby

using their so-called umbrella protection that the blackheaded

gulls give them thus improving their safety. One could

also mention the fieldfare, from which my adventure with

birds began.



The Eurasian pygmy owl (Glaucidium passerinum) is the smallest owl in Europe. It is a dark reddish to greyish-brown,

with spotted sides and half of a white ring around the back of the neck. This species is found in the boreal forests of

Northern and Central Europe to Siberia. This is a sedentary species, meaning that adults are resident throughout the

year in its range. The exception may be during harsh winters, when the adults may move south. Young of the species

usually move in autumn or winter.


by Rafal Bojanowski


The Eurasian hoopoe (Upupa epops). It is a medium-sized bird, 25–32 cm long, with a 44–48 cm wingspan. It weighs 46–89 g.

The species is highly distinctive, with a long, thin tapering bill that is black with a fawn base. The strengthened musculature of

the head allows the bill to be opened when probing inside the soil. The hoopoe has broad and rounded wings capable of strong

flight; these are larger in the northern migratory subspecies. The hoopoe has a characteristic undulating flight, which is like that

of a giant butterfly, caused by the wings half closing at the end of each beat or short sequence of beats. Adults may begin their

moult after the breeding season and continue after they have migrated for the winter.

Birds by Rafal Bojanowski


summer excape to

Czorszyn by Konrad Janik


Konrad Janik


Dominika Bednarczyk


By paddling the SUP on the lake, you can

admire nature and monuments from a

slightly different perspective. While

paddling with our couple of enthusiasts,

you will have the chance to see the ruins

of the castle in Czorsztyn, the castle in

Niedzica, the historic buildings of the

open-air museum on Stylchyna, but also

discover the beauty of nature in the

form of the Zielone Skałki reserve.



Czorsztyn is a village in Poland, in Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Nowy Targ

County. The village lies in Pieniny, the mountain range on the current

Polish-Slovak border. It is famous for the ruins of a 14th-17th-century

castle, which was the scene of the Kostka-Napierski Uprising in 1651.

Czorsztyn gave its name to the man-made reservoir also known as Lake

Czorsztyn, completed in 1994. The village along with its mountainous

surroundings is a recreational destination with well developed tourist

infrastructure: accommodations, pleasure-boats dock, and numerous

marked hiking trails.



the trip

Close your eyes. Imagine a lake, quite a big one. With hills,

limestone rocks and forests around it. And a little further

some mountains. One range from one side of it, and some

more on the other. From the south, other peaks look at all of

it – much higher, snow-covered for most of the year. Can you

hear that birds’ singing? Can you feel the wind in your hair?

And now, think about the bottom of this lake, lined with the

spirit of the old days. Sounds mysterious, right?

Open your eyes. This place really exists. In a moment you will

find out what you saw in your mind's eye.

The lake in question is Czorsztyn Lake. It is located in the

south of Poland, on the border of two regions: Podhale and

Spisz. It is surrounded by national parks: Pieniny, Gorce and

Tatra National Parks spread nearby, and the high snowy

mountains mentioned earlier are the Tatras, of course. The

peaks surrounding the lake are Pieniny and Gorce, but from

the west you can also see the distant range of the Żywiec

Beskids. A fable? Keep reading, that's not all. The lake is

actually an artificial, man-made reservoir, created in the place

of the village of Maniowy. The whole village was somehow

built again, in slightly higher area, on the slopes of Gorce, thus

the population had to be resettled. This entire process began

in the 1970s and lasted approx. 20 years. Hence the mention

of the "spirit of the old days," because the "old" Maniowy

were practically completely flooded and only a few elements

of the old buildings were moved to the new village.

prepared in partnership with


This is not all that can be said about this picturesque area, but

before I continue, I will introduce you to a couple: Karolina and

Konrad. They are already married now but their history started

a dozen of years ago. They are as thick as thieves, they share

interests and have lots of passions in common. And on this kind

of foundation and on the basis of local patriotism they have

created something that will definitely interest you.

Instead of searching the Internet for information about the

region, you can go ahead and visit them. In addition to knowing

the surroundings like the back of their hand, they have a

handful of activities for you that will make the time spent at

Czorsztyn Lake even more pleasant.

The first of such attractions is SUP, i.e. stand up paddle. It's

just a pneumatic board on which you can paddle with an oar.

You don't have to be in great shape or possess any special

skills. Anyway, Karolina and Konrad will not leave you alone with

it! Either they will show you how to use the board or they will

go paddling on the lake with you. There are plenty of

possibilities. You can paddle the board sitting or standing, you

can drift lazily on it or race with friends, you can also use it to

do some training. Anyone up for it?

By paddling the SUP on the lake, you can admire nature and

monuments from a slightly different perspective. While paddling

with our couple of enthusiasts, you will have the chance to see

the ruins of the castle in Czorsztyn, the castle in Niedzica, the

historic buildings of the open-air museum on Stylchyna, but also

discover the beauty of nature in the form of the Zielone Skałki

reserve, where the water turns unearthly green and the rocks

rise up to 100 meters above the lake level. To add some variety,

some SUP models can be converted into a kayak. One more

thing for enthusiasts of strong sensations: if you paddle your

SUP to the castle in Czorsztyn, you can take the aerial ropeslide

ride over the lake.

It's not the end of attractions that Karolina and Konrad can

offer. If you have already tried the taste of the SUP adventure,

now it's time for a bike! Our couple also has a bike rental

service that will take you anywhere you want. Around the lake,

there is a picturesque 40 km long bicycle path. Thanks to this

route, you can visit the historic church in Dębno, which was

inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, or the old wine

cellars in Frydman. You can get to places that you previously

admired from the lake, including e.g. the castle in Czorsztyn

and to the open-air museum in Stylchyna. But let's not limit

ourselves! Bicycles are also adapted for mountain riding, so you

can easily cycle to the top of an extinct volcano on Wdżar

Mountain or explore the surrounding forests. There is a

gondola service to the other side of the lake, so that you can

easily take your bike to continue cycling on the opposite shore.

