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The Forest Area Sights

Korczew, Sarnaki, Grabarka, Siemiatycze

sunny 22 °C

Visiting the Korczew Palace at last

Visiting the Korczew Palace at last

We had read about Korczew and its palace before, and we were glad to get an opportunity of visiting this place during our day trip to Drohiczyn. The village of Korczew in Siedlce County has the population of about 700 inhabitants. It is located about 20 miles to the north-east of Siedlce.

The Koczew Palace information center

The Koczew Palace information center


Visiting the Korczew Palace

Visiting the Korczew Palace

First of all, we visited the palace information located in front of the entrance to the palace. Then we entered the palace area through the main gate. We saw the palace was under renovation after the fire. We went to see the greenhouse, and then went for a walk in the palace park until we reached the Menhir Stone. Then we went to see Siberia Manor.

Visiting the Korczew Palace

Visiting the Korczew Palace

Visiting the Korczew Palace_The Greenhouse

Visiting the Korczew Palace_The Greenhouse

The Menhir Stone
We found out about this stone from the information board. This cult stone dates back to the pre-Christian times. Such places are called areas with particularly high and positive radiation. The ancient stone was probably found in the local forest. The legend has it that this is a place of power, and anyone who makes a wish (just one) and touches the stone, will have his or her dream come true.
Our ancestors usually located cult centers in such places. A similar role was played by the "holy oak" in nearby Tokary or the "place of power" in the Białowieża Forest.

Visiting the Menhir Stone in the palace park, Korczew

Visiting the Menhir Stone in the palace park, Korczew

Even in the early Middle Ages, there were sacred groves in vast forests, which were particularly revered religiously. In those times, altars were built and fires were lit on forest hills, at the foot of old oaks or near stones.
The Proto-Slavics were the followers of animism. They saw spirituality in natural phenomena. They worshipped animals, plants, but also boulders, the earth and atmospheric phenomena.
The cult of deities consisted of prayers, sacrifices, common feasts and fortune-telling. The mediator between the deity and people was the priest - a beggar. After pronouncing the prayers, the priest made a sacrifice called shale. The oldest offerings to deities included the so-called first fruits, that is, the first slaughtered animal, the harvested fruit or mushrooms.

During a walk in the palace park, Korczew

During a walk in the palace park, Korczew

Siberia Manor
Architect Franciszek Jaszczołd designed Siberia Manor 200 years ago. A hundred years later, the owners of Siberia expanded it significantly. The name Siberia probably comes from the fact that in winter, walking there from the palace seemed almost like traveling to Russia’s North. Another version of the origin of the manor name says that once the Russian occupation authorities used the manor dungeons to detain prisoners.
After World War II, most of the historic buildings in Korczew were in poor condition. Then the palace became a ruin because no one took care of it. The park became overgrown.

Siberia Manor, Korczew

Siberia Manor, Korczew


Siberia Manor, Korczew

Siberia Manor, Korczew

Korczew Minicipality

Korczew Minicipality

After the World War II, Siberia housed a bakery, and later a commune office. Thank Goodness, the building had always been well-kept. Unfortunately, someone set it on fire in 1993. The owners repaired most of the damage, but lacked money for the entire renovation. The European Union allotted funds to help the society renovate Siberia.
Now there is an exhibition called “Interpretations” on the ground floor of the manor. It tells us the history of the park and palace complex.

The Palace fire information board

The Palace fire information board

The “Interpretations” Exhibition also has some information about the Palace fire. In November 2021, a fire caused by an electrical short circuit consumed the roof of the palace and caused extensive damage to the first floor. More than 200 firefighters participated in the rescue operation. The wainscoting, stucco and paintings on the ground floor survived, but valuable collection of English furniture and paintings burned down. The reconstruction is financed by the insurance funds. Thanks to the support of 466 donors, it is planned to recreate historical values that are not covered by the policy.

Trianon
To the north of the palace there is an annexe called Trianon or Tryjan, which takes its name from the palace located in Versailles. The building dates back to the second half of the 18th century, although at the beginning of the 19th century it was rebuilt by Jaszczołd in the neo-Gothic style. Originally it served as a theater and orangery.
In the 1920s, Krystyn Ostrowski lent Trianon to the parish in Knychówek as a chapel for the village of Korczew. It still serves this function today.

