Travel love Poland Magazine - December 2017

Page 1

DECEMBER-FEBRUARY 2017/18 | VOL 1 | ISSUE 2 ISSN 2515-8503


through the lens




places in Poland you must see & hidden attractions

connected with its intricate thousand-year history

most beautiful spots in Poland Incredible wildlife

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from the editor

Dear Readers, Welcome to the winter edition of travel.lovePoland Magazine. This is our second issue, but working on it was a source of great satisfaction. It is also a special Christmas issue. We encourage you to read the article devoted to portraits of Polish highlanders by Bartłomiej Jurecki - that's a fascinating story. We also recommend a conversation with Andrzej Dudek, a director of the Polish theatre in Limerick. A very interesting point of view at the fate of the Polish diaspora. In the issue you will also find a description of many traditions connected with Christmas in Poland, which is unique in many aspects. Of course, this is not all, as in this edition there are lots of other fascinating photographs and texts. Hereby, we would like to thank the authors of the photos for their openness and willingness to cooperate with our magazine. You will find their names below. The time of Christmas is very special, also in Poland. On this occasion, we would like to wish you prosperity in life and a good New Year. Thank you for your support!

artur EDITOR TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND you can contact us via:

Contributors to this Issue: Kamila Rosińska, Justyna i Marcin Nowak, Przemysław Kruk, Janusz Wańczyk, Bartłomiej Jurecki, Robert Szcząchor, Andrzej Dudek, Agnieszka and Michal – Pastelove Kadry, Carla Hazard Tomaszewski, Cecilia H. Glembocki. Our special thanks to Beata Zalot, Jolanta Flach and Aneta Dusik @Tygodnik Podhalański as well as Kasia Spiewankiewicz graphic editor for the support. Thank You.

TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND online magazine published by love Poland ltd Registered office address: 178 Mitcham Road, London, England, SW17 9NJ Company number 10956488 Company registered in England and Wales. British Library ISSN 2515-8503 Copyrights by love Poland ltd and/ or authors of photographs and texts as indicated. All photographs and texts are published under the exclusive permission granted to travel.lovePoland Magazine by their authors. Please do not copy or publish without authorisation. WWW.LOVEPOLAND.ORG


T R A V E L . L O V E P O L A N D



CONTENTS Kasprowy: cable car to heaven 0 5

The sledge: Robert Szcząchor 2 0

3 8

Hard like a rock: portraits of Polish highlanders by Bartłomiej Jurecki Wooden Churches: Janusz Wańczyk

5 8

Forgotten childhood: Kamila Rosińska 7 6

12 28 32 50 66 86 92 98 114

Visit Krakow – W. Kaczówka A trip to Bieszczady – P. Kruk Szczawnica – Pastelove Kadry Table Mountains – J and M Nowak Limerick Theatre – A. Dudek Celebrating Christmas Christmas Carols Christmas food notes Christmas Market Wrocław / Festive Poland and more.

photo on the front cover: Tomasz Gąsienica Mracielnik by Bartłomiej Jurecki



cable car to heaven


photo Na Szerokim Świecie, November 1936, lovePoland archive border on Kasprowy, 1938, lovePoland archive postcard from Kasprowy, August 1939, lovePoland archive


The work on the construction of the Kasprowy Wierch cableway began on August 1, 1935. At the time, 100 people were involved in the construction, in October there were already over 600 people, and over 1,000 workers were employed just weeks before the investment was put into service. The professionals were drawn from outside Zakopane, because the capital of the Tatra Mountains ran out of workforce. We can say that before the outbreak of the Second World War this major investment secured Zakopane's status as the winter capital of Poland. How to get to Kasprowy: The route to Kasprowy Wierch from Kuźnice is one of the easiest in the Polish part of the Tatra Mountains. To reach the summit of Kasprowy Wierch from Kuźnice, you should first walk along the road perpendicular to the cable car track, which is easy to reach from the bus stop. Once we find the right one (paved with the rocks), we must be careful not to deviate from the green trail - at the first crossroad, choose the left turn. A few steps away, there is the TPN booth where we buy an entrance ticket to the park.

the road Up to the summit of Kasprowy Wierch, we follow the green trail that originally runs through the Bystra Valley. This stage of the trip leads through the forest. After leaving Myślenickie Turnie, a true, relatively tiring climbing begins. For about half an hour we hike through the forest, which finishes finally just before Sucha Czuba. We begin to wander up the crooked stone walkway among the pine trees. After overpassing this rocky not too high hill, we recommend to look right, towards the Kondratowa Valley and the mounts of Goryczkowa Czuba and Giewont. The Kasprowy route is also a great training place for runners. On Kasprowy Wierch there are two spacious, wide and beautiful ski slopes (not always and unfortunately only partially equalled) – in the Gąsienicowy and Goryczkowy cauldrons. Both routes start with a steep decline (the beginning of the Gąsienicowy cauldron is a bit steeper), but their further course is slightly milder.

The most difficult parts of the route are rated as very difficult (black) under bad snow conditions (icing, mulching) or difficult (red) under good conditions. In the Gąsienicowy slope there is a modern chairlift with chairs for four, and in the Goryczkowa slope – an old and primitive lift with wooden double chairs. Cable car The length of the cable car route is 4252.81 meters. The train overcomes 936 m of level difference. Depending on the time of the year, it can carry up over 3,000 people a day. Annual technical reviews exclude cable cars from operation in May and November; they do not operate also during strong winds (over 20m/s), icing or temperatures falling below -28°C. At Myślenickie Turnie, we change to another car. The next section of the route is steeper. On the right side you can see the Goryczkowy Cauldron – in winter used as a ski slope. 07 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

good to know... To get to the Kasprowy Wierch cable car bottom station you have to get to Kuznice – near Zakopane. Currently, the road between Kuźnice and Rondo Jana Pawla (the roundabout) is closed for most traffic, except for those with permits. A walk from Rondo Jana Pawla II takes approximately 35-45 minutes, also taxis or public transportation are available.


The cable car goes over the Sucha Kasprowa Valley and reaches the upper railway station at 1959m ASL, 26 meters below the summit of Kasprowy Wierch. The upper station accommodates a restaurant, a newsagent, a ski shop, a storage room and a small hotel with 11 beds.During the winter time, there operates the Gąsienicowy chairlift with chairs for four. It has a length of 1180m, a difference of levels of 352m and capacity of 2.4 thousand people for an hour. On the other side of the peak of Kasprowy Wierch, there is the Goryczkowy Cauldron that we already could see earlier. There is also a ski lift in winter, with double chairs room, with a lower station in the Goryczkowa Valley. The length of the lift is 1624m.


visit Cracow with Wojtek Kaczówka I am a Cracovian by birth and by heart and by, surely not by chance. My photography is a passion, joy and delight of interactions with nature and contact with the climate of favourite places. This is a wonderful way of spending free time as well as emotions and satisfaction when someone wants to place my works in his or her home or office. I feel really pleased that I could give some joy to someone; I kept or restored beautiful, nice moments or good memories. Photography connects also with lots of beautiful, surprising aesthetic impressions, and beautiful etheric moments which are often impossible to be kept in the photo… but you were a witness of them, sometimes the only one…

We would like you to guide us around your favourite places in Cracow and its neighbourhood – in the way we use taking our guests for the sightsee trips. Where would you take us? To the city centre perhaps? And what about places outside the city? Wojtek: yes, probably to the centre, but not necessarily along Droga Królewska. From Plac Matejki, passing Barbakan, along Planty to my favourite street – Szpitalna and then to Mały Rynek, later Rynek Główny, Bracka and Plac Wszystkich Świętych, and then down Grodzka to Plac św. Marii Magdaleny and along Kanonicza to Wawel. If outside the city, the primarily to Piekary on Vistula river, to see the Benedictine Abbey from various perspectives. Another cool place and my favourite in every season of the year is Kopiec Krakusa. Going a bit further towards Nowa Huta, I would take my guests to the manor house in Branice and to Jan Matejko. Necessarily, to Zakrzówek with its beautiful view on Wawel and the old town from the rocks called Skałki Twardowskiego. I also used to like visiting in the mornings the remains of Fort Bodzów from which the suburban ‘jungle’ - Kostrze i Pychowice covered with fog, looks really appealing from that place. The view of Srebrna Góra and Camaldolese Monastery is also unique and unquotable. The hill called Wzgórze Bronisławy and a way to Kosciuszko Mound along Aleja Waszyngtona is also an obligatory point in my schedule, not only this connected with photography. What do you think – is Cracov still appealing to someone who has spent the entire or most of his life there? Is it still appealing for you as a photographer? Wojtek: Cracow is still attractive to me as a photographer, but I think it is appealing to everyone.

For me this city is unique when I see it in appropriate seasons, times of the day, from convenient locations. Someone who hasn’t seen Cracov at sunrise or sunset on Błonie, during foggy night or at dusk cannot say he or she really has seen the city. As far as the places are concerned, then surely all high points, like skyscrapers or church towers guarantee spectacular views. Cracov and the city panorama are also attractive because of the weather conditions as they are never the same – all the time something is changing, if you compare the layout of the sun, colour of the sky or billowing fogs. You take photos of the places in Cracov that had already been pictured before by numerous photographers. What do you seek in these photos? What do you want to tell? Do you think that it is possible to present a topics in an interesting, thrilling way even if it is something already well known? Wojtek: That’'s true, I look for a special shot, something new, unconventional and it is actually not easy. I think, however, that everyone tries to show the same in a very individual way. I will reveal some of my secrets which probably make up my style. First of all, my shot should be balanced, not overwhelmed with details rather calm, with some revived element, like a person, a cyclist, and an animal or something inanimate, like a car, a tram or a carriage. A shot with a natural frame and my efforts to show architecture in a puddle, on the pavement, with a very small deepness of sharpness – and this is not easy to do. My photography consists mainly of emotions and I hope they are visible in my works. Yes, I think that well-known and somehow „used” places can be shown in a new, interesting and attractive manner.


How do you approach the subject of your photography? What do you look for in often old Cracovian buildings, is there anything specific that you would like to tell the people watching your pictures? Would you like to tell them a story? Wojtek: I very seldom work with models, not only because of the fact that I like wandering in the city alone but also because photos of people usually include some posing so they are not spontaneous. Planning to go to the city with my camera, I always choose a route and places that I would like to show. I always imagine old Cracov, from the 20s and 30s of the previous century or from the turn of 19th and 20th century. I loved very much a series directed by Wajda „Passing years, passing days” and the episodes with Dulski family; I loved the way in which Wajda showed Cracov of that time. Therefore, I sometimes try to imagine real fiacres, cabs, ladies in long gowns, gentlemen in bowler hats with walking sticks on the market… well, I would really love to be able to take my photos then, even only for one day... of course, then these would be black and white photos, but these are my favourite. Therefore I like fog and night; it usually helps to hide modern elements that spoil the atmosphere, like billboards or signs… What motivates you to work on the photos? It is not the easiest hobby, work or a job, is it? Wojtek: My only motivation is passion, enjoyment with interesting way of spending free time. The magic of my photography is that first I do not know what I'm going to do and then with the thrill of emotion, I'm experiencing the scene, setting, framing and moment of shutter. It is really fascinating then to browse the photos on the computer, see the effects of the expedition, then preparing them to showing to my family, friends or to the public, on Internet, Of course, it is very nice when my photos shown on some Internet photography forum gain approbate, when people like them and leave positive comments, however, all of that is secondary… the most important thing is always to have fun. Obviously, I sell lots of photos, framed print-outs but it is neither my occupation nor a job I have to make a living on... visit WWW.PLFOTO.COM/138782/AUTOR.HTML WWW.NATIONAL-GEOGRAPHIC.PL/PROFIL/WOJTEK-KACZOWKA

photos Wojtek Kaczówka


photos: Wojtek Kaczówka


Slowacki theatre photos Wojtek Kaczówka

The Kraków Barbican is a barbican – a fortified outpost once connected to the city walls. It is a historic gateway leading into the Old Town of Kraków, Poland. The barbican is one of the few remaining relics of the complex network of fortifications and defensive barriers that once encircled the royal city of Kraków in the south of Poland. It currently serves as a tourist attraction and venue for a variety of exhibitions. The Gothic-style barbican, built around 1498, is one of only three such fortified outposts still surviving in Europe, and the best preserved. It is a moated cylindrical brick structure with an inner courtyard 24.4 meters in diameter, and seven turrets. Its 3-meter-thick walls hold 130 embrasures. The barbican was originally linked to the city walls by a covered passageway that led through St. Florian's Gate and served as a checkpoint for all who entered the city.

The theatre has been continuously staging plays since 1893. It is one of the most famous and distinguished Polish theatre scenes. The edifice, designed by Jan Zawiejski, is ranked among the most valuable monuments of theatre architecture in Europe. There is an inscription of its façade: “Kraków for the National Arts”. Interiors are decorated with frescoes by Viennese artist Anton Tuch and the famed curtain by Henryk Siemiradzki. There is an antique wardrobe of the famous actor Ludwik Solski next to the stage. The legendary Theatre started to fulfil its role as a national theatre just at the turn of 19th and 20th centuries. It was a birthplace of Polish modern theatre direction, stage design, staging and the acting profession. The whole generation of Młoda Polska– with Stanisław Wyspiański, made their stage debuts here. Premieres of his masterpieces: Wesele/The Wedding 1901 and Wyzwolenie / The Liberation 1903, belong to the most important cultural events in Poland.



photo Wojtek Kaczówka



photo Wojtek Kaczówka



photo Wojtek Kaczówka




The Main Market Square (or Rynek Glówny, as it's known locally) is the world's largest medieval market square and the highlight of any trip to Kraków. It is the geographic center of the Old Town, the symbolic center of the city and, more than likely, the center of most of your trip plans.

Every part of Wawel Castle’s state rooms and private apartments has painted ceilings, tapestries, fine art and antiques to marvel at. It’s a triumph of the restorers’ art: battered by marauding armies – the Swedes half burnt it and the Austrians used it as barracks – the mainly Renaissance building needed 100 years and some generous donors to get it back to its former good looks.


03 Sitting on the eastern corner of the Main Market Square, St. Mary's Basilica is a Gothic-style church that was originally built in the 13th century. It was destroyed by the Tatars and then rebuilt in the 14th century. It features two towers that have different styles, as well as different heights.


Once an independent town, 06 Kazimierz was Krakow’s vibrant Jewish quarter until the Second World War changed everything. Recently, however, the longneglected buildings have been restored and the area’s Jewish heritage rescued from near oblivion. Two disused synagogues have been turned into museums; two others – still in use by the tiny remaining Jewish population – can also be visited.

