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.
First of all, they rejected infant baptism, seeing it as not in keeping with the Bible. The movement started to spread over the whole of Europe, particularly Germany and the Netherlands. Two factions appeared in the Netherlands - the radical revolutionary movement, and the peaceful movement. As the radical movement was violently suppressed, survivors started joining the peaceful faction. One of the individuals that kept the scattered followers together was Menno Simons, a Catholic priest. Hence "the Mennonites" - the name that became associated with the faction.
Mennonites believe that the Holy Bible is the only authority. They did not recognise the authority of Rome and the view that salvation requires participation in rites and replaced infant baptism with adult baptism. They were not allowed to go to war or hold offices. The increasing persecution and lack of free land forced the Mennonite groups to emigrate, and one of their destinations was the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which, at that time, was tolerant to dissenters.
In Żuławy, they inhabited the land that needed to be drained, secured it from future floods, and developed it. After the great floods that came in the 16th Century the Mennonites modernised and repaired the drainage system on their lands.
Most Mennonites emigrated to Russia in the early 18th Century. Those remaining under Prussian partition faced gradual Germanisation, and finally left Żuławy in 1945.
Today the Żuławy land offers the Mennonite Route, which links the places related to the people of that denomination with the history of their settlement in this area. Apart from the route, the Mennonite presence is testified to by the graveyards they left in Żuławy. The Żuławy Musuem has a permanent exhibition dedicated to Dutch settlers. It shows their problems and the way they adapted to new conditions, while presenting their cultural and religious identity.
The Vistula Spit
The Arcade houses
The Castle in Malbork
The landscape of Żuławy
Nowy Dwór Gdański and its environs
The narrow-gauge railway
The Żuławska Loop
Cittaslow w Pomorskiem