magicmadzik replied to your post: An apartment in the People’s Republic …

We talk about it like it was the distant past, but people still live in those apartments- although with less restrictions as to what they can do with them.

Anything that reflects life during the PRL era doesn’t seem very “historical” at times, particularly its two last decades.  The Soviet-era housing, among many things, is still present and probably will be for many decades to come.  It’s been 25 years since the Soviet breakup but it’s not really that long in terms of sociopolitical change.  Those God forsaken elevators that work when they want to, dirty stairwells, building doors that will smash you if you take more than three seconds to get through them, windows that won’t open all the way but you have to seal for the winter, all gifts that just keep on giving.

Speaking of PRL-era memories, the Nowa Huta district in Kraków has some lovely examples of block housing that seem more suitable for small rodents than humans.  I still remember passing Lenin there on a regular basis before he was taken down…

An apartment in the People’s Republic of Poland was a very desirable, and very scarce commodity.  During the 1980s the wait to own this property could reach as long as 20 years.  Payments for housing accommodations were made in installments into a książeczka mieszkaniowa (apartment book), and only after the full amount was paid one had the right to move into the new locale.  Parents began apartment funds for their children shortly after birth.  The block housing in which these apartments existed was built hastily at the lowest cost possible, thus sacrificing quality and proper design.  The frugal plan of construction used the policy of having the fewest windows possible, and thanks to this we see an abundance of small, dark kitchens in communist-era housing.  The apartments were awarded based on the number of family members (a three person family could qualify for an M3, or two rooms with a kitchen).  The sizes of the apartments ranged from 27 square meters (390 square feet) for an M2, to 60 square meters (645 square feet) for an M6 (an M1 consisted of only one room without a kitchen).  When those lucky enough to finally receive their own apartment moved in, they were immediately faced with fixing the mistakes that were an inevitable consequence of rushed and poorly regulated building practices.  Following the painfully long wait for a home, there was another painfully long period of standing in lines and hunting for furniture and appliances.  And, lastly, the problem of how to fit this furniture into the tiny spaces. (source)

Images:

Construction of block housing in the Ursynów district, Warsaw, 1977.

Apartment interior, Warsaw, 1972.

Bathroom interior, Warsaw, 1967.

Strollers being stored in the building hallway due to limited living space, Warsaw, 1970s.

Apartment interior, Warsaw, 1960s.

Kitchen interior, 1960s.

First look at a new apartment by its owners, Warsaw, 1962.

Apartment interior, Warsaw, Żoliborz district, 1950s.

Little girl demonstrating a fold-away bed, Warsaw, 1960s.

Block housing, 1960s.

The execution of Nazi war criminal Rudolf Höss.

On April 2nd, 1947, The Supreme National Tribunal in Warsaw sentenced Rudolf Höss to death, a Nazi war criminal, commandant of KL Auschwitz.  The genocide perpetrator awaited his execution in a Wadowice prison, where he sought to reconcile with his Catholic faith - a last confession and communion were granted to him.  He also wrote an apology to the Poles for the atrocities he committed against them.  His sentence was carried out on April 16th, 1947 in Oświęcim (Auschwitz), the same place prisoners of the concentration camp were murdered.  The gallows for his execution were erected near the main administrative buildings in the camp by German POWs.  A priest accompanied Höss at the execution, according to his last request.  After the reading of the verdict the executioner placed the noose around Höss’ neck and he was pronounced dead at 10:21 am.  Later his body was incinerated.  Over 100 people witnessed the execution with special permission; among them were representatives of former prisoners, employees of the Ministry of Justice, prosecutors, and members of the Ministry of Public Security (UB).  It was the last public execution carried out in Poland.  Rudolf Höss was among the most wanted war criminals; he was arrested by the British.  He provided testimony at the Nuremberg Trials, claiming that although he took part in criminal acts resulting in genocide, he was only carrying out commands.  In 1946 he was extradited to Poland.  (source)