If you still don't have enough of cycling, you should know that

the path around the lake is only a part of the very long

VeloDunajec cycling path, which stretches over 237 km and

includes many attractive tourist destinations.

Rafting down the Dunajec is also one of nearby attractions. This

river flows directly into Czorsztyn Lake. Usually, rafting takes

place on the boards of a rafting boat, but Karolina and Konrad

can organize this pleasure for you in the SUP version.

And when you get tired of these water-land activities, Karolina

and Konrad will invite you to the relaxation zone on the shores

of the lake, where, lying comfortably in a hammock, you will sip

lemonade to the accompaniment of an evening concert under

the cloud. It still sounds magical, right? Now you can close your

eyes again. However, there is no more need to imagine

anything. You are there. This place really exists.

also worth to see nearby:

Niedzica Castle

Niedzica Castle also known as Dunajec Castle, is located in the

southernmost part of Poland in Niedzica (Nowy Targ

County in Lesser Poland). It was erected between the years

1320 and 1326 by Kokos of Brezovica on the site of an ancient

stronghold surrounded by earthen walls in

the Pieniny mountains. The Niedzica Castle stands at an altitude

of 566 m, on a hill 300 metres (980 ft) upstream from

the Dunajec River mouth, measured from the center of the dam

on Lake Czorsztyn. The outline of Niedzica Castle can best be

viewed from the ruins of Czorsztyn Castle on the other side of

the lake. It is known as one of the most picturesque castles in

the country and adorns the covers of many books.

Dunajec raft trips

The Dunajec River Gorge runs through the Pieniny Mountains.

The gorge is characterised by some of the most

interesting geological structures and area-specific

natural ecosystems. It is featured on UNESCO's Tentative

List of World Heritage Sites in Poland. Dunajec Gorge is also

one of the best-known tourist attractions in the Pieniny

Mountains. Wooden raft trips have been organised daily

by Pieniny Gorals since the early 19th century when their

customers consisted mostly of guests of

nearby Niedzica and Czorsztyn castles. The trip begins in the

village of Sromowce Wyżne-Kąty, and ends in the resort town

of Szczawnica, 18 km downstream. It takes about 2–3 hours.

The second leg of the tour is only 5 km long. It begins in

Szczawnica and ends in the town of Krościenko nad Dunajcem.

The Gorge makes 7 loops in its length. The surrounding rock

reaches 300 m in heigh almost all the way through.


Czorszyn by Konrad Janik

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I

took the one less traveled by.”

W W W . F A C E B O O K . C O M / S A S H A Z I B A R O V . A R T

try to get closer to people by taking a


just enough to create the


Sasha Nazim

P E O P L E A N D P L A C E S . F R O M L W Ó W T O


impression of presence..."


However, the truth is we were very happy. I often think about my street and my

neighbours. I could go to a friend who lived a few houses away almost at any time

and knock on the window. And then we talked and drank tea. That's how we

talked, during all our childhood, on our way back from school. I lived in such a little

fabulous world of my fantasies, books and beauty. I think I was liked although I was

not always shown this. However, I had freedom. I remember that when I wanted to

paint on the walls at home, nobody forbade me this. I wanted to stay home instead

of going to school and read, I could do it sometimes. When I went out in a new

dress and returned after an hour in it torn in pieces, no one said a word to me -

and we had never been a wealthy family, rather an ordinary one.

Cat the Creedence

We also had cats at home, there was even a moment that there were a few of

them. There was one of ours and the other of grandmother, and one more that

When I came back, new books appeared.

However, I was accepted to the Academy of

Fine Arts in Kraków and decided to sell the

apartment and take my brother with me.

That's how my Lvov life ended. I've

probably given up arranging other elements

of it. It's not possible to organise


Today. Pandemic.

It's a hard time for me. However, something

good happened as well. One day, not long

ago, a young Californian girl locked up at

home during a pandemic, took up the

history of her family. She turned out to be

my relative. My grandfather had six siblings.

I did not know that I have such a large

family. Who am I? I am an adult, sensitive

person who does not succeed in everything

in life. Punk forever? As a child, once I

brought a huge, dead rat home, I thought

he was sleeping. The older children I met in

the staircase were screaming in terror. I do

not speak about my plans aloud.

part 2. Kraków.

photo: Sasha Nazim

sometimes lived with our neighbour and sometimes with us, and everyone thought

it was his cat. Our apartment was on the ground floor and there were a lot of

gardens around, so cats came to eat something and returned to action. Our cat's

name was Kridens from the band Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Growing up. Buddhists, karma and Kraków.

I remember that as a child I also knew that I would be interested in something

related to the East, it probably happened when I read something about

reincarnation. It was all after my father's death. It seemed to me that someone

was still sitting in the kitchen at home. There were always more cups above the

sink. At that time, our home was always full of life. It happened that after I left,

guests stayed there and received other guests. I remember when I came back

once, my mother was in Kalmycia at the opening of a Buddhist stupa, and a couple

of our friends lived in the house. There used to be a Buddhist centre at home,

probably for 5 years. This affected my decision regarding moving to Poland. I just

went to Kraków to see some Buddhist friends. I had a piece of paper with a plan

in pencil on it, showing where to get off the bus and how to find the centre. Then,

after my mother's death, as I lived in Kraków, there was always someone from our

friends who lived in our apartment, so that my brother would not stay alone.

People were gathering, playing various instruments.

Kraków reminds me very much of Lvov.

When I was a child I remember that once,

when we were driving a car, my dad

stopped and showed something, pointing

his finger at something in the distance,

saying that there is a border. And I

remember that I was sure I would never

cross it. But because of coincidence, it

turned out differently. I have the

impression that I did not choose Kraków,

but it was Kraków that chose me. And

seriously, I have some nomad genes, I'm still

running away. Probably because my dad

showed me then that there is a different

world somewhere, although it seemed

inaccessible to me then. I think it stayed in

me somewhere and waited for the right

moment. It is a very specific place. When I

came back to it after long absences, I felt

relief that I was already there, that I was

back. It seems to me that Kraków has

changed in recent years and there is less

and less of that quiet Kraków. City is

changing its face, commercialising.