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We also found out about the historical trail of the Miracle on the Bug: Drohiczyn - Frankopol — Skrzeszew — Korczew - Siedlce
Stop 2 - Korczew
Under the influence of the threat of invasion by the Red Army, on July 1, 1920, the Sejm (the Polish Parliament) passed an act on the establishment of the State Defense Council, composed of representatives of the parliament, government and the Supreme Command under the leadership of the Chief of State, Józef Piłsudski. At the first meeting, the ROP (the State Defense Council) adopted a resolution on the formation of the Volunteer Army. On July 3, a proclamation to the nation was issued. It read, “Citizens of the Republic of Poland! Your homeland is in need! It calls upon all those who are able to bear arms to volunteer to join the army.»
The young volunteers from Korczew joined the Army under the command of Major Feliks Jaworski. The following people perished in the fights against the Bolsheviks: Stanisław Demiańczuk, Antoni Kwiczak, Czesław Tołsty, Telesfor Roszuk, Stanisław Dropia, Henryk Bogaj, Ludwik Lipka, Władysław Urban, Jan Michalak, Wacław Rosłan, Bronisław Omielańczuk, Tadeusz Tyborowski, Aleksander Wasilewski, Jan Dobrowolski. Honor their memory.

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The town of Sarnaki was our next stopover. We visited a very impressive war memorial dedicated to Operation V2 and found out a lot about it.
Home Army in Operation V2
We learnt about Operation V2 from the information board that stands opposite the memorial. According to the information board, already in 1939, right after the occupation of Gdańsk, Hitler publicly boasted about a new, "miraculous" weapon. He meant rocket weapons that were in the planning phase. The main center producing these weapons was the Peenemünde health resort on the island of Uznam. After the bombing, thanks to information from Polish intelligence, on the night of August 17-18, 1943, the factory was moved to a center near Kohnstein in Thuringia. The first V2 rockets with a length of about 14 m, a diameter of 1.8 m and a total weight of 12,700 kg left the plants on New Year's Day 1944. The spring of that year was the time when The Germans began testing that weapon. The launchers were moved to the village of Blizna Pustków near Dębica. The first missiles were fired in mid-April 1944, most of them exploded in the air and only a few exploded on the ground.

Operation V2 memorial, Sarnaki

Operation V2 memorial, Sarnaki

At that time, the inhabitants of Sarnaki noticed the increased movement of German troops in their town. The local school was inhabited by German troops, who at regular intervals set out to the surrounding meadows to collect the remains of V-2 rockets. Initially, everything went according to the German plan. Missiles fired from Blizna, after traveling about 350 km, exploded near Sarnaki, and the information about the trajectory and accuracy of the flight was analyzed by the Germans in order to use this Wunderwaffe (the Wonder Weapon) in the future to change the fate of World War II. Their plans were thwarted by the Home Army, which, with the help of the local population, took over the unexploded bomb and, after dismantling it, transported it to England. It all started when, on May 20, one of the shells, without exploding, hit the riverside marshes of the Bug River, near the village of Kózki. This time, the partisans from the 22nd Infantry Regiment were the first to reach the site of the fall. The Home Army, with the help of local people, masked the rocket with riverside rushes (this situation is faithfully reproduced by the monument next to the plaque). Then at night they arrived with two teams and, despite initial problems, after breaking the rocket into two pieces, they managed to bring it to the surface. The next stage of the action was to transport both pieces at night to the nearby town of Hołowczyce Kolonia, to the barn of one of the local farmers. After a few days, when it was ensured that the extraction of the missile had gone smoothly, specialists arrived and removed the most important parts. They were transported to Warsaw by car. They were hidden under potatoes. Then, these elements were sent on July 25, 1944, from the "Motyl" airstrip near Tarnów, to England.

Operation V2 memorial, Sarnaki

Operation V2 memorial, Sarnaki

The units of the 22nd Infantry Regiment of the Home Army were engaged in the direct extraction of the rocket, while the neighboring unit of the 34th Infantry Regiment of the Home Army under the command of Major "Zenon" was tasked with patrolling the nearby forests and distracting the Germans from the action. On May 27, Polish partisans clashed with German troops in the forests between Mierzwice and Hołowczyce. Despite the overwhelming enemy forces, the partisan unit retreated towards the village of Hołowczyce, Unfortunately, one of the partisans "Słuchawka" was seriously injured and died on the way to the medical aid station near the town of Litewniki. At the same time, the partisans "Henryk" and "Bomba", who were covering the operation of transporting the wounded, found themselves in an extremely difficult situation, while fighting the Germans. The partisans try to escape into the forest, unfortunately "Bomba" receives a heavy shot and, in order not to fall into German hands, he uses the last bullet for himself...
Ultimately, during the operation to extract the V2 weapon, "Zenon's" unit loses two partisans. It was about them, as well as their colleagues from the Home Army and the heroic local, often anonymous population, that the British writer B. Newman wrote, "They saved London." Honor their memory !

Downtown Sarnaki

Downtown Sarnaki

After visiting the WWII memorial, we went to see the church.

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Visiting St.Stanislaw Cathedral, Sarnaki
The entrance door of St.Stanislaw Cathedral is massive and impressive

The entrance door of St.Stanislaw Cathedral is massive and impressive


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The old chapel that stands next to the newly built church.

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We saw the monument to Saint John of Nepomuk, who is very revered here. He is the patron saint of Jesuits and confessors. The figure on the Tuscan column, made of sandstone, was placed on June 18, 1874, on the outskirts of Sarnaki on the so-called St. John’s Hill. As a result of leveling the area, it was moved in a solemn procession to the church grounds organized by Fr. Dr. Bolesław Kulawik and after two years, in 1968, it was placed on its current pedestal. It was renovated in 2019.

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Szymon and Joanna Bader memorial stone

Szymon and Joanna Bader memorial stone was installed in 1827. It seems like a tombstone. I could read that Joanna lived 42 years and died in 1824, whereas her husband died in 1827. I could also read that the stone was installed by their relatives: Tomasz Bader and Elżbieta Kitajewska nee Bader in January 1827.

Grabarka

We visited the Holy Mountain and the church that stands on the territory of the convent.

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The water well at the convent, Grabarka Holy Mountain

The church is a monument protected by law, Siemiatycze County. The full name of the Orthodox convent is St.Martha and St.Mary’s Convent on the Grabarka Holy Mountain. According to the memorial plaque, it was created in 1947 with the blessing of Reverend Timothy, the Archbishop of Białystok and Bielsk. Schema-Nun Maria (Sofia Komstadius née Niekludow) was the first abbess of the convent.
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development / Europe investing in rural areas / Rural development program for 2007-2013 / Siemiatycze Municipality

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As you climb the hill, you will see a huge area filled with wooden crosses. It's not a cemetery, but a pilgrims' memorial.
Those are crosses brought here by numerous Orthodox pilgrims.
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Entering the church on the convent territory
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Visiting St.Martha and St.Mary’s Convent on the Grabarka Holy Mountain
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The Podlasie Crown Palace, Siemiatycze

The Podlasie Crown Palace, Siemiatycze


We paid a visit to the Podlasie Crown Castle - a characteristic building in the shape of a medieval castle, built by one man - Jerzy Korowicki, a deputy of the municipality council of Siemiatycze, who found a passion for stones. He started the construction of the castle in 2007, and it lasted for several years. It was expanded with recreational gazebos, a moat, and a pier.

At the Podlasie Crown Palace, Siemiatycze

At the Podlasie Crown Palace, Siemiatycze


Smok the Dragon at the Podlasie Crown Palace, Siemiatycze

Smok the Dragon at the Podlasie Crown Palace, Siemiatycze


Lunch tables at the Podlasie Crown Castle, Siemiatycze

Lunch tables at the Podlasie Crown Castle, Siemiatycze


There is an inscription from the old cafe of Jerzy Korowicki and his wife Dorota – “Przystan Polone” - the cafe that they ran in Siemiatycze. They closed down their cafe and brought the old cafe sign to the castle area, where it found its new place above the gazebo. I was privileged to meet Mr.Korowicki himself, who was “on duty” at the entrance door.

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At the entrance to the Podlasie Crown Palace, Siemiatycze

There is no point in trying to pull out the sword, because it is sealed in the scabbard. I understood it as a symbol of eternal peace that does not depend on the will of a separate "well-wisher". Peace is something we are all called upon to preserve and to value.

Walking along Love Alley to the Podlasie Crown Palace, Siemiatycze

Walking along Love Alley to the Podlasie Crown Palace, Siemiatycze


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At the Podlasie Crown Palace, Siemiatycze

There is a spacious parking lot. It is a tourist attraction not only of the Siemiatycze region, but also of Podlasie Voivodship. Perhaps it is the only such facility in Poland.
The castle is located between the villages of Anusin and Olendry, in Siemiatycze Commune. You can reach it by the provincial road No. 640 (Siemiatycze - state border).

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At the Podlasie Crown Palace, Siemiatycze
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The flag of Siemiatycze Municipality at the castle
At the top of the Podlasie Crown Palace, Siemiatycze

At the top of the Podlasie Crown Palace, Siemiatycze


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Posted by Vic_IV 19:34 Archived in Poland Tagged masovia mazovia siedlce oginski

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Comments

So much to see in Poland. I love the wooden buildings.

by irenevt

I agree with you, Irene! We keep admiring those wooden buildings that are numerous in each town or village.

by Vic_IV

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