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Biskupin and Gniezno

Na zdrowie

sunny 23 °C

Thursday May 18, 2017 Day 8

Sleep may be elusive but the coffee is wonderful in almost everywhere we’ve tried it. Add a croissant or a small pastry and it’s even better.

We took leave of our fortress and headed off to an archaeological site…an iron age lake village called Biskupin south of Torun. Once we left the highway, the scenery today was quite rural with more fields of rapeseed mixed with another grain crop. Occasional we’d drive through very small towns with old stone houses, barns, chickens and not much more. People rode one speed bikes down the fairly quiet streets with nary a bike helmet in sight. Still flat country, great for biking except for the lack of shoulders.


Biskupin was originally built about 700 BC and survived to about 500 AD. when it was subject to another attack and climate change. The fort was built on an island on a lake. It had survived several attacks but was burned in the last one. By then the lake was rising and the fort could not be rebuilt so the community moved. The waters dropped in the early 20th century and a farmer found remnants in his field. Archaeologists began excavating in 1934. Today a museum has been opened and the small community of houses have been rebuilt to look like they did in 500 AD, with people demonstrating various crafts of the time. It is a lovely site on the lake with lots of birds and loud frogs.


Our next stop was in Gniezno, a small town that is thought to be the birthplace of the Polish state. We headed off to the large cathedral in town that has roots going back to around 1000 AD. The original church is gone, a second church was built on top and is mostly gone and a huge cathedral was built on top of that. We were taken down to visit the crypts in the basement that may or may not contain parts of various bishops going back to the early days of the church. The guide spoke quite a bit about the trading, repatriating, stealing, and importance of the body parts of dead bishops to various powers. It seems to result in a bit of animosity as well as controversy about who has what. Hmmm…


Many things to ponder as we fall asleep tonight.

Posted by Fredricgail2017 10:58 Archived in Poland

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A very different time when the Church was the centre of life, and made sure it remained their by whatever power it could invoke. The ancient village almost looks like some of the early forts/trading posts built in North American by the various powers exploiting the new lands.
You are getting a really good look at the country. How's Fred's 5 year old Polish standing up? I suspect you hear your grandparents voices amongst it all.

by Don