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.
Nowy Dwór Gdański and its environs
The first traces of settlers in the northeren part of Żuławy Wiślane date back to 2,500 BC. Despite frequent flooding, as time passed, the periodic human colonies were turning into a dense settlement network. The arrival of the Dutch and German settlers marked a breakthrough for the economy of that time, as modern methods of draining the marshy land were being introduced, e.g. forming polders. The Mennonite community was a pacifist faction of Anabaptists, i.e. re-baptisers. They settled in abandoned and flood-damaged villages, which later flourished through their hard and consistent work. Their humble lives and religious principles (bans on holding offices, swearing oaths, wearing trinkets) were seen as mysterious and often peculiar rites, which over time made this community legendary. To this day, the former Mennonite graveyards surprise with the traces of those settlers of old. The drainage windmills are another token of their presence. The first structures of this type were erected in the 14th Century by the Teutonic Knights, but it was thanks to the Dutch community that they acquired great significance for settlements at that time.
The landscape of Nowy Dwór Gdański's environs, once full of windmills, now lacks this distinctive achievement of its former settlers. To preserve what is left of this heritage, work has started to reconstruct Żuławy's last drainage windmill. This only remaining windmill found is the 18th-Century wind pump from Ostaszewo. In 2006, following the consent granted by the Pomeranian Conservation Officer, under the supervision of Marek Opitz (a member of the Nowy Dwór Club) and under the coordination of Jerzy Domino from the National Monument Conservation Service in Elbląg, the surviving remains of the windmill were moved from Sobieszewska Island to Nowy Dwór Gdański. All the preserved parts were placed in the Żuławy Museum.
The multicultural history of the Nowy Dwór Gdański land may also be noted in the unique architecture of this region. The characteristic feature of these lands, and the entire Żuławy Wiślane, is the presence of arcade houses. Wooden or brick, with a frame structure and an intricately-constructed arcade supported by several columns, they imbue the local architecture with a unique style. Other historic buildings left by the settlers of old are the Dutch farmsteads, located on mounds raised specifically for this purpose, called Terps. Houses of this type feature a dense residential-economic complex made by combining the two gables of the stable and barn, and a shape resembling an elongated rectangle, sometimes the letters L or T. Religious buildings - Gothic village churches made of brick - are also of a very high tourist value
Continuous and uninterrupted development aimed at drawing attention to Żuławy's assets has become a priority for the Nowy Dwór Gdański Commune. The dynamic work of the Local Government focussed on increasing the region's value give the Commune and the town a new significance. Establishing cooperation with foreign towns is helping the commune to achieve great progress in tourism, culture, knowledge, and sports. The Nowy Dwór Gdański Commune has already signed partnership agreements with such towns as Hennef (Sieg) in Germany and Swietłyj in the Kaliningrad Oblast. Cooperation with two new towns has also started - Sarna in Ukraine and Velka nad Velićkou in the Czech Republic.
The town and Commune of Nowy Dwór Gdański is also a good place for various associations, which are very active, and influence the development of culture and art. These include The Nowy Dwór Gdański Enthusiasts' Association - the Nowy Dwór Club, the IWA Cultural Society, and the Żuławy Sports Society. There are also organisations active mainly in their home villages, such as the Our Village Stobna Association, the Jazowa Association, and the Friends of Marzęcin Association.
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