Testimony of Rudolf Höss during the Nuremberg Trials:

I commanded Auschwitz until 1 December 1943, and estimate that at least 2,500,000 victims were executed and exterminated there by gassing and burning, and at least another half million succumbed to starvation and disease, making a total dead of about 3,000,000. This figure represents about 70% or 80% of all persons sent to Auschwitz as prisoners, the remainder having been selected and used for slave labor in the concentration camp industries. Included among the executed and burnt were approximately 20,000 Russian prisoners of war (previously screened out of Prisoner of War cages by the Gestapo) who were delivered at Auschwitz in Wehrmacht transports operated by regular Wehrmacht officers and men. The remainder of the total number of victims included about 100,000 German Jews, and great numbers of citizens (mostly Jewish) from Holland, France, Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Greece, or other countries. We executed about 400,000 Hungarian Jews alone at Auschwitz in the summer of 1944." (source)

Images:

Rudolf Höss being transferred into Polish custody at the Nuremberg Airport.

Rudolf Höss being led to the gallows at his execution - photograph taken on April 16th, 1947, by photojournalist Stanisław Dąbrowiecki.

Execution of Rudolf Höss, photograph taken on April 16th, 1947, by photojournalist Stanisław Dąbrowiecki.

Reconstructed gallows where Rudolf Höss was exectued in KL Auschwitz.

Rudolf Höss during the Nuremberg Trials.

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, April 19th 1943 - May 16th, 1943 (pt. 1)

"Organized armed resistance was the most forceful form of Jewish opposition to Nazi policies.

German forces intended to liquidate the Warsaw ghetto beginning on April 19, 1943, the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover. When SS and police units entered the ghetto that morning, the streets were deserted. Nearly all of the residents of the ghetto had gone into hiding, as the renewal of deportations of Jews to death camps triggered an armed uprising within the ghetto. Though vastly outnumbered and outgunned, individuals and small groups of Jews hid or fought the Germans for almost a month.” (source)

Images:

Inhabitants of the ghetto forced out of a bunker.  One of the most well-known ghetto uprising photographs from the Stroop Report.

Nowolipie street, deportation of Jews from a conquered quarter; in the background the wall and gate leading into the ghetto. 

German soldiers during the pacification of the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto.

A Jewish man jumps to his death from the top floor of an apartment building on Niska street no. 25.  It was the only “escape” from the German forces.

A woman hanging from a balcony railing.  Below her, waiting, are SS soldiers.

General Jürgen Stroop (standing in the middle looking up), the leader of the SS and police, chief liquidator of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.  On the left a building is burning on Nowolipie street no. 66.

Moving a piece of artillery from Franciszkańska near Bonifraterska to Nowiniarska street.  In the background a destroyed portion of the ghetto wall.

Germans positioned with an MG 08 in front of the ghetto gates in the intersection of Nowolipie and Smocza streets.

Occupants of the ghetto lined up against a brick wall.

Ghetto occupants who surrendered to the Germans on Nowolipie street.

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, April 19th 1943 - May 16th, 1943 (pt. 2)

Between July 22 and September 12, 1942, the German authorities deported or murdered around 300,000 Jews in the Warsaw ghetto. SS and police units deported 265,000 Jews to the Treblinka killing center and 11,580 to forced-labor camps. The Germans and their auxiliaries murdered more than 10,000 Jews in the Warsaw ghetto during the deportation operations. The German authorities granted only 35,000 Jews permission to remain in the ghetto, while more than 20,000 Jews remained in the ghetto in hiding. For the at least 55,000-60,000 Jews remaining in the Warsaw ghetto, deportation seemed inevitable.

