Slupsk Land. Where history meets modernity 

Open to the Baltic Sea, decorated with the picturesque Slupia River, with numerous monuments of the city of Slupsk, examples of classic wooden constructed houses and evidence of progressive hydrotechnical thought, the Slupsk Land is an extremely attractive area of Pomorskie region It is worth staying here for longer.

The region's largest city, as the name suggests, is Slupsk. It is a city that is over 700 years old and is proudly dominated by the Gothic Pomorskie Dukes' Castle with the restored Richter's granary, a mill and the Mill Gate. The history of Slupsk dates back to the formation of the Polish state. It was here that the Gryfit family ruled, whose memory is still alive in the historic walls of the city. Numerous monuments (along with the castle, there is also the town hall with magnificent stained glass windows) make Slupsk a city frequented visited by tourists.

Not everyone knows that it is in Slupsk, in the mentioned above Pomorskie Dukes' Castle, that the world's largest collection of paintings by avant-garde artist Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz is located. The Central Pomorskie Museum gathered over a quarter of a thousand portraits, paintings and drawings by Witkacy.

Kolekcja prac Witkiewicza w Muzeum Pomorza Środkowego, fot. pomorskie.travel

There are also those who do not know that it is in Slupsk, in the department store building at Plac Zwyciestwa, that there is a real technical monument - the oldest elevator in Europe.

Seaside attractions
If you ask about the coastal attractions of the Slupsk region, there is only one answer: Ustka. It is a beach resort that is teeming with life in spring and summer. The beach in Ustka is a paradise for those who care about the proximity of the city and great infrastructure (eastern beach) and for those who want to calm down and peace (western beach) lying on the sand.

Ustka is also a health resort where cardiological and rheumatological diseases are treated. Brine and peat found in this area is a natural remedy for many ailments. Ustka has also great restaurants, there are summer concerts, walks along the sea. There is a lighthouse in Ustka that is over 100 years old, is still shining. The lighthouse in nearby Czolpino and the Stilo lighthouse, which is considered to be one of the most charming in the whole of Pomorskie region, is also worth Your attention.

Latarnia morska w Ustce, fot. pomorskie.travel

However, the Slupsk region is not only the Baltic Sea. It is also the Slupia River with the Papal Canoe Trail commemorating the water expedition of Karol Wojtyla from 1964. The trail is almost as long as the river itself, and its passage provides unusual sensations, both sport and aesthetic. It is worth emphasizing that part of the Slupia River Valley is a beautiful landscape park with numerous species of flora and fauna, as well as, on the other hand, an example of technical progress. It was here at the beginning of the 20th century that hydroelectric power plants were erected, which, still operating, are open to visitors. Those interested in this type of attraction will certainly be interested in the fact that the Zarnowiec Hydroelectric Power Plant, the largest pumped storage power plant in Poland, is also nearby.

Historic pearls of the region
Characteristic black and white country houses. White, because painted with lime. Black because with beams covered with tar. This is how traditional houses of the Slupsk region looked (and still look). Lots of them here, especially in the area of ​​Swolowo. It is not without the reason that this area is called the Checkered Land. Well-preserved examples of wooden house construction are the reason why Swolowo was baptized with the name of the European Village of Cultural Heritage. The Pomorskie Folk Culture Museum in Swolowo takes care that the rich Pomorskie peasant's barn, bread house, and cottage of the farmer continue to be attractive for Guests.

 

After a visit to the Pomorskie farms of rich peasants, it is worth going to Kluki, where the Museum of the Slovinian Village is located. This is a unique open-air museum, where you can see how the Slovinians, the indigenous people of this land, lived here 200 years ago. We visit cottages with well-maintained, though modestly arranged rooms, home gardens, fishing huts, necessary in the vicinity of the lakes Gardno and Lebsko. Finally, we will eat wafers, baked on the spot according to ancient recipes.

It is worth ending your visit to the Slupsk region with a concert. Yes, at the Charlotta Valley complex in July and August each year there is a Festival of rock Legends, a unique musical feast for all lovers of the best music!

