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The Carpathian Sorrowfulness of the Saints

The trail of the Carpathian nooks tracking little roadside shrines, religious figures, and crosses is dedicated to all those who cannot indifferently pass by the treasures, mysteries, and stories hidden in their shade, and who fear not to discover even the murkiest secrets… read more

If you pass by the little shrines, religious figures, and crosses – those which stand by a road, by a mountain trail or at a dirt crossroads, or those hung on trees in private gardens – have you ever wondered why anyone would have put them in this particular place? Maybe you have tried in vain to read its fate from the sorrowful gaze of a slightly battered folk-art religious figure or learn why it is specially venerated by the locals? What is there behind this – human gratitude, concern, fear or simple religious beliefs? You are invited to join in an exciting journey, during which we will discover secrets of the roadside folk-art religious figures; we will dig up legends related to them, and learn the details of murky crimes.

On this journey we will come up against the remnants of a settlement, the fate of which resembles that of the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. We will meet Jan Wincenty, who is capable of chasing away Carpathian daemons, as well as museum “kleptomaniacs”, due to whom it has been possible to gather the biggest collection in Poland of folk-art religious figures formerly placed in little shrines. Our way will be blocked by highland robbers tormented by pangs of conscience; we will search for hidden treasures and for the magic book of the most renowned sorcerer from the Gorce region. We will have a chance to scoop water out of miraculous springs. Sometimes the water could bring recovery and sometimes ... death. We will also bow down at a site where the body of a brutally murdered young girl was recovered; we will hear the story of a man who killed his neighbour with a bucket, and of a lover who committed suicide having mistakenly shot his loved one dead…

Our journey will begin in Limonowa, from where we will move on to Kasinka Mała and Rabka-Zdrój, to continue along the mountain trail through the northern foothills of Gorce, through Olszówka and Poręba Wielka, to Niedźwiedź. From there on the trail will take us to Turbacz for a meeting with head shepherd Bulanda on Jaworzyna Kamienicka. We will walk down mountain paths to Nowy Targ, to subsequently walk along a few easy Tatra Mountains trails. From Zakopane the trail will take us to Bukowina and Białka Tatrzańska, Czarna Góra, Rzepiska, Łapszanka, Łapsze Wyżne, Niedzica, Krościenko nad Dunajcem, and Czerniec. The two final steps will be taken in the health resorts of the Sącz region – Muszyna and Krynica Zdrój.

Most of the sites on the trail can be visited by car, obviously apart from these located on mountain trails. There are no obstacles to dividing the route according to your own likes or to come to the selected sites, be it even accidentally.

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