ZOB commander Mordecai Anielewicz commanded the Jewish fighters in the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Armed with pistols, grenades (many of them homemade), and a few automatic weapons and rifles, the ZOB fighters stunned the Germans and their auxiliaries on the first day of fighting, forcing the German forces to retreat outside the ghetto wall. German commander SS General Jürgen Stroop reported losing 12 men, killed and wounded, during the first assault on the ghetto. On the third day of the uprising, Stroop’s SS and police forces began razing the ghetto to the ground, building by building, to force the remaining Jews out of hiding. Jewish resistance fighters made sporadic raids from their bunkers, but the Germans systematically reduced the ghetto to rubble. The German forces killed Anielewicz and those with him in an attack on the ZOB command bunker on 18 Mila Street, which they captured on May 8. (source)

Images:

Jewish partisans taken prisoner by the German forces.

SS soldiers hold Jewish managers of the Brauer factory - a helmet repair business on Nalewka street no. 28-38.

German soldiers confront Jewish Rabbis in the Warsaw ghetto.

A man with his arms raised in an act of surrender emerges from hiding to face German soldiers.

Jews forced out of hiding by German soldiers during the uprising.

Jews pulled out of hiding by German soldiers on Nowolipie street.

German soldiers on Nowolipie street, between Smocza and Karmelicka.

Two Ukrainian askaris (Red Army deserters who joined the German forces) stand over the bodies of murdered Jews on Kupiecka street no. 18.

Jewish prisoners on their way to the Umschlagplatz (loading square) from which they were deported to extermination camps.

The remnants of the Warsaw ghetto which was, in accordance with Adolf Hitler’s orders, razed to the ground after the quelling of the uprising. 

lunacylover

lunacylover:

polish-vintage:

FOOD:
fuckyeahpolishfood.tumblr.com
tastingpoland.com

ART:
matejkopodroznik.tumblr.com
galeriabrama.tumblr.come.org.pl
magazynszum.pl

FILM:
filmpolski.pl
fototeka.fn.org.pl
foreignmovieposters.tumblr.com (a lot of polish posters)
fuckyeahpolishtvseries.tumblr.com
barbarabymarta.tumblr.com
 (a blog about Brabara Kwiatkowska-Lass)
danielolbrychski.tumblr.com (a blog about Daniel Olbrychski)


THEATER:
e-teatr.pl
teatrdlawas.pl


HISTORY:
polskiedzieje.pl
historia-polski.tumblr.com (about polish history in general)
polishfalcons.tumblr.com
herodot.uwb.edu.pl
smakujepeerelu.tumblr.com

LITERARURE:
fuckyeahpolishliterature.tumblr.com

LANGUAGE:
uselesspolish.tumblr.com
polandbymail.tumblr.com

POLAND IN GENERAL:
culture.pl
learning-polish.tumblr.com
proudtobepolish.tumblr.com
projektszablonowy.blogspot.com
pantuniestal.com (shop with amazing items)
lunacylover.tumblr.com (a lot of posts about polish art, architecture, film etc.)

Aw, thank you for including me! Dziękuję! Cieszę się, że komuś podobają/przydają się moje “polskotematyczne” posty, które z początku publikowałam tylko na życzenie dla znajomych zza granicy:) Chyba w końcu powinnam stworzyć osobnego bloga na tę tematykę.

I’d recommend a few as well (random from my head):

poetryofpoland.tumblr.com - contemporary Polish poetry translated into English

polishartandtea.tumblr.com - quite frequently updated blog, strictly about Polish art

archipolska.tumblr.com - modern architecture from Poland

galeriakrakowska.info - art/cultural things from Kraków

polona.pl - CURRENTLY THE BEST POLISH SITE WITH DIGITALIZED COLLECTIONS FROM THE POLISH NATIONAL LIBRARY!!! [sorry for the amount of enthusiasm]

Thank you for including me on this list, and for anyone who is interested in Poland, its culture, history, and sights check out the links! 

