I just can’t resist another stroll into Zamosc in the morning. And it’s just as well. Last night we didn’t get the chance to see the Cathedral, but it’s open this morning.
We also see the old armoury, now the Polish Army Museum
and have a last look at the square. *Sigh* It’s so lovely here.
But onward we must.
Our next stop is Lubin, the largest city in southeastern Poland. We’re traveling through Poland in an anticlockwise loop from its southeastern border. Luckily, the distance to Lubin is only a fraction of yesterday’s marathon effort and as a bonus, the roads are kind to us today.
We head straight for the Old Town, of course. With its gorgeous Krakow Gate entrance,
the Old Town is a maze of cobblestoned laneways, full of beautiful buildings.
We see the Town Hall
and the breathtaking Cathedral of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist.
With its 1700s Tromp l’oeil frescos, it’s a baroque masterpiece.
People have asked why we spend so much time in churches, and it’s this. Over history, churches have been a patrons of the arts in all its forms. Very often, they were the only entities wealthy enough to support and engage artists of the day. It’s in the churches that history comes to life, bringing the best of what each century has to offer. These are the art galleries of the common man, frequently illiterate, the stories of the Bible were brought to life, through the medium of the artist’s brush and the sculptuer’s hand.
We see the foundation ruins of Lubin’s original church, deemed a sacred site: nothing has been allowed to be built here since, and we pop into the new city breifly – very much the thriving metropolis. Endless icecream options, of course!
Eventually, Himself’s tummy gets the better off him. “Lunch” he says, and having caught my pierogi bug, proceeds to order same. There’s pickles, herbed cottage cheese and of all things, lard with scratchings, to start: they have big appetites here. That’s just the “welcome” snack.
Having had pierogi for the last three meals running and not actually being hungry, I’m at a loss, until I spot grandma’s apple pie on the menu, with homemade icecream. That’s me sorted. Tanks-a-lot babunia, you nailed it.
After lunch we pop in to the castle,
currently under renovation, and tour its extraordinary Holy Trinity Chapel. It’s deemed the most important building in town with its 15th century Byzantine frescos, painstakingly rescued from under render.
The frescoes are Russian in nature, lending credence to the cultural diversity of the time, when Roman Catholic and Orthodox faiths coexisted peaceful side by side.
We also walk through the old Jewish Quarter
and learn of the horrific history of the castle. During WWII, over 30,000 Jewish prisoners were held here, in inhuman conditions before being executed by the Nazis. After the war, a further 26,000 Soviet prisoners suffered similarly dreadful existences. So much evil in our world. So much beauty too, but so much evil.
The threatening storms eventually drive us home in the late afternoon. But not before a walk in the park. Just look how old this magnificent specimen is. Himself looks like a dot beside it.
When the rains come, it’s a welcome relief. The heat. It’s not my happy place.