The Southern Kashuby. The land of hills and lakes.
From the lakes and hills to the valleys full of tastes and covered by the green grass. Form the classical sniffing tobacco to the Kashubian strawberry full of the summer sun. From the Kashubian old huts to museums showing the variety of the tradition of the region. The Southern Kashuby, the area from Zukowo to Przechlewo are fascinating with the landscapes and the culture.
The Southern or the Northern Kashuby? If You would ask such question to someone, who loves this region, for sure it would be impossible to answer that. This region is very diverse with the incomparable features and history.
Kashubian Switzerland... so hills and lakes
“Kashubian Switzerland” – this is how w describe the central part of Kashuby. The name is not accidental. This part has the biggest highs differences full of hills and lakes. It is located close to Wiezyca peak (329 m. above the sea level), the highest hill not only in Kashuby and the Northern Poland but in the European Plain. There is also the Kashubian Landscape Park here with beech trees, pines and spruce forests, unique bird species (like the sea ducks “Mergini” or boreal owl) or bats and even the common European viper. Through the Southern Kashuby goes the red tourists trail, very popular among the walkers as well as the cyclists. In the winter time, the area near Wiezyca is a fantastic place for skiing. In the Summer time it is worth climbing the platform on the top of the hill and admire the view.
Wiezyca, Fot: Kaszubski Park Krajobrazowy
Kashubian Switzerland that is not only hilly landscape and post glacier lakes. That is also a culture and tradition, You can find almost everywhere. The names of cities and villages are written in two languages – Kashubian and Polish. You can hear Kashubian language, a mixture of Polish and German almost everywhere. It is difficult to understand what Kashubian people are saying. Luckily, people where are very friendly and kind, sow hen they see you do not understand, they turn into Polish.
The capital of Kashubia?
Which city is the capital of Kashuby region? No one knows and there are debates about it . Usually, it is said that the capital of the whole Kashubian region is Kartuzy, some people say that it is rather Koscierzyna. On the other hand, when we drive into Gdansk, we see the sign: Gdansk, the capital of Kashuby. And how to decide now?
Rynek w Kościerzynie, Fot: UM Kościerzyna
Nevertheless, Kartuzy, situated at the four lakes, is that city which promotes Kashuby the most. Already before the WWII Kartuzy were the centre of Kashubian Switzerland. Tourists were coming here all year long, visiting former Carthusian Abbey and swimming on the lakes. Today there is a Kashubian Museum here with the name of F. Treder, with big collection of the artefact of the historical and folk culture of Kashuby.
Kashuby - cultura and traditions
Near Kartuzy, in the Kashubian Landscape Park, there is Chmielno. A small village, extremely popular among sailors and the lovers of Kashubian pottery. For generations the family of Necel lived here, known around Poland for their passion to pottery. Till today they produce by hand traditional Kashubian vases, tableware, pitchers or bowls with the traditional patterns of tulips, lilies, fish scales or Kashubian star.
Pottery Museum in Chmielno, Fot: Pomorskie.travel
Those decorations are also traditional motives of Kashubian painting on glass and the embroidery. There are several Kashubian embroidery schools, depending on the region.
Travelling deeper in the region, passing Koscierzyna with its renovated Old Town and famous Old Brewery, where the traditional Kashubian beer is brewed, we shall reach Wdzydze Kiszewskie. It is a touristic village, a true heaven for lake lovers and history enthusiasts. Wdzydze Kiszewskie is situated at the Golun Lake, ant the oldest Polish open air museum is situated here – The Kashubian Ethnographic Park. It was established in 1906 and till today is one of the most important historical attraction in Pomerania region and Poland.
Sunset in Wdzydze Kiszewskie, Fot: LOT Serce Kaszub
The Southern Kashuby hypnotize and fascinate. It is love at the first sight and who will fall in love with this area will love it forever.
Collegiate in Kartuzy
On the Kashubian ground the Carthusians came from the Czech's Prague, led by the father Johannes Deterhusem. They were brought to Kashuby in 1382 by the founder of the monastery of Kartuzy a rich nobleman called John of Rusocin, a son of Pradzki Castellan and of Gdansk. The first buildings were built by the founder himself. Soon among the wealthy people of Gdansk were found benefactors willing to help to build a monastery. The construction of the church was took over by the Gdansk merchant John Thiergart, the refectory was built by a Gdansk tailor of unknown names and church chapter was built by the family of Else. Consecration of the church was done by the Bishop of Wloclawek Stefan in 1403.
A strict austere Carthusian rule, their exotic asceticism, vegetarian cuisine, using speech only in need and separating themselves from the people and the world evoked admiration and encouraged the rich to give high donations for the monastery. The life of Carthusians was adapted to the contemplative life and resounded in their greetings exchanged to all, namely "Memento Mori" - remember the death and "Memento Dei" - remember God. The monks did not take pastoral activity. They had no merits in the development of education, hospitals or help for the poor. The main vocation of the monks was to worship God with an eight-hour daily prayer.
Monastery aroused great interest of the rulers. In 1598, the monastery was visited by King Sigismund III Vasa, and in 1661 by King Jan Kazimierz. In the years 1731 - 1733 the Gothic roof was changed and shaped like a coffin lid. The monastery possessed vast estates: Gdynia with Grabowek, Czaple, Somonino, Kielpino, Goreczyno, Kolbudy, Ostrzyce, Brodnica, Golubie, Brabowo, Prokowo and many others.
The fall of splendor of the monastery marked the beginning of the 16th century during the Reformation and deepened in the era of the Polish partitions. In 1823 the Prussian authorities on the basis of the edict of the King of Prussia to 1810 led to the overall cassation of the Monastery and seizure of its property. From the splendor of the former Paradise of Mary survived a beautiful Gothic church with a Baroque roof in the shape of a coffin lid, refectory, and one of the eighteen hermitages and part of the original walls surrounding the monastery.
Visitors to the pearl of Kashubian ground can admire not only beautiful buildings but also can admire a wealth of sacred art including Gothic altars, Baroque, cordovans, stalls, sculptures and a large gallery of images.
Kartuzy – the capital of Kashuby?
Boże Narodzenie na Kaszubach
The Teodora and Izydor Gulgowski Kashubian Ethnographic Park in Wdzydze Kiszewskie
Co o Kaszubach turysta wiedzieć powinien
Wielkanoc na Kaszubach
The complex of post-monastery buildings in Zukowo
Collegiate in Kartuzy
Snuff and the art of making snuff horns
Kashubian Switzerland (Szwajcaria Kaszubska)
Kashubian Museum in Kartuzy