Śmigus-Dyngus (lany poniedziałek, wet Monday)

"Śmigus-Dyngus is a celebration held on Easter Monday in Poland.  Similar celebrations are held in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (Oblévačka in Czech, Oblievačka in Slovak, both meaning ‘Watering’) and in Hungary, where it is known as Vízbevető or ‘Water Plunge Monday’. Traditionally, boys throw water over girls and spank them with pussy willow branches on Easter Monday, and girls do the same to boys on Easter Tuesday. This is accompanied by a number of other rituals, such as making verse declarations and holding door-to-door processions, in some regions involving boys dressed as bears. The origins of the celebration are uncertain, but it may date to pagan times (before 1000 AD); it is described in writing as early as the 15th century. It continues to be observed in central Europe, and also in the United States, where certain patriotic American elements have been added to the traditional Polish ones.”  Read More

Easter Sunday breakfast (Śniadanie wielkanocne)

The Easter Sunday breakfast is an important tradition within Christian Poland.  Since it’s on this day Poles break their Lent fast (most often this event is limited to Good Friday and Holy Saturday), the meal is seen as especially rewarding.  The breakfast begins with sharing eggs blessed on Holy Saturday (święconka) with well-wishes, much like the tradition of sharing opłatki on Christmas Eve.  Other foods which were blessed along with the eggs are also eaten.  The breakfast was traditionally served on a white table cloth adorned with flowers, pussy willows, fuzzy yellow chicks, lambs, and pisanki.  The most frequently served dishes include eggs in mayonnaise, żur or barszcz biały (sour rye soup or white borscht) with sausage and egg, cold cuts, sausages, baked meats, pâtés, and roulade.  Different types of sauces and dips are served along with the meats, most often horseradish and ćwikła (beet relish).  Salads, particularly diced vegetable salad in mayonnaise, are also common.  And for dessert, babka (sweet yeast cake), cheesecake, or mazurek (a traditional pastry covered in chocolate icing, fuirts, and nuts).  (source)

Kołtun means a matted lump of hair, the result of dirt and the refusal to use a comb, usually accompanied by lice. Its name comes from kiełtanie się, i.e. the swinging motion of the tangled hair. Formerly quite universal, in the West, it vanished much earlier than in Poland, although the average European of the Baroque era and the Enlightenment carefully avoided washing his hair. The kołtun thus affected everyone, regardless of their status and origin, but usually occurred among the peasants. The invaluable Jędrzej Kitowicz claimed: ‘Kołtony are to be found in the whole of Poland, are quite frequent in Lithuania, and are encountered most often in the Duchy of Mazovia, especially among the peasantry ( …) to such an extent (…) that two out of three peasant heads feature the kołtun’. The kołtun assumed different shapes: ‘slight, thick, single, resembling a cap, divided into strings, smooth or knotty at the ends’.

Initially, the kołtun was not associated with the lack of personal hygiene, and it was believed that it was a symptom of rheumatism. The cause of this misfortune was sought predominantly among witches, especially Polish ones, as confirmed by the Latin name of this affliction - plica polonica, and its German version– Weichselzopf (since it was encountered most often in Poland, along the banks of the Vistula). The presence of a kołtun supposedly produced ‘inflammation of the bones, aversion to food, bad eyesight’, and sometimes even ‘vomiting’.  It was believed that simply cutting off this malodorous bunch of hair was extremely hazardous and could result in blindness, deafness, insanity, bleeding and even death caused by convulsions. Those brave enough to perform this act were thus scarce. The few who decided to take such a step and got better without any horrible consequences donated their ‘nails’ to churches to protect themselves against the revenge of the kołtun. As late as the early nineteenth century Polish physicians believed that pregnant women have a natural predisposition towards the kołtun, while young men suffering from it were excused from serving in the tsarist army.