Similarly, there is no longer this Lvov from my childhood, where the Main Square

was sometimes completely empty and the city was much calmer and there were

less tourists.

Now in Kraków you can even meet a team from Bollywood making a movie and the

famous figures of the city are already disappearing from it like the violinist

Stefan, who died a few years ago. I saw him playing on the Market Square with a

gypsy band. A long time ago.

In Kraków, Kazimierz is particularly close to me for some reason. I feel at home

here. And I'm not just talking about pubs. I have this feeling of closeness to

Kazimierz from the very beginning. Here, I just walked for years, I also painted,

although sometimes I didn't even have time to buy coffee. I have my usual places

here. In 'Mleczarnia' in the summer, when they open everything wide, you are

sitting by the window reading a fresh press and watching what is happening

outside, like from your own apartment. Nobody is in a hurry. Coffee has cost

photo and artwork: Sasha Nazim

the same for years. They do not sell it to take away, so that they do not produce

garbage. This is a place where the saying that "if a man does not have fifteen

minutes for coffee, he does not have time to live" really works. Opposite

"Mleczarnia", there is probably the most famous gate in Kazimierz, where scenes

were shot for many well-known films, including "Angel in Kraków". But Kazimierz is

more than pubs and monuments. It's a place and a district that reminds you of

impermanence. We all know it. Polish Jews have lived here for generations. And

now there is emptiness left by them.

Of course, Kraków is not only Kazimierz. Krak Mound is my other favourite place –

It has always been. I lived a few years nearby and often went for a walk there, at

different times. After Easter, it is worth going to the Sleeves festival or to the

unofficial summer solstice festival (no organizer) on the Krak Mound. Its

atmosphere is 'like greeting the sun during the summer solstice'. I also like the

silhouette of the neo-Gothic church of St. Joseph in old Podgórze. For those who

like communing with nature more, there is one perfect place to swim at any time

of the year (also in winter): it's 'Twardowski Rocks'. There are also other small

magical places here, for example: "Alley of the infidel Thomas" (reference to

Tomasz from "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" – the iconic book by Kundera).

And many other more or less known places. And there are definitely angels here in

Kraków. I know some of them look down.

And when you get hungry, remember that in

Kraków, the number of people equals the number

of "best dumplings". I like and choose the

atmosphere, not the places chosen by people

with lots of money.

My personal Kraków culinary top:

Pierogi: 'Vinsent' at Bożego Ciała Street, specific

interior design, tasty pierogi;

Mleczarnia: homemade cheesecake (!)

Good Italian ice cream: the corner of Bożego

Ciała and Józefa Streets: sale from the window.

Vegetarian cuisine: Chimera (!) św. Anny Street, a

yard with flowers, Humus at ul. Meiselsa in

Kraków's Kazimierz: "Amamamusi", Wege:

"Vegab" on Starowiślna Street.


a joyful day.


mist cleared early, I was working in the garden.


birds were stopping above the caprifolium flower.


was nothing on the earth I wished to possess.


knew no one it would be worthy to be jealous of.


the bad I had experienced, I forgot.


was not ashamed to think that I had been who I am.


did not feel any pain in my body.


And finally, people:

I have friends here. Here you can dress in a second hand shop and feel good,

people read here.

Szymborska and Miłosz walked down these streets. A special intercom was hung

in the door of the Nowa Prowincja cafe – Poetry intercom. After pressing the

button with the name, well-known poets reading their poems will speak, including

Ewa Lipska, Adam Zagajewski, Ryszard Krynicki, Czesław Miłosz and Bronisław



Professor suddenly got really nervous. And in a

moment she said it was a story about her

husband. She asked who wrote this book and I

didn't remember. Her future husband then and in

the future prof. of The Academy of Fine Arts in

Kraków who went to the camp during the war and

there he met a yogi who taught him to meditate.

She told me that later, much later, her husband

said that he recognised this yogi (it was about

reincarnation) in a boy who once went to their

home. This boy, many years later, was in India and

became a Buddhist Lama, although he was born

Polish. I felt so good in this atelier of the

professor that I would happily never leave it.

Straightening up, I beheld blue seas and sails.

Such is the magic of the Royal City.

part 3. Art

For me, Kraków is also, or maybe above all, a place related to art. Probably

because of my field of study and the fact that in addition to painting I was also

involved in the conservation of monuments. It was here that, after graduating

from the Academy, I met a great Kraków artist who was such a luminous person

that now when she is gone, I still miss her. I'm talking about Professor Janina

Kraupe-Świderska. I remember the meetings held at her home, in her studio, on

Tuesdays when we talked all evening until late hours about everything, about art,

life and many more or less important matters. It was a huge workshop, high on

the top floor with large windows, paintings and books everywhere.

The tenement house where she lived is near the famous Jubilat store. It was

supposedly designed for the once famous opera singer and the stairs were to

resemble the stairs from the Teatro La Scala in Milan. There was amazing

acoustics in the staircase. High ceilings. Flowers on the stairs. Not all apartments

were inhabited and in a very narrow elevator, only two people could get together.

Someone always had to go up or down the stairs while visiting our Professor.

Now, as I mention it, I don't know how to describe this amazing atmosphere in her

apartment. Often when I came, there was a new picture and it stood on the easel.

I heard a lot of magical stories there. Somehow it happens with some people that

we spend relatively little time with them, and the trace they leave is strong. She

also had such an incredibly long life perspective, full of memories. She once

mentioned that she was in Lvov before the war (probably on a school trip). I would

like to tell one particular story related to her here. Once, when I came to Poland, I

read a book that seemed to be a complete fiction. Unfortunately, I did not

remember the title or author. It was a book about the times of World War II in

Poland. The action took place in a concentration camp. And there was an Indian

yogi in this camp. An unexpected start, right? The Jog helped those who could be

helped and even taught some of them to meditate. A fairy tale, I thought. A fake

story. Once, however, on one of Tuesday I visited the professor again in her

studio. As usual, we drank tea and were alone. And I, (why?), started telling her

the story from the book.

