Villages in the Rudawy Janowickie
Rudawy Janowickie Mountains
tourism, mystery, dreams...

Trzcińsko

Trzcińsko

360-400 m above sea level

Situated at an altitude of around 360-400 m above sea level, this village stretches along the charming Bóbr river valley at the foot of the Sokole Mountains, and lies near Janowice Wielkie and Wojanów.

Because of its location, the village has become a major centre of rock climbing and bouldering. The place has very well-developed training facilities and a wide selection of accommodation.

Right in the middle of Trzcińsko the beautifully restored Black Madonna of Częstochowa Church catches visitors' attention. It was constructed as an Evangelical church in 1799.

The Trzcińsko train station (on the route between Jelenia Góra and Wrocław) lies about 10 minutes' walk from the actual village.

Trzcińsko was most probably established in the late 14th century as a knight's property. Afterwards it developed thanks to peat extraction from the nearby Trzcińsko Wetlands, and constituted an important peat centre. Currently the Trzcińsko Wetlands form an area with rare and protected plant and mushroom species, and there are plans for the wetlands to become a nature reserve. The entire wetland area is an unquestioned natural landscape attraction.

There used to be a palace in Trzcińsko, and all that is left today is part of the outbuildings. Sokolec "Falcon Rock" castle was also erected in the vicinity, the remains of its wall all there is to be seen. A defensive castle from the Middle Ages is also known of; it probably stood on Trzmielak hill. Traces of the castle were still to be found there in the 19th century. It was called the "Hummelschloss", taken from the Slavonic surname Homola or Homole, and this name survived through to Polish times.

History

Trzcińsko is believed to have been established around the turn of the 15th century, although the lack of documentation means the dates given for the village's genesis vary somewhat. What is certain is that it was a knights' village. The cemetery walls still bear knights' coats of arms, reminding one of times gone by. Trzcińsko never was a wealthy village. Its people tilled the soil, weaved at home, or worked in other crafts. But it was the Trzcińsko Wetlands which brought in the greatest revenue. The 19th century made Trzcińsko a major peat excavation centre. The main extractors were the manor and 6 farmers, who employed approximately 96 workers, and supplied the market with 1.85 million cubes of peat each year.

This all contributed significantly to the village's growth; new inns were opened, the court tavern was built. The years 1865-67 were a breakthrough for Trzcińsko. Construction of the tunnel beneath Trzmielak, linking Jelenia Góra to Janowice Wielkie, was completed, and its opening was marked by a sumptuous celebration. An orchestra played as the proud procession, carrying torches, marched through the 305-metre-long corridor bored through the rock. When the railway reached here and a station was built, the village's location among the scenic rocks and mountains made it a good base for tourists. And that was when the choice of accommodation slowly began to grow.

In the 19th century Trzcińsko functioned as a holiday resort with the appropriate infrastructure and hotel accommodation:

- a spa (with accommodation and offering various treatments) was located in an old villa by the main road from Trzcińsko to Janowice Wielkie; today it is a distinctive residence with turrets and half-timbered walls

- a hotel by the main Trzcińsko-Karpniki road (when leaving Trzcińsko), currently serving as flats

- the court inn, which had 6 places for wearied mountain hikers; in the 1990s the inn was pulled down, and currently in it place is the "Sokolik" holiday farm; a cross stands at the roadside in front of it

- there was a restaurant and hotel in the building currently housing a shop

- according to verbal accounts from Germans living in Trzcińsko before WWII, there were 3 pubs in the village

In addition the village had two large halls used for dances and wedding receptions, etc.. One of them functions to this day on the first floor of the building with the shop. The other no longer exists, and was probably attached to the court tavern.

The Church's fortunes

In the 15th century the people of Trzcińsko did not have a church in their village or a place of burial, and as such flocked to the nearby Houses of God in Janowice Wielkie, Maciejowa and Wojanów. Most of them were of the Evangelical faith. In 1742, Leopold von Borowitz, owner of the estate in Trzcińsko, allocated a patch of his land as a site for burial, a fact confirmed with his family stamp. Before long the imperial powers in Wrocław granted permission for a cemetery chapel to be erected, and this became a place for people to meet in prayer. However, the problem was still unresolved, as the populace still had to cover the distance to the nearby churches.

