Archive for the ‘Wooden treasures of southern Poland’ Category

My work as a tour guide in the Sanok Skansen. Interview with Maria Grabowska.

Friday, February 12th, 2021

This is the second part of the article which was originally published in “Rodziny” – The Journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America, issued in winter 2021.


My interlocutor is Maria Grabowska, who has been working as a guide in the open-air museum in Sanok for many years. She is an ethnographer, regonalist, a fantastic personality who very often guides our guests in the Sanok museum.


Maria Grabowska guiding in Sanok during Galicia Tour.


What Open-Air Museums Can Teach You about the Life of Your Ancestors?

Thursday, February 11th, 2021


This article was originally published in “Rodziny” – The Journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America, issued in winter 2021.


As a tour and research manager in PolishOrigins, one of my main tasks is to create itineraries
for our guests. I am an ethnologist and ethnographer by education, so for years I have been recommending everyone to visit open-air museums during their stay in Poland. In this article I seek to convince the readers of Rodziny, descendants of Polish emigrants, to do the same.

I remember the first time I visited an open-air museum; it was on a school trip when I was a kid.


The Museum of the Masovian Countryside in Sierpc.



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.




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.


The iconostasis in the orthodox church in Hańczowa. Source:


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.


The iconostasis in the orthodox church in Pielgrzymka. Source:


Nowy Sącz Ethnographic Park and The Galician Town

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Nowy Sącz Ethnographic Park is a presentation of the architecture collected from the area surrounding Nowy Sącz.


Wooden house in Nowy Sącz Ethnographic Park. Picture: Aga, PolishOrigins


Lipnica Murowana

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

St. Leonard Church and the wooden storey houses.

Lipnica Murowana is a calm, little town, located far off of the main roads. It is about 48 km (30 miles)  southeast of Kraków. The town is mostly noted for Saint Leonard’s Church, built in the end of the 15th century. This is one of the six Wooden Churches of Southern Lesser Poland, on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites . The church is hidden in the trees, a few steps from the village center, close to the Uszwica river.

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St. Leonard’s Church in Lipnica Murowana, Picture: Aga, PolishOrigins


Zalipie, the painted village

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Zalipie is located in northern Małopolska, about 68 km (42 miles) east of the regional capital Kraków. The village has a long lasting tradition of painted cottages.


The painted village of Zalipie, picture: Aga, PolishOrigins


The Koliba villa in Zakopane

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Zakopane became a famous Polish resort at the end of 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century, when many Polish artists had discovered the village in the surrounding Tatra mountains. The highlanders culture was their main inspiration. You can read the article about Zakopane here:

There is one building that deserves particular attention. It is located in the town center, near the oldest part of Zakopane.

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The Koliba willa in Zakopane. Picture: Aga, PolishOrigins


The Manor House Estate in Łopuszna

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Łopuszna is a village in Podhale, that lies near the Dunajec river, just a few kilometers from Nowy Targ. It is at the foot of the Gorce mountains, with spectacular views of Tatra Mountains.


Łopuszna manor house. Picture: PolishOrigins, Shellie’s blog: “Shellie’s Tour to Ancestral Places”.