22 February 2014
Sobański Palace is a Renaissance Revival palace in Guzów, Żyrardów County, Mazovian Voivodeship, Poland.The Polish nobleman Andrzej Ogiński (father of composer Michał Kleofas Ogiński) originally built a brick manor on the Guzów site. During the second half of the nineteenth century, on the order of Feliks Sobański, architect Władysław Hirszel rebuilt the manor house into a grand palace, modelling it on French Loire Valley castles. A landscaped garden designed by Walerian Kronenberg and Franciszek Szanior was built next to the house.During the First World War the palace was used as a front line hospital, and was virtually destroyed, along with its garden. During the interwar period, it was rebuilt, but after the Second World War the palace was looted for its decorations and furnishings. Later, the palace was used as accommodation for a local sugar factory’s employees. In 1992, the Sobański family regained possession of the palace complex.
After many years of dereliction, the house is in a poor condition, and the garden is overgrown with thickets. The old palace chapel (now the Church of St Felix de Valois), along with a section of the garden, is the only part of the property that has been restored.
20 January 2014
Kraków is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life and is one of Poland’s most important economic hubs. It was the capital of Poland from 1038 to 1569; the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1569 to 1596; Free City of Kraków from 1815 to 1846; the Grand Duchy of Cracow from 1846 to 1918; and Kraków Voivodeship from the 14th century to 1999. It is now the capital of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship.
7 November 2013
The Crooked Forest ,is a grove of oddly-shaped pine trees located outside Nowe Czarnowo, West Pomerania, Poland.This grove of approximately 400 pines was planted around 1930, when its location was still within the German province of Pomerania. It is generally believed that some form of human tool or technique was used to make the trees grow this way, but the method and motive are not currently known.
Some believe that the woods was deliberately grown this way to make “Compass Timbers”, or trees that are deliberately shaped for the purpose of using those odd shapes in ship building. Long straight timbers were great for planking, but sometimes odd shapes were needed for the internal structure and support of a ship.
15 September 2013
Although currently living in the United States, crochet artist Olek recently returned to her native country of Poland for an epic project. Over the course of two straight (and rainy) days, Olek and her team of four assistants ‘yarn bombed’ an entire locomotive with two freight cars in tow. Olek had already crocheted many of the panels beforehand but they still had to be assembled to cover the train.
The team worked through the night to pull off the massive undertaking, debuting the crocheted train on July 13th. It will be on display in Lodz, Poland, until August 19th. The project was done in collaboration with the city and was authorized. She calls the piece ‘Deadly Romance’.
1 May 2013
The salt deposit in Wieliczka formed in the Miocene Epoch, 13.6 million years ago. The Miocene period abounded in substantial transformations in the geological structure of the Earth’s crust. As a result of colliding tectonic plates new mountain ranges were formed, among them – the Carpathians. In the rift located in their foreground, known as the pre-Carpathian basin, a huge sea was formed. It constituted a northern branch of the Tethys Ocean named so in the modern days to honour a character from the Greek mythology – Thetys, a wife to Titan Okeanos. Various types of rock sedimented in the reservoir, rock salt layers formed as well.
Salt deposits formed in many parts of this huge reservoir. Deposit formation processes were connected with cyclical changes of the water level and shoreline as well as submarine landslides and flows occurring in parallel. The reservoir also received varied amounts of terrigenous material – claystone, silt, and sand. The salts precipitating in the shallower shelf areas of the basin partly dissolved and eroded. Drifting to the open sea, they crystallised again.
The Wieliczka deposit formed over the period of approximately twenty thousand years. It owes its final shape to the orogeny which resulted in accumulation of salt deposits causing a several-fold increase in their original thickness. This action had also this effect that they were elevated to the surface thanks to which, millions years later, exploitation of the deposits could be started easily.
Presently, the Wieliczka rock salt deposit stretches latitudinally over the area of almost 10 kilometres. Its width extends from several hundred metres to 1.5 km and it is located at the depth reaching from approximately 30 m to approximately 330 metres below the surface of land.
Photos by Adam Kumiszcza,teachandlearn on Flickr and steve_w on Flickr.
30 April 2013
From the outside, Wieliczka Salt Mine doesn’t look extraordinary. It looks extremely well kept for a place that hasn’t minded any salt for over ten years but apart from that it looks ordinary. However, over two hundred meters below ground it holds an astonishing secret. This is the salt mine that became an art gallery, cathedral and underground lake.
Everything in these breathtaking mines is made from salt, including the chandeliers. The rock salt that was excavated was dissolved, mixed with impurities, giving it a glass-like appearance. This was used to create several beautiful chandeliers that now adorn the roof of the mines. The mines have received over one million visitors and the numbers are rising. Less than one percent of the mine is actually open to visitors, for safety reasons. Wieliczka is a small town located in the Krakow area, with a population of around 20,000. The town is connected by a bus service, and not too difficult to reach.
Many of the artefacts within the mines would have taken miners years, even decades to complete. This is one must-visit destination if you happen to be visiting Poland.
Come back tomorrow for more amazing photos of the Wieliczka Salt Mine !
Photos by Gauss2 on Flickr,Andrzej G,Adam Kumiszcza and teachandlearn on Flickr.
29 April 2013
Poland’s Underground Salt Cathedral is Located 135 meters (443 ft) underground is the famous Wieliczka Salt Mine in southern Poland. Entered into the UNESCO First World Heritage List in 1978, it was also proclaimed a Historical Monument by the President of the Republic of Poland in 1994. The mine is located in the town of Wieliczka and is within the Kraków metropolitan area.
