May 2023 in Silesia, in the Giant Mountains. We walk from Jelenia Góra north west to Siedlęcin to see the unique medieval frescoes in the tower house.
The gorgeous view from the top of the “mushroom”
On top of the “city mountain”, called Wzgórze Krzywoustego, there is a tower.
It is called Grzybek or “little Mushroom”.
From the top we have a gorgeous view of the Giant Mountains.
We can identify the Schneekoppe (Snezka) and the Schneegruben (Śnieżne Kotły) in the haze.
Walking along the Bóbr river (Bober)
The train from Jelenia Góra to Kořenov in Czechia whistles loudly and shows us the way to the train viaduct crossing the Bóbr river.
The train crosses the Giant Mountains up to Czechia (Korenov). It is from the early 20th century and has been reinstalled in 2010.
We walk under the viaduct and continue our way along the river Bóbr.
A fountain on the way… refreshment for the hikers.
A snail in the sun… hurry up, little one, the sun will dry you out.
Rocks are scattered in the foresr; glaciers have dropped them a long time ago.
A restaurant in the forest, we have lunch here.
The river Bóbr has been dammed.
Siedlęcin – our target with the medieval frescoes
After about 6km we reach the tower house at Siedlęcin. This is, what it looked like in the 18th century.
The tower house and part of the complex are still around. On the first floor of the tower, we find this wall full of frescoes.
The frescoes have been painted in the years 1320 to 1340, applying the al seco technique on a chalk-bed. The frescoes tell us about the life of knights; this is unique in Europe.
Christopher watches over the scenery. To the left of Christopher are two couples. One lady wears a hud – she is married. The seond lady wears no hood – she is not married. They are standing on top of a line of graves.
Chrstopher is carrying Christ across the river. He stands in the water, barefeet, and some small fish around his legs indicate, this IS water.
The scene to the right of Christopher tells the story of Lancelot. Lancelot is a knight of the Round Table of King Artus and he is in love of Queen Guinevere. The adultery causes a civil war, as described in literature of the 12th century.
On this fresco, Lanzelot is sleeping and Guinevere tries to wake him up. Lancelot has deposited his helmet in the background; the helmet carries a dog sculpture.
Later Lancelot fights a duel with Tarquyn. Lancelot can be recognized by the helmet with the dog scultpure.
Some frescoes decorate the windows such as the coat of arms of the family Redern; they had acquired the tower house in 1354 and owned it for about two hundred years.
On the fourth floor, guards defended the tower house. The roof construction dates from 1315. It had to be renewed after a fire in the late 16th century. The clay floor provides heat insulation and protection against fires.
The ceiling of the third floor from 1315 has been largely preserved. Only parts of it had to be renewed after the fire of the 16th century.
While my friend takes the bus back to Jelenia Góra, I walk back, taking a different route and getting lost, though following the green markings. Our car was waiting for us next to the central bus station which helped finding it nevertheless. After a wonderful day, we return to “our” palace, the Palac Stoniszów.
- Frank Schüttig, “Riesengebirge”, Trescher Verlag, Berlin 2022
- Malgorzata Ulrich-Kornacka, “Niederschlesien”, Via Nova, Wroclaw 2018
- Dieter Schulze, “Polen der Süden”, Dumont Reisehandbuch, Osfildern 2020
- Tomasz Turbos, “Polen”, Dumont Kunst-Reiseführer, Hamburg 2011
- Explanations in the tower house of Siedlęcin