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WHAT TO SEE IN MALOPOLSKA REGION

Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp

The entrance

All over the world, Auschwitz has become a symbol of terror, genocide and the Holocaust. The camp was established by Germans in 1940, in the more »

Zakopane-Tatra Mountains

Zakopane-Tatra Mountains

Zakopane in Tatra mountains is undoubtedly the Polish capital of winter sports and mountain tourism offering great possibilities for leisure all over the more »

Ojców National Park

Ojców National Park

The Ojców National Park was established in 1956. It takes its name from the village of Ojców where it also has its headquarters. It is Poland's more »

Czestochowa-Black Madonna

Czestochowa-Black Madonna

Polish culture and history have been inextricably connected to the Catholic religion. The most important national shrine is located in the city of Częstochowa. This very symbolical and spiritual place has been drawing pilgrims from ac- more »

Kalwaria Zebrzyd.-Pilgrimage

Kalwaria Zebrzyd.-Pilgrimage

Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is a town in Małopolska Region with about 4500 inhabitants. The town is named after the religious complex (calva- more »

Wadowice-Popes home

Wadowice-Popes home

The Holy Father John Paul II Family Home in Wadowice was the family home of Karol Józef Wojtyła the future Pope John Paul II. It is more »

Dunajec-river rafting

Dunajec-river rafting

A Dunajec raft trip is one of the most popular Polish mountain attractions. It is not far from Krakow and Zakopane. The trip is completely safe, the more »

Zalipie-Painted Village

Zalipie-Painted Village

North of Tarnow, where Dunajec and Vistula rivers meet, resides one of the most interesting ethnographic micro-regions in Poland with more »

Active recreation

Kraków and its surroundings is not just ancient monuments and culture – it is also a city and region where you can spend your time in a myriad different ways. more »

Zalipie-Painted Village


Zalipie-Painted Village
North of Tarnow, where Dunajec and Vistula rivers meet, resides one of the most interesting ethnographic micro-regions in Poland with

the village of Zalipie at its center. Its fame has resulted from a region specific tradition that involves the painting of cottages.


This custom of decorating both the exterior and the interior of houses originated at the end of the 19th century when old-fashioned furnaces were replaced with new furnaces with chimneys. In order to cover blackened walls, women and girls tried to brighten the interior of their dwellings by decorating the walls with brightly colored spots made of lime. Later these round spots were shaped into simple flowers and finally they evolved into the detailed flower bouquets still visible today. Using flower compositions, the women put special emphasis on decorating the wide stoves. Also, they painted flower garlands under pictures and around windows and doors. At a later period they began to paint the exterior of their homes. Initially, the ornamentation was predominantly geometric with dots, curves, circles, zig-zags, and wavy lines etc. and the materials used were simply those that were most available like brown clay, soot, and lime. As an adhesive they used milk, sugar and egg whites or dumpling stock. Women painted with brushes composed of horse hair, leather, or human hair; some of these ENGINEs of brushes were still used up until a several years ago.

This art form was not recognized until the year 1905 when a clerk from Krakow, Władysław Hickel, was intrigued by the one-of-a-kind Zalipian cottages and became the first journalist to publish an article about them in "Lud," an ethnographic periodical. In the period before ethnographic interest in the phenomenon caused the creation of the Zalipian display in the Ethnographic Museum in Krakow. After the war this form of folk art started to disappear, until through efforts of ethnographers it was reborn.

Contests in house-painting started in 1948 and occurred every few years until 1965 when it became an annual event. In addition to Zalipie, these special cottages can be found in a number of surrounding villages. Even so, Zalipie remains the most popular as a result of the incredible talent of a local painter, Felicja Curyło (1904-1974). Even today Zalipie is the village that maintains the largest amount of painted houses, numbering more than twenty. Single cottages can be found in Ćwikow, Kłyż, Kuzie, Niwki, Podlipie and Samocice, however the paintings in these villages are much more simple and archaic than those in Zalipie.
 
The talents of local artists are not limited to wall paintings alone, as they create embroidered and painted furniture coverings, ornamented table clothes, aprons, china, and glass etc. Souvenirs are available for tourists in the "Dom Malarek" Cultural Center. Unfortunately, it may be difficult for tourists to find the painted houses because the village is very spread out and the decorated structures are far from the main road. Additionally they are not museums but actual functioning households; the only painted cottage museum being that which was owned by Felicja Curyłowa.

Not only homes, this folk art was practiced on the Zalipian church as well. This structure would appear as a common country church except for its exterior, which was decorated by the local women. Also, the local school and other public structures are traditionally painted. In order to celebrate and expand upon this unique folk art, the Tarnów Ethnographic Museum organizes an annual contest called, "The Painted Cottage," which is the best opportunity to see local artists at work. The contest takes place in the spring immediately after Corpus Christi holiday.
  • Fairytail neighbourhood
  • painted houses
  • inside a house
  • all painted
  • the clock
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