Wawel Cathedral – situated in the Wawel Hill neighborhood – is one of Poland's most important places of worship. For centuries, this church hosted Saint Stanislaus, who advocated for Polish independence. He is buried in the church's burial chambers alongside an array of Polish monarchs and other famous Poles.

Czartoryski Museum Jewelled Turkish shields captured at the Siege of Vienna, miniature amber altarpieces from Gdansk, a mural from the tomb of Seti I: this rich collection founded by one of the country’s leading noble families more than 200 years ago is an eclectic delight.

Kraków / Cracow Kraków is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life and is one of Poland's most important economic hubs. It was the capital of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland from 1038 to 1569; the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1569 to 1795; the Free City of Kraków from 1815 to 1846; the Grand Duchy of Cracow from 1846 to 1918; and Kraków Voivodeship from the 14th century to 1998. It has been the capital of Lesser Poland Voivodeship since 1999. The city has grown from a Stone Age settlement to Poland's second most important city. It began as a hamlet on Wawel Hill and was already being reported as a busy trading centre of Slavonic Europe in 965. With the establishment of new universities and cultural venues at the emergence of the Second Polish Republic in 1918 and throughout the 20th century, Kraków reaffirmed its role as a major national academic and artistic centre. The city has a population of approximately 760,000, with approximately 8 million additional people living within a 100 km (62 mi) radius of its main square.


Gońba or Kumoterki with Robert Szcząchor By travel.lovePoland Photos by Robert Szcząchor

Winter holidays in Podhale is the time of the Gazda Parades (‘gazda’ is a word in Podhale dialect which means a landholder in Podhale region) and the races of ‘kumoterki’ (these, in turn, are traditional sledges). These traditional contests attract crowds of visitors every year; among them there are not only tourists fascinated with the event, but also the highlanders from all over Podhale, who come to supports their favourites. Kumoterki (in Podhale dialect sometimes also called: ‘gońba’) – is a race of a highlander couple, on snow, in a small sledge, driven by ‘kumoter’ (this is a dialect word for a highlander) and a highlander woman (usually a wife of a kumoter, often called ‘kumoszka’ or ‘baba’). NOMADIC


The sledge is driven by a man, while his wife if holding on tight and balancing her body, she tries to keep the sledge on the track. The couple of competitors, usually a long-term marriage are dressed in traditional mountaineer outfits – it attracts the attention of spectators coming to the mountains from all around Poland to see the event. A sledge for ‘kumoterki’ should be wooden, just as tradition highlander sledge should be like. The race is run on time. These are most often conducted in the region of Zakopane and it is regarded to be one of the biggest winter attractions of the capital of Podhale. In this race, the most important is passion and as a consequence of this passion, the will to preserve tradition, often passed from one generation to the other. The pride of this tradition makes the participants take the trouble to show it to the guests visiting the region. For this passion we should be grateful to all who take part in races. Kumoterki are small, single-horse sledge used in the past to take a baby to be baptised to the church. Perhaps the name of it might have originated from a dialect name for godmother and godfather („kumoter” and „kumoszka”). The race is on time, while during it the highlanders may also present their two-horse sleighs which are precisely assessed by the judges of the contest.














“Połonina Wetlińska” Mountain shelter “The House at Pooh Corner”








Visit and like

It is one of the wildest places in Poland. The views are breathtaking – no matter what time of the year. Three country borders meet here and the night sky is the darkest. See all interesting places in the Bieszczady! The Bieszczady Mountains are worth a visit every time of the year. In spring – when nature wakes up to life. In summer, though hiking in the heat and crowds can be a real challenge. Then it is best to watch the starry sky. Such lots of stars cannot be anywhere else in Poland. In autumn you should visit Bieszczady to observe the animals, warm up by the fire and listen to the singing poetry or wanderers’ stories in the pubs. It is also beautiful in winter. In winter the landscape changes beyond recognition. And while the frost bites your cheeks, it is worth seeing the attractions of Bieszczady Mountains in white.


We will encourage you to a winter visit today. There are many myths surrounding the Bieszczady in the winter. It is said that the snow cuts off the inhabitants from the rest of the world for many days, the roads are impassable, and the bears walk in the streets (polar bears – according to some versions). It's really a myth! It is true that in winter the Bieszczady Mountains are changing their face. But mountain people, who spent many springs there – and winters – are prepared for big snow and crackling frosts. As the day gets shorter and the first white fluff covers the spruce and beech, the streams freeze and glow in the sun, and the mountains are relatively mild and pleasant to hike, show their claw. The trees get covered with frost; they whiten and form amazing white forest corridors. The forest is then reminiscent of Gothic cathedrals. These are the views that await the persistent winter walkers.

These are the views that await the persistent winter walkers. Above the forest border, it is even more beautiful. The views of the snow-covered mountain pastures remain in a man’'s heart forever. If you like hiking, you are welcome to take part in snowshoeing tours on the mountain pastures. Near the Bieszczady ski lifts, laughter, fun and white madness do not go out until late at night. We have a lot of well-equipped ski lifts. However, this is not the end of the winter season’'s attractions in the Bieszczady. You can go back to childhood and take part in a sleigh ride with a horse drawn carriage or a small sledge. People interested in winter nature, will not be disappointed with suggestions such as animal watching of wisents – the emperor of the forest. There are also snow tubers, snowmobiles and other interesting attractions for winter visitors in the Bieszczady Mountains. Tarnica (1346 m ASL) is the highest summit of the Bieszczady Mountains. There are two trails leading to the top: a red trail (the final section of the Main Beskid Trail) and a blue one. The first of them you can start in Ustrzyki Górne. It leads through Szeroki Wierch and passes under Tarnica, then through Halicz and Rozsypaniec to Wołosate. The blue trail starts in Wołosate and leads through the col under Tarnica to Bukowe Berdo. It takes about 15 minutes to travel from the col to the mountain summit itself. At the top there is a steel cross, which commemorates the visit of Karol Wojtyła in 1953.


Mountain pastures: Tourists who do not want to reach the summit of Tarnica, most often choose to wander round the mountain pastures. One of them, called Połonina Caryńska, is located between the valleys of Prowcza and Wołosate. It stretches for 4 km and has 4 peaks. Połonina Wetlińska is twice as long. By 1945 it served as a pasture. Today, just like Połonina Caryńska, it is located within the limits of the Bieszczady National Park and it is subject to strict protection.

Ustrzyki Dolne In the season, when it is difficult to find accommodation in the villages located just at the entrance of the trails, it is worth looking around for overnight accommodation in Ustrzyki Dolne. There is a Natural History Museum of the Bieszczady National Park. We will see here the culture of highlanders, geological construction of the mountains and we will find out which animals in the Bieszczady are the most popular and which are the most seldom. In winter, Ustrzyki Dolne is the Bieszczady ski capital. There are two ski stations: – Gromadzyń: 4 lifts, the longest route: 900m – Laworta: the longest route: 1300m

Star Sky Park In big cities it is easy to forget how starstruck the sky can be – too many sources of artificial lighting takes away from us the pleasure of observing stars. Dark-sky preserve „Bieszczady” covers the areas of the Bieszczady National Park, the San Valley Landscape Park and the Cisna Wetlina Landscape Park. Its purpose is primarily to protect against light pollution. More information at:


“Połonina Wetlińska” Mountain shelter “The House at Pooh Corner”

SZCZAWNICA WITH PASTELOVE KADRY Agnieszka: completed biological studies. Michał studied philosophy.. "We like hiking in the mountains, and photography is our common passion, so in our free time we do exactly the same things. The camera is always on hand). I additionally collect exotic butterflies; I am also keen on interior design which surely makes it easier for me to prepare for sessions."

travel.lovePoland: At the beginning, I would like you to introduce yourself, tell us how long you have been into photography. Why did you take up photography? Do you remember your first camera and first photos? What was the breakthrough moment? PASTELOVE KADRY: We are Agnieszka and Michał Wojnicz, we have been concerned with photography for over 10 years now. What were our beginnings? We started as nature enthusiasts. We live in a marvellous part of our country so mountain hikes or nature watching were always something really close to us. I would take a camera with me for every trip, at first it was an old, analogue camera, later digital cameras were developed. I love watching the macro world which is so colourful, magical, mysterious… Photography became also one of the forms of documentation used for the purpose of my Master thesis which concerned revitalisation of degraded green spaces based on the occurrence of butterflies’ populations. After studies, we „set off” to the world. We used to live in Dublin where all around us there were lots of interesting faces and then the next stage of our adventure started – that was portrait photography. Of course, it started from a friend, later he brought his friends and so recent years I spent on taking photos. It was then than in one of Nikon competitions, thanks to my macrobugs, I managed to win a reflex camera and my adventure with professional equipment started. Currently, we deal with wedding and family photography (sessions for newborns, older children, and sessions for pregnant women). The photos of nature are also still occasionally present in our life; we try to participate in local activities supporting the beauty of natural world. Aga had an opportunity to show her works at the open exhibition of the Pieniny Artists Association, we also took photos for a magazine called Polish Region Pieniny, and our pictures can be found in the latest edition of „Pieniny for Family” travel guide. For us, the most important in photography is light, the interaction between light and shadow.

TLP: We have known your photographies for quite a long time now but to tell the truth your photos of Szczawnica are one of the best taken in winter that we can remember, I think that the source of their success lies somewhere in the charm connected with their colour palette – pastel (it is the way we see it). Do you remember how they were created and how emerged the idea of presenting the topic in such a manner? PK: Of course, we remember it clearly. It is not possible to forget it, to tell the truth it was the only such day in Pieniny for seven years. It started from a rainy, very, very cold evening. The stronger was the wind, the colder it became, soon all tree branches and twigs were covered with a thick layer of ice. Later, as you could guess, the rain changed into snow which adhered ideally to everything, wherever it fell. As if that was not enough, before the sunrise all the clouds flew away so we woke up in a truly magic fairy-tale land.


Some of the photos we took from our living room window there was no need to walk far because everywhere we had this fairy-tale scenery. Of course, we also could not resist the temptation to make a trip to Dunajec and some hikes in Pieniny. TLP: Can you tell us something about the origin of your name "pastelove"? PK: Someone told us one day that we are just like this, „pastel”. We live in pastel interior of an attic. Our guests ask us often if that’'s really our flat or only a studio prepared for the needs of sessions as it is quite different from typical Polish style of living. We love delicate, subdued colour. Scandinavian style is not unfamiliar to us. It is probably our world perception so it must have been reflected in our photography.

TLP: You live in a very charming part of Poland about which we will write something more later. Does it help you, as artists, in your photography work? PK: Definitely, yes. Pieniny are a great source of inspiration for us, as far as photography is considered. We love hiking there, looking for another magic places with ideal light and at the same time make up new frames photos that can be created there. It is also the place which lets us breathe after work; there we are able to „charge our batteries”. TLP: Photography is a kind of story – what do you want to tell us in your pictures? PK: We try to show the world positively, reflect the magic of childhood, show the beauty of waiting time in pregnancy sessions. Catch these moments full of emotions when it comes to wedding photography – these moving, emotional, as well as those with a hint of humour. And obviously the light – we always try to have ideal light both in the photos of nature and people. TLP: Tell us something about your Szczawnica – do you like it, and if yes then why and combining it with the next question: do you feel sometimes like leaving it and going somewhere far, far away? PK: No, we are not going to move anywhere from here. This is exactly the place that we escaped to and we hope to stay here. It is our place on earth. Despite the fact that we come from this region, we spent quite a lot of time in Cracow, later abroad and we came back, consciously, to our home area. We like Szczawnica for the fact that it is so varied, it changes depending on the season. In summer we have crowds of tourists here and it is really difficult to squeeze through them on the walking paths while in November it is so empty – not a bloody soul on the streets. We love the climate of our town, with lots of parks, places of special atmosphere, where you can always rest. Moreover, it is beautifully located, mountains all around, a great choice of hiking routes for everyone interested.

We appreciate the fact that each of them is different, expressive, and colourful. Thanks to them we gain such a wide variety of frames. Thanks to them photographing is so fascinating for us and we still have some fresh new ideas. Each of the seasons is our inspiration and it is great that when we start feeling bored with one of them, just round the corner there is another one just waiting to come which makes us start thinking about new ideas, new additions. Seasons of the year inspire us not only with their colours. The main source of inspiration are the ‘gifts’ brought by every season. Winter is the time of waiting for Christmas. It is the time dominated by the shades of red, warm sweaters, blankets, cones, cups full of hot chocolate – and the Christmas season itself, emphasised with tiny lights, gingerbread and all of that accompanied with the whiteness of snow. Freezing January winter and then this milder, February mixed with first pastel flowers. Spring means nature waking up to life, we are inspired by flowers (lilies, lilacs, peonies), crayon colours, flowering orchards. Our sessions are dominated by wreaths, there are often organized against the background of greenery, the models wear delicate, etheric outfits. In summer we love choosing fruit for sessions – sometimes strawberries, another time raspberries, cherries. Additionally, straw hats and lots of sun. And finally – autumn – full of heathers, pumpkins, colourful hats, plums, falling leaves – it is probably the most colourful season of the year in photography. Of course, we are also inspired by Pieniny, not only mountain views but also places that have their own soul. Old cottages, forest corners - here, we have real abundance of that. Not mentioning all the old items which always bring some history with them. ..and it's an old can of milk full of raspberries, clay pots, and cups of flowers... for each of these items you can add a story, create the right styling for the session, select clothes and other accessories, and find the right place as the background.

TLP: Where do you look for inspiration? What attracts you the most – people, places, landscapes? PK: We have lots of sources of inspiration… sometimes it is even difficult to believe… we lock all of these inspirations in our works. First of all, the light. If we find during the walk some perfect light we know that next time we are going to go there with our model. Secondly, the seasons of the year. For us that's the most important and at the same time, „the cheapest” inspiration. After a few years of staying abroad, we appreciate our seasons.




Szczawnica Szczawnica is a resort town in Nowy Targ County in Lesser Poland Voivodeship. Szczawnica is a well-known resort town since the mid nineteenth century. Due to the presence of alkali sorrel springs and favorable climatic conditions, many respiratory and digestive tract illnesses are treated there. Szczawnica has many snow skiing trails and slopes. The longest (2 km) at Palenica, is fitted with a 4-person ski lift with overhead lighting and a capacity of 2,200 people per hour. The name of the town comes from “szczawy”, which is what the locals call the acidic waters. The middle of the 19th century sees the town develop dynamically thanks to the vision of Józef Dietl, a doctor and promoter of spa resorts who visited Szczawnica in 1857. Seduced by the locality, he helped it to develop its hydrotherapy activities, already respecting the norms set by other European resorts. New thermal facilities are rapidly developed. It is worth to know that Szczawnica is not only a spa resort, but also a tourist resort, and a winter ski resort. What is worth seeing? Surely: the Spa Facility, Promenade in Szczawnica, Palenica, Rafting on Dunajec River (depending on the weather, mainly in summer and autumn), and a spa park, called Park Zdrojowy. Highlander folklore is still alive in Szczawnica; there are a number of folklore bands and ensembles but it includes also highlander attire, the inseparable element of which is a black hat, a blue vest, a white shirt or a woollen sweater. If you are interested in history then we recommend a visit to the Museum of Spa in Szczawnica located at Dietel Square (already the architecture of the square itself attracts attention). In the proposed centre you will find exhibitions which in an interesting way tell the history of Szczawnica, you will also be able to see the exhibits presenting the healing treatments of 19th and 20th century. The lovers of sacral architecture can visit a former Orthodox church in Jaworki, now the church of St. John the Baptist.

