The Low Land, where the mists and the sunrise is the most beautiful.
The Low Land from above - Nogat, fot: pomorskie.travel
The Low Land – the region situated among Gdansk, Malbork and Elblag. A special place due to its history, architecture and people who live here. This land has specific geographical location – it is situated in a depression and has to be drained artificially. It is full of rivers, ditches and canals.
The Low Land is associated with mists, sunrise, sunset and willows. Such landscapes are triggering the imagination and the hearts - says Marta Antonina Lobocka, the leader of the organisation “We love Low Land” and a blogger. We discuss what is worth seeing in Low Land with her.
The Low Land, attractions for everyone...
Pomerania is well known and liked Polish region. The most popular is of course the Tricity agglomeration. Kashuby is also well known. When we ask about the Low Land, very few people know the area…
- Yes, indeed, but is changing slowly. Low Land has a lot to offer. Such landscapes and architecture You won’t find anywhere, as well as different kind of attractions. For example, like the narrow gage railway and connected with it the turning bridge in Rybina, which is moved manually by two people. It is a unique view and the only such device in Europe.
On the other hand, the waterways lovers will eagerly visit the Low Land Loop, a unique waterway, where You can also use a houseboat. Low Land people are very friendly, so if You come here once, for sure You will come back… on the bike this time. The area is flat so cycling is very easy here.
Wooded arcaded houses. Low Land is proud of its characteristic architecture.
- Low Land architecture is very special. In every village we have old huts, many old churches and in many cases living open air museums. There is no other places like that in Poland in case of the details and the whole area. In case of the details in Low Land You can be speechless. You can find special wooden carving decorations of houses made by the hand saws. They are situated usually on the edge of roofs, house entrances or above the windows. They are very decorative and were put not only in houses but also on barns and granaries, which proves how important those building were.
House facade in Low Land, fot. pomorskie.travel
- You are the Low Land passionate. Which places to visit do You recommend most?
- It is worth visiting Nowy Dwór Gdanski first, called the capital of Low Land. There is a Low Land Museum here, so the Low Land Historical Park, where You can learn more about the region. It is a must to have a ride on the narrow gage railway. In open-air wagons we may get from Nowy Dwor Gdanski to Mierzeja Wislana.
I usually take tourists or journalists to Nowy Staw, where we have two market squares and a characteristic tower in a shape of a pencil and a tower of a former evangelical church. You have to try a delicious blueberry cake there.
Windmill in Palczewo, fot: M.Bieliński
Also recommend to visit Palczewo, where there is a small, wooden church and an example of a Dutch windmill. That church is really unique . It is quite ordinary from the outside but the interior is beautifully painted. There are old organs there as well, which are still in use. And the sound which comes out of this instrument is remarkable and You can get goose-flesh and be really moved.
The joinery in Olesnie is also worth mentioning. This is the place which was designed by the citizens themselves, who designed the nice space in the barn.It is used for the cultural events, the library and sleeping facilities.
Low Land is the area of the windmills and many villages, which were the witnesses if the history.
- Zulawki and Drewnica are examples of such spaces, which we can call living open air museums due the fact, there are many artefacts there. We can mention the arcaded houses – the Low Land business card. It is worth mentioning Trutnowy and Marynowy villages, where You can find examples of those. In Cyganek, You can have really good dinner. In Maly Holender You can get meat soup or Mennonite soup. You can also try the local cheese , including the classical, produced according to the pre-war recipe “Werdekase”.
If we search for the old windmills, You can still find two, the most famous in Palczewo and Zulawki. Generally, it is worth visiting Low Land villages. Those are really unique places with a climate, a soul.
The arcaded house in Zulawki, fot: pomorskie.travel
When You mention souls… Low Land cemeteries, that is history itself.
- If someone is interested in a grave art, You really have to visit the cemetery in Stogi, near MAlbork. It is the biggest, well maintained and well known Mennonite cemetery in Low Land. The cemetery in Stawiec, on the other hand, is smaller, but with more climate. Mennonite tombs are unique. They are rich with ornaments connected with symbols. The old church ruins are also worth mentioning, like those in Fiszewo or Steblewo.
Are Low Land mainly rural area?
- Rural and farming. Those are the main landscapes here, where human and the nature are so tightly connected with each other, that image stays in our minds. This landscape is very dissimilar, depending on the season of the year. You can discover this area again and again – depending on the nature.
Low land isthe area full of surprises and mysteries. Discovering them is truly a great fun and adventure.
The Castle in Malbork
As the 13th Century was drawing to a close, the Teutonic Knights, who had been effectively appropriating the lands of the Prussian tribes for fifty years, commenced the construction of a castle that was to become the capital of their own State. Moving the Grand Master's capital from Venice to Malbork took place the year after the Teutonic Knights conquered Gdańsk and its environs, which roughly corresponded to the present-day area of the Pomeranian Voivodeship.
The construction of such an extensive castle complex took a very long time. The structure was built in stages, while the necessary amounts of building material were gathered, particularly the millions of bricks needed to erect its thick and high walls.
The stronghold received a three-part structure. The High Castle - the centre of the defensive structure - housed rooms for friars - the members of the central convent, their dormitories, refectory, i.e. a dining room and chapterhouse, a place for meetings and consultations. The Middle Castle transferred its former economic functions to the Low Castle, which was built sometime later, to house the residence of the Grand Master - one of the finest Gothic buildings in the world - and the extensive structures meant for the always-numerous guests of the Order.
Surrounded by the many-layered walls and moats, and constantly modernised, the castle was virtually unconquerable. No army managed to capture it in a siege. The giant fortress that completely overshadows the adjacent town guaranteed the security and continuity of the Teutonic State's seat of power. This proved vital in 1410, in the aftermath of the Battle of Grunwald. Sometimes, however, what cannot be conquered, can be bought. Such was the path taken by Casimir IV Jagiellon, when he purchased the castle from the Teutonic mercenaries who were not paid by the Order. This way, the very capital and the central stronghold of the Teutonic State fell into Polish hands, becoming a residence of the Polish king. And yet, the final blow to Teutonic power was still very far away.
This is only an introduction to the fascinating story of the Teutonic Order, the knightly battles, the Gothic castles, and the political games of the Middle Ages. To experience the rest you need to find yourself surrounded by the brick walls of the Malbork fortress, as there is no better place to weave tales about the rise and fall of the white-robed knights than in a castle that still reverberates with the echoes of their past formidable might.
The Arcade houses
The Castle in Malbork
The landscape of Żuławy
The Vistula Spit
Nowy Dwór Gdański and its environs
The narrow-gauge railway
The Żuławska Loop
Cittaslow w Pomorskiem