Archive for the ‘Traveling Central Europe’ Category

War cemeteries in Western Galicia.

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Usually, when we think about the First World War in Europe the image of the western front line appears before our eyes. In France this conflict is called ‘the Great War’ and some of the famous battlefields were at Verdun, Marne and Ypres.

The Eastern European front line is sometimes forgotten and we should remember that  many battles  took place in the territories of today’s Poland.  When World War 1 ended in 1918, Poland was able to regain its independence, after many decades of foreign rule.

Polish people had been living under three partitions: Prussian, Austrian and Russian, and the Polish soldiers fought for all 3 of these armies, sometimes against each other. Just another dramatic fact in our turbulent history.

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War cemetery in Sieklówka.

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Szczawnica: modern spa resort in good, old style.

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Szczawnica is a resort town, located about 100 kilometers south-east from Krakow. It is  well-known for being a tourist attraction since the mid-nineteenth century. Due to the presence of sorrel springs and the favorable climatic conditions, many respiratory and digestive tract illnesses are treated there.

Before the war the resort was owned by the Stadnicki family and since 2005 it has returned to the family descendants. Recently they managed to restore its former splendor and elegance.

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Szczawnica.

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PO Galicia Tour Video.

Friday, February 21st, 2014


Here it is. PO Galicia Tour video.


We have tried to fit in the five minutes all those emotions, landscapes, sounds, tastes and emotions that we have witnessed in last season of our tours in 2013.


We hope that our video will help you to feel this ambiance:

 


See more details about PO Galicia Tour, including dates available for 2014: http://galicia.polishorigins.com .


PolishOrigins Team

The Greek orthodox church of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Hańczowa

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Hańczowa is a large village between Uście Gorlickie and Wysowa. As most of the villages in the area, it used to be inhabited by Lemkos.

The old, wooden church is located in the village center. It is the church of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in eastern tradition it is called Pokrov).

The oldest part of the church is its tower, built in the 18th century.  The remaining parts of the building were constructed in 19th century.

After the Vistula operation and the displacements of people the church was being used as a Roman catholic parish. As its condition was very bad, in 1956 there was the decision to demolish it. Fortunately at this time some Lemko families came back to their homeland and were pushing to obtain  and restore the building. In 1958 The orthodox parish had been re-established in Hańczowa.

In the interior there is a polychrome from the 19th century. The nave and sanctuary are separated by the  complete iconostasis – wall of icons and religious paintings, created by Antoni Bogdański and his sons: Michał and Zygmunt. They were the members of famous artists family, coming from Jaśliska (the little town in the South-Eatsern Poland), painting the icons in the whole Galicia area.

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The iconostasis in the orthodox church in Hańczowa. Source: http://cerkiew-hanczowa.pl/Start/Start.html

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St. Michael the Archangel Greek orthodox church in Pielgrzymka

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Pielgrzymka is a village located in South-East Poland, in Beskid Niski, a few miles near Nowy Żmigród.

Till 1946 it was the Lemko village. In 1785 Pielgrzymka was inhabited by 638 Greek Catholics, 48 Roman Catholics and 8 Jews. After 1947 during the “operation Vistula”, Boykos and Lemkos living in this part of Poland were forced by the communist authorities to displace to the western Polish territories. The church was abandoned and ruined. Some Lemko families came back to Pielgrzymka and in 1960 the orthodox parish had been re-established there.

The wooden church in Pielgrzymka was built at the end of 18th or in 19th century (the exact dates are not known). This is typical construction for the Łemko churches. The building is composed from three main parts: the presbytery, the nave and the vestibule, above which there is a belfry tower.

Inside, the walls are covered with polychrome paintings from the 19th century.

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The iconostasis in the orthodox church in Pielgrzymka. Source: http://cerkiew-pielgrzymka.pl/Start/Start.html

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October Galicia Tour. Day 9: Auschwitz museum and farewell dinner.

Friday, November 29th, 2013

At the last day our group had a half day trip to the Concentration Camp Museum in Auschwitz and Birkenau.

In the evening we all met on the farewell dinner at the hotel.

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A night view of the Wawel castle from the hotel. Picture: Kristin Boucher

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October Galicia Tour. Day 8: Wieliczka Salt Mine and Ethnographic Museum

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

This day our group visited wonderful underground world of salt chambers and sculptures in Wieliczka Salt Mine.

>Our second proposition was The Ethnographic Museum in Krakow. Located in Kazimierz area, in the ancient town hall. The museum was renovated a few years ago, combining the old, valuable collections of traditional culture relict with modern ethnographic and anthropological perspectives.

It was a kind of the resume of our trip to Galicia and the world of our ancestor’s everyday life. The museum presents the houses interiors of different regions, Polish traditional costumes but also spiritual culture and traditional art.

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Traditional clothes in Ethnographic museum in Kraków. Picture: Zenon, PolishOrigins.

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October Galicia Tour. Day 7: Kraków

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

After breakfast group left Podhale for Krakow. We had a guided tour through the Old Town, Wawel Castle and many other places.

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A walk on  Main Market square. Picture: Zenon, PolishOrigins.

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October Galicia Tour. Day 6: Dunajec Castle in Niedzica and Dunajec River Raft

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
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Dunajec Castle in Niedzica. Picture: Kristin Boucher

Today our group visited Pieniny Mountains, where on both river banks, are located two castles: in Czorsztyn (on the historic Polish side, but today only the ruins remained) and Niedzica Castle, an important center of Polish-Hungarian relations since the 14th century. We had a guided tour there.

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October Galicia Tour. Day 5: Tatra Mountains and Zakopane

Monday, November 25th, 2013
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A view to the Tatra Mountains from Gubałówka. Picture: Zenon, PolishOrigins.

In Zakopane our group travelled up to Gubalowka mountain by trail carriages, visited Tatra Museum and the old cemetery. Our guests had a free time and a great opportunity to do shopping in the outdoor market. In the late afternoon we had dinner in one of the Zakopane restaurants with live Gorals band music.

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