The tower of the temple, topped with a copper helmet, dominates the area. You can also visit St. Wojciech’'s Church in Szczawnica – a Neo-Gothic Roman Catholic church with rich polychromes from 1923 and fourteen wooden chapels of the Way of the Cross. Lucky ones can meet in the church a rare species of bats (Podkowiec Mały) inhabiting the attic of the temple.

top Place nearby The Museum of Pieniny is located in a small village Szlachtowa near Szczawnica. It was built in the 1950's. The museum collects materials and exhibits to commemorate the lives of the Pieniny highlanders – biographical and ethnographic. Here you will find exhibits of household appliances, traditional costumes of the Pieniny mountains inhabitants and examples of regional art. Particularly noteworthy are placards with the emblems of the houses, which served as the numbering of buildings, as well as the biographical collections of the two most important people for Szczawnica - Józef Szalay and a writer Józef Wiktor. A visit to the museum will give us an insight into the ancient traditions and customs of the region. The museum is a year– round facility. 37 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

ARTISTIC PROJECT Bartłomiej Jurecki Portraits of Polish highlanders began to arise when I decided that I had matured to take portraits.



Bartłomiej Jurecki comes from Zakopane. He is a graduate of the Cracow School of Art and the State Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź, where he obtained the title of Master of Photography. He photographs for Tygodnik Podhalański daily. He is a laureate of competitions: International Mountain Summit Photo Contest 2017, Travel Photographer of the Year 2016, Press photography of the year (2X), Photo Contest SDP im. Erazma Ciołka (2X), Photo Contest SDP im. Eugeniusza Lokajskiego, Memorial Maria Luisa 2017, Lens Culture Street Photography Awards 2016 - Top 100 A project called "As hard as a rock. Portraits of Polish highlanders " began to arise when I decided that I had matured to take portraits. The distinctive highlander type of beauty with expressive facial features is less and less frequently encountered. Fewer men also wear long moustaches and beards that were once so typical of mountain residents. I decided to find and photograph the most characteristic highlanders who create the legend of the Tatra Mountains with their charm. The project has been going on for several months and will take many more. I'll end it when I'm sure that I've done everything to find and write down the story of these amazing, hard-rock highlanders. SEE MORE AT: 39 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

TADEUSZ A highlander from Krzeptówki who looks at the mountains and dreams about the sea. He is someone who's seen more than his fair share of bad beef. His face showed up in a few films but the most pleasant for him was to work as a fiacre. He was born at the foot of Nosal. - They did not let them build up there so they moved to Krzeptówki. – he says. Although he is a carpenter, the most of time, almost 20 years, he used to work as a fiacre. – at home, there always used to be some horses, so I took up horse-carriage riding. – he continues. There farm near the house was not small. There were even three horses. There was also a carriage, a „fasiąg” (typical in Podhale four-wheeled vehicle, pulled by horses, used for tourist purposes) as well as ‘kumoterki” (traditional, small, wooden sleight). And cows, pigs, hens – Now, there are only rabbits left – he adds. Tadeusz liked his work; he was always ken on horses and he liked contacts with people as well. He started to grow a beard 6 years ago. With it, this 59-year –old highlander from Krzeptówki looks a few years older, but it adds some seriousness at the same time. He looks like a highland philosopher. – When I was skiing this year on Kalatówki during Easter Egg, everyone wanted to take photos with me. He says he leads a peaceful life. – Nobody tells me what to do. When it rains, I sit at home. When the weather is good, I go to pick mushrooms – he says. Sometimes I help someone in the field or in the forest, I somehow manage to make the ends meet – he adds. – I don’t need much. Dreams? Tadeusz Gąsienica Bednarz thinks for a long time. As if he shouldn’t dare to have any. Finally he smiles, faintly. : - To go to the sea – he reveals. – It is enough of looking at all those mountains. He has already been on the seaside twice - in his childhood, during summer camp and later, he saw the Baltic in the ‘80s, on the occasion of a colleague's oath in the army. His earliest memories? He remembers the scene when he was playing with other children. There were no toys, so they had to do somehow without. – I took a bearing, tied it to a rope and started to spin it around, like a carousel. – he mentions. – And with this bearing I hit one of the girls in her head – he says. – There was some fear but fortunately nothing really bad happened to her. How to live? – I ask the highlander for a receipt. – Live your way – he answers shortly. – Go your own way; don’t listen to all the others. Stay away from those who ask for trouble. tekst: © Beata Zalot @Tygodnik Podhalański (with a permission to travel.lovePoland) foto: © Bartłomiej Jurecki

JÓZEF MADEJA Do you want to meet a real highlander? Go to visit Madeja. He doesn’'t speak much. He doesn’'t seek notability. He does not attend opening ceremonies or exhibitions, he doesn’t need applause. He lives in his own way although for a long time he was the one to welcome everyone coming to Szczawnica. Dashing, like a real highlander, standing proudly on Kotońka. It was his sculpture of a highlander what was seen by everyone entering this spa in Pieniny. He sculptured two of them and that was not easy as the place where he located his monumental works was associated with a specific history, and with histories nobody in Pieniny dares to dispute. Anyone who knows Szczawnica will easily find a wooden house with a veranda where life and art are vibrant. For many years, Józef and his wife Anna complement each other creatively. They live, as they describe it, frugally but colourfully. The door to their house is always open for everybody. They welcome their guests with delicious, unique sour soup and a good word. The wife paints on the glass and their niece, Joanna, culturally enriches Szczawnica, conducting her art gallery called „Krzywa Jabłonka" (Crooked Apple Tree), where she creates her works as well as presents the art works of the artists from Pieniny. Although the works of Anna quite often can be seen at different exhibitions, the works of Józef can be seen much less frequent, although all his art is impressing. Nothing strange in it. Some time ago for the order coming from a German city Schwerte he made Christmas crib, and in it – 25 figures, one metre high each. After the Pope, John Paul II, visited an extermination camp, he made a sculpture called „Oświęcim reminiscent”. There were a few monumental sculptures of Józef Madeja. The latest one shows father Stanisław Papczyński in his natural size , and it went to Podgrodzie. tekst: © Aneta Dusik@Tygodnik Podhalański (with a permission to travel.lovePoland) foto: © Bartłomiej Jurecki

ALL SAINTS OF PALORZ For the artist, there is probably no more emotion than when people start praying to a figurine that came out from his hand. The sculptures of Andrzej Bukowski Palorz are in a few dozens of churches. They heard lots of prayers, people revealed lots of their secrets to them. Sometimes – the artists had such signals – the requests whispered in front of the sculptures were listened. Andrzej speaks about it reluctantly. He only smiles mysteriously. He inherited the talent after his father. To these days, he remembers with a great sentiment a rocking horse that father made for him when he was a child. He remembers that he also used to draw beautifully. But in the past people did not carve as they do it now, they used to make practical things. Father had a carpenter’s workshop, he could make furniture, he used to build even houses – he says. He had to earn for the living, as they were seven of us, children, so at home there was never too much money – he remembers. Father died when Andrzej was only 13 years old. His figure, carved for the church in Ślęża, is even called Our Lady of Ślęża. In the Church of St. Sigmund in Warsaw there are a few 1.5-meter sculptures, which were created with the chisel of the highlander from Kościelisko - among others there are figures of saint Antoni, Joseph, Albert. - This is a very important realization for me - he emphasizes. He reveals that before taking a chisel, he usually thinks a lot. He needs concentration to think the topic over. Sometimes the clue comes to me in my dreams – he says. – Carving is a form of prayer, meditation – he says. Andrzej Bukowski Palorz does not go to package holidays, although sometimes he goes to open air workshops. I have work which is my passion at the same time, therefore I do not need to escape from it and seek relax – he explains. - I don’t need much to be happy. From my point of view, a man needs two things to be happy – health and work. Nothing more he insists. And to have someone, to whom you will be able to pass all of that one day. My son, Wojtek, when he was a small child, he used to follow me everywhere and imitate me in everything that I was doing. Nowadays, he deals with carving and he is good at it. His 6-year-old grandson Konrad also starts to appear in his grandfather’s workshop, and tries to take up the chisel. He’s got talent – Andrzej says, sure, that he has already found a follower of his artistic passions. tekst: © Beata Zalot @Tygodnik Podhalański (with a permission to travel.lovePoland) foto: © Bartłomiej Jurecki

YOU HAVE TO THINK IN A HIGHLANDER'S WAY - I cannot imagine sitting in a cottage and doing nothing, that's why it's hard to find me at home - emphasises Józef Pitoń, the doyen of Podhale regionalists. There is no person at the foot of Tatras who would not know him or did not hear about him. It is difficult to mention everything who Józef Pitoń who celebrated his 85th birthday this year is and what he has done. He comes from Kościelisko, from a traditional, highlander family. - I was born and grew up near Ludówka and sports square in Chotarz, so I saw a lot and I know even more from the stories of different people – Józef Pitoń says. - I cannot imagine sitting in a cottage and doing nothing, that's why it's hard to find me at home - emphasises Józef Pitoń. – I have dealt with various matters. And sport, and dance, and singing, and work in highland bands. A bit of rescue work. If we have such beautiful mountains, then I did a guide course. I was also climbing a bit - he says. This is not all that Józef who is the doyen of regionalists in fact did. Józef Pitoń is a guide, mountain rescuer and ski instructor. At the age of 83, at the end of his adventure with the highest parts of the Tatra Mountains, he climbed Gerlach. It was an ascent in a highlander's outfit, accompanied by friends and highland musicians. - I first climbed Gerlach over 42 years ago - he remembers. In his books, Józef Pitoń shows how Podhale and people who live here changed over time. - I try to describe people as they were. And they were interesting - he emphasises. And how does the regional culture change over time? - On the one hand, contemporary culture makes me sad. Going forward, you have to think about it and not to choose what is fashionable only. We have our values in Podhale and we should not lose them because then we will all be the same, regardless of the region. We must preserve something unique and cultivate our culture - he argues. Józef Pitoń emphasises that in the past only the dialect was spoken at home. - But when we went to Zakopane to school, our Zakopane highlanders were talking about us, that we are village highlanders, the backward ones. Teachers forbade speaking dialect in public. And now we are organising dialect competitions. The last bastion of dialect was the family, but it is not anymore. Consciously the dialect is being eliminated, and this should be the first language learnt by a child. And at the same time you have to think in highlander dialect- he argues. Józef Pitoń, for his work for regional culture, was honoured with the Oscar Kolberg Award and the Roman Reinfuss Award, granted by the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. He is also an Honorary Member of the Podhale Citizens Association. During one of the birthday celebrations, Józef said: - I do not look in the mirror and the calendar. The mirror shows how you are getting old, and the calendar – how old you, in fact, are. tekst: © Jolanta Flach@Tygodnik Podhalański (with a permission to travel.lovePoland) foto: © Bartłomiej Jurecki

COLLECTOR OF THE PAST A recipe for a good life? Try to accept what you get and separate yourself from adversity and bad people as much as you can. Strive for something, do something. Give as much from you as you can. In Szczawnica, everyone knows Jan Malinowski. His white head, his moustache similar to this of Marshal Pilsudski and his penetrating blue eyes that can say a lot. They have seen a lot but still can get impressed. One day, with some found pair of carriage wheels that is still waiting to be shown on the yard, some other day they get impressed with real shod boots, like in old good times, found on a market stall. Many years ago, thanks to his passion, the highlander from Szczawnica created a place that enables moving in time: unique private museum. The economic part of the building, which he willingly shows to visitors while telling stories from the past, remembers the times when Count Szalay's court service lived there. A recipe for life? - Each of us should be able to give something to others. One can do something, the other something else – irt is important to give as much as we can. And above all, do not live beyond your means, because you can lose yourself in this - Jan Malinowski emphasises, adding that he does not engage in politics because he is completely uninterested in it. - I have old-fashioned views and I cannot keep up with everything that's going on around me, but I do not regret it and it's my way of life. It is important not to be jealous of the other. Malicious, even sick jealousy does not go well. This is what the highlanders call a returning puppet - any evil we do without a reason and repeatedly for a long time, and which we cannot fix - it returns to us in a very strange way - he adds. It happens that it returns even in subsequent generations, when a man is lost, then it is reflected in him, both physically and mentally. How should young people live in order not to get lost in the speeding world? - They should use all technical innovations to the full extent, but in moderation. No exaggeration, because it is very debilitating - personally and materially. We complain about the youth, it's a fact, but it's not so much that they are bad, but it is all our, their parents, fault as we give them a bad example. Sometimes even terrible. And where shall they get these good patterns from? - He adds, stopping the conversation for a moment. What does it mean to be a highlander? - According to the old messages of old people –being a highlander means to be caring for the father’s land, for the environment and dialect and for old equipment. To preserve dances, music and culture. I do not dance but there are many people in our town engaged in culture and this is good – he emphasises. How a private museum will look in a few or in a dozen years, Jan has not thought about yet. There are so many beautiful things to renew, and so much to save, that there is no time to think about it. tekst: © Aneta Dusik @Tygodnik Podhalański (with a permission to travel.lovePoland) foto: © Bartłomiej Jurecki



TLP: Let me start our conversation in a slightly less typical way. We usually talk to one person, and here we have a couple. Was photography that made you get closer to each other, or it is a passion that you discovered together, later on? J-M: Our interest in Photography has emerged quite recently, about 2 or 3 years while we have been together already for 13 years. During our relationship we used to take quite a lot of photos, but usually with a typical, compact camera or even with a mobile phone. Once we decided to buy a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera (such a younger sister of a reflex camera). Meanwhile, I found out a very interesting magazine about photography. There were a few interesting ideas on unconventional photographing as well as some tips regarding conscious setting of manual mode of the camera and taking good photos. Then our fun started in practice. We set to the trip to Czech Republic, to the rock formations called „Rock City” which is situated in a distance of a few dozen kilometres from where we live. TLP: How did you discover this passion? And what is its role in your life? J-M: The passion appeared quite soon after we bought the camera. It turned out that taking photos of landscapes gives satisfactory results, both in visual aspect, producing beautiful photos, but also in terms of our health. The willingness to take a nice picture motivated us to get up often before sunrise to take photos of the rising sun. Of course, the coolest places require us to get there on foot, not by car. Of course, the coolest places require us to get there on foot, not by car. Therefore, out general form, as well as the shape of our bodies improved – which became a drive motivating us to work even harder? A few of our friends, looking a tour photos, suggested us creating our photo profile on Facebook as well as on photo blog forum to show our photographies to a bigger group of people. With some fears we set to create our profiles but soon it turned out that our photos gained recognition so we started to publish more and more of them and we wanted to take them more and more often.

