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The Masovian Carnival

Another visit to the Liw Castle

overcast 5 °C

The wooden bridge to the Liw Castle

The wooden bridge to the Liw Castle

We found out about the traditional Masovian Carnival from Facebook. The performance took place in the Knights’ Hall of the Liw Castle located about thirty miles to the north of our home city in Poland. My Polish teacher and language teaching colleague (we both teach on behalf of a humanitarian foundation here in Siedlce) was so kind as to invite us to the carnival in Liw. Since there are no buses on Sunday, traveling to Liw by car was a great solution and a privilege for us.

The Masovian Carnival advertisement, Liw Castle

The Masovian Carnival advertisement, Liw Castle


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St.Leonard’s Church in Liw

First of all, we attended the mass at St.Leonard’s Church in Liw. I found out that St. Leonard of Noblac (486 – 559), also known as St.Leonard of Limousen, was the saint whose prayers brought about many miracles. He is the patron of political prisoners, imprisoned people, women in labor, and horses. His feast day is November 6.
I saw a memorial plaque located on the left wall of the church. The plaque commemorates the church founders. The inscription reads,

Holy Roman Church
When the Holy Father Pius X sat in the Peter's capital, during the reign of the brightest emperor of the All Russia and the Polish king Nicholas II, when Franciszek Leliwa Jaczewski was the Bishop of Lublin and the apostolic administrator of Podlasie, when Fr. Michał Bartnicki with the prelate of Liw, this church was founded with the funds of Stanisław Brogowicz from Trzebucz, by the efforts of Father Carol Leszczyński, this church dedicated to Saint Leonard was built in 1905-1907 and consecrated on August 24, 1910.
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There is another beautiful memorial plaque on the left wall right after the entrance door. It is dedicated to the first church dean. There is a photograph of the first pastor below the memorial plaque. The inscription in golden letters reads,

To the beloved pastor of the Liw parish in 1903-1936,
Fr. Prelate Karol Rafał Leszczynski, the co-founder of the church,
who was born in Warsaw on October 19, 1875 and died in Liw on June 26, 1936,
on the 50th anniversary of his death.

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After the mass, we met the carnival musicians at the church entrance. We stood there for a while listening to their music and songs, and then took part in the colorful procession through the village. We headed for the Liw Castle, where the performance took place at the Knights’ Hall.

Our carnival procession to the castle in Liw

Our carnival procession to the castle in Liw

The musician belonged to two teams: the WoWaKin Trio and Duże Mazurki z Pragi (“Large Mazurek Cakes from Prague District”) from Prague Cultural Center in Warsaw.
Entering the castle gate, we saw the exhibition inside the tower.

The entrance gate exhibition, Liw Castle

The entrance gate exhibition, Liw Castle


The Knights' Hall in Liw Castle

The Knights' Hall in Liw Castle



We thought it was an oriental carpet (the lower picture). In fact, it’s a carpet-sized piece of crimson atlas and it is called Turkish Makata. It underwent intensive maintenance and restoration of the fabric, therefore, according to the museum director, its former glory was restored, and the destructive processes were stopped. Makata is a silk masterpiece embroidered with metal gold-and-silver thread. It was probably created in the 18th and 19th centuries. The masterpiece delights you wit its tassels and rich plant-and-animal ornaments bringing us back to the distant times when the Ottoman Empire flourished.

Waiting for the start of the performance in the Knights Hall, Liw Castle

Waiting for the start of the performance in the Knights Hall, Liw Castle

During the concert and after it, all spectators were treated with home-made biscuits, which was a great carnival treat, as promised in the carnival advertisement on Facebook.

The WoWaKin Trio during the Masovian Carnival in Liw Castle

The WoWaKin Trio during the Masovian Carnival in Liw Castle

The musicians from WoWaKin Trio: Paula Kinaszewska, Bartłomiej Woźniak and Mateusz Wachowiak worked wonders with their instrumental and vocal performance full of passion and improvisation. The team’s name is a combination of the first syllables of their last names: WOźniak, WAchowiak, KINaszewska. They call themselves “a musical triangle”. Their music is an exploration of explore the roots of the Polish village dances.
During the performance, the musicians invited the spectators to join in dancing because such music is not just for listening, but for the common dancing fun. One of the musicisn acted as a dance teacher and showed the simple movements. It was a lot of fun indeed.

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Duże Mazurki z Pragi from Prague Cultural Center in Warsaw

Having fun during the Masovian Carnival in Liw Castle

Having fun during the Masovian Carnival in Liw Castle

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We saw the monument to Princess Anna of Masovia in the countyard of the castle. The memorial plaque contains the inscription that reads,

Princess Anna of Masovia from the Radziwiłłów Family, 1476-1522, the mother of the last Masovian princes from the Piast dynasty – Janusz and Stanisław, benefactor of the church and the castle in Liw, passed away on March 23, 1522, and was buried in the St. Anna’s Church in Warsaw, where the funeral procession wandered from Liw for seven days.