Fortunately, not all medical doctors regarded the kołtun to be a disease. William Dawson (c. 1593-1669), Scottish physician, chemist, botanist, and court musician of Jan Kazimierz Vasa and his wife, Ludwika Maria Gonzaga, proved to be extremely progressive for his times. He fearlessly cut kołtuns off and advised combing and frequent washing of the hair. A similar attitude was represented in the early eighteenth century by Tobiasz Kohn. ln 1862, Professor Józef Dietl (1804-1878), rector of the Jagiellonian University, finally put an end to the kołtun by proving its origin and the lack of any connections between cutting it off and illnesses.

The theme of the kołtun appeared extremely rarely in graphic art. Interesting examples include an unsigned Italian aquaforte showing a woman afflicted by this condition: a thick and long kołtun, resembling a boa constrictor, slides down her back [see top image]. The engraving, possibly by Felicita Sartori (d. 1760 in Dresden), illustrated Thomas Salmon’s Lo stato presente di tutti paesi, e popoli del mondo, naturale, politico, e morale, published in volume 7 about the Commonwealth of Two Nations (1739), part of the 26 volumes printed in Venice in 1734-1766.” (source)

"Larry Wolff in his book Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of Enlightenment mentions that in Poland for about a thousand years some people wore the hair style of the Scythians. Zygmunt Gloger in his Encyklopedia staropolska mentions that Polish plait was worn as a hair style by some people of both genders in the Pinsk region and the Masovia region at the beginning of the 19th century. He used the term ‘koltun zapuszczony’ which denotes artificial formation of Polish plait, forms of dreadlocks. According to the folklore studies of today, the forming of dreadlocks was done using liquids or wax. Among liquids a mixture of wine and sugar was used, or washing hair every day with water in which herbs were boiled. The most commonly used herb was Vinca, (Vinca major) followed by Lycopodium clavatum and moss, which caused matting of hair and formation of dreadlocks. A similar effect can be had by rubbing hair with wax, or inserting piece of a candle at the hair ends. Newer Polish dictionaries mention plica as a disease, but the old ones still mention artificially created plicas also.” (source)

"In the folklore archives of [the Ethnographic Museum in Toruń] we can find testimony from the people of Pomorze [Pomerania] which describe the purpuseful formation of the kołtun in the 1950s and 60s for healing purposes.  Małgorzata Trzcińska, a nurse from Tuchola, came across several instances of people believing that a kołtun had the power to heal by absorbing a person’s illness in the villages of Bory Tucholskie.  According to them cutting off the kołtun too early could result in ‘pokręcenie całego człowieka’ [the twisting of the whole person].  Some practices went as so far as to recommend wrapping one’s head in cow excrement and a wool shawl to aid in the formation process.  Trzcińska referred to a specific case of a young man who was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the bones [osseous tuberculosis] whose mother refused to let his kołtun be cut off until a serious medical intervention was done (this took place in 1953).  Kornelia Januszewska from Kaszub also writes about the kołtun, ‘Years ago people living in ignorance and superstition were stricken with various strange maladies.  They sought help from witches, or sometimes priests.  They cultivated kołtuns because they believed their illness would settle itself there and at the apporiate time the kołtun can be cut off and the illness will be banished with it.’" (source)

Images:

Italian aquaforte showing a woman afflicted by a thick and long kołtun.

The longest – 1.5-meter long – preserved Polish plait, in the History of Medicine Museum in Kraków (19th century).

An example of a kołtun at the Ethnographic Museum in Toruń.

Further Reading:

