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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!
Szczecin, June 2020
Skirmishers are fighting against two enemy armies to show their
bravery and glorify themselves
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
By the sea Słowiński National
source of information: www.slowinskipn.pl/en
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.
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
Nature sanctuary, partially of peat,
"Izbica Marshlands" of the area of
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: www.slowinskipn.pl/en
Head Office of The Słowiński National Park
Warszawy Street 1A
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
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
Rąbka car park, Czołpino Leśny – forest car park, Czołpino car park (J.W.), Czołpino (J.W.), Czołpino Leśny – forest car parks
Słowinski National Park
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 www.e-mojewiatraki.com 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
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
P E O P L E
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 www.e-mojewiatraki.com. 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
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
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
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
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
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.
Passion to the windmills
Rawicz/ Rawitch, 1907
Suwałki , 1916
POLISH AND ENGLISH VERSION
WE ARE LOOKING
FOR A PUBLISHER IN
THE UK AND USA
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
or via www.facebook.com/Klimaty-Podlasia
Book Title: "Klimaty Podlasia" – The atmosphere o Podlasie
Hard cover, First edition: 2020, pages: 200 (300 photographs)
catalogue price: 70 PLN
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
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.
V I S I T L E S S K N O W N
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
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
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.
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.
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
road no. 7 (direction: Gdańsk), before Płońsk turn onto road no. S-10,
direction: Bydgoszcz, to Toruń. Distance: 214 km.
A1 Motorway (distance: 152 km)
road no. 91 (former road no 1), direction: Łódź, to Toruń. Distance: 182 km.
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.
road no. 5, direction: Bydgoszcz, in Gniezno turn onto road no. 15, direction:
Toruń, to Toruń - via Strzelno, Inowrocław. Distance: 156 km.
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.
Toruń has direct railway connections with all large cities in Poland.
don't forget to
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
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
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 / www.polska.pl
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
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 / www.polska.pl
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 email@example.com
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
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-
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 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.
Erected on the limestone hill in 1306 by king
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
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
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
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
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
PLACES AND CUSTOMS
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
Milik, 1936 photo. Roman Reinfuss
Sanok Museum photo : Kasia skóra Sanok Museum photo : Kasia skóra
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
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
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.
BIRDS OF POLAND BY RAFAŁ BOJANOWSKI
THE PEARL THE POLISH WILDLIFE
WORDS & PHOTOS
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
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
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
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.
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 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
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
K R A K Ó W
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
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
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
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
world of my
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 www.andrejkow.pl. 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 www.compass.krakow.pl. 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.
V I S I T
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
illustrations: Marta Papierowska
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
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
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
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?
THE LINE OF DUTY
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 AGAINA
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
if Abe should shout
one my age should not be forgiven
the ideals for which he had striven,
would dare say
must have mistaken my intentions,
compare child's play
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."
Silver fowler of The Fowler Brotherhood
Digitalisation: RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums project public domain
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
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
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 / 18.104.22.168/
CHRSTOF.ZURICH./ ERASMUS.ZURUS / SIMON.STOLARSZ / IAN.KROTZECK /
ENDRIS.FOGELWADER / STENTZEL.GROSCH / JAN LANG / FRIDRICH.LEYTZNER .
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
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
inscribed on the World
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.
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,
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
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
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