I used to live with her at her home in the

mountains, in Zawoja. There, Professor used to

spend two summer months. Her workshop was

upstairs and her husband's downstairs. She sat on

the terrace every day and read. Sometimes she

smoked. Interesting guests arrived and told

stories about everything. Unfortunately, when she

died early in spring 2016, I was very far away, in

Bali. Our last call was in autumn, on the phone.

But go back to Kraków at the end. I show you my

photographs of this city, which are perhaps

slightly different from those you see every day. I

just like reporter photography, where we change

nothing. I try to get closer to people by taking a

picture, just enough to create the impression of

presence. Like looking through a keyhole. For me,

photography is a document. To pass on

information, feeling, presence, what we can see

to experience it as if it were with us. The world is

huge, and not everyone is a traveller. Black and

white photography is more expressive to me, it

doesn't distract the viewer.


photo: Dmitry Berkut

Sasha Nazim


streets of Kraków


"I remember when my painting started, when I dipped the brush in thick watercolour for the first time and I

remember it was blue. I was maybe five years old then, probably no more. At that time, I used to say with full

conviction that I would paint one day. I've never had other plans."


For me, Kraków is also, or maybe above all, a place related

to art. Probably because of my field of study and the fact

that in addition to painting I was also involved in the

conservation of monuments. It was here that, after

graduating from the Academy, I met a great Krakow artist

who was such a luminous person that now when she is

gone, I still miss her. I'm talking about Professor Janina

Kraupe-Świderska. I remember the meetings held at her

home, in her studio, on Tuesdays when we talked all

evening until late hours about everything, about art, life

and many more or less important matters. It was a huge

workshop, high on the top floor with large windows,

paintings and books everywhere.

I lived in such a

little fabulous

world of my

fantasies, books

and beauty.

Arkadiusz Andrejkow Silent Memorial

In the Silent Memorial I have combined two creative paths

which I follow as an artist. The first is the fascination with old

photography as an inspiration for painting, which has been

with me since my student days when I created the "Family

Matters" series of works. The second is the search for unusual

painting surfaces. Naturally damaged and marked with the

"tooth of time". This type of surface is usually the background

for the characters I portray. As of today, over 50 works have

been created as part of the Silent Memorial project. I continue

to develop the project even more.

AA: The first murals from the project differed significantly

from those painted even in 2020. This difference was mainly

due to the selection of old photographs that were the

inspiration. In the initial work I focused on typical posed

photos. Taken by a photographer during important family

events. I didn't always manage to get the right photographs,

sometimes their scans were of poor quality. It didn't bother

me then. I tried to process my works during painting; I used to

act more expressively. The end result was quite inaccurate,

dark, I was said to paint ghosts.

Bzianka 2019 ,photo: Arkadiusz Grzyb.

It is obviously going to be continued. A lot of people come to

me, also from outside the province, who want to change the

face of their barn.

TLP: As you once mentioned, your main form of painting

expression is the 'portrait' approach. In the case of the

Silent Memorial, however, this is much 'more', entire

characters emerge from the works, often included in genre

scenes – conversation, work, sometimes just the whole

silhouette contained in a kind of natural context – is it the

way you imagined this project in the initial stage, or maybe

you changed your mind about how to implement it?

Now I pay a lot of attention to preparation for the

implementation of each work. Both when it comes to scans of

old photos and their proper selection for a particular barn. I also

look for other motifs in the pictures. I am interested in

situational photos, taken during various rural works or in the

company of animals and machines. When it comes to the

location of individual works, I don't care as much as before to

make sure the work was clearly visible, e.g. from the road. It is

interesting that some barns are deeply hidden. As a result,

tourists seeking these works can explore various nooks and

crannies of the Podkarpacie countryside. A map, both online and

a paper one, may be of some help for them.


TLP: You paint a little sketchy, your pictures are

transparent, you do not cover the severity of the walls or

boards – where from such an approach to painting? I saw

you saying somewhere that "the walls of the barns have

become an ideal ground for you because they are a surface,

or an image that nature and the passage of time began to

paint long before my first brush stroke".

AA: I like the so-called walls with character, marked by "the

tooth of time". This background goes very well with the

countryside. The scans of photos are sent to me by people who

are the current owners of a given barn. I usually paint their old

ancestors who often built a given object, raised animals or

simply worked in it. In most cases, the entire project

organisation and preparation process is carried out remotely.

People who like what I do send me via Facebook or email the

photos of their barns and scans of old family photos. Later, I

consider whether something can be created this time and

eventually we move on to action. Almost all works are created in

one day. In Bieszczady Mountains and around my hometown

Wola Matiaszowa 2019 photto: Arkadiusz Andrejkow

characters from old photographs. Old planks of the barns or

shabby walls are a ready warp for my paintings. I try to

paint the characters so that the raw surface makes an

integral whole with them. So that the characters would

literally come out of the wall.

TLP: Where do you get topics for your works? Apparently,

residents often send you photographs themselves and ask

for work to be done? Who is the 'hero of your works'?

AA: Inspiration for murals from the Silent Memorial project

are the old photographs of former inhabitants of the Polish

Sanok I paint these works for free , well, maybe not entirely

because I get various rural delicacies: eggs, honey, vegetables,


TLP: Memorial is not the only form of your painting expression.

You also create more 'typical painting' works – I know for

example your picture painted on an old map and exhibited,

among others, at the Ulm Museum in Markowa. I have also seen

quite unusual experiments such as pictures painted in the snow.