After the performance, we had some time to take a look at the exhibition on the second floor of the museum and saw this great canvas.

«Oriental Scene. Hunting with grayhounds», a painting by Tadeusz Ajdukiewicz, Liw Castle

«Oriental Scene. Hunting with grayhounds», a painting by Tadeusz Ajdukiewicz, Liw Castle

«Oriental Scene. Hunting with grayhounds», a painting by Tadeusz Ajdukiewicz (1852 — 1916), the famous Polish representative of the Munich School, and the pupil of Jézef Brandt. Tadeusz Ajdukiewicz made a brilliant career as an author of royal and high society portraits. In 1894, he was a guest of the turkish sultan Abdilhamid II. The theme of the painting might have been inspired by his memories of that stay in Turkey. It was painted in 1911.

We took a look at the Armory Museum exhibition, Liw Castle

We took a look at the Armory Museum exhibition, Liw Castle

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We found out more about the history of the castle from the museum information board.
The construction of the defensive castle in Liw began at the beginning of the 15th century. Masovian princes Janusz I the Elder, who ordered the architect Niklos to build a stone stronghold in place of the old wood-and-earth stronghold on the artificial island in the middle of the marsh land. The Liwiec River marked the boundaries between the two states: the Masovian Principality and the Grand Lithuanian Principality. The castle was expanded under Prince Boleslaw IV (1437) and Princess Anna of Masovia (1511). At the end of the 14th century, the town of Liw appeared.

In the years 1547-1556, Queen Bona managed the castle managed and ordered to increase the tower. The defensive walls surrounded two houses: the Big House and the Smaller House. The castle was captured twice by the Swedes in 1656 during the notorious Swedish Deluge and in 1703 during the Northern War. The castle was seriously damaged due to those invasions. Gradually it lost its military properties and fulfilled only administrative functions. In 1869, Liw was lost city rights.

In 1782, a Baroque manor was erected on the foundations of a Gothic house, and served as a municipality office until the first half of the 19th century. In 1963, the Armoury Museum was opened in that manor.

Otto Warpechowski memorial plaque at the entrance to the Armory Museum in Liw Castle

Otto Warpechowski memorial plaque at the entrance to the Armory Museum in Liw Castle

During the World War II, the Nazis planned to remove the ruins. The monument was saved by a Polish archaeologist Otto Warpechowski. He was an archaeologist who misled the German mayor Ernst Gramms by convincing him that the castle in Liw had been built by the Teutonic knights. As a result, the invaders abandoned the planned demolition of the ruins and even ordered Warpechowski to supervise the reconstruction of the fortress. In 1944, they started doubting the version of the castle history given by the young Pole, therefore he had to hide. On February 5, 1945 , in the village of Paczuski, the 28-year-old Otto Warpechowski was killed by a Soviet officer, who took him for a German spy. Today, he is honored as the hero of the Liw Castle.

The renovation work was carried out after the war in 1955-61. Eugeniusz Leszczyriski, Marian Jakubik and Jan Klemm took part in this work.

Visiting the Liw Castle

Visiting the Liw Castle

The Yellow Lady named Ludwika became the spirit of the castle in Liw. According to the legend, her husband was the castle commander. One day he offered Ludwika two diamond rings that disappeared one by one. The jealous officer suspected his wife of infidelity an offered her the third ring — just to see what would happen next. When the third ring disappeared, the castle commander sued his wife, and she was sentenced to death by beheading. After the execution, the rings were found in the nests of magpies. From that time on, a ghost in a yellow dress was allegedly seen on the castle grounds, reminding the people of the death of an innocent lady. According to the museum guide, the image of the Yellow Lady - painted by nature - hangs at the entrance to the stairs, and the trace of the butcher’s sword can be seen on a stone in the courtyard.

The entire performance can be seen on Facebook

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Posted by Vic_IV 17:56 Archived in Poland Tagged the river ; masovian liw_castle; siedlce; carvival zapusty; liwiec

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Comments

Wow this place has everything - a festival, an interesting history and even a ghost. Sounds like a fascinating place to visit.

by irenevt

Yes, indeed, Irene. We are planning another visit in spring, just to find out more interesting things about the place and to take a look at the nearby sights.Thanks for reading and commenting!

by Vic_IV

looks like fun!

by Ils1976

Ils, we enjoyed every minute of it. But we were too shy to join in dancing. It was a real folk dance learning lesson, and many visitors of the performance joined and had much fun...

by Vic_IV

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