  • Bystroń Jan Stanisław, Dzieje obyczajów w dawnej Polsce. Wiek XVI–XVIII, t. 1, PIW, Warszawa 1976.
  • Dobrzycki Henryk, O kołtunie pospolicie „plica polonica” zwanym, Drukarnia Emila Skiwskiego, Warszawa 1877.
  • Gloger Zygmunt, Kołtun, [w:] Encyklopedia staropolska, t. 3, Drukarnia P. Laskauera i S-ki, Warszawa 1902, s. 63–64.
  • Hercules Saxonia Patavini, De plica quam Poloni Gwoźdźiec, Roxolani Kołtunum vocant, Drukarnia Lorenzo Pasquato, Padwa 1600.
  • Krček Franciszek, Kołtun lekiem, „Lud. Organ Towarzystwa Ludoznawczego we Lwowie”, t. 5 (1899), nr 4, s. 377.
  • Kuchowicz Zbigniew, Obyczaje staropolskie XVII–XVIII wieku, Wydawnictwo Łódzkie, Łódź 1975.
  • Łempicki Stanisław, Działalność Jana Zamoyskiego na polu szkolnictwa 1573–1605, Skład główny w Książnicy Polskiej w Warszawie, Warszawa 1922.
  • Marczewska Marzena, Kiedy choroba była gościem – o językowym obrazie kołtuna w przekazach ludowych, [w:] Współczesna polszczyzna w badaniach językoznawczych, t 3, Od języka w działaniu do leksyki, red. Zbróg Piotr, Instytut Filologii Polskiej. Uniwersytet Humanistyczno-Przyrodniczy Jana Kochanowskiego, Kielce 2011, s. 87–108.
  • Morewitz Harry A., A Brief History of Plica Polonica, [w:] Nuvo® for Head Lice, 1 marca 2008, [dostęp: 27 lutego 2014], <[“”:http://nuvoforheadlice.com/Plica.htm]>.
  • Udziela Marian, Medycyna i przesądy lecznicze ludu polskiego: przyczynek do etnografii polskiej, Skład główny w księgarni M. Arcta, Warszawa 1891.
  • Widlicka Hanna, Plica polonica czyli kołtun polski, [w:] Strona internetowa Muzeum Pałacu Króla Jana III w Wilanowie, [dostęp: 27 lutego 2014], <http://www.wilanow-palac.pl/plica_polonica_czyli_koltun_polski.html>.
  • Wraxall Nathaniel William, Wspomnienia z Polski 1778, [w:] Polska stanisławowska w oczach cudzoziemców, oprac. Zawadzki Wacław, t. 1, Warszawa 1963.

*I created this post due to a consistent presence of the question of cultural appropriation in relation to hairstyles, particularly dreadlocks.  The Polish kołtun is considered a type of dreadlock, but its reflection in today’s hairstyle trends among various groups depends on the interpretation of its history and cultural significance.  The above information is meant to give a rather general explanation for why this phenomenon was practiced intentionally vs. its natural occurrence among Poles throughout history.  Take from it what you will, but keep in mind that proper respect should be given to each culture at all times, regardless of a personal agenda or the desire to substantiate a particular behavior.  If objections exist to a behavior or custom I find it best to listen with consideration to the people who voice them, since often they are rooted in traditions, rituals, and customs with deep meaning and significance to people who practice them.

The Easter Basket (święconka)

Every year millions of Poles attend a blessing of the Easter baskets on Wielka Sobota - Holy Saturday, the second-to-last day of Holy Week.  Although this ritual has been known in Poland for centuries it was virtually unknown to the modern Western region until after the Second World War, when these lands officially became part of the nation.  In the Kashubian region only wealthy land owners and nobility sent for the local priest to come and bless the table.  Likewise, this tradition did not reach Silesian homes until recent years. 

Traditionally a number of items have found their way into the baskets, each symbolizing important aspects of life:

  • Eggs (pisanki), decorated and hard-boiled they symbolize life, fertility, and rebirth.
  • Bread, which symbolizes the body of Christ, is included so that we may have a fulfilling and happy year.
  • Sausage and cold cuts which are tied to the Lamb of God, good health, prosperity, and fertility.
  • A ceramic lamb (traditionally these have been made from sugar or butter as well), also symbolizing the Lamb of God.
  • Salt, the symbol of truth and purity as well as protection against evil.
  • Cheese, the symbol of humanity’s relationship with nature.
  • Horseradish symbolizing strength.
  • A babka (sweet yeast cake) that symbolizes skill and excellence.