In Sanok you are working on a project regarding people who

have already passed away. I would like you to tell us a bit about

these two latter topics. Works in the snow are quite an unusual


form of expression since it is difficult to imagine something

more fleeting – often during their creation the form itself

changes, after all the snow melts. I also have an impression

that the project of Sanok murals has a deeper meaning for


AA: Of course, the series of works on snow was created

during the winter, which for me as for a painter working in

the field, is partly a "dead" season. After a few weeks of

painting in the studio, when the weather conditions do not

allow me to work outside, the need to create something in the

open air grows rapidly. The works in the snow were very

spontaneous. I was mainly inspired by old concrete elements

protruding from the ground, with white caps of snow due to

heavy snowfall. This combination gave a very original object to

paint. First of all, I created portraits inspired by photographs

of older people. These were very quick actions. Each work

was created in about 20 minutes. I painted them with spray

paints, because only spraying would not destroy the snow

layer. Photographic documentation at the end of the activities

was a very important element of the whole action. These

portraits in the snow did not have "live" viewers at all.

tourists, to places that are outside the mainstream of the

city's attractions. They were places overlooked in guidebooks,

but also points where life was once vibrant and which

constituted the identity of the city. The works in such

locations have a much greater impact on the viewer. They are

not surrounded by things that bother them or compete with

the paintings for their attention, like ads and billboards.

Painting in such places also has its advantages, because it is

accompanied by peace and quiet.

TLP: And finally, some self-promotion – where in the media

sphere can we see your works? Some of them can also be

bought – how? There is also a map available for those who

want to follow the trail of your works. I've heard that you

would also like to publish an album of your works?

AA: You can follow all my works on my fanpage. This is a place

where you can keep up to date with my activities and ideas,

as well as send a message to me that I will definitely answer.

A more compressed set of my works can be found on my

website This year, the "Map of the

Bieszczady Murals by Arkadiusz Andrejkow" was issued, which

Trepcza 2019, photo: Arkadiusz Grzyb

They were given their second life online. Last year, during the

MuralMapa project, I was looking for nooks and crannies

located in the city centre of Sanok. I needed to find the walls

which are very damaged for my paintings. These damages and

cracks were supposed to provide a natural background for the

characters, namely the former inhabitants of the city. Thanks

to this, I led viewers, who are both Sanok residents and

can be purchased at The map

contains also the photos of almost 40 murals with

descriptions of their heroes. As far as the extensive album is

concerned, we are at the stage of making the last spring

session of works, which is done by the outstanding Krakow

photographer Adam Golec. For now, I am collecting material;

later I will look for a publisher.


Zwierzyń 2018, photo: Arkadiusz Grzyb

Arkadiusz Andrejkow: "Bratanice" (Niece),oil paint, spray on canvas, 100x100cm, 2014



W W W . A N D R E J K O W . P L

W W W . F A C E B O O K . C O M / A N D R E J K O W A R K A D I U S Z




Komańcza 2019, Arkadiusz Grzyb


Malinówka 2019, Arkadiusz Grzyb

The Faith of a Little


Wendell Speer

illustrations: Marta Papierowska

Wendell Speer


The Faith of a Little


Synopsis: John and Kate use a magic wand, and a spell goes

wrong. It brings the statue of a young Polish Boy Scout to

life. It also casts John and Kate into World War 2 in Poland!

Now the kids must face the horrors of the Warsaw Uprising.

The little insurgent, who wants to fight the Nazi enemy, helps

John and Kate search for their parents. Soon they also take

part in the struggle, acting as couriers and guides for the

Polish Home Army. Along the way, the children learn the

meaning of faith, miracles, sacrifice, and patriotism. The

German bombing and destruction worsens every day. But the

faith and sacrifice of the brave young Scout is the light that

saves John and Kate. A dozen illustrations highlight this

wonderful story.


As every year, on August 1 Poles will celebrate the

anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. You will

probably read something on this topic on social media, maybe

in the newspaper or see film material on television. Some of

you will also probably visit the Warsaw Uprising Museum. For

many, history is just ‘memories, ‘nostalgia' maybe not worth

remembering, and for others it is an important lesson,

something to think about and something to learn.Today,

thanks to a conversation with the author Wendell Speer, we'll

take you on a short journey to Warsaw back in 1944.

WS: I previously self-published two children's fantasy books

and thought it would be interesting to write one that takes

place in Warsaw. Around the Old Town there are figures of

dragons, unicorns, and a statue of the Little Insurgent. I

thought my book could be about children having a magical

adventure during WWII with the Little Insurgent. But I soon

decided that the subject is much too serious for pure fantasy,

and decided that the faith, patriotism, and sacrifice of the

Polish people during the Warsaw Uprising would be much more

suitable for a story. It is a story that should be remembered

and told to the world. After all of my research on the Uprising,

this horrific event in the history of Poland made a huge impact

on me. Seldom has such heroic struggles been undertaken in

the world.

TLP: Do you think this topic will be understandable for children

and their parents somewhere outside Poland? or is it quite

hermetic, confined to one nation, one latitude? What is really

the message of this book, writing it what did you want to


TLP: Wendell, you once wrote to me wanting to draw our

attention to your new book, The Faith of a Little Insurgent.

You published it last year, just after the end of the next

anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising.You are an American,

born in Florida, so before I ask you about the idea behind

your book, please tell me how you got interested in Poland,

do you think you know our county well, what are your

connections with Poland?

WS: Actually, I know Poland very well. I lived there for 21

years between 1978 and 2002, including 2 years in 2011-

2013. As a university student I went to London to travel

around Europe in the summer of 1979. I met a Polish girl, and

we hitchhiked around Europe together and then I went to

Poland with her. That was the beginning of my connection

with Poland.

TLP: We can probably say that the subject of your book did

not appear by accident. What is its genesis, where did the

idea to write a story for children recalling such a difficult

historical event come from? And what meaning does the

Warsaw Uprising personally have for you?




Angels of most glorious beauty


those fallen in the line of duty.


voices of gold, in honor they sing


great heroes to the Heavenly King.


officers who fill our hearts with awe


all that they had to uphold the law.


sought not fame for the job that was done,


in the face of danger did they run.


we must cherish the life that they lost


honor their names, whatever the cost.


much we will lose if silent we stand


our crime fighters fall across the land.


the valiant who pay the highest price,


proclamation would ever suffice.


to compose a fitting hymn,


this can I say in thought of them:


dear heroes filled with the good Lord’s grace,




if nine again,


placed the penny on the railroad track


slipped away then,


the temptation to look back -


not to fall


the trap of adult suspicion,


to heed the call


pre-adolescent superstition.


if Abe should shout


one my age should not be forgiven


fooling about


the ideals for which he had striven,


would dare say


must have mistaken my intentions,


compare child's play


anti-democratic inventions.


