Seweryn Goszczyński – the Columbus Podhale region

Who visited Polish mountains 200 years ago? Except treasure hunters, there were only researchers and vagabonds. It was the texts by Seweryn Goszczyński that brought about the avalanche. read more

Who visited Polish mountains 200 years ago? Except treasure hunters, there were only researchers and vagabonds. It was the texts by Seweryn Goszczyński that brought about the avalanche. Tatra mountains became popular among writers, artists and people who needed wild nature. This is how the mountain tourism began.When in 1832 Seweryn Goszyczyński started his first Tatra journey, he had quite a vague image of the mountains. Before the excursion, he read the descriptions of Carpathians written by the father of Polish geology, Stanisław Staszic. It was the time when nobody climbed Tatras, except shepherds, poachers, the last robbers, treasure hunters and scientists. The mountains frightened people – there were no paths nor huts and the wolves and bears prowled everywhere.

However, yet in the 18th century it became fashionable to visit Alps. Alpine peaks were painted and described in poems. The next popular mountains were Carpathians. The Romanticism era was coming. When the November Uprising failed, and Gorczyński was sentenced to death, he decided to hide at his friend’s place in Łopuszna village in Podhale region. This way he made the dream of his life – a Tatras journey - come true. This promising poet who grew up in the Ukrainian lowlands, started to write down all his reflections from this many months long journey. Some of the fragments were published in press, nd the whole of his “Dziennik podróży do Tatrów” was published after almost 30 years.

However, Gorczyński didn’t write about the mountains only, as he wrote about the Highlanders as well: their culture and religiosity, he quoted the stories about Janosik, collected many songs and made a dictionary of the Highlanders dialect. People fascinated him to the same extent nature and history did. He spent plenty of time in Tetmajer family’s manor in Łopuszna, but stayed also in the vicarage in Frydman. He realised three Tatras excursions, climbed in Gorce mountains, visited Czorsztyn. He was looking for the spiritual element everywhere.

This is incredible that his Dziennik (Pol. Journal) is still an intriguing reading and its subsequent issues vanish immediately from the shelves in bookstores.

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