The “Feudal Carpathian Mountains route – royal, ducal and noble demesne” is a thematic, historic route, running through successive Districts, meeting the places that bear a trace of the history of the areas. This trace obviously means the still-present mansions, manors and castles. Some of them are in splendid condition – once renovated, they were given the second chance from history. The others, though, are yielding to nature – falling into ruin, becoming overgrown with flora, losing characteristic ornamentation and construction elements. Their dignity is not diminishing though! They hide the past within their walls, the history of social relations and relationships between masters and their subjects…
For many Centuries a supreme feudal system prevailed in the history of Małopolska. The divided lands were owned by the royalty, the Church (monastery) or nobility (and earlier by the chivalry). In various periods the system would operate in different ways but the basic principle was the same. Some families would build their residences accompanied by spacious grounds and parks, and enjoy a “better” life there; holding high positions in the State. The families led a noble life, without everyday worries, while the other families would build large granges, thus giving employment in traditional agricultural production to local dwellers. The farms of that type also entailed the development of craftsmanship, stimulating the local economy.
Each manor, mansion and castle has its own specific history – a history written by the times when the provenance of man was decided by class membership…
The idea of the trail discussed is to bring out the essence of the preserved architectural monuments during their heyday. Indeed, the discussed residence was not always connected with some great family or their long and complicated story or a bloody Governor. Sometimes the splendour of a estate was simply thanks to a talented architect who, through his works of art – their originality, beauty or authenticity – overshadowed any other events and people associated with the building.
The route of the trail
The trail runs through the following districts and towns
Oświęcim District – Bulowice, Graboszyce, Osiek, Polanka Wielka, Poręba Wielka, Zator; Wadowice District – Andrychów, Brody, Gorzeń Górny, Inwałd, Lanckorona, Paszkówka, Spytkowice, Stryszów;
Myślenice District – Krzyszkowice, Krzywaczka, Sieraków;
Sucha District – Sucha Beskidzka; Limanowa District – Laskowa;
Nowy Targ District – Czorsztyn, Frydman, Łopuszna, Niedzica;
Nowy Sącz District – Nawojowa, Rożnów (the castle and manor);
Gorlice District – Bobowa, Gorlice, Jeżów, Ropa, Siary, Szymbark, Zagórzany.
A historic route
[The surnames/families that appear several times or require a broader description]
Henrietta Ewa Ankwiczówna
Henrietta Ewa Ankwiczówna (1810–1879) was a Polish Countess and one of the loves of Adam Mickiewicz, whom she met in 1829 in Rome. As the one who was better acquainted with the city, she became a quide to the young poet. The relationship ended after the intervention of Henrietta’s father – Count Stanisław Ankwicz, who did not consider Mickiewicz worthy of his daughter’s hand. In May 1836, she married Count Stanisław Sołtyk, with whom she lived in Graboszyce. Mickiewicz dedicated two poems to Henrietta Ankwiczówna – Do H*** ( To H***) and Do mego cziczerone (To my guide), moreover, she was the model for Ewa Horeszkówna in Pan Tadeusz (Sir Thaddeus) and Ewa from Dziady part III.
The Bobrowski family – bearing the Jastrzębiec coat of arms
In the early 19th Century the Bobrowski family, purchased the demesne in the Oświęcim area – now belonging to Wadowice District. These were vast areas of villages and manors belonging to the fiefdom of Andrychów.
The Bobrowski family stayed in Andrychów until the end of World War II, and after the change in the political system, in the 90s, they regained their lost property. In Inwałda, a town also belonging to the fiefdom of Andrychów, a classical mansion was built by the Bobrowski family. Also, in Poręba Wielka a mansion designed by Francis Maria Lanci was built by a member the Bobrowski family.