I'd run off fast,


he cause me to be discovered


living the past,


WS: This story is universal and could be understood by

anyone in the world. Wars have always existed and have

touched the lives of all people. The message of the book is

that faith can be extremely important in times of crisis. It

can help people endure such horrible struggles as the

Warsaw Uprising. It is also a message of how patriotism and

sacrifice helped the Polish people to endure the war and

come out victorious – with the help of allies, of course. The

book also emphasises the great importance the Catholic

Church has always had for Poland.

TLP: In the book, faith is present in many places, you refer

to it in the experiences of the children, sometimes asking

difficult questions through the mouths of children. This is

not a fashionable approach in current times, but you have

decided to highlight it. How do you see religion and its role in

shaping awareness, responsibility and civic attitudes?

WS: My purpose in writing is to be genuine and not

fashionable. I believe that faith and religion are subjects that

can be presented to children from a young age and that

children are capable of considering these topics from their

child's perspective. And, after all, if children could be

involved in such war and deeply affected by it, then other

children are capable of reading about it. In Poland the

Church has always played an important role in society. I

remember how strong and courageous the Church was and

how it served as a protective umbrella for the Polish people

during the years of Communism. Those bonds have greatly

loosened in contemporary Poland, but I think that both the

Church and the people should engage in dialog and seek

reconciliation, as the Church can continue to play a very

important role in Polish society.

TLP: The Faith of a Little Insurgent is not your only book.

What others did you write, what are your writing plans for

the coming months or years? What motivates you to write

and what do you miss or need to keep you going? Apparently

you publish books from your own resources, is it difficult to

find a publisher? Where are your books available?

WS: My first book, Simon Peppercorn, Log In To Magic

Space, is a fantasy adventure story about American children

who must prove their use of magic in medieval Europe. Part

of the story actually takes place in Poland, ending in Krakow.

It makes use of important Polish legends and tales. After

that I read wrote several short spin-offs, one of which I

published as a literacy drive for children in my hometown. It

is impossible to find a big publisher without having an agent,

and getting an agent is harder than winning a lottery. That's

why I decided to self-publish and sell my books on Amazon.

Poems by Wendell Speer

Sacrifice makes this world a finer place.

As if innocence could be recovered.


The Faith of a Little Insurgent

(Wiara Małego Powstańca)

author: Wendell Speer

illustrations: Marta Papierowska

book design: Britta Martinez

Paperback: 102 pages

Publisher: Magic Space (November 18, 2019)

Languages available: English and Polish

Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inch

ages: 9 and up

get your copy :

"There was rubble everywhere, nowhere to hide – just imagine us, children, dragging this box of ammunition in the warm morning sun. Then we saw a

medical orderly being carried by two other soldiers, both his legs torn off and dangling from his waist, blood covering the two men who were helping."

Wanda Olkoska-Wolkonowski


the past

Silver fowler of The Fowler Brotherhood

Digitalisation: RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums project public domain

Author: unknown

Date of production: 1564–1565

Place of creation: Kraków

Dimensions: height: 41.5 cm, length: base: 22 cm, width: 15.5 cm

Museum: Historical Museum of the City of Kraków

Material: silver

Object copyright: Historical Museum of the City of Kraków

Brotherhood of the Rooster

The silver fowler of the Kraków Fowler Brotherhood is one of

the most valuable objects in the Historical Museum of the City

of Kraków. This is an example of the work of an outstanding

goldsmith of Renaissance Kraków. Unfortunately, we do not

know either the artist's name or the goldsmith's workshop

responsible for the creation of the bird's sculpture. Very few

of the marksmen's societies can boast of an original, wellpreserved,

cockrel of this type.

It is the symbol of the organization and insignia of the King of the Marksmen — the best shooter — the winner of the annual shooting competition. The

rooster is a gift of the City Council to the Kraków Marksmen's Society. However, probably for reasons of prestige, it has been maintained for centuries

that it was a gift from King Sigismund August.

This outstanding work of craft was made at the turn of 1564 and 1565 by an

unknown, probably Krakow-based, goldsmith. Its maker, undoubtedly a talented

artist, made the magnificent bird with a height standing 41.5 cm tall and

weighing 3.6 kg. With a crown on its head, it resembles an eagle than a cock that

it really originates from. The Silver Fowler is the most prized possession of the

Fowler Brotherhood, which it received in 1565. The Rooster’s handover to the

Shooting Society is associated with a legend, saying that the Polish King

Zygmunt August himself gave the silver bird to the Brothers. This alleged event

was even immortalized in a 19th-century painting by Władysław Łuszczkiewicz.

However, the facts are different. It was Krakow city authorities who gave funds

to make the bird's image. The Krakow magistrate decided to carry this expense

in connection with the reorganization of the Krakow-based fraternity, which

received a new statute and shooting ordinance, constituting the organizational

and legal basis for the functioning of this shooting society. These changes were

reflected in the silver fowler, where the names of the then selected society

authorities were engraved under the footer. The silver fowler is not only a

symbol of the organization, but also the passing insignia of power for the next

Fowler King.

Other elements:

On the neck, we may observe a wreath with a hanging pendant, in the shape of a

polygonal cartouche, topped with cliffs, with the coat of arms of Kraków, made

of colourful enamel. Below, is the signature: KRAKÓW. On the reverse side, there

is an engraved inscription: GŁÓNEJ REPERACYI / KURA / DOKONAŁ / KAROL

CZAPLICKI / JUBILER / 1899. Because the magnificent bird weighs 3.6 kg, the

chain used to carry the jewel by the King of the Marksmen, during the

ceremonies of this society and others, is attached to the torso. At the bottom of

the base is the inscription: DAS.SYNDT.DIE.ELTEST / EN.IN.DEM.YAR /




Summer kitchen Dumplings filled with strawberries

Dumplings, filled with strawberries (Pierogi)

June is the strawberry season in Poland (yes, just one short

month – with minor exceptions). This may seem strange,

especially to some Westerners or Americans who are not used

to it. When there is strawberry high-season – then we make

pierogi. Not everybody enjoys the taste of sweet filled

dumplings. However, I like them very much (my family probably

a little less). We want to share with you one of the best and

simplest ways to make strawberry-filled dumplings, or pierogi.

