13. Shellie’s Tour to Ancestral Places. Day3.

Day 3 was Sunday and we attended mass at the local church, St Mary Magdelene.  It was quite a different experience.  Although the mass was basically the same as in the US, everything, of course, was in Polish.  The interior of the church was quite beautiful and ornate, and the beginning of mass began with an alter boy who approached the front of the congregation and began to pull on a rope that passed through a hole in the church ceiling.  Suddenly, the church bells began to ring!

Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Odrowąż

Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Odrowąż

Afterward we drove to Nowy Targ for lunch at a restaurant that promised food prepared in the Gorale style (mountain style). Here we had appetizers of fried Gorale cheese topped with berry jam and Smalezc a spread made of pieces of bacon-like pork mixed with pork lard! Spread on bread, it was actually quite delicious!

Smalec

Smalec

I had kielbasa (again!) and some nice Polish white wine. Afterward we stopped at the dwor (manor house) estate in Łopuszna, which was built around 1787. There we got a glimpse of a typical Polish nobleman’s country home, stables, cellar and peasant cottage.

Dwór Łopuszna

Dwór Łopuszna

Exterior of Gorale cottage with wooden gutters

Exterior of Gorale cottage with wooden gutters

Around the corner we visited the Łopuszna parish church of the Holy Trinity, built during the 15th century. The wooden siding of this historic church had been recently replaced, so the church looked fresh and new on the outside. We could not enter the church, but a peek through the door revealed another spectacular church interior!

From there we traveled east to visit some castles! Both castles were built centuries ago near the Dunajec river. In the 1980’s a dam was built and these castles now overlook a beautiful lake. Our first castle in Czorsztyn was in ruins, but was still quite interesting. Lots of climbing and ducking through arched doorways, but once we got to the top, the view was great! The second castle, known as the Dunajec castle in Niedzica, was in much better shape. Built in the 1300’s, it was passed down through several families until the 1940’s when it was taken over by the Society of Art Historian in Poland and was renovated for public visits. While we were there, a bride and groom were having their wedding photos taken in various rooms of the castle.

Castle Ruins

Castle Ruins

Cellar in Niedzica castle

Cellar in Niedzica castle

On the roof of the Niedzica castle

On the roof of the Niedzica castle

Several hours later, we left the castles and returned to Nowy Targ, where we stopped to catch the end of a music festival. Wonderful music and costumes, as well as food and drink! We drank some Polish beer, mine with several shots of berry juice. Jerry hated the taste, but I thought it was quite good! We listened to the music for a while, then I began to fade, so we piled back into the car and headed back to our village.

Performers at the music festival

Performers at the music festival

Performers at the music festval in traditional dress

Performers at the music festval in traditional dress

Beautiful view of the Tatry Mountains

Beautiful view of the Tatry Mountains

Shellie

Tags: ,

6 Responses to “13. Shellie’s Tour to Ancestral Places. Day3.”

  1. I started reading this blog and it’s absolutely terrific! What a great idea Zenon had.

    As I was reading through your history because of the Tetra mountains (my grandfather often spoke of them), I noticed that you could not get records from PA.

    There was a fire and many records were burned up. But, then I checked to see where Aliquippa was in PA. It is a few miles from Beaver Falls, PA. My grandparents on my father’s side settled there in the early 1900’s. During the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, people that had it from that area were sent to a hospital in New Brighton where their records were sent when they in the hospital. I learned this from my sister-in-law who lives in New Brighton. So even though, you didn’t get any records from PA, there might be a chance that the records are at this hospital. I don’t know the name, but the town is small and there’s probably only one hospital. I haven’t gone any further with this side of the family, but when I do, I will try to send you more information. I also lost family from the epidemic that were from this area. Back then, because of this, people that were widowed, would marry for convenience of merging families together to survive. That’s why my grandmother and grandfather re-married.

  2. Lisa says:

    Good luck getting to and finding your family’s records at St. Mary Magdalene’s today!

  3. James says:

    It looks like all of you are having a great time! Great pictures of the scenery, mountains, buildings, and food :-)) I bet the food tastes even better than the great photos !! I have to agree with your husband concerning the fruit flavor in your beer though, it seems to be a new thing that the women in Poland enjoy. Best of luck in your family search. If some info is there , Zenon will surely find it.

  4. Shellie says:

    Mary,
    I’m sorry I took so long to reply to your message. Thanks for the comment about the hospital in New Brighton. I will look into it. I tried to locate you thru the Polish Origins member list to send you a message, but did not find you there…. Shellie

  5. Carol Rockwell says:

    Shellie,

    My brother and our spouses went to Odrowaz in Sep 2009. The priest opened St Mary Magdelene church for us so we could go in and visit. He also found the entry for my grandfather’s birth in the church register. My grandfather (Jan Czepiel) and grandmother (Berenice Penska) were from Odrowaz and Zaluscne. My father lived in Odrowaz from the age of 6 month to 13 years as my grandmother returned from the USA to help her mother care for an ailing sister. My father lost a older sister to disease (typhoid?) and remembers chasing the men who came to take her away with an axe (he was about 4 at the time).
    We did not do enough research to know if we could find any family members, which I now regret. I had no idea of the emotional impact this trip would make on me. However, we made the pilgrimage for my dad who always wanted to go back to his village, but never did return.

  6. Shellie says:

    Hi Carol,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I agree that its quite an emotional trip – I couldn’t believe I was standing in the same church where my ancestors were baptized, married, and put to rest when they died. I would like to learn more about your family and see if you have any connections with mine.

Leave a Reply