Along came the year 1799 when the property passed into the hands of Baron von Pfeil's family, who organised the funds to build a church, and the acceptance granted by the president of Wrocław made it possible to lay the foundation stone for the future church. Building work took some 7 months, with the residents of as many as 12 villages in the vicinity helping in its erection. In 1800 the furnishing of the church with an altar, bells and benches began, and the parsonage was built. The organs, a delight to the ears to this day, were a gift from a resident of Mniszków village. Pastor L. Reymann published the church chronicles to mark its 100th anniversary. The church remained Evangelical up until 1952, when it was converted to Roman Catholic, and in 1965 Cardinal Stanisław Wyszyński granted it the title of the Chapel of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa.

A few decades passed, and the church began falling into disrepair, and the absence of appropriate repair work almost led to the loss of this historical building. Thanks to the relentlessness of a group of Trzcińsko residents, a "Parish Committee" was established in 1989, under the leadership of Helena Szczepańska. Through years of hard work and incredible determination, the funds were secured for carrying out renovation work, and the church was restored to its former splendour.

The truth about Carl Bädeker of Trzcińsko

Most tourist information publications, brochures, chronicles and geographical lexicons which describe Trzcińsko give false information regarding Carl Bädeker, and the story is still being copied. According to this disinformation, the Trzcińsko Palace was home to a certain Klara Stryowska of Gdańsk and her husband, Bädeker, author of the famous travel guides commonly known as "Baedekers". The palace's owners, as well as the owners of the landed properties of Janowice and Miedzianka for over 100 years (until 1945), were in fact the Stolberg family. Although a certain Carl Bädeker did indeed reside in this palace, he was a nephew of the famous guide book writer; his parents had named him after his well-known uncle.

This younger Carl's sister, Klara Stryowska, went to live with her brother following the death of her husband, who had been a painter and museum curator in Gdańsk. Their father, Gustaw, was a brother of the famous guide book author, and as an architect supervised – among other works – the construction of the railway station in Jelenia Góra. Carl Bädeker (the nephew) had been working in China as an architect, erecting many important and significant buildings, and had made quite a fortune. However, during the First World War he was forced to leave China as a repatriate, lost his fame and fortune, and moved to Trzcińsko where he and his sister lived in the palace as tenants. While in Trzcińsko he became particularly fond of the natural scenery, and was a keen photographer – hence his postcards on display in the Jelenia Góra Museum. Carl's sister Klara Stryowska died in 1938, and was buried alongside her husband in their family tomb in Gdańsk. Carl moved to Germany following the Second World War, and died at the age of 94 in the year 1958.

Local mementos – Homole and Sokolec "Falcon Stone" castles

Sokolec – a robbers' nest. The castle ruins are situated on the north-western slopes of Krzyżna Mountain, at an altitude of around 630 m above sea level. Little is known of the castle's history, and it was believed following archaeological digs in 1904 that there had initially been a stronghold here, which was dated to the 8th century.

Princess Marianna, wife of Duke William of Prussia, began showing interest in the ruins in the first half of the 19th century, and she set about putting the surrounding land to use. A cross was installed on a rock above the castle on her orders, and it bears the inscription: "The cross's blessing for William, his descendents, and the entire valley". Princess Marianna ordered the casting of the cross at the Royal Foundry in Gliwice. It weighs 40 hundredweight (i.e. about 2 tons) and comprises three parts. The column protrudes 21 feet (about 6.3 m) above the granite rock which it is deeply set into, while its horizontal bar spans 18 feet (approx. 5.4 m).

A viewpoint was established on the neighbouring rock, while steps were carved up to both points. The ruins then were larger, and even cellars of some kind were described. In 1904, following archaeological digs, the remaining ruins were cleared of rubble. Only a fragment of the castle wall can be seen today. A defensive castle from the Middle Ages is also known to have existed, probably on Trzmielak hill. Traces of the castle were still to be found in the 19th century. It was called "Hummelschloss", from the Slavonic name Homola or Homole, and this name survived into Polish times.

 

Translation Jonathan Weber

Sources:

1. „Słownik geografii turystycznej Sudetów. Rudawy Janowickie". Red. M. Staffa. Wyd. I-BIS. Wrocław 1998.

2. „Przyroda Sudetów Zachodnich", tom 2. Red. A. Paczos. Wyd. Muzeum Przyrodnicze w Jeleniej Górze. Jelenia Góra 1999.

3. "Dolina Zamków i Ogrodów. Kotlina Jeleniogórska - wspólne dziedzictwo". Red. O. Czerner, A. Herzig. Muzeum Okręgowe w Jeleniej Górze. Berlin i Jelenia Góra 2003

4. B. Guerquin. „Zamki w Polsce".

5. Manuscript of Dora Puschmann nee Ende.

6. Materials and accounts of the inhabitants of Trzcińsko and the vicinity.

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