TLP: You live in a beautiful region of Poland. Does it somehow influence the things you are concerned with? J-M: If we didn’t live in the neighbourhood of a few mountain chains, such as the Sowie, Stołowe or Kamienne Mountains or Snieżnik, we would probably not be able to take so many great photos and ride mtb bikes or go skiing. TLP: How do you organize your time (do photography and taking photos take a significant part of you time)? J-M: We do not have much time every day and it is not easy for us to plan our time in longer perspective. We use every free moment and if it happens that there is a little bit more of free time, for example 3 or 4 days, we often leave all other things and go to the Tatra Mountains. Some people are surprised why people who have so much work and so little time, instead of pure relax; choose exhausting trips to the mountains, where they have to walk distances, often climbing significant height as well. But for us this is the best type of relax, for our bodies and souls. All our problems stay in the valleys, and we just admire the nature, meet people who also have passions. We appreciate every moment spent this way, and after returning home we are able to recreate these moments in the photos. TLP: Do you hike a lot in your area? I know that you like skiing. Are you waiting for a real snowy winter? J-M: In the distance of a few dozen kilometres we have beautiful, mountain landscapes and many attractions related to nature but not only, there are also magnificent castles, forts, old tenement house s or old German mine shafts. Until recently we unfortunately, similarly to other inhabitants of our city, have not appreciated the beauty of the place we live in. The fact, that the photography became our passion made us discover new places in our neighbourhood and it actually neither does nor requires long journeys. Most of our trip is within a distance of 50 km from the place where we live. When winter comes and when it starts snowing we do not stay at home, in front of TV or a computer screen.


Instead, we dress up warmer clothes and go to the mountains. It happens that we go skiing – but in most cases we just go to admire the views. TLP: Is it your place for living or maybe there are some other dreams and favourite destinations in Poland? J-M: We love the area but we also love the Tatras. A few Times we started talking that it would be nice to live closer to the Tatra Mountains but it is still hard to imagine us leaving our home area. It would be a hard choice... however, as they say – our neighbours’ grass is always greener… TLP: Tell us something about this place of yours. Some people say that it is beautiful but neglected and forgotten, somehow remote, is it true? J-M: Many of places in the Sowie Mountains and in the Kłodzko Valley that can be called abandoned and neglected but all of them are charming in a specific way as many unbelievable event once happened in this area, especially during the war period. TLP: Do you have any mystery places, beautiful but unknown to most of people? J-M: There are a few places like that but we do not want to reveal the secret :-) We like the places where the tourist traffic is smaller and which have not been so far the common topic of photographs. TLP: Do you have your favourite places, maybe favourite season of the year? J-M: We like the most taking photos of nature (mostly landscapes, but also animal). Our biggest photographic activity starts in autumn and finishes in early spring. Then, every day in the mountains is different. Autumn fogs early in the morning and beautiful autumn colours on the trees are magnificent. In winter, frost and snow wonderfully decorate the area while in the mountains there are only few people hiking on the trails (surely, besides ski slopes). In spring, there is an explosion of colours, plants and animal wake up to life. And in summer? In summer we take much fewer photos but it is probably connected with the fact that then we are most active in our professional and sports areas.



Stołowe Mountains (also known as the Table Mountains are a 42-kilometre (26 mi)-long mountain range in Poland and the Czech Republic, part of the Sudetes. The Polish part of the range is protected as the Stołowe Mountains National Park. The highest peak of the range is Szczeliniec Wielki at 919 m (3,015 ft) a.s.l. The range is formed of sandstone and, as the only one in Poland, presents plated structure with sheer mountain ledges. Among the tourist attractions there are two massifs: Szczeliniec Wielki on which the labyrinth, and Skalniak on which the labyrinth Błędne Skały (Errant Rocks). There are several notable rock formations, among them Kwoka ("Hen"), Wielbłąd ("Camel"), Małpa ("Monkey"), Głowa Konia ("Horse Head"). The Stolowe Mountains, being a very attractive area, have good tourists base. The area of the Park is covered with a network of trekking routes (100km total length). They give an easy access to all rocky forms in the area: • wonderful "rocky city" on the top of Szczeliniec Wielki (919m above sea level) • rocky mazes of Bledne Skaly • Skalne Grzyby (Rocky Mushrooms) and Radkowskie Skaly • Skaly Puchacza with a beautiful views • Lezyckie Skalki situated in the surroundings which looks like African savannah. At the start points of the routes there are car parks and rest areas. Organized groups of visitors are served by Park guides. There are numerous car routes. On the southern border of the Park there is an international highway E-67 Prague-Warsaw. Cars can cross the Polish-Czech border in Kudowa Słone and Tłumaczów. One of the most picturesque car routes is "Szosa Stu Zakretow" (Way of a Hundred Turns), which goes right through the territory of the Park form Kudowa Zdrój through Karłów to Radków. Karłów is the best jumping-off point to the most interesting parts of the Stolowe Mountains - Szczeliniec and Błędne Skały. There are created bike routes connected with those existing on the territory of the Czech protected area CHKO Broumovsko. In the area of the Stolowe Mountains National Park there are two international bicycle routes.

The "Wall" route (red) through the most attractive parts of the Table Mountains on both sides of the border. The "Stołowe Mountains" route (blue) through the towns situated near the National Park – the health resorts: Kudowa Zdrój, Duszniki Zdroj and Polanica Zdrój. Szczeliniec As the name suggests, the shelter is almost at the top of Szczeliniec Wielki (Great Szczeliniec) – the highest peak of the Table Mountains, at 919 m above the sea level. The nearest villages which can be starting points for a hike are Karłów and Pasterka. They can be accessed by road from Radków or Kudowa Zdrój. Szczeliniec is one of the two mountain huts in Poland which can in no way be reached by car (the other one is a shelter in the Valley of the Five Lakes, Tatra Mountains). There is no road here that would be suitable for any vehicle. The only way you can reach the shelter is on foot but its well worth it. Tourist Information Outlets (IT) KUDOWA ZDRÓJ Punkt IT Kudowskiego Ośrodka Kultury 
Sportu i Promocji ul. Zdrojowa 44
 tel. 074 / 866 13 87, 866 35 68 DUSZNIKI ZDRÓJ Biuro Informacji Turystycznej i Promocji 
Miasta Rynek 9 
tel. / fax 074 / 866 94 13 POLANICA ZDRÓJ Informacja Turystyczna ul. Zdrojowa 13
 tel. 074 / 868 24 44
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Churches in Krynica, Słotwiny, Banica and Mochnaczka by Janusz Wańczyk TLP: Janusz, You take photos mainly of landscapes. Has it always been like that? What prompted you to choose such a way of your artistic work? JW: I have been photographing since my youth, which is very long time. Initially, these were black and white photos taken by traditional analogue camera. I would take photos from my school trips, later different events from my family life. My first passion were mountain trips and admiring the landscape, so close to me. I come from Beskid, routes and the wilderness of Beskid Sądecki I have wandered many Times. Conscious Photography appeared in my mature life, somehow by chance, it started when I won a local photography competition. My mountain hiking covered also further mountain chains – Pieniny, Tatra Mountains (both Polish, and even better – Slovakian), Bieszczady, Fatra Mountains (both low and high), Lower Tatras, and Slovak Paradise. Within ten years I have visited twelve mountain ranges in Romania, taking part in trips with friends from the Polish Tatra Society from Nowy Sącz. In an indeterminate moment passion of landscape photography dominated the passion of the wandering itself. I deliberately chose interesting places, time of day and year. Over time, the equipment changed, digital photography gave more possibilities, more convenient processing. Yes, it cannot be hidden. I wanted to share my observations of nature fixed on the pictures.

TLP: Some say that photography started from landscape and portrait photos... Today people often say that landscape photography is nothing more than nice picture of typical views – what is your opinion about that? JW: With the current photographic technique, the reality in question, especially the landscape, is very easy to photograph. Nice pictures of banal views – so-called postcards – are available in millions. Unconventional photographing depends on numerous factors. The conditions of nature, interesting scenery, appealing interaction between lights and shadows, perspective, composition, colours. If the observation is accompanied by emotions, if we are really impressed with something, then there is an opportunity for a good photo. TLP: Do you have your own definition of a landscape? What do you want to show in your photos? The landscape is a fragment of nature placed in the frame and shown in the picture. Do you think that you created your own style in photography? JW: Landscape is for me the impression that stays in the heart and in the mind, it is long remembered image reproduced in the "digital darkroom". These are multi-coloured canvas painted with a brush of autumn. A winter play of lights and shadows on frozen snow. It's exploring the world of foggy morning mysteries. I think the concepts of style and imagination are intertwined. It was never my intention to identify with any models. I often learn only from my audience that my photos are recognisable. Undoubtedly, interesting application of light and colours creates something that can be called a stopgap of a style. However, it is my imagination, which directs me at proper time of day and an appropriate season to interesting places which I enjoy photographing. However, it is my imagination, which directs me at proper time of day and an appropriate season to interesting places which I enjoy photographing.


TLP: Please tell a little about the life of a landscape photographer: How does your day look like, do you have to get up at dawn, or maybe not even sleep? Is it an easy domain, we have a variable weather, wandering is tedious; the day can be lost… JW: It is true that to photograph interesting landscapes you often should resign from a long night sleep. It is not a mystery that is the canon of this category of photography; the most beautiful light is the "golden hour" after the sunrise and the time of sunset. However, I do not consider these necessary choices as inconvenience. Observation of the natural world and its registration generously praises these hardships. And even if you do not always succeed as a photographer, there is always a trip and a contact with nature left. TLP: Do you have your favourite time of the day or maybe the season of the year when you like to photograph? JW: My favourite time of day is an early morning with beautiful light and autumn mist in the valleys. In winter, I photograph the morning shade on the leafless branches of trees and the pear 60 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

frost on the grasslands. I do not hide that I am a colourist, and in the "contest" of the seasons, Mrs Autumn wins. In October light Beskid shines with purple shades of beech forest, the wind blows golden leaves of birch; the background is an immaculate emerald green of spruce. Spring and winter also have their advantages. It is the most difficult to take photos in hot summer. TLP: And as far as places are considered? You present lots of photos from Beskid Sądecki – are these your favourite locations? JW: As I already mentioned, I have the shortest distance to ‘my’ Beskid Sądecki. Therefore, I photograph it the most often. Sometimes, the problem is to find a new photographing place there. Recently, my discovery is the area of Roznowskie Foothills. The combination of water plains with wavy hills gives almost Infinite number of possibilities for a photographer. I cannot forget about my beloved Gorce, Pieniny or Tatra Mountains; I often visit and photograph them. Bieszczady are a little bit further, but I occasionally visit them too. There I took my best mountain photo.


TLP: In this edition of our magazine we are going to present your photos of wooden churches in Krynica - Slotwiny, Banica and Mochnaczka. Our choice was not random. You also agreed with us. What makes them so unique – a place, a subject or maybe a season? JW: Wooden architecture of Lesser Poland especially Low Beskid, wooden churches, Lemko churches, roadside crosses, chapels. In their vicinity, the cows grazing, the horse-shovel ploughing the sloping plot, the fences and hurdles, the wooden houses and the smoke lazily winding from the chimneys. Marbled orchards on gentle hills and leaning, rustcovered grave crosses. It looks there as if time has stopped. These places are charming but they also generate a reflection. What is our big city rush and street noise? Old buildings can tell us something. How not to love this vanishing world? It is the magic of places that makes us capture in our photos these silent witnesses of history. These architectural beads are incorporated into their natural surroundings. They are particularly beautiful in white winter ‘robes’.

z for the s u n a J u o y k than interview! JANUSZ WAŃCZYK visit:


Krynica-S otwiny, The Sacred Heart of Jesus The Krynica-Slotwiny Orthodox Church was built in 1887-88 in place of the previous one from 1796, which burned down. It was renovated in 1932 and 1947. After 1947 it was used as a Roman Catholic church. In 1981 a parish was erected in Słotwiny and a new church was erected in 2002. The former church was a parish temple. It is currently serving as an auxiliary church. ARCHITECTURE. Erected in the tradition of the Lemko church building. Wooden, framed construction, boarded. The threesided closed chancel, wider aisle and front tower, partly in the courtyard. At the chancel, north and south, there are small outbuildings of the sacristy. Over the nave there is a tent roof, over the chancel roof ridge, passing over the chancel and the nave into prominent banyan helmets with blind lanterns. Square tower, with straight walls, covered with a tent roof and a helmet analogous to the nave. Interiors covered with flat ceilings. Ornamental and figural polychrome from 1930. INTERIOR EQUIPMENT. The interior is derived mostly from the former parish church in Krynica Zdrój, from which it was relocated in the 1950s. Neo-Renaissance altar made in 1890 by Romuald Lapinski designed by architect Jan Zawiejski. In the altar, the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, painted by Wladyslaw Rossowski, around 1890. Three side altars, two made by Karol Mally in 1898, contain paintings of the Heart of Jesus and St. Joseph, painted by Adam Szuppe; the third altar comes from 1965. Bell of cast of transient origin. Only the fragments of iconostasis survived from the old church equipment.










photo Janusz Biarda


ANDRZEJ DUDEK director of Limerick theatre

photo Janusz Biarda

POLISH THEATRE IN LIMERICK REPUBLIC OF IRELAND AN INTERVIEW WITH ANDRZEJ DUDEK TLP: We would like our Magazine to become a platform for Polonia widely spread all over the world ... Andrzej do you remember the moment you decided to leave Poland and try your hand abroad, also as an artist... Yes, this moment I remember very well. It was autumn 2007, a cool damp November evening in Siedlce. I went out of a church somewhere near the market square and my wife rang me. I was staying in Siedlce for a few days because of some spectacles we were giving in the area. I was involved in a kind of commercial theatre group at that time. On the second day, I decided to go out for an evening walk in the city as I had never

been to Siedlce before. So, I decided to explore the city with my head full of autumn thoughts: “what to do next”? Working in that undertaking was quite well-paid but it also costed me long periods of absence from home, where there was my wife and two little children and here frequent long-distance trips, one day Żywiec, the other Siedlce, to wake up in Elbląg just some time later. You can sightsee at the same time, but after a while you are completely indifferent to what the city is, because the things you remember the best are the hotels where you sleep and the places where you can eat something tasty and inexpensive. So I was struggling with the doubts regarding my absence from home, with the lack of stabilization. Earlier, I spent a few years living in Kraków and working in Groteska Theatre – my work routine was, I would call it, more stationary, which was of great importance to a young father of a family that was just emerging. However, because of some personal and family-related reasons we had to leave Krakow and return to the old stomping ground, Lower Silesia. So while walking through Siedlce, I was thinking and analysing my previous discussions with my wife, where the subject of going somewhere used to appear occasionally. It was such a time that "everyone" would go somewhere in search of happiness and we heard so many stories from our colleagues, friends and strangers, that often we were wondering whether to give it a try. I went to the church to let my mind relax, ask for advice or just pray.