It's a delicious dinner idea for the whole family.

How to make strawberry-filled pierogi:

Let's start with the dough for strawberry dumplings. Pour 500

grams of cake flour or all-purpose flour into a large bowl. It is

a half of a kilo pack, which is normally sold in stores. If you

measure the flour with a cup, it will be three cups with a

capacity of 250 ml (however, you do not pour the flour to the

full. Always leave about 1 cm of free space from the inside

edge). You can use a kitchen scale as well.

Crack one large egg into the bowl. Pour melted and cooled

butter. Very soft, melting butter will also be perfect. 50 grams

of butter is 1/4 of a shop-sold block, weighing 200 grams. Add

a pinch of salt and pour the water in. Take 250 ml of water

(one cup). First, mix all of the ingredients for a while, then

combine into a uniform dough and knead for a while with your

hands. The dough will not be super compact. It can be slightly

sticky. If the proportions of ingredients were kept, then there

should be no need to add any water or flour. Form a ball of

dough and wrap it with cling film. Put the dough into the

fridge for 30 minutes. After this time, the dough reaches its

final structure and rests enough to prevent it from shrinking

again during rolling. While maturing the dough in the fridge, We

recommend preparing a rolling board or a large wooden

kitchen board, a rolling pin and a dumpling cutter as well as

flour for sprinkling the dough.

If you do not have a metal cutter, you can use a glass with a

diameter of about 7-8 cm or a round cookie cutter.

Wash fresh strawberries under cold running water and

remove stalks. Dry the strawberries gently with a paper

towel. Cut them into smaller pieces. The smaller pierogi you

plan to make, the smaller the pieces of strawberry prepare.

It will be easier for you to wrap them with the pierogi


After unwrapping the dough from the cling film, it can stick

slightly to it. Before you put the dough on the board, I

recommend taking it out with your hands lightly sprinkled

with flour.

Place the dough on a floured counter top or on a rolling

board. Divide the dough into three pieces. Cover the two

parts with a slightly damp cloth. Form the third ball ready

for rolling. The dough will be sticky... this is how it should be.

After sprinkling with flour it will roll fantastic.

Sprinkle some flour under the ball of dough. Give also some

flour to the top of the ball and flatten it slightly. Roll out the

dough thinly on the board. Cut circles. Put the strawberry

stuffing in the middle of every circle. In every dumpling, you

should wrap a full teaspoon of strawberries. Fold the

dumplings in half and stick their sides. Put the strawberry

pierogi side by side on a board sprinkled with flour.

To prevent the dumplings waiting for cooking from drying,

cover them with a slightly damp cotton cloth. After cutting

the dough, knead the left dough again, roll it and cut out

other pierogi circles. Place each batch, about 15 pieces at a

time, in a large pot with salted, boiling water. Water should

not bubble heavily.

After about a minute, the dumplings with strawberries will

come to the surface and start floating. Take them out of

after about 4 minutes after they started floating. In the

same way, cook all batches of prepared pierogi. Before

serving, I topped my pierogi with cream or natural yogurt

with some sugar.


Preparation time: 40 minutes

Dough cooling time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: about 20 minutes (3-5 series, 4 minutes

after the pierogi start floating)

Servings: 50 dumplings

You also need: a board, a rolling pin, a round dumpling

cutter or a glass about 8 cm in diameter, a cotton cloth,

a wide pot and a colander for straining the dumplings.


500 g of cake flour

1 large egg

50 g butter

1 cup of water

pinch of salt

500 g strawberries


Auschwitz Birkenau. German Nazi Concentration and


Camp (1940-1945). The fortified walls, barbed wire,


barracks, gallows, gas chambers and cremation ovens


the conditions within which the Nazi genocide took place in


former concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-


the largest in the Third Reich. According to historical


1.5 million people, among them a great number of


were systematically starved, tortured and murdered in this


the symbol of humanity's cruelty to its fellow human beings


the 20th century.


Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork. This 13th-century


monastery belonging to the Teutonic Order was


enlarged and embellished after 1309, when the seat


the Grand Master moved here from Venice. A particularly fine


of a medieval brick castle, it later fell into decay, but


meticulously restored in the 19th and early 20th centuries.


of the conservation techniques now accepted as standard


evolved here. Following severe damage in the Second


War it was once again restored, using the detailed


prepared by earlier conservators.


Centennial Hall in Wrocław. The Centennial Hall, a landmark


the history of reinforced concrete architecture, was erected in


by the architect Max Berg as a multi-purpose


building, situated in the Exhibition Grounds. In form it


a symmetrical quatrefoil with a vast circular central space that


seat some 6,000 persons. The 23m-high dome is topped with


lantern in steel and glass. The Centennial Hall is a pioneering


of modern engineering and architecture, which exhibits an


interchange of influences in the early 20th century,


a key reference in the later development of reinforced


Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica. The Churches of


in Jawor and Świdnica, the largest timber-framed religious


in Europe, were built in the former Silesia in the mid-17th


amid the religious strife that followed the Peace of


Constrained by the physical and political conditions,


Churches of Peace bear testimony to the quest for religious


and are a rare expression of Lutheran ideology in an


generally associated with the Catholic Church.


