Polish culture is woven from memories, its national character rooted in the Romantic era. You can see this in the unique spirit of Polish villages and towns. Full of historical treasures, culture and original customs, they are an endless source of inspiration for artists.


Zalipie

Zalipie is considered Poland’s prettiest, most picturesque village. Colourful cottages adorned with vibrant hand-painted flowers win visitors’ hearts. The Painted Cottage contest has been held regularly since 1948, thanks to which new painted flowers are added to cottage walls, continuing a tradition over 100 years old. Despite its beauty and attractiveness to tourists, the village is modest, genuine, in no way commercial. Zalipie is not an open-air museum but a place where people lead normal lives, creating and developing their tradition.

Land of Open Shutters

In Podlasie, near Hajnówka in the Narew valley, is a magical route called the Land of Open Shutters. It comprises three villages: Trześcianka, Soce and Puchły. Residents continue their age-old folk tradition and borderland rituals, and speak the historical Podlasie dialect. The original old architecture, unique in Poland, has amazing carved wooden decorations. These can be found on window drip caps and sills, shutters, wind braces, corner rims and the timbering of façades and gables of churches, houses and outbuildings. This is an excellent spot for idyllic relaxation among forests, clean rivers and many stork nests.

Lipce Reymontowskie

Between Łódź and Skierniewice, in central Poland, lies the picturesque village of Lipce Reymontowskie. Władysław Reymont described the folk customs, culture and colourful life of its residents in his epic novel The Peasants which won him the Nobel Prize in 1924. Sites to visit include the level crossing attendant’s house where the writer lived and the regional museum. It is also worth seeing the Reymont Centre – Folk Homestead, an open-air museum with traditional rural buildings and a textile workshop where the Łowicz region’s famous striped folk costumes were made. You can still see locals in these beautiful colourful outfits during festivities.

Chochołów

Chochołów is a gem for fans of wooden architecture. Lying near Czarny Dunajec next to Nowy Targ, the village is famous for old cottages, wells and outbuildings in the Podhale regional style. The distinctive steep thatched roofs are utterly breathtaking when viewed against the backdrop of the Tatra Mountains’ jagged peaks. Though popular with tourists for its many attractions and the recently opened thermal baths, the village has lost nothing of its genuine character. The age-old annual Easter tradition of washing wooden houses’ outer walls with plain soap and water is still practised. It is a must-see.

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