The wild nature, beautiful landscapes, pirates and hidden treasures – the saint hill of Slowincy (the West Slavic ethnic group of Poland) and its treasures.
When You look at the hill from the distance, it looks like a volcano rising out form the Kashubians low lands. When we stand next to the hill, it looks like a big green mountain, covered with the high firs an old beech trees. Rowokół, the saint hill of Slowincy is famous from two reasons – the breath-taking nature and old legends triggering the imagination of local people as well as the visitors and guests.
The holy hill of Slovinic people, is famous for two reasons: breath-taking wildlife and old legends that have for years fired the imagination of both inhabitants of nearby villages, as well as guests who come to visit, if only for a while.
The wild nature at Your feet
Misty in the morning, mysterious in the evening, the hill is 115 m above the sea level. Almost all it area in covered by a thick forest, which is a nature reserve – Rowokół. It is like a welcoming card to the Slowinski National Park along the sea shore. The paths are situated on the moraine slopes so while walking around You can find artefacts left by the wild animals such as thick wooden beams left by the beavers or footprints left by the deer or roes.
The stormy history on the top of a hill
The first remaining of human beings on the hill come from the IX c. where the ancient Slovincy had their rituals here, praying to their god – Swarożyc. Archaeologists discovered on the South – East slope of Rowokół hill the circle shaped dykes artefacts with a big hearth in the middle and the remaining of animal bones. Around the XII and XIII century there was St. Michael chapel on the top of the hill, which was given to the monks in Słupsk by the Pomeranian duke, Mściwoj II. After 200 years the chapel was changed into the sanctuary that was one of the three pilgrims stops. During the reformation time the church was destroyed and stones were used to build the church in Smołdzino.
Rowokół is one of the highest hill in this part of Kashuby. Well seen from the land as well as from the sea used to be a good orientation point for the travellers and the sailors. During the night the fire was showing the way, during the day that was the smoke. At the end of XIX century that role was taken by the lighthouse in Czołpino. Currently, there is a viewing platform on the top, from which there is a wonderful view, no matter which direction we look.
The pirate, the devil and the pin
Legends were always part of the Rowokół history. According to one of them, deep in the mountain there is a treasure hidden by the pirates, called the Bandemers, who had their base in the port of Rowy. The way to the treasure leads through the little hole under the hill, but the devil is guarding it for centuries. On Sundays mornings, the devil starts his plays, due to that the hill is covered by the mist.
As the legend says, the hill was a shelter for the robbers, who during the ruling of the Prince Raciborz were robbing the merchants and using the fake fires led the ships into the shallow waters. The prince who once was also a robber did not react till the moment he started to have financial problems himself. He decided to take away the money from the robbers. Kidnaped and tortured leader of the robbers, who till the end did not reveal the mystery of the hidden treasure. The only thing he said was, that the treasure is hidden under the big stone and the only way to get it is taking away a tiny pin underneath …. He did not mention that the pin with the stone is a big dangerous trap, waiting for the reckless seekers.
The surrounding of Rowokół I an excellent place for one or several day trip. Near the hill there is Smołdzino with a very interesting Holy Trinity church, built in 1632 and the water power station, situated close to river Łupawa estuary to the Gardno Lake. Before going for the expedition it is worth visiting the Nature Museum of Slowiński National Park, where there is a good presentation of flora and fauna of this part of the shore.
Nearby there is Kluki with Slowińskie Village Museum. During the festivals in old huts we can feel the life of the former farming people, who lived here.
Walking down the sandy dunes between Gardno and Łebsko Lake we shall see a hill above the near the sea forest. On the top there is the lighthouse in Czołpino, opened for the visitors. Due to its location, in the middle of Slowiński National Park, the view from there is beautiful.
Inspiration for the painter
The hill we can admire not only during the visits in Pomorskie voivodeship but also going to Brucke Museum in Berlin. Rowokół was illustrated in the painting “Lebasse mit Reyekol” from 1937, painted by a famous German expressionist.