The Magic escape of St. Kinga to Pieniny

The escape of St. Kinga described by a Polish chronicler Jan Długosz fostered people’s imagination. At the time of the Tatar invasion the duchess left Stary Sącz village to find a shelter in Pieniny. read more

The escape of St. Kinga described by a Polish chronicler Jan Długosz fostered people’s imagination. At the time of the Tatar invasion the duchess left Stary Sącz village to find a shelter in Pieniny.

When the chase came closer, she was able to stop it using her magic power. This way, saving her own and her companions’ lives, she created...Dunajec river and Pieniny mountain range. When Europe was threatened by the Mongolian tsunami, the mountain fortress on Góra Zamkowa (the Castle Mountain) was one of the few unbeaten castles. Duchess Kinga, its builder, had to make a dramatic decision. She ordered 70 nuns to walk quickly from Stary Sącz to a small refugium (shelter) placed high in the mountains. The escape from 1287 was stored in people’s memory and the legends, mixing historical facts and fantasy. The Poor Clare Nuns’ track went probably through Obidza and then further through mountain roads, Dunajec ford, Kras fields and Pieniny paths. This “magic” escape was highly amazing. Every time the Tartars get closer to the nuns, they were stopped, pulled back by unexplainable phenomena. The legend says that Kinga was throwing away various objects behind her, which magically turned into obstacles delaying the chase. Her comb grew into a forest, her ribbon turned into Dunajec strip, her rosary into Pieniny range. When Kinga placed her foot on a stone, her footprint was fixed in the stone forever, when her legs were wounded on the rocks, red gillyflowers grew out of her blood and the drops of her sweat turned into white gillyflowers. On Kras she made the famous miracle of wheat that grew during one night. But the biggest miracle was to happen on Góra Zamkowa.

The nuns, surrounded by Tatars army, were saved thanks to their abbess’ prayer. The legend says that Kinga threw a shawl, which turned into a mist. In the chaos, the Tatar bowmen were shooting to each other and when the storm started, they run away frightened.

According to Jan Długosz, the author of The Life of St. Kinga, the castle was really defended and saved thanks to some supernatural power. All these stories were the bases for many literary pieces.

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