Historic Centre of Kraków. The Historic Centre of Kraków, the


capital of Poland, is situated at the foot of the Royal Wawel


The 13th-century merchants' town has Europe's largest market


and numerous historical houses, palaces and churches with


magnificent interiors. Further evidence of the town's fascinating


is provided by the remnants of the 14th-century fortifications


the medieval site of Kazimierz with its ancient synagogues in the


part of town, Jagiellonian University and the Gothic cathedral


Historic Centre of Warsaw. During the Warsaw Uprising in August


more than 85% of Warsaw's historic centre was destroyed by Nazi


After the war, a five-year reconstruction campaign by its


resulted in today's meticulous restoration of the Old Town, with


churches, palaces and market-place. It is an outstanding example


a near-total reconstruction of a span of history covering the 13th to


Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. The Mannerist Architectural and Park


Complex and Pilgrimage Park. Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is a


cultural landscape of great spiritual significance. Its


setting – in which a series of symbolic places of worship


to the Passion of Jesus Christ and the life of the Virgin Mary


laid out at the beginning of the 17th century – has remained


Krzemionki Prehistoric Striped Flint Mining Region. Located in


mountain region of Świętokrzyskie, Krzemionki is an ensemble of


mining sites, dating from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age,


to the extraction and processing of striped flint, which was


used for axe-making. With its underground mining structures,


workshops and some 4,000 shafts and pits, the property features


of the most comprehensive prehistoric underground flint extraction


processing systems identified to date. The property provides


about life and work in prehistoric settlements. It is an


testimony of the importance of the prehistoric period and


Medieval Town of Toruń. Torun owes its origins to the Teutonic


which built a castle there in the mid-13th century as a base for


conquest and evangelisation of Prussia. It soon developed a


role as part of the Hanseatic League. In the Old and New


the many imposing public and private buildings from the 14th


15th centuries (among them the house of Copernicus) are striking


Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski. A landscaped park of 559.9


astride the Neisse River and the border between Poland and


it was created by Prince Hermann von Puckler-Muskau from


to 1844. Blending seamlessly with the surrounding farmed


the park pioneered new approaches to landscape design


influenced the development of landscape architecture in Europe


America. Designed as a ‘painting with plants’, it did not seek to


classical landscapes, paradise, or some lost perfection, instead


local plants to enhance the inherent qualities of the existing



Old City of Zamosc. Zamosc was founded in the 16th century by


chancellor Jan Zamoysky on the trade route linking western and


Europe with the Black Sea. Modelled on Italian theories of the


city' and built by the architect Morando, a native of Padua,


is a perfect example of a late-16th-century Renaissance town.


has retained its original layout and a large number of buildings that


visual guide

Cultural Properties

inscribed on the World

Heritage List

guide by:


Poland is a country of 1000-year-old history, rich traditions

and abundant cultural heritage. The legacy of bygone centuries

that includes monuments of architecture, historical mementos

and masterpieces of art is perfectly combined with the wealth

of Polish nature and its original landscapes. Millions of tourists

visit Poland every year. All those who wish to deepen their

knowledge of history and see outstanding art pieces should

travel to our country in order to admire Poland's UNESCO sites

entered on the World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. The

list created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and

Cultural Organization (UNESCO) distinguishes buildings and

sites that constitute the most valuable examples of peoples’

material culture, products of human genius or unique nature

reserves. The states that possess those special sites on their

territory are bound to protect them from destruction.

where the kings of Poland were buried.

the 20th century.

virtually unchanged. It is still today a place of pilgrimage.

of flint mining for tool production in human history.

evidence of Torun's importance.

concrete structures.

combine Italian and central European architectural traditions.


Tarnowskie Góry Lead-Silver-Zinc Mine and its Underground Water


System. Located in Upper Silesia, in southern Poland, one of


main mining areas of central Europe, the property includes the entire


mine with adits, shafts, galleries and other features of the


management system. Most of the property is situated underground


the surface mining topography features relics of shafts and waste


as well as the remains of the 19th century steam water pumping


The elements of the water management system, located


and on the surface, testify to continuous efforts over three


to drain the underground extraction zone and to use undesirable


Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines. The deposit of rock salt in


and Bochnia has been mined since the 13th century. This major


undertaking has royal status and is the oldest of its type in Europe.


site is a serial property consisting of Wieliczka and Bochnia salt mines


Wieliczka Saltworks Castle. The Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines


the historic stages of the development of mining techniques in


from the 13th to the 20th centuries: both mines have hundreds of


of galleries with works of art, underground chapels and statues


in the salt, making a fascinating pilgrimage into the past. The mines


administratively and technically run by Wieliczka Saltworks Castle,


dates from the medieval period and has been rebuilt several times in


course of its history.


Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and


Situated in the eastern fringe of Central Europe, the


property numbers a selection of


tserkvas (churches). They were built of horizontal wooden


between the 16th and 19th centuries by communities of


and Greek Catholic faiths. The tserkvas bear testimony to


distinct building tradition rooted in Orthodox ecclesiastic design


with elements of local tradition, and symbolic references


their communities’ cosmogony. The tserkvas are built on a tripartite


plan surmounted by open quadrilateral or octagonal domes

cupolas. Integral to tserkvas are iconostasis screens, interior


decorations, and other historic furnishings. Important


of some tserkvas include wooden bell towers, churchyards,


and graveyards.


Wooden Churches of Southern Małopolska.


wooden churches of southern Little Poland represent outstanding


of the different aspects of medieval church-building


in Roman Catholic culture. Built using the horizontal log


common in eastern and northern Europe since the Middle


these churches were sponsored by noble families and became


symbols. They offered an alternative to the stone structures


in urban centres.


2. Castle of the Teutonic Order

in Malbork

9. Medieval Town of Toruń

12. Białowieski National Park

6. Historic Centre of Warsaw

10. Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski

3. Centennial Hall in Wrocław

4. Churches of Peace in Jawor and


12. Tarnowskie Góry Lead-Silver-

Zinc Mine and its Underground

Water Management System

8. Krzemionki Prehistoric Striped

Flint Mining Region

11. Old City of Zamość

1. Auschwitz Birkenau

5. Historic Centre of Kraków

13. Wieliczka and Bochnia

Royal Salt Mines

14. Wooden Tserkvas

of the Carpathian

Region in Poland

and Ukraine

created by lovePoland

*Accurate: May 2020. We did try to make it as accurate as possible

but always check for possible changes please.

7. Kalwaria Zebrzydowska

15. Wooden Churches of Southern


water from the mines to supply towns and industry.


L O V E P O L A N D . O R G M E D I A P A R T N E R

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines