Viewpoints: rocks, towers, mountain peaks
Rudawy Janowickie Mountains
tourism, mystery, dreams...

Starościńskie Skały [Starost’s Wife’s Rocks]

Long, long ago, when kings ruled the Earth and princesses’ dreams came true, the owners of the nearby Karpniki Palace at the foot of the Rudawy Janowickie mountains became gripped by the day’s fashion for creating gardens reflecting the spirit of romanticism.

The lord and lady of the palace were Duke Wilhelm of Prussia, brother of King Frederick William III, and Princess Maria Anna (Marianna). The extensive park and palace grounds were then laid out, merging subtly into the natural landscape together with architectural elements naturally immersed within it. The works embraced beautiful creations of nature itself, including the Starost’s Wife’s Rocks. Because of their picturesque setting, they were known as the “Mariannenfels”, and brass letters forming this name in honour of Princess Maria Anna were placed into the rocks.
Steps were also carved into the rock to make them easier to visit, benches were installed, and a lion was set on one of the rock ledges. Cast in iron, the animal was designed by Rauch of Berlin. With its stony countenance, he kept a close watch over his patch, but sadly only for so long… The years passed by, the kings were no more, and the world changed along with this magical rocky place. The brass letters were stolen, and today only traces suggesting their shadows on the rock recalls their presence.

As for the lion, it continued to “sleep” there apparently up until the 1970s. Some accounts talk of it having been removed to Złotniki Lubańskie and placed near the entrance tunnel to the dam. But is this true? Appropriate expertise would resolve any contention, although the similarity is striking…
It would undoubtedly be a good thing for the lion to return to his rightful ledge in the Starost’s Wife’s Rocks, so he could once again look proudly over his realm.

Translation Jonathan Weber