This situation is still vivid in my memory because as soon as I left my wife called with the news that her friends had rung her from Ireland. They had lived there for a few years then, their situation was already pretty stable and they offered to help us, if we decided to come, to go through all the hardship of first steps in the “new world”. And besides, they said, there was a good job at the construction of Limerick stadium, so the only thing we had to do was to make a decision. So I thought that since I was an actor, I would certainly manage on the construction site, I wouldn’t be the first or the last one to take up this job. So after finishing all formalities and packing my suitcases on 5th March 2008 I landed at Shannon Airport - and now every time I return from Poland and I land at this airport, it reminds me of this situation, the situation of a completely new opening, where success and failure had equal chances, every step was new and decisive for the future in the new place. And I got right in the middle of the momentum of the Irish crisis, but it's a topic for another story.

TLP: What were the first moments, or months after arriving in Ireland, and why Ireland? The first moments of course were an attempt to grasp (as it is now said) the situation, learning space and discerning the terrain. And of course I had to look for work, because it turned out that the work on the construction of the stadium was there before, but unfortunately "recession had eaten it." The recession was at that time a very popular word in Ireland that explained many inconvenient situations. Thanks to the friends I stayed with, Marcin and Teresa, I managed to find another job very quickly, and after a week I secured an almost permanent position, which at that time was no longer so simple. After half-a-year of my lonely stay in Ireland, we decided with Marta (my wife) to try living here with the whole family and so in September Marta with our two daughters also landed on the Emerald Island.

TLP: When know from would like theatre or

planning your trip, did you the very beginning that you to be dealing with the art in a broader meaning?

Maybe there were such thoughts, maybe in conversations with my wife, but honestly, at the beginning, I did not think too much about it. What I wanted more, was to stabilize the material 68 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

situation of our family than to fulfil some of our artistic ambitions. This topic appeared a little later. After Marta's arrival and finding our little stability in this new life, we began to wonder whether to do something about it. The Polish environment here at the time was such a cultural desert and we had a play entitled “The Madman’'s Diary” based on Nicolai Gogol’'s stories prepared earlier so we started to ask here and there whether there was a demand for something like that at all. The only response was a total amusement of our respondents. Theatre, performance, Gogol? What for? For whom? So naturally, the topic was postponed for a while.

TLP: And when did the idea of running the theatre emerge? How did you organize the band? What were your plans? What about problems? Was anyone helping you (eg Polish organizations or embassy)? The subject was cold when it comes to any activity of this kind, but in our conversations at home, the theatre or activities around the theatre used to show up quite often, we just have it under the skin. After some time we started to work at home for our own use, that is, we did not do theatre performances, but we started to listen a lot, learn and sing Polish regional songs from Kurpie, Radom or Podhale, we were very enchanted by these songs and so the idea emerged of making some workshops of white singing, which would crown the annual family picnic in the "Polish School". Participants were the parents of children attending this school. We managed to gather a group of six people and we started meeting every Sunday, when the children went to classes. We had our rehearsals in a little room that the head principal was kind to let us use. This way "Grupa śpiewacza Kartoflisko" (which colloquially translates as ‘A group of singers from potato field’) was formed, and it presented itself after six months of work at the family picnic. I have to mention that somehow on the way we managed to prepare a nativity play with children in the church of Polish Chaplaincy and it was a very nice event. The kids approached the subject really seriously and so did their parents. Children like being treated seriously and they repay with the same token, so working with the group was very fruitful, but for some reasons it did not develop further.

photo Janusz Biarda

Generally, the idea of the theatre was organic, and it came out pretty naturally. It was not like we decided: “Oh, we're going to start up the theatre”. It was more like evolution, successive stages separated by interruptions in action, "winding up" and doubts, some plans and discouragement. Somewhere there finally people began to appear, as if they were a little interested, the atmosphere began to change a little. People were saturated with these consumer goods and some people started looking for some other form of activity than aerobics or Zumba classes. We were building a program of traditional Polish songs and on some occasions (festivals or Polish holidays) we managed to present them. Besides, I tried to write some more or less successful scripts, sometimes just to fill the drawer (laughter). And once, ladies running the Janusz Korczak Saturday Polish School asked if we would help them make a performance on the occasion of the Children's Day, but it would be a play where adults perform for children and so on. We agreed and so it all started. The intense work on the "Little Red Riding Hood" show began and more people joined us - the core of the team was formed. We started cooperation with the Polish choir Cantate Deo, a part of which, under the direction of the conductor Anna Banko Szumacher, created a musical setting for our first undertaking of such size. At the beginning, it was necessary to overcome all sorts of barriers, because most of the members did not have a stage experience, and the actual work on the show was somewhat different from the common image of the subject. But we managed to go through all these exercises, and the team at the premiere was very professional. The audience accepted us very warmly and the performance was one of the best ones. So I started to make plans for the next season (laughs), so to speak, and a moment later with a team enlarged by other people, we started to work on another spectacle - "Monkey in a Bath", based on poems by Aleksander Fredro and Maria Konopnicka. The team matured at work, and I got to the point when I dared to take up our biggest venture so far. It was "The Passion in Limerick" with Cantate Deo Choir, invited soloists as well as Irish, Polish, Dutch, Nigerian, Lithuanian musicians. In total, fifty participants took part in this international event, so it was no longer a theatre fun activity but a great deal of organizational work as well, especially as the premiere took place in the oldest church in the city, in the medieval St. Mary's Cathedral. Our producers took on the entire organizational burden which emerged naturally during our work, so everything was very professional. This uneasy work together produced a really magnificent effect. I can say that without false modesty because the success of this venture was a result of a very good teamwork of people who were united by the idea of theatre. 69 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

photo Janusz Biarda

As for the help of organizations, like the Embassy, or something like that, we cannot complain about the cooperation because it simply does not exist. It's probably because we did not specifically seek out for it. If we are doing something valuable, is it not in the interest of institutions designated to take care of cultural development and the image of the country of which they are a part, and which they are obliged to represent, to perceive and support such initiatives? But perhaps we are too optimistic. So far, we are self-sufficient relying on the creativity, the work and the resourcefulness of both the acting and the production team, but of course the outstretched hand to cooperate with the institute for that purpose will not be rejected (laughter). It would be great to have a permanent headquarters to practice and prepare the performances. So far, we have acted thanks to the kindness of the Polish Chaplaincy, which provided us with a small room for our rehearsals and sometimes, thanks to the cooperation with Korczak Polish school, we can sometimes use their bigger room. I must acknowledge it, because it's important, and it illustrates the team's approach. Well, to get the funds for the production of "The Passion in Limerick" we all baked cakes and sold them at the local "Milk Market", and on Sundays at St. Michael's Church, after Polish Mass. Thus we managed to raise the amount that allowed us to hire of sound and lighting. 70 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

TLP: Tell us about the theatre now, what are you doing, where can I see you, what are your plans? We are currently preparing a new premier. It is a performance planned at the turn of January and February on the basis of a fairy tale by Jerzy Ficowski. "Three Golden Hairs of the Sun King" is a classic fairy tale about adultery, about overcoming adversities, about perseverance and reward for that perseverance, all in the convention of the theatre of form with animated dolls and various objects that will create the scenic world for us. The show will be chamber and mobile so we will be able to perform all over Ireland, and maybe in the UK if you invite us (laughs). It will have a bit of the educational aspect and the young viewers after the show will be able to talk to the creators about the process of making a show, about the meaning of the form in the theatre, the signs of the theatre, the role of light and music, about who is the actor in the theatre, and who is the viewer as well as what theatrical figurativeness means.


TLP: Who is your audience? Are you only presenting to the Polish audience or for the Irish too? Our audience consists mainly of the Polish community. We prepare performances for the young Polish audience, so that they have a chance to get to know Polish theatre, literature and language. I think this contact is very important and cannot be ignored, because something that is still obvious to us, is no longer obvious to our children. On the other hand, "The Passion in Limerick" was a universal spectacle, and what I found out at the premiere, it was dominated by the Irish audience. What we did and what I'm proud of, is that this spectacle did not leave the audience indifferent. Recently, a few months after the premiere, one of the Irish viewers, wrote in a correspondence on the theatre website, that the spectacle was very moving, that he often thought of it and he still remembered the living images of it. I often meet such voices, and the further from the premiere the more often I can hear about it. This is the best review of the play.

TLP: Do you think that 'foreigners' can understand 'Polish' (very specific and culturally conditioned) message? Do you try to make the presentation more universal?

I must admit, honestly, that I did not think about it too much, because our biggest undertakings so far have been the fairy tales in Polish language, addressed to Polish children, which determines the audience and a widely universal evangelical tale, realized in the convention of light, motion and music - "The Passion in Limerick." But I think (apart from the language) that there is no problem in understanding the message and the culturally specific nature of it only wakes up interest in our Irish friends. We are a little exotic, but maybe becoming less exotic now, because we all grow into places and communities, and for them we are more and more familiar than strange. Let's look at the theatre of Kantor, Szajna, Grotowski, (I know it's a very high threshold and I could tie their shoelaces if they were still alive and allowed me to do it, but if to make comparisons, then to the best ones).

Their theatres were somehow sunk in Polishness, but at the same time they were recognizable and universal in the reception for the viewer not affected by the specifics of Polish history. Kantor recalled border pictures, the climate of the provincial town, Szajna talked about the war of extermination, Grotowski explored the pillars of Polish literature, but in the way that was stunning with the force of expressive simplicity. The form of the message and the way to tell history, the theatre of the form in which I am formed, (I am a graduate of "Wroclaw dolls") and which I am a supporter, may be readable to the "foreign" viewer, even when dealing with hermetically Polish subjects.

TLP: Do you think that theatre, or again, more widely understood art play an important role in the life of emigration, and if it is the case, what the role is? Is it usually 'sentiment' and longing for the country, or maybe something more, something else? I think that theatre and more broadly art, have a great significance and impact on our lives, not just on emigration, but generally. Perhaps not everyone is able to realize this, because we have the time of impulses that attack us, surround us from the very morning till the late evening. The art requires reflection, and the reflection likes silence, so some things pass us by, some of us go to the agenda without even trying to understand them. Eventually it does not matter, because when a temporary stop occurs, like when the power station turns off the electricity, or when the smartphone’s battery is dead, it turns out that we miss the beauty, the story, the imagination, the mystery, or the art. This sets us apart from the rest of natural world. ...and when it comes to emigration, I do not really know what answer, because currently there are such possibilities that the feeling of being in the emigration is blurred, for example I often feel more in Poland now than when I lived in Poland. 71 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

photo Janusz Biarda

TLP: What do you like most about your job? Is it a possibility to express your own experiences and emotions, and maybe contact with the audience? Is it a way of living? I assume, you’r e asking about the theatre work? Because the work on which I make a living is a bit different and what I like most about is Friday, when my weekly salary is transferred to my bank account, although I have to admit that I have a very good job. For ten years I have been working in a catering company. I have kind and understanding employers who lend me a truck to carry the settings whenever I need it (laughter). I have an anecdote associated with it, but I do not know if it won’t be too much and too boring for you. Well, when I prepared "The Passion in Limerick," I asked my boss to let me use our commercial van to carry the stage setting, the main element of which was a large catafalque that had a form of a chest-like-table, a wheeled platform. The construction of this catafalque was made by Waldek Szumacher, our technical manager, and I was giving it a finishing touch in the company’' s warehouse. Then I was bringing it to our rehearsals using the van.One day, and it was a week before the premiere, my employer had apparently forgotten about our agreement and asked me to drive the van to a garage on Tuesday and leave it there because it needed to be painted. 72 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

I got stunned and I told him: “I can’' t, the premiere is on Saturday and I have a piece of scenography in the van, come and see”. I opened the door, and inside there was the catafalque. He looked, nodded his head and said: “OK, you will go to the garage when you finally can” and he went away with a strange face expression. After a couple of days I worked with his wife and she told me how Philip, the owner of the company I work for, came home and said, "I told Andrzej to take the van to the garage, and he said he would not because he had something in it”. She answered him, "What do you think, you did not see what he had there, he's carrying a coffin there, you do not know that on Saturday, Jesus will resurrect from the coffin?” I have this kind of employers, so I guess I did not hit badly. As for the theatre work, I like this exciting moment before the premiere, when after a few months of work, everything is ready and you just wait for the exam in front of the audience, when soon it turns out whether the work made sense. I really like rehearsals - searching for theatre language, stage solutions, ways and paths, I like putting these crumbs together. I like and appreciate work with people, although I am not particularly sociable on a daily basis.


TLP: Come back for a while to living in exile, what is your perspective from the point of view of a creator, a person actively involved in art - is it easier or maybe just different? I try not to calculate, just when there is an opportunity, I will try to use it and do something with what I had invented. As long as there are people who are "buying" my ideas and want to undergo this tedious process, where you have to open first before the group with which you work, and then in front of the audience, this perspective is positive for me. I do not have to make a living on this profession and it is very comfortable, because I depend only on my ideas, on people I work with and on the audience who will evaluate our work. Success indicator is the satisfaction of both the team and the spectators. We can say that for now, we are an independent theatre, we do not have a permanent place, so we practice and play in a wide variety of places, when there is a chance, but we try to work all the time, build a repertoire and develop skills, and that I think is a lot...