The mine, built in the 13th century, produced table salt continuously until 2007, as one of the world’s oldest salt mines still in operation. Commercial mining was discontinued in 1996 due to low salt prices and mine flooding. Now a museum, the mine’s attractions include dozens of statues, three chapels and an entire cathedral that has been carved out of the rock salt by the miners. The oldest sculptures are augmented by the new carvings by contemporary artists. About 1.2 million people visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine annually.
The mine is a product of work of tens of generations of miners, a monument to the history of Poland and to the Polish nation. Below you will find a gallery of the mine along with additional information about its history.
The Wieliczka salt mine reaches a depth of 327 metres (1,073 ft) and is over 287 kilometres (178 mi) long. The rock salt is naturally gray in various shades, resembling unpolished granite rather than the white or crystalline look that many visitors may expect. During World War II, the shafts were used by the occupying Germans as an ad-hoc facility for various war-related industries. The mine features an underground lake; and the new exhibits on the history of salt mining, as well as a 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) touring route (less than 2% of the length of the mine’s passages) that includes historic statues and mythical figures carved out of rock salt in distant past. More recent sculptures have been fashioned by contemporary artists.
The Wieliczka mine is often referred to as “the Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland.” In 1978 it was placed on the original UNESCO list of the World Heritage Sites.Even the crystals of the chandeliers are made from rock salt that has been dissolved and reconstituted to achieve a clear, glass-like appearance. It also houses a private rehabilitation and wellness complex. Also the Wieliczka was one of World 12 Tourism rankings.
There is a legend about Princess Kinga, associated with the Wieliczka mine. The Hungarian noble was about to be married to Boleslaw V the Chaste, the Prince of Kraków. As part of her dowry, she asked her father for a lump of salt, since salt was prizeworthy in Poland. Her father King Béla took her to a salt mine in Maramures. She threw her engagement ring from Boleslaw in one of the shafts before leaving for Poland. On arriving in Kraków, she asked the miners to dig a deep pit until they come upon a rock. The people found a lump of salt in there and when split it in two, discovered the princess’s ring. Kinga had thus become the patron saint of salt miners in and around the capital.
Come back tomorrow for more amazing photos of the Wieliczka Salt Mine !
Photos by Aaron Metcalfe,teachandlearn and Dino Quinzani on Flickr,Michal Osmenda.
10 April 2013
In the late 12th century there was a borough in Chobień, the records of this castle go back to 1209 and 1238. The knightly family had the first stone fortifications built in the place of the present castle, probably in the 14th century. It was set on an irregular plan and surrounded by a moat. In the 16th century the stronghold might have been pulled down and in 1583 on its site the presently existing Renaissance castle was erected. This four-wing foundation, on a plan of rectangular, has 3 corner towers and a gate tower in the west wing. The structure underwent two reconstructions, in the 18th century and in 1905. It was badly damaged during World War II and the interiors destroyed. The wings of In the castle are one-track and two-track two-storey buildings with rooms with barrel vaulting and with lunettes on the first floor. On the elevation there are stone window frame-works and portals in Renaissance and Baroque styles. Inside the castle there is a painted stucco ceiling from 1583 with some fragments of a decorative plant-like motif.
23 December 2012
Today is the day we celebrate Christmas here.The first city is Gdansk, Poland.
12 November 2012
Wrocław, situated on the River Oder in Lower Silesia, is the largest city in western Poland.Wrocław is the historical capital of Silesia, and today is the capital of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship. At various times it has been part of the Kingdom of Poland, Bohemia, the Austrian Empire, Prussia, and Germany; it has been part of Poland since 1945, as a result of border changes after World War II. Its population in 2011 is 631,235, making it the fourth largest city in Poland.Wrocław’s Town Hall (the Ratusz/Rathaus) stands at the centre of the City’s Rynek (Market Square). It has a long history reflecting the developments that have taken place in the city over the period since its initial construction.Today, it continues to be in the service of the city. The Ratusz is used for civic and cultural events (for example, concerts are sometimes held in the Great Hall), it houses a museum, and the basement is now a restaurant.
The Ratusz sits in the Market square at an angle. It is considered a fine example of Gothic bourgeois architecture. Originally it was a single storey building, and was expanded over the years. The current form dates from the late 15th century with ornaments on the Eastern and Southern facades. The entrance is from the Western side and it leads into the Burghers’ Hall.
The Burghers’ Hall dates from the turn of the 14th century where it housed public gatherings and ceremonies. The next room is the Aldermans’ Hall, also known as the Court Room. It also dates from 1299. It was used by the members of the municipality. It also has a special podium for the administration of justice. Beyond that lies the Council Chamber, dating from the first half of the 14th century. Here, important city decisions were made and it includes a Renaissance portal from 1528, probably made by Andreas Walter. Until 1945 this room was richly decorated, but some of the elements – wood paneling, furniture and paintings – have been irretrievably lost. The wall paintings and baroque tiled stove, however, have survived.
Next is the Council Office – a place where the council secretary and receiver used to work. This was a popular office for clerks – it was seen as a high-status role. Architecturally, it still includes its padded doors from 1429 and portraits of eminent town councilors.Upstairs is the Grand Hall. This dates from the second half of the 15th century. Here, official ceremonies took place.