Kazimierz Dolny, Poland

Kazimierz Dolny

Cafe and Restaurant guide

Kazimierz Dolny, which was probably named after either the 14th century Polish king Casimir the Just (Kazimierz Sprawiedliwy) or Casimir the Great, is a small picturesque town on the Vistula (Wisla) river. It is set in a small valley surrounded by low wooded hills. It has everything required of a picture postcard scene, including ancient decaying fortifications on a hill above it. When it was first mentioned in the 12th century, it was already a thriving settlement,

According to that famous Polish chronicler Jan Dlugosz, Casimir the Great established it as a town and created the defensive castle in the 14th century. It gained city rights in 1406, by which time it was prospering as it could take advantage of both the river trade between Cracow (Krakow) and the Baltic sea and that between Krakow and Moscow.
Most of the city was destroyed by fire in 1561, but this was not the catastrophe it might have been because its merchants were given an 8 year tax exemption and the right to trade in Krakow salt to allow them resources to rebuild. The merchants gained enormous profits from this and were able to build the town almost from new. The gothic parish church was restored and given a new facade, and this facade is now considered to be the finest surviving sample of the Lublin Renaissance style.
Parish Church.
Many of the new merchants houses were built using the influence of the many Italian architects then working in Poland, with plaster mouldings on the walls and a high ornate loft to conceal the roof (a loft in this meaning is an extension upwards of the front wall of the house). Buildings in the same style can be seen in Lublin's old town and Zamosc.
Two area's of Kazimierz, where the warehouses were located, were named after the two main cities with which the city traded - Krakow and Gdansk. A few of the warehouses which were built at that time still survive, in one of them is a nature museum and another is now a hotel.
In the 18th century, Kazimierz Dolny went into a decline, along with the rest of Poland, speeded up by a severe attack by the Swedes, plague and several more fires.
Kazimierz Dolny today has little in the way of modern style building as it survives mainly on the flood of visitors there, many of them coming from Warsaw to spend the weekend there.
One of the famous renaisance style granaries in Kazimierz.
A later, Baroque, granary. Not one of the famous ones, and so is left almost abandoned, despite it being several hundred years old. Such is the infant state of monument care, mainly due to lack of funds and partly due to a lack of awareness amongst the population. The camera angle is a bit strange, but I did take it from a horse and carriage...
The main square on a market day. Behind the main in the striped top you can see the wooden well, a well known feature of Kazimierz Dolny that many people photograph themselves against.
Although it was August, the range of fruit from the local farms was impressive, they still had raspberries and they hadn't been seen in Lublin's markets for weeks.
Again the market, against the backdrop of one of Kazimierz Dolny's most well known buildings and one of the finist examples of the Renaisance style in Poland. Here you can see that they are selling baskets, a local product.
When it isn't market time, there is generally something to buy in the square as Kazimierz Dolny has been a haunt of artists since the early 19th century.
Between the main market and the second market square is this wooden building. 2 storey wooden buildings are not that common in this part of Poland.
In the second market square is this fine wooden barn, the shop built into the corner of it sells old farm and cottage antiques.
The basket-makers college. You can always be sure of buying a basket in Kazimierz.
A substantial wooden house, with a traditional wood tile roof.
A view from the castle hill towards the river.
A cottage on the northern edge of the town.
An old wooden house
This is part of the Wisla (Vistula) river valley. The river itself is several hundred metres away, but during very wet periods it flows across this part as well.
The main limestone quarry, to the south of Kazimierz Dolny and overlooking the river. The quarry is now out of use.
A kaplica at the side of Krakowska street, just outside the town itself. The interior is shown in the picture at the top of the page.
In the courtyard of the Franciscan Monastery and Church. This monument is an object of pilgrimages. She is Matka Boze Kazimierska (God's Mother of Kazimierz).


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