Andrzej Dudek: director Marta Komarnicka–Dudek: consultation and second director Polish Theatre in Limerick cooperates with Cantate Deo Choir: Ewa Żak-Dyndał Ewa Wolińska Alicja Rogal Barbara Borowska Monika Barabasz–Życinska Sylwia Janke–Krygier Elżbieta Panfil Anna Szczęsna Marta Slavik Małgorzata Sawicka Dorota Kumik Bartek Hałabuza Krystian Życiński Андрiй Лецин Daniel Lasota Dawid Rogowski Jacek Żegliński conductor : Anna Bańko–Szumacher


the team Aleksandra Styka
 , Katarzyna Parchyta, Lidia Żeglińska, 
 P atrycja Kowalczyk, 
 P aulina Kara
 M onika Habrych
 , Monika Marendowska, Bożena Kutko-Kipka, 
 T eresa Wernik-Skalska
 , Adrian Szejka
 , Oskar Dolota
 , Sylwester Dyndał, Paweł Faliński, Artur Maksymiuk. Production team: Anna Bańko Szumacher Lidia Żeglińska. Monika Habrych Sylwia Janke – Krygier Monika Janke – Mydlekova Anna Banko Szumacher – Kierownik muzyczny Waldemar Szumacher – Kierownik techniczny

more information:














Mrs. Cecilia Glembocki, 911 Saddleback Ct., McLean, Va 22102. Logotype of the Polish History Museum, by Piotr Młodożeniec

The idea First introduced in December 2015, POLAND - A Portrait of the Country Through its Festivals and Traditions, is a children's book project sponsored by the Polish American Arts Association of Washington, DC. The publication met with a very positive response and the first printing is now exhausted. Thanks to continued support from the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Poland, as well as generous donations from the Kosciuszko Foundation and other organisations and individuals, we are now publishing the second, expanded edition of the book. Our mission in 2017 is the same - to provide a resource

for children, their parents and teachers to help them learn about the customs and traditions of Poland. The new edition, due out November, 2017, will have a larger page format of 8.5” x 11”; upgraded binding; an additional 20 pages with more stories, crafts, recipes and songs - all reflecting the essential character of Poland. Our goal is to get the books distributed to various libraries, Polish schools and organizations across the country. If you or your group are interested in acquiring copies of the book for your own use or to donate to a school or library, please let us know. Reserve your copies now! Please send your order with a check made out to The Polish American Arts Association of Washington DC - noting it's for the POLAND book project.


by: Carla Hazard Tomaszewski , Author Cecilia H. Glembocki, Project Coordinator


We had a vision to create a children's book about Poland which is unique to American Polonia.


We had a vision to create a children's book about Poland which is unique to American Polonia. Our deepest gratitude goes out to the Polish American Arts Association of Washington, D.C., the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, plus all of our generous contributors and supporters who helped make possible this educational publishing project, POLAND A Portrait of the Country Through its Festivals and Traditions. We have many reasons for creating this project: a dream to publish a children's book, especially one whose subject is Poland; a desire to educate the youth of Polonia about the richness of their Polish heritage; a wish to make a lasting tribute to our Polish ancestors who guarded the precious jewels of their homeland’s traditions by practicing them and passing them on to us - their children and grandchildren. Our lives have been greatly enriched by the ever-present influence of the Polish customs and traditions celebrated throughout the years in our homes, communities and churches. Because of this, we have dedicated a large part of our adult lives to promoting knowledge and appreciation of Poland’s rich cultural heritage to as broad an audience as possible, around the United States, and even extending to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Now, with this book, we hope to pass on to all children (and their families) our love and enthusiasm for our Polish heritage, the same way our families did for us. Projects such as this rarely come to fruition without a dedicated collaborative effort amongst a number of individuals. Everyone involved, from the creators and dreamers to the organizers, technical advisors and supporters, trusted that the project would be completed to the satisfaction of all concerned. The happy outcome is that something of high quality, value and importance has been created for the benefit of Polonia, and we all should be very proud of this accomplishment. 75 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

KAMILA ROSIŃSKA "The spirit of a photographer had always been sleeping in me, and at some point just woke up with a loud bang”



I am always very happy with every award and publication, it is very motivating. I think my work is a sure reminder and fixation of Polish customs and traditions, of course not all of my photos, but at least some of them. TLP: What influenced your style? Although we sometimes use thinking that the photos of people, children or landscapes are all the same it is surely far from truth. What influences shaping a unique style? Kamila: The way we feed our tastes and shape our personality is the result of our vision and our subjective perception of the world. I think the biggest influence on the climate of my work was and still is great inspiration with painting. TLP: And why children, not adults?

photo: Izabela Urbaniak Photography

TLP: We are asking our interlocutors about the beginnings of their adventure with photography, we know your way was long, why? Have you discovered this passion much later, or was there any other reason? Kamila: "The spirit of a photographer had always been sleeping in me, and at some point just woke up with a loud bang”, I could describe it just this way. As a child I used to paint a lot, all manual works used to keep me busy all days. I remember that as a little girl I used to take an easel and go outside the gardens in my city where I would paint. I took entrance exams to art Secondary school but my parents did not like this idea so I finished general secondary school. But it shows that the spirit of an artist tied to wake up in me even then but it was still quite lazy so it just rolled to the other side instead of waking up. Time passed, and a lot happened in my life. I was not a typical teenager, and the camera accompanied me all the time.

Kamila: Children are genius in all their simplicity, they are honest, true and authentic – and if you only can work with them, there is a Chance for lots of interesting projects. Working with a child requires special predispositions - the ability to make contact and openness to the model. It reminds of the game of chess - you have to predict the moves of your "model", and the motion once made (or a photo taken) cannot be undone. TLP: What appealed to us in your photographs is "references o tradition", costumes, fine elements, decor, interior design... how did you choose such a way? Kamila: As a child I used to spend holidays with my grandma, in the village. I would observe lots of customs there. Grandma used to tell me a lot and when she passed away I tried to illustrate all of that. I love this place, peace and quiet and the time that passes somehow more slowly… In my family we used to take care of tradition so till now we have lots of family heirlooms or photos which were a great inspiration for me, numerous times.

TLP: Perhaps this way was necessary, maybe thanks to it your photos are so easily recognizable now. Do you realize that?

TLP: When you look for the places to take photos – is it easy to find in Poland ones that smell with „old Times”? Who works on the costumes and disguise? Do you work alone?

Kamila: Of course, the longer the path of life, the greater the experience and awareness of the effect that you want to get. I try to make my photos well done, framing and composition are important to me, but the most important are my small models.

Kamila: It is not easy as these are unique sceneries. When I have a design, I start thinking about the ways of possible directing the places and situations, elements of composition that would have to be included into a frame to complement the whole. 77 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

I try to keep an eye on even the smallest details. I start preparations from looking for suitable scenery. Sometimes I am forced to create or re-create it myself, however, these are rather seldom situations. The most often I manage to find an appropriate place, in the nearby villages or in the open air folk museum located in my city. I read a lot about old customs and traditions to create the scenery of my works in possibly the most authentic way. As far as the outfits are considered, I would sew them for a long time in the past, a lot of them I also got from my family. I could also rely on Łask community centre and their well-equipped costume stock. Some time ago I passed my passion to a cousin of mine who is now very much involved in assisting me in preparing every characterisation. TLP: Many of your photographs are portraits. What attracts you to go in this direction? What is a key to a good portrait? Kamila: It is not an easy question… to be able to make a good portrait I need time for the observation of the model. There is a different method of taking spontaneous shots and different if they include posing. When I work with a child I often ask parents to a little bit away so I could stay alone with a little one. This is the time when I need to go into some interaction 78 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

with my model, but if the child does not feel confident enough (these are in fact very seldom situation, I could say it happens hardly ever) then I ask the parent to join us but rather not to talk to the child not to distract his or her attention and I am able to establish a dialogue with my model. The atmosphere at work is very important. In my portraits the crucial role is played by the light. I like soft, diffused natural light, but this is probably connected with the specific of children’'s photography. I love close-up, simple portraits which thanks to good light and slightly artistic processing are even nicer in reception. TLP: Do you agree with the statement that in the portrait: 'body talk’ and facial expressions are as unique as fingerprints'? Kamila: Definitely yes, it can be especially visible in one’'s eyes, it is not accidental that they are called „the mirror of the soul” . It is very important to observe what a distinguishing feature of the person we work with is and to understand in what way I can enhance it, as a photographer, so it would be visible in the portrait. The sense of a portrait is to capture individualism and unique nature of a model. It needs a sense of observation and some kind of openness to other human.

The fact that my „school dream” came true is an evident proof of that. Educational hunger about art has persecuted me for a long time. After going through many photo workshops, I realized that it was not enough for me and I wanted to discover, search and learn more than they have to offer... I wanted to develop ... and I risked. I submitted the documents to apply to two colleges - Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Faculty of Graphic Arts for the department of "photography and multimedia" and the Leon Schiller State Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Lodz for the Department of Cinematography, Television and Photography. I was accepted to both universities, but the elitism and traditions of the Lodz Film School as well as the professors themselves have won unanimously. Now I am after a few lecture meetings and what I can say - revelation. I know very well that my perception of photography and its message can change a lot. And this is what it is all about – we should struggle to reach our own autonomy. I did not think about what I planned after finishing school, my husband always jokingly said that I was like "moving sand". Probably it defines my creative mind and how it strives to take on new challenges, activities and risks. I am a seeker - on the one hand I plan - but I also leave a margin for a surprise. Experiences, people, new sets, it all

makes me go my way, knowing that creative exploration cannot be pushed into the rigid framework of the plan. TLP: What is the work with little models like? Probably it is not easy…, is it? How do the children treat their work as photo models? Kamila: Work with children was my conscious choice. I have not always been photographing children. Earlier, I used to take photos of concerts and adults. However, when my youngest daughter was born, I focused on children’s photography. It is not an easy job but definitely rewarding. To learn more about small people and understand behaviours of people a t that age, I decided to pedagogical studies and the knowledge I got there really facilitates my work with children. I think that the things I do are cool for children as well as it can influence their aesthetic development. Art is not only books, paintings and music, but also architecture and so called applied art - everyday objects that surround us. TLP: So your dreams have come true.. Kamila: I have always thought that everything is possible and the only thing you need to do is to believe in the sense of thing you want to achieve. thank you Kamila









Kamila Rosińska was born on January 1, 1979 in Łask, a small town near Lodz. For nearly fifteen years she was involved in pharmacy and work at the chemist’s, and then she decided to reject compromises and do what she loved in her life, realize her passion. She graduated from the Humanities and Economics Academy in Łódź with a Pedagogy Department because she often works with children and she did not want to be accused of having no basis for working with them. Mother, wife and a great lover of Polish modernist paintings. She finished many courses and photo workshops but that was not enough. She decided to study at an art university. At the moment, a student of the Leon Schiller State Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Lodz for the Department of Cinematography, Television and Photography. The object of Rosińska’s fascination is Polish countryside and folk customs. Enchanted by this climate, she began to create and evoke these folk traditions in her pictures. Most of them show the situations of children's work and their status at that time.

The magic of photography allows you to stop the time for a short while and keep forever the looks, silhouettes and gestures of your loved ones. If you look at the Gallery of my photographs, you will understand what their uniqueness is. We often associate taking pictures with pressing the shutter button. But in fact, it starts much earlier - from choosing and arranging the right scenography / background. It also takes a long time later, after taking the photo, during proper processing, to release unique climate from the frame. Everything to create an effect that you can see in the Gallery. The essence of photography for me are emotions. Emotions created by the interaction of unique models with unique surroundings. Emotions born in a person who is watching a unique photo of a loved one. It's the emotions that make up the colour of our lives and that is what drives my work. Pedagogy, next to photography is my second passion, so the photographic workshop is connected with the appropriate approach to children.

"... photography has always fascinated me. I loved when I was photographed in my childhood. Thanks to my uncle who loved photography, I have a lot of pictures of this most beautiful period of my life. With age, my understanding of photography has changed. I stopped seeing them only as family heirloom. Today it is for me something more- a story that I can create and preserve. This is the world which I cannot only record, but also create. It is a way to emphasize the individuality of the people standing in front of the lens ... I try to make every photo have a history and invoke feelings. I do not want it to be a onedimensional image without emotion. Everywhere I try to look for inspiration for the next frame. As a mother of wonderful children I know how valuable the time is; the time which changes everything and gradually „takes our children away”.

There are a few rules that I try to adhere to while working with a child. First of all – to listen (a little model should feel comfortably, he or she is the most important person there. Secondly – I have to be far-sighted - because children are unpredictable so I have to think quick to prevent the little one from eating our stage props, what my niece for example usually tries to do (recently in a session with cucumbers she tasted the props). And a thing number three – I try to keep their perspective. Horizontal position is a way of perception which gives the sense of safety. The child feels much safer when the person it talks to is the same height. Eye contact is important and needed. Fourth – I always answer their questions – a child can be afraid, it does not know what is going to happen and can experience different emotions. 83 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND





photo: nativity scene inside the catholic monastery Church of Sts. Bernardine of Siena in Krakow



Solemn, family dinner on the Christmas Eve is firmly rooted in Polish tradition. There are some mentions about this custom existing already in XVII century. When the firs star shows up on the sky, families sit down to their lenten dinner together. There are 12, 9 or 7 dishes on the table, including fish, dried fruit, mushrooms and poppy seeds. The types of dishes depend on the regions of Poland in which families live or from which they come from. Â To ensure yourself abundance of everything you need for the next year, you are supposed to try each of the dishes.Â

CHRISTMAS EVE POLISH TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS The central place on the dinner table, covered with a white tablecloth put on the hay, is occupied by special, Christmas wafer. You cannot forget about an additional plate. The tradition says that this is a place for Jesus Christ himself, an unexpected guest or a lonely stranger to enable him to spend Christmas in the companion of sincere people; some other say that this is a symbolic place for a family member who could not come for the dinner or for someone close, who already passed away as this is the time when the whole family, both those who are still alive and those who passed away gather together at the Christmas table. Eating the dinner together is an opportunity to reconcile, show kindness, and also sing carols and pastorals together. After the dinner, family members exchange gifts, which are traditionally supposed to be brought by Santa Claus, Gwiazdor, Baby Jesus or an Angel. The most important, crucial moment of the Christmas Eve dinner in Poland is the time of sharing the special wafer when exchanging Christmas greetings and forgiving one another mutual grievance. The symbol of the wafer connects Poles scattered all over the world, so often a Christmas card is accompanied by a piece of wafer, a sign of mutual ties. The wafer is baked with wheat flour and water. The wafer comes from the tradition of the Jewish paschal cake, and the habit of breaking bread comes from Christians who in the early days shared bread. The wafer also refers to the Host, which is the Body of Christ, and which is carried to his followers and shared with them. Therefore, the wafer is always placed in a well visible place, on the hay. The oldest Polish records about this habit come from XVIII century. Various motifs are embossed on the wafers, mostly biblical scenes related to Christmas, but there are also wafers with views of towns and villages, family crests and manor houses.