Gaspare Castiglione was the son of Nicholas Castiglione from Florence, brought to Kraków for the construction of Sigismund’s Chapel (Kaplica Zygmuntowska) at Wawel. Through his marriage to Jadwiga of the House of Słupscy he entered a connection with noble families. Owing to these connections and substantial assets he was granted ennoblement in 1564 and was given a coat of arms with an Eagle (Saszor). With the acceptance of nobility he was named Suski. Kasper Suski was the owner of Stryszów and Sucha (Beskidzka), where he began construction of the castle.
The Gładysz family – Gryf (Gryphon) coat of arms.
In the first half of the 14th Century King Casimir III the Great granted forest land in the valley of the Ropa River to the knight Jan Gładysz, Gryf (Gryphon) coat of arms. The Gładysz family located several villages in the received area, and the pre-existing Szymbark settlement received municipal rights. Thus the vast fiefdom of Szymbark arose in the area. Due to the close vicinity of Gorlice, lying on an important trade route, Szymbark declined over time and lost its civic rights. The Gładysz family ruled within the fiefdom of Szymbark to the beginning of the 17th Century.
Louis Nicolas Hammerling
Hammerling was quite a controversial figure. A Pole of Jewish origin, who in his youth had emigrated to the United States, where he received a Catholic baptism. In 1920 he returned to Poland and joined the movement of Wincenty Witos in the Polish People's (or Peasants’) Party "Piast" (Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe “Piast”) which resulted in his becoming a Senator. As a mediator between the PSL “Piast” and representatives of the right wing, he contributed to the agreement concluded in 1923 in Warsaw, called “The Lanckorona Pact” (Pakt lanckoroński) (named in honour of the purchasing at that time of Castle Mountain (Góra Zamkowa) together with its ruined castle in Lanckorona, by Hammerling). This agreement resulted in forming the Government of Wincenty Witos. Negotiations, prior to signing the agreement, were pursued within the property of Hammerling – in the Brody manor.
After the not-too-clear past of Hammerling in America had come to light, he withdrew from political activity, sold his assets to the Polish Teachers' Union in Poland (before that he had sold the Lanckorona part of his assets to the magistrate in Lanckorona) and then went to America again, where in 1935 he died falling out of a window of a several-storey hotel in New York.
Francesco Maria Lanci
Francesco Maria Lanci (1799-1875) is a native of Italy, and a famous architect, who came at the invitation of the Polish Malachowski family, for whom he was to reconstruct the residence in Końskie. In the 1830s he was appointed a constructor of academic edifices in Kraków. He was also a co-creator of the sarcophagus of Tadeusz Kościuszko. Also, in that period Lanci reconstructed the castles of the local nobles. The castles created according his design are domains in Zagórzany, Osiek, Zator, and Poręba Wielka.
From 1844 the architect lived in Warsaw, where he worked on the reconstruction of Wilanów Palace.
The Larisch family
The Larisch faimly were an aristocratic family who arrived from Silesia in Małopolska no later than in the 13th Century. Their ancestors, who came from the Austrian Tirol, were the owners of the castle of Fragstein, hence their coat of arms, unprecedented in Poland. It shows two knives used for the grape harvest with a grapevine bush in between them. The coat of arms of the Larisch family can be seen, among others, in the Bulowice palace. Their possessions in Małopolska included the Larischa Palace in Kraków Bulowice castle, the Osiek palace, and the Zebrzydowice palace.
The Porębski family – Kornicz coat of arms
The Porębski family bearing the Kornicz coat of arms is a family whose origins can be traced back from the Middle Ages who had a considerable fortune in the lands of Oświęcim. From the 15th Century Poręba Wielka, which was previously called Sępnia, was in the hands of the Porębski family, and it owes its present name to them. The family’s property also included lands in Grójec and Osiek. The estates of the Porębski family were not always – and over many years – owned by the family; they evolved, were distributed among the family, and were resold… In the 17th Century Graboszyce also belonged to the Porębski family. Stanisław Porębski, among others, was the family member and the author of the first map of the Duchy of Oświęcim and the Duchy of Zator.