Other commonly included items are yellow baby chicks, a branch of fresh bukszpan (buxus), flowers, chocolate, and any other items which will be shared during Easter Sunday breakfast.  

Images: [x][x][x][x][x][x]

Dziady śmigustne are hay-wrapped monsters which traditionally make an appearance on the night of Easter Sunday in the southern Małopolska region.  With their faces covered by fur masks or blackened stockings, the dziady make their way through town asking for “gifts” by grunting, gesturing, and using noisemakers.  They also splash their victims with water, a ritual which is commonly done on the Monday following Easter all over Poland, called Śmigus-Dyngus. 

The tradition of dziady śmigustne originated in Dobra, near Limanowa, and is tied to a legend which tells the story of prisoners taken in by the Tatars, who escaped their captors.  The Tatars had cut out their tongues and slashed their faces so the escapees, dressed in rags and wrapped in hay, went looking for help from the people in the village of Dobra.  The villagers took them in, and as a reminder of this event the village was named Dobra - meaning ‘good’. 

Images: [x][x][x]

The Carpathian Troy Open-Air Museum is located in Trzcinica, in south-eastern Poland, in Podkarpackie Voivodeship, a few kilometres north-west of Jasło, on the Valley of the Ropa River.  The site where the open-air museum has been built is one of the most important archaeological sites in Poland with major importance for discovering the prehistory of Central-Eastern Europe. In the course of archaeological works, particularly the ones carried out since 1991 by Jan Gancarski, over 160 000 artefacts have been unearthed here. The collection comprises pottery vessels, items made of clay, flint and stone, bone and horn as well as bronze and iron. Many of them are unique, considered to be fabulous pieces of prehistoric art and craft.

Carpathian Troy

One of the earliest strongly fortified settlements known in Poland, dated to the beginnings of the Bronze Age, has been discovered in Trzcinica. It was built as early as over 4000 years ago! Furthermore, it was here where the first settlement of the Otomani-Füzesabony culture has been discovered in Poland. The culture was found to have been under strong Mediterranean influences and is dated to 1650-1350 BC. Taking into consideration the importance of the discovery, chronology and obvious south European influences, the site was called ‘the Carpathian Troy’.

Royal Earthworks

Over 2000 years after the fall of the Carpathian Troy the site was inhabited by the Slavs. They erected a large settlement of 3 hectares of land, surrounded with monumental earthworks which nowadays, in some parts, are still as high as 10 meters. This is exactly the site which is often called ‘Royal Earthworks’. The hillfort is dated to 770-1020 AD. There have been a few tens of thousands of Slavic artifacts discovered on the site including a hoard of silver items which contained a famous trimming from a sword-scabbard - a masterpiece of early medieval craft.

Unique fusion

The Carpathian Troy Open-Air Museum - a branch of Subcarpathian Museum in Krosno - has been built in Trzcinica in order to protect the hillfort and make it available for tourists. The originator of the idea of building of an open-air museum in Trzcinica is Jan Gancarski – the director of the Subcarpathian Museum. The Carpathian Troy is an original fusion of a traditional form of an open-air museum with a modern museum institution. The whole complex consists of the hillfort and an archaeological park located at the foot of it. There are over 150 meters of reconstructed earthworks, 2 gateways (the first one dated to the beginnings of the Bronze Age, the other to the early medieval times) and 6 cottages. In the archaeological park there are 2 reconstructed villages - the village of the Otomani culture and an early medieval village. A modern exhibition pavilion is situated here as well. It comprises spacious exhibition hall, functional conference room, multimedia lecture room for students, cosy ‘Room of a Small Discoverer’ for the youngest guests, and eating area where the cuisine based on the ‘art of cooking’ performed by our ancestors will be offered. All that, enriched with an attractive cultural programme and unique atmosphere, guarantees that a good time will be had by all visitors.” (source)

Images