Sianowo in Kashuby

Sianowo is a small holiday village picturesquely situated on Lake Sianowo and the Leba River flowing through it. The town is located on the edge of the Kashubian Landscape Park in the Pomorskie Voivodeship, Kartuzy commune. We can get from Kartuzy to Sianowo in just a few minutes (the distance is about 10 km).

History of Sianowo

The first mentions of Sianowo date back to 1348. We know the exact date of the legend about finding the statue of Our Lady in a bush, which a couple accidentally came across. History had a significant impact on the further fate of the village and to this day the figurine is an object of cult revered among Catholics. It is also known that in 1393 a chapel was built here, and then a church, and the cult of Our Lady of Sianowo began to spread to the entire area. Many pilgrims are said to have been healed here.

Despite the wars that swept through Kashuby and the deadly plagues that plagued these areas, the church survived. The most tragic result for the building was the fire of 1811, when the temple burned down. We managed to save the image of Our Lady and move it to another place. Sianowo was without its statue for five years, when it was decided to build a new church. It still stands today and houses the sanctuary of the Queen of Kashuby in Sianowo.

The legend of the discovery in a fern bush

A beautiful legend, passed down from generation to generation since the XIVth century, tells the story of the statue thanks to which the sanctuary of the Queen of Kashuby in Sianowo was created. On Midsummer’s Eve, two lovers went in search of a fern flower. According to the ancient Slavic tradition, on the night of the summer solstice from June 20 to 21, Midsummer Night, also known as Kupala Night, is celebrated. It was believed that on this night a flower with extraordinary power blooms for a short while. No one knows where it will bloom, so you need a bit of luck to find a miraculous flower in the forest or by the river at midnight on this unique Midsummer Night. While searching, the young people from Sianowo noticed a golden glow coming from the bushes. Intrigued, they came closer and instead of a flower they found… a figurine of the Virgin Mary and Child.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sianów, Queen of Kashubia in Sianów, photo: Pomorskie.Travel

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sianów, Queen of Kashubia in Sianów, photo: Pomorskie.Travel

Figurine of the Virgin Mary and Child

The find was handed over to the nearest church in Mirachowo, because Sianowo did not have its own temple at that time. The next evening, according to legend, the young people met in the same place. To their surprise, they saw that the figurine was in the same place where they found it the previous night. So they took her back to Mirachowo. According to legend, young lovers met each other in the bushes every night. When they find the statue in the same place again on the third night, the villagers thought it was a sign and no longer gave their statue to other people. It was decided to build a church in this place.

Currently, the miraculous figurine from the Sianowo legend is located in a XIXth-century half-timbered church. It was placed in the main altar, behind the lowered image of Mary Immaculate. During services, the figurine is unveiled and is famous for miraculous healing. In Sianowo there is also another statue from the XVIth century – Our Lady of Staniszewo.

There are two more altars in the church and a historic pulpit from the XVIIIth century. Two indulgences are celebrated cyclically in Sianowo. The first one always takes place on the first Sunday after July 16 – Our Lady of the Scapular, while the second one takes place in September – Our Grain Sowing Lady.

What is an indulgence?

Indulgentiarum Doctrina defines an indulgence as the remission before God of the temporal punishment for sins that have already been forgiven as far as guilt is concerned. Indulgence is granted to a properly disposed Christian and under certain specified conditions through the Church. As the dispenser of the fruits of redemption, it distributes and validly allocates reparations from the treasury of the merits of Christ and the Saints. It can be a partial or full indulgence – depending on whether it frees you partially or completely from the punishment for sins. Indulgences (partial and plenary) can always be offered for the dead through intercession.

During the indulgence, the faithful are encouraged to use the sacrament of penance, participate in mass, a solemn procession and prayers of thanksgiving and supplication. The main mass celebrated on the day of indulgence should be offered for all parishioners. The practice of granting indulgences for participating in ceremonies is preserved. The bishop comes to the parish and at the place of worship gives a sermon to the faithful and gives a blessing.

Attractions in the area

There are many attractions in the vicinity that allow you to spend pleasant time among the beautiful landscapes of Kashubian Switzerland. Sianowo is an excellent base. It is worth planning active recreation outdoors and practicing water sports. Nearby there is the Staniszewskie Zdroje nature reserve, which covers a fragment of the Staniszewska Upland on the left bank of the Leba River valley, located within the Mirachowo Forests. There is a complex of springs here among the carved steep slopes of the moraine plateau. The reserve contains unique plant communities and rare plant species. A perfect place for a bicycle or walking trip. The real attractions are the communities of foothill rushes, grove manna and ash riparian forests with giant horsetail. We can choose from the Kashubian Park of Miniatures and the Kashubian Park of Giants. Both attractions are located in a town called Stryszna Buda (Scary House).

Kashubian cuisine

If someone expects sophisticated dishes in Kashubian cuisine, they may feel disappointed. There are recipes for very simple, unleavened food in old cookbooks. There are many one-pot dishes based on potatoes and cabbage topped with cracklings. And of course there are fish; in the northern Kashuby region mainly herring, in the lake district it is freshwater, caught in the lake. It is definitely worth eating such delicious, freshly caught fish, prepared by a Kashubian hostess. In the local inn or in the immediate vicinity of Sianowo, there is no shortage of good food prepared from local products.



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