Kazimierz Dolny, Poland
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.
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.
of the famous renaisance style granaries in Kazimierz.
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...
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
basket-makers college. You can always be sure of buying a basket in Kazimierz.
wooden house, with a traditional wood tile roof.
A view from
the castle hill towards the river.
on the northern edge of the town.
An old wooden
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
main limestone quarry, to the south of Kazimierz Dolny and overlooking
the river. The quarry is now out of use.
at the side of Krakowska street, just outside the town itself. The interior
is shown in the picture at the top of the page.
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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