 

The largest exhibition of Witkacy's works is in ... Slupsk!

The largest exhibition of Witkacy's works is in ... Slupsk!

He didn't pay his dentist for dental treatment. Instead, he painted him portraits. He never visited Slupsk, although he was in Pomorskie, including Sopot, more than once. However, it is in Slupsk that the largest collection of works by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz is located. Pastels, paintings, drawings, graphics - it seems that Witkacy in Slupsk is more exposed than in his beloved Zakopane.

The collection of works by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, which is located in Slupsk, has over 260 works. These are not only pastel portraits, oil paintings, charcoal and pencil drawings, graphics, but also letters, postcards, original photographic prints, first editions of books and all kinds of archives. We will find these extraordinary treasures of one of the most controversial, but at the same time extremely talented artists of the 20th century in the rooms of the Pomeranian Dukes' Castle in Slupsk.

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy)

He was born in Warsaw, the son of two artists - a painter (father) and a musician (mother). His godparents were Helena Modrzejewska - the icon of Polish theatre, and Sabała, a Podhale highlander and story-teller. Witkacy grew up to be an incredibly colourful yet controversial figure. Even when he was a child he met the luminaries of Polish culture and art - no wonder then that he chose an interesting yet difficult way to pursue in his own art. He spent all his life looking for the artistic absolute, which he called "pure form". He sought it with equal enthusiasm in painting and in literature. He was an esteemed painter and a frequently-staged playwright. His extremely colourful personality and eccentric behaviour and views, as well as a certain "vogue for Witkacy", made him one of the most important personages of pre-war Poland's artistic and social life.

The pursuit of pure form, although interesting, did not yield profit, which led him to paint commissioned portraits within the framework of the "S. I. Witkiewicz Portrait Company". Although he did not set much store by this field of his work, it is the portraits of famous and unknown people, sometimes realistic, but just with a hint of metaphysics, and sometimes utterly fantastic, that brought him the most fame and recognition.

Sailing the vast seas of pure form did not shelter Witkacy from the winds of history. He took part in World War I as a soldier and officer, although he never related his wartime adventures. He also witnessed the outbreak of the Russian revolution and the beginning of World War II. For years he had prophesied the invasion of the Asian civilisation on Europe, so when he heard that the Soviet army had enteredPoland in September 1939, he committed suicide.

How come Witkacy’s works ended up in Slupsk?
With probability bordering on certainty, Witkacy was never in Slupsk. The history of the artist's collection in Pomorskie dates back to 1965. It was then that the Pomorskie Central Museum in Slupsk bought 109 portraits and one composition from one of Lebork citizen. It was Michal Bialynicki-Birula, son of Teodor, who was a doctor in Zakopane and friend of Witkacy. In the 1960s, the purchase of so many pastel works by Witkiewicz was quite a risky step - the Zakopane eccentric was valued for his achievements in the field of theatre and drama, but his artistic works were not popular.

Interestingly, the exhibition in Slupsk is the only permanent monographic exhibition in the world of Witkacy. About 120 works of the artist are presented at the exhibition at once. However, because the museum's resources of his work are much bigger, they are exchanged, so you can visit the exhibition several times and always discover something new.
With time, Witkacy's talent began to be noticed and his artistic output was increasingly appreciated. In the 70’s, more works were purchased - 12 drawings and two portraits from the collections of Jan Józef Glogowski, an engineer and photographer associated with Witkacy. Another purchase was 40 works from a dentist who was a friend with the artist. It was him who Witkacy painted portraits in exchange for dental treatment. Therefore, the Pomorskie Central Museum in Slupsk has successively collected over 250 works! Pastel portraits painted on paper dominate here.

Experts of the artist's work will certainly notice that the works that are presented at the Pomorskie Central Museum in Słupsk are a cross-section of the various stages of the work of the Zakopane artist. Here are examples of works that were created during the time of belonging to the Formists or from the period of intense portrait activity and fascination with human physiognomy.