Before Christmas Eve, after praying and reading the Gospel, the eldest of the family takes the wafer and shares it with the household members. In the past, it was also shared with servants, carollers, animals, and even the ghosts of ancestors. Breaking up the wafer is often accompanied by emotions, because we try to make sincere wishes, often this gesture is an opportunity to reconcile. In some homes during the supper various customs were practiced. When the revellers were sitting at the table, straws or hay blades were pulled from under the table. Straight, long straws used to foretell simple, safe life while crooked ones were the prognosis of some troubles in the year to come. Likewise, people used to tell the fortune from nuts. A full nut, healthy inside was a prognosis of good fortune for the future, otherwise the nut was empty or black inside. Of course, these fortune-telling was not taken too seriously, but it was fun to do. After the supper, the girls went out of the house and listened - the fiancé was supposed to come from the direction, where the dog barked. Even the serious hosts and the good housewives did not despise - albeit for a different reasons - that kind of fortune telling: it was good to hear, in the silence of a frosty night, the neigh of horses, the scowl of sheep, or the roaring of cows - it meant that the farm will prospect well. And on the opposite – hearing the sounds of cats, pigs or geese were surely not a good sign. Traditionally, in many homes, after the super, family members sing Christmas carols together. Polish carols, often very old ones, are the precious gems in the collections of folk and religious songs. Some of their melodies resemble the rhythms of mazurka, oberek, kujawiak (all Polish folk dances) or a polonaise; the texts are full of patriotic, social or humorist accents. For many Poles, living far from the country, these carols used to be – and still are – the emotional symbol of Polishness. 87 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

s n o i t i trad re u g i f Turon

Stary Sącz, district of Nowy Sącz, Małopolska Province, Poland height: total with the stick and horns: 65 cm, length: head: ca. 38 cm, stick: 22.5 cm, horns: 23-24 cm Ethnographic Museum in Kraków Digital images copyright public domain 88 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

Turoń- horned creature Małopolska's Virtual Museums project

Turoń (horned creature), or actually the head of one, i.e. a head of an animal with ears and horns made of several hefty pieces of wood nailed together and mounted on a stick. Originating from Stary Sącz (1908), this Turoń head, just like other similar exhibits from the very beginning of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, has been shown at the permanent exhibition in the form it was used in, i.e. as a part of an animal monster, a disguise of a member of a group of carollers. It was thus mounted on a frame imitating a standing, leaning human entirely wrapped with a blanket and resembling, in this way, an animal referred to as the “Turoń.”

rs) e g n i s ol r a c ( y , dnic Kole

carol singers, early 20's XX century. love Poland collection

Date of production early 20's Place of creation unknown Digital images copyright love Poland ltd


Kolędnicy carol singers To happiness, to health, to the New Year – may the ground give you lots of wheat and peas.

Carol singing is an old custom. Its essence used to be – and still is - a ritual gift exchange. Carolers in exchange for the wishes of fertility, health and success were gifted with Christmas treats or small donations. Christmas carols are very popular in Poland, where they have a long history, the oldest dating to the 15th century or earlier. There is a tradition of singing Christmas carols until 2 February which is celebrated by western Christians as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.


Traditionally, carolers made good wishes

used to be – and still is - a ritual gift

to the families in the following words:

exchange. Carolers in exchange for the wishes

,, To happiness, to health, to the New Year –

of fertility, health and success were gifted

may the ground give you lots of wheat and

with Christmas treats or small donations.

peas. May you have a lot in your chamber

The carolers were gifted with special, home-

and your barn, bunches and bundles and

made dumplings or Rolls as well as bread

the host between them like a moon between

in the shape of little animal figures. Ritual

stars. May you have a cute little one in every

pastries were supposed to ensure prosperity

corner – and at the stove – three more!”

in the year to come. 92 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND




When Christ is bornand enters the world,

Gdy się Chrystus rodzi i na świat przychodzi,

dark night turns into radiant brilliance.

ciemna noc w jasnościach promienistych brodzi.

Angels rejoice,

Aniołowie się radują,

crying out under the heavens,

pod niebiosy wykrzykują:

“Gloria, gloria, gloria in excelsis Deo!”

Gloria, gloria, gloria in excelsis Deo.

They tell the shepherds, who were keeping watch

Mówią do pasterzy, którzy trzód swych strzegli,

over their flocks,

aby do Betlejem czem prędzej pobiegli;

that they should run straight to Bethlehem,

bo się narodził Zbawiciel,

for the Saviour is born,

wszego świata Odkupiciel.

the Redeemer of the whole world.

Gloria, gloria, gloria in excelsis Deo.

Gloria, gloria, gloria in excelsis Deo! 93 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND


The lyrics come from the sixteenth century; they are a translation of a fragment of a Latin medieval song for Christmas Angelus pastoribus. In the Kórnik manuscript (1551-1555) there are seven stanzas without a melody record. The melody has been preserved in the organ tablature from the second half of the 17th century. The exact musical notation was published by Mioduszewski in his collection entitled „Church song-book or pious songs with melodies in the Catholic Church used from 1838”.



The angel spoke to the shepherds:

Anioł pasterzom mówił:

“Christ is born to you

Chrystus się wam narodził

in Bethlehem, not the least of towns.

w Betlejem, nie bardzo podłem mieście.

He is born in poverty,

Narodził się w ubóstwie.

the Lord of all creation.”

Pan wszego stworzenia.

This Lord of great glory


humbled himself from the heights;

Taki Pan chwały wielkiej

he possessed no costly

uniżył się z wysokiej,

palace buildings,

pałacu kosztownego żadnego

the Lord of all creation.

nie miał zbudowanego.


Pan wszego stworzenia.




In the crib he lies: who will hasten

W żłobie leży, któż pobieży

to sing a carol to the little

kolędować Małemu,

Jesus Christ,

Jezusowi Chrystusowi

sent to us today?

dziś do nas zesłanemu?

Come, shepherds,

Pastuszkowie przybywajcie,

play sweetly to him

Jemu wdzięcznie przygrywajcie,

as to our Lord.

jako Panu naszemu .

But we ourselves will hurry

My zaś sami z piosneczkami

after you with songs,

za wami pośpieszymy,

and we shall all

a tak tego maleńkiego

see this little one,

niech wszyscy zobaczymy:

born so poor,

Jak ubogo narodzony,

weeping, put in a stable.

płacze w stajni położony,

He delights us today. 95 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND


The earliest preserved version of the text comes from a collection from 1705, which is kept in the Archdiocesan Archives in Poznań. The record of the melody of Hushaby, little Jesus, slightly different from today's, appeared in print in the anthology of Fr. Michał Marcin Mioduszewski entitled “Pastorals and Christmas carols with melodies or cheerful folk songs at Christmas sung in houses and collected by X. M. M. M.”. The carol “Hushaby, little Jesus” is associated with Polishness, and its melody have often been connected with new patriotic texts related to current events. There is, among others, its legion version by L. Markowski.



Hushaby, little Jesus, my little pearl,

Lulajże, Jezuniu, moja perełko,

sleep, my dear darling.

lulaj, ulubione me pieścidełko.

Hushaby, little Jesus, hushaby, sleep,

Lulajże, Jezuniu, lulajże, lulaj,

and you, little mother, soothe his crying.

a Ty Go, Matuniu, w płaczu utulaj.

Hushaby, most beautiful little rose,

Lulajże, różyczko najozdobniejsza,

hushaby, loveliest little lily.

lulajże, lilijko najprzyjemniejsza.

Hushaby, little Jesus, hushaby, sleep,

Lulajże, Jezuniu, lulajże, lulaj,

and you, little mother, soothe his crying.

a Ty Go, Matuniu, w płaczu utulaj.




When the fair Virgin rocked her Son to sleep,

Gdy śliczna Panna Syna kołysała,

she sang to him thus with great happiness:

z wielkim weselem tak Jemu śpiewała:

“Lullaby, my little child,

Lili lili laj, moje dzieciąteczko,

lullaby, fair infant.”

lili lili laj, śliczne paniąteczko.

Sing to your Lord, all creation,

Wszystko stworzenie śpiewaj Panu swemu,

come to the aid of my heart in its great joy:

pomóż radości wielkiej sercu memu:

“Lullaby, great son of the King,

Lili lili laj, wielki królewiczu,

lullaby, heir of heaven.” Come down from heaven, fair angels, sing to the Lord, heavenly spirits: “Lullaby, my fragrant flower, lullaby, in the poor little crib.” South wind, softly, sweetly, blow softly, let the new young master sleep: “Lullaby, my lovely little boy, lullaby, my dear little one.”

lili lili laj, niebieski dziedzicu. Sypcie się z nieba, śliczni Aniołowie, śpiewajcie Panu, niebiescy duchowie: Lili lili laj, mój wonny kwiateczku, lili lili laj, w ubogim żłóbeczku. Cicho wietrzyku, cicho południowy, cicho powiewaj, niech śpi panicz nowy: Lili lili laj, mój wdzięczny synaczku, lili lili laj, miluchny robaczku. 97 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND



CHRISTMAS EVE and symbol of the TREE

The tradition of the Christmas tree is derived from the Aryan tree of life. In the eighteenth century, it was known at German magnate courts. It spread more widely throughout Europe after the Franco-Prussian wars in the mid-19th century. It was in this century that this custom came from Germany to Poland through soldiers and Prussian officials. In the Polish countryside, it was popularized only in the 19th century and, for example, in mountain villages in the 1920s and 30s of the 20th century. This does not mean, however, that earlier in Poland the custom of decorating a tree for Christmas was unknown. In southern and south-western Poland (Podhale, Pogórze, Cieszyn Silesia, in Lesser Poland, around Jarosław, Rzeszów, Lublin and Sandomierz), people used to hang a "podłaźniczka" over the table, that had numerous other folk names (one of them was God's tree). Then, the so-called "worlds" came – discs and balls intricately woven from straw or wafers. Even later, straw spiders made of coloured tissue paper became popular. 99 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

„Podłaźniczka” symbolized the evergreen tree of life and the life-giving power of the sun. It protected against evil powers, diseases, brought fertility, prosperity and harmony in the family, and to the young girls happiness in love and quick marriage. It was decorated with apples, nuts, flax seeds and cutouts from white and colourful wafers (worlds). Nuts and apples were food for the decedents and part of the "menu" on the feasts. They were also associated with love and erotic life (walnut). The branch for the decoration was cut down in the forest early in the morning, because it was believed that the first to bring it home would also grow the grain first. The model for today's Christmas tree is the biblical "tree of life", the tree of good and bad news. That is why we hang (or we should hang) apples on it - in remembrance of Adam and Eve and as the symbol of health and life. Chains symbolize the biblical serpent-tempter, and during the partitions they reminded that the Polish nation is in captivity (a chain of slavery). At the top of the Christmas tree there is a Bethlehem star that pointed the way to the Three Kings (Magi) which were going to little Jesus. Candles (or lights) on twigs remind us of the fire that once burned all night long during the Christmas Eve so that the souls of the ancestors could warm up with it. They are also a sign of God's undying love for man and Jesus Christ, "the light of the world." Decorated egg shells symbolized the reviving life, fertility and prosperity. Crushed pieces of this decoration were added after the holidays to the animal feed or were buried in the furrows of arable land. Branches of fir, spruce or pine were used to decorate the frames of sacred images, walls, entrance doors, wickets, barn gates and barns. One of the plant symbols of Christmas is mistletoe. Many ancient cultures considered it a sacred plant. It enjoyed the greatest respect among the ancient Romans and Celts. It symbolizes life, rebirth, agreement, remorse, forgiveness and reconciliation. Therefore, kiss under it during this period and remember to pick up one berry after each kiss. The custom of decorating the house with mistletoe most probably comes from England. Celtic druids believed that it was a gift of the heavens and during the New Year's celebrations they cut it with golden sickles, collected it in white cloths and sacrificed to the gods. It was believed that the mistletoe was growing in the place of a strike of a lightning. 100 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND



barszcz z uszkami barszcz z uszkami Christmas Eve borsch with ravioli dumplings

Christmas Eve borsch is different from typical red borsch prepared during the year. It is a clear borsch, which is prepared without the use of meat ingredients, excluding fish. Clear borsch is prepared from a vegetable broth and beetroots combined with the decoction of dried mushrooms and beetroot acid. According to some recipes, beetroots should be baked beforehand. Borsch is seasoned with salt and sugar. The lack of pepper in the soup allows you to use spicy additives The finished borsch should be sweet-sour, transparent, with an intensely red colour. According to some recipes, one decoction is prepared at once (from vegetables and mushrooms). Traditional Christmas Eve stuffing for ravioli dumplings may consist of mushrooms, onions, hard-boiled eggs or fish. In addition to the ravioli dumplings, Christmas Eve borsch is sometimes served with patties or baked dumplings.



Zupa Grzybowa Mushroom soup

It is the most popular soup served on the Christmas table next to borsch. Many people cannot imagine Christmas holidays without it, but many housewives do not know it at all. In our opinion, this is a real fast soup, clear and not very intense in taste. The best comes from a mixture of different types of dried forest mushrooms. I prefer the addition of mushroom ravioli dumplings to it, but traditionally this soup is also served with noodles.




KARP Carp as a symbol of happiness

Carp is undoubtedly the king of the Christmas table. It does not matter whether it is fried, baked, in jelly or sour cream. Almost everyone eats it on this special evening. For many people (including my in-laws), it is a sign of happiness. Always, after Christmas Eve, every family member receives a scale of the carp which was served for supper. The scale should be hidden into the wallet, which according to the tradition, will contribute to the fact that the next year will be financially abundant. Carp appeared in Poland at the end of the 13th century, however, until the 19th century, other fish reigned on Polish festive tables. It was mainly a pike that gradually returns to us. Until the end of the 19th century, carp was one of the most popular fish among Polish Jews.



Pierogi z kapusta , i grzybami Christmas Eve dumplings

On our Christmas Eve table there are always several types of dumplings, because each of the household members has their favourite ones. I got the recipe for the perfect dough from my family home and decided to share some proven tricks with you. Cabbage stuffing can be made only on sauerkraut. I prefer, however, filling made with two types of cabbage - sour and sweet. Mushrooms, to be soaked, should be covered with water and left over the night (glass of water is enough). Then, cook them until soft in the same water (about 30 minutes). Take out the caps and chop them finely. Cut off a piece of white cabbage and chop it as well. Put into a pot, add boiling water and cook for about 15 minutes. Strain and squeeze lightly. Add sauerkraut with excess of juice and chop finely. In a pot, fry the finely chopped onion in butter. When it becomes golden, add both types of cabbage and mushrooms and pour some water from the mushrooms (you have to pour it gently so that no sand gets into the stuffing). Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 25 minutes, evaporating all the liquid. Leave to cool.



Kluski z makiem Noodles with poppy seeds

Poppy is a plant that has been valued and important in Polish tradition for years. Probably in every Polish home, on Christmas Eve day, there is at least one dish or cake with poppy seeds on the table. This is because it is a symbol of goodness and prosperity, as well as fertility. Noodles with poppy seeds are a popular Christmas Eve dish from the Old Polish cuisine that will satisfy everyone's tastes. Cook pasta in lightly salted water, strain, put into a bowl, add ground poppy seed, dried fruit, aroma oil, honey, mix gently, and serve with oranges. Your noodles with poppy seeds are ready.




Kapusta z grochem Cabbage with peas

This dish belongs to the next basic set for Christmas Eve. I soak the peas in water and let it swell overnight. I put the sauerkraut into the pot, optionally add shredded raw cabbage, seasoning, I add about 2 glasses of water and cook it for 2-3 hours until tender. In a separate pot, I cook the peas until it is soft but still does not start to disintegrate. I peel the onions, cut into small cubes and fry them until golden. In a large pot I combine the cabbage with the peas and fried onion. I cover it and let it simmer for 30 minutes. I combine olive oil or butter with flour on the frying pan, preparing the roux. When it turns slightly golden, I add it to the cabbage with peas. Optionally, I add some more salt, pepper or marjoram to the cabbage.




Śledzie Herring

This fish reigns on every Christmas table. The fish is a symbol of Jesus Christ. In the Christian tradition, fish is a symbol of rebirth and baptism. According to folk beliefs, fish symbolise fertility and birth. Among fish, despite carp, herring is one of the most popular types of fish on the Christmas table. Greek fish, fish in breadcrumbs or baked fish are prepared for supper. The next dish prepared for the supper and associated with the symbolism of fish is Christmas Eve herring. Most often it is prepared in oil, cream, tomato sauce or vinegar.




Chleb bread

Bread, which comes in so many different forms and types, we eat several times a day.

Subconsciously, we try not to waste it, protect it from falling to the ground being thrown into the trash, we do not deepen the knife into it before making a cross sign on it… Respect for bread is part of our cultural heritage, based on symbolism, customs and rites. It is believed that sharing the Christmas wafer at Christmas Eve is a modified old tradition of sharing ritual bread. Sharing bread with animals has remained alive to this day. Christmas Eve sharing of bread with family, neighbours and animals emphasized the unity of the world: people used to resign from resentments and feuds and wished each other happiness. It symbolized all the most important existential values: prosperity, good harvest, fertility of women and animals, peaceful and safe life. 109 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND




Kutya, known to everyone, is a dessert that combines poppy seed with honey.

Once it was believed that on Christmas Eve (the day of the Bountiful Creation), the souls of the ancestors return to their homes to feast with the family and eat in advance for the whole year. Kutya is supposed to give us happiness and success in life. Kutia is a delicacy of our grandfathers, because of its sweetness and satiety, so it should never be missing during Christmas. Until now, in some regions of Poland, there has been a habit of telling from it what the next year will be like. For this purpose, the kutya is placed on a large spoon and its contents are


thrown to the ceiling with all possible impetus. If it reaches the ceiling and glues itself for a few moments there, the future is going to be full of successes. The day before preparing the delicacy, wheat and poppy seeds are soaked in water, and raisins are put into mead and left to soak for the night. The next day, drain the wheat, put in a pot and pour fresh water. Cook until tender, change the water several times during cooking. Drain the poppy seeds and grind them twice through a thick sieve, alternately with powdered sugar. Then, mix cooked wheat and poppy seeds together. Add the soaked raisins and chopped nuts as well as apricots cut into thin strips. We add honey and mead, in which raisins were soaked and mix everything together.



Makowiec Poppy seed cake

Among the 12 Christmas Eve dishes you cannot miss the noodles with poppy seeds and kutya or poppy seed cake - dishes containing cereal grains and poppy seed. Poppy and cereal grains are a symbol of abundance, good crops and fertility. Honey is also used to prepare these dishes, as it is a symbol of the joy of life and abundance.

In the past, on a daily basis, poppy seed cake used to appear only on the tables in very rich families. According to popular beliefs, the poppy eaten on Christmas Eve was to ensure happiness and protect against the forces of evil. Poppy seed a plant that contains thousands of seeds in the poppy head also appeared on the Christmas table as a symbol of fertility and wealth. Grinding of poppies in this circumstance was supposed to ensure that the young virgins would soon get married. Poppy in Christmas Eve dishes, next to honey and mushrooms was also a link with the beyond spirits.




Piernik Gingerbread

Gingerbread is a very aromatic cake that cannot be missed on the holiday table.


Preparing the dough is quite time-consuming, but it's worth all the effort. In Poland, gingerbread appeared in the middle of the eighteenth century and was, like in other countries, a symbol of prosperity and high social status. Today, gingerbread or gingerbread cookies are associated with Christmas. The name of gingerbread in Polish is „piernik” which derives from the old Polish word "pierny", or peppery. In order for the gingerbread to be good, it needs to be aged for 4 to 6 weeks, 2 weeks is a minimum. Gingerbread should melt in your mouth and on the table during Christmas Eve supper or Christmas dinner it will take its honour place. We store it in a cool place which helps keeping it fresh for a long time.



kompot z suszu Compote of dried fruits

This is a must for the Christmas table. I have a great weakness for this drink, and it also improves digestion after a great binge eating. In each family it is made a little differently, for example, we always add dried fruit, never fresh, and in some homes fresh fruits are popular. And what kind of fruit? Well, plums, smoked pears, a little raisins and dates. Sometimes, dried apricots fall into the compote. As spices, we use cinnamon and cloves, a little vanilla sugar and some plain sugar. All of that makes me like this compote so much. The compote has a full, slightly smoked and sweet taste.



ZPIANOFORTE Agencja Artystyczna

photo: ZPIANOFORTE Agencja Artystyczna


Christmas Market from 17 November until 22 December 2017 from 10 am to 9 pm. Visitors are in for a wealth of attractions and surprises.


This year the Christmas Market will be held on the Market Square, Świdnicka Street and Oławska Street, but also Plac Solny. There will be new houses with a variety of tasty treats and unique crafted articles. Cream puffs, butter flatbread rolls Roti, potato cakes, cepelinai, kartacz, boiled potatoes with cottage cheese, baked ham, original halvah, highlander cheese, chocolate gingerbread, unique Ukrainian pottery, wooden Christmas decorations, natural cosmetics. Nearby there will be an original house with an observation deck where you will be able to drink hot beverages while enjoying the panorama of the Christmas Market. The visitors will have the chance to face the twisting path of the Ice Labyrinth. In one of the houses on Plac Solny you will be able to make a casting of your own handprint in wax. 115 TRAVEL.LOVEPOLAND

The Christmas Market is a special place for lovers of tasty treats! The north frontage of the Market Square will become a real paradise for foodies! It's here where you will be able to taste delicacies from Europe and more. Among European tastes and aromas you will find excellent specialities: Alsatian Flammkuchen, Turkish baklava or Turkish yeast cake borek with spinach or feta, and also fairy-tale „Wrocław Town Houses” in the form of gingerbread, which can be found in the stylish Wooden Windmill. In the wooden houses, you will be able to choose Christmas presents. This year a novelty among handicraft products will be unique Ukrainian pottery, handmade Christmas decorations from ecological materials, but also traditional sculptures, jewel cases and even musical instruments from far away... Lovers of jewellery will be able to choose from goods made of gemstones, amber, silver or metalwork. There will be decorative bags made from natural linen fabric with colorful motifs, Christmas pottery, cozy woolen Lithuanian blankets. In the wooden houses, the visitors will also find handmade mascots, blankets for children, colourful wooden toys, embroidered angels, decorative felt bags and pillows with folk motifs, scented soap from Marseille, natural cosmetics and many more products, which you can't find every day. You will also be able to send a special hand painted wooden postcard to your relatives. Lovers of handicraft, decoupage, folk inspiration and ecological style surely won't be disappointed. Near Wrocław's Christmas tree you will be able to order a beautiful hand painted glass ball with wishes or an inscription, a horseshoe for luck made by a smith or a souvenir coin minted by a mint master. With the Market's lucky charms, your luck won't leave you in the coming year. This year's Christmas Market will offer a multitude of attractions that will bring a smile to the faces of everybody who visit the Market square during this magical time!


In the Fairytale Copse beautiful fairy tales with exceptional sound and visual will await the youngest guests of the Christmas Market. “Little Red Riding Hood”, “The Brave Little Tailor”, “Snow White”or “Pinokio” with his growing nose are only a part of this amazing adventure. Near the “Dwarf's House” there will be the illuminated sleigh with “magical presents”, which will charm you into taking a picture. In the “Christmas Windmill” in the Fairytale Copse, in the “Dwarf's House” near the Fredro Monument and the “Fireplace House” on the north frontage of the Market Square you will traditionally be able to taste the aromatic Wrocław mulled wine, hot chocolate and other warm beverages in unique ceramic Christmas cups. Outdoor fireplaces with their shine and heat will attract anybody who is gripped by the winter's chill. Next to the Christmas Windmill there will be a special house, where children from the kindergarten will take part in Christmas workshops painting glass balls in the morning hours. Near the “Dwarf's House” the dignified reindeers with Santa Claus's sleigh will be parked. Next to the Christmas tree will be a mailbox, where you can leave your letters and postcards with Christmas wishes addressed to Santa Claus. The Dwarf Prezentuś will appear at the Market Square. According to a legend, if you touch his hat three times, all wishes and dreams will come true. This pleasant dwarf appears only once a year, only during the Christmas Market in Wrocław and then disappears for another 11 months.


ZPIANOFORTE Agencja Artystyczna



Programme 17 NOVEMBER 2017 (Friday) 17:00 – Official Christmas Market opening gala with a brass orchestra MISTIC, or Polish Gregorian Chant, in concert 26 NOVEMBER 2017 (Sunday) 17:00 – Fairytale Elf and Reindeer Parade 1 DECEMBER 2017 (Friday) Christmas show 17:30 – Greeting Santa Claus 18:00 – Official Christmas tree illumination. A brass orchestra show 2 DECEMBER 2017 (Saturday) 15:00 – 20:00 Christmas shows: Avocado in concert Wiola Malinowska’s animated film studio 3 DECEMBER 2017 (Sunday) 17:00 – Christmas Santa Claus Parade 10 DECEMBER 2017 (Sunday) 16:30 – 18:30 Christmas show MISTIC, or Polish Gregorian Chant, in concert Magic show (Jędrzej Bukowski) 17 December 2017 (Sunday) 17:00 – Magic Carol Singers Parade CHRISTMAS SHOWS (by Wrocław's Christmas tree) Christmas repertoire Developed by the Wrocław Centre for Social Development: from Monday to Thursday from 16.00 to 19.00 on 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14 December from Friday to Saturday from 15.00 to 20.00 on 8, 9, 6, 7, 11, 12, 15, 16 December



ZPIANOFORTE Agencja Artystyczna







The Christmas Market returns to Warsaw’s Old Town around the end of November. In the Market Square can be found wooden stalls selling Christmas ornaments, amber jewellery, ceramics and much more.

The Christmas Market in Wroclaw is one of the most beautiful. Wroclaw’s market square becomes the background of a magical scenery.





The beautiful city of Krakow is usually draped in snow during the festive season, making Krakow Christmas Market an even prettier sight for visitors.

A few of the attractions in Gdansk at the Christmas Market include a Venetian carousel with horses,exhibition of traditional Christmas trees from all around the world




Kraków 25 NOV-26 DECEMBER Contemporary fair, for a dozen of years is included in the calendar of events of the Krakow Market. It is a tradition that has a great impact on cultural development. Exhibitors present the goods in about 80 commercial and gastronomic kiosks. Merchants offer a wide range of festive gifts and decorations, such as hand-painted bubbles, Christmas decorations, Christmas wreaths, wax candles, cribs, ceramics, hay, straw, wood, wool and cloth products, artistic glass, jewellery, souvenirs, postcards, calendars, wooden toys, leather goods, sheepskin, tablecloths. At the Fair there are stands with Polish grilled dishes, dumplings with old Polish recipes, soup stalls, bread with lard, bacon, onion and cucumber. The fair is accompanied by such events as: writing letters to Santa Claus, the visit of Santa Claus, Merchant's holiday, presentations of Małopolska municipalities, Bridges between Cities, Presidential Wafer, Carol's Parade, or Dziady show.









Warszawa 25 NOV-07 JANUARY Christmas Fair will be traditionally held on Międzymurze in the Old Town. One of the most beautiful Christmas fairs in Poland starts on 25th November. It is waiting for the guests from all over the world. Among the forest-scented Christmas trees, aromas of mulled beverages, chocolate products and traditional dishes, the inhabitants of Warsaw and tourists will enjoy the abundance of festive surprises and attractions. This year there will be lots of surprises and treats! Of course, we will not tell you everything at once, but you can expect a beautiful cottage of Santa Claus facilitating magic meetings in family atmosphere. Apart from the unusual wooden cottages, there will be colourful decorations made by Polish craftsmen. The aisles of the Fair will be decorated with beautiful, lively, decorative Christmas trees.

ricardo escobar






Gdańsk 02-23 DECEMBER On Targ Węglowy you will find dozens of chalets and stalls filled with goods and festive delicacies - including regional and traditional treats. Visitors to the fair will also find a variety of craft products here. We also invite you to the Christmas Art Fair in an interesting area, which is the Armory, open after a long break. In its interior there will be about 30 stands with products of artists and craftsmen. The opening of the Armory will allow direct, free communication between Piwna Street and Targ Węglowy. Santa Claus, especially expected by children, will arrive traditionally to Gdansk on December 5, at 5 p.m. On the last stretch of his journey, he will be accompanied by numerous illuminations located at Długie Pobrzeże and Wyspa Spichrzów. Santa Claus will light the candles on a 25-meter high Christmas tree at Długi Targ and then he will proceed to Targ Węglowy, where he will take a place on his throne. This year he is going to visit revitalized Lower Town as well.



special thanks to Multidekor

We would like to say a special thank you to MULTIDEKOR, for cooperation on this issue. MULTIDEKOR is a leading designer and manufacturer of Christmas decorations and illumination. It has been designing joy and unique impressions for over 20 years now. Designer's imagination, the internationally experienced team of experts, as well as perfect quality of our illumination are appreciated all over the world. While working with domestic and international clients we provided more than a thousand decorations for cities and prestigious shopping malls. Christmas illumination of Warsaw in 2013-2016, created by the company, gained international media attention, whereas “The Royal Light Garden in Wilanow� won the audience award in the category Polish Landscape 2015 in XXL Polish Architecture Poll. Currently, Multidekor illuminates and decorates objects not only in Poland, but also in the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, France or Hungary.


Wishing you love,

laughter &




We Wish You a Merry Christmas And a happy New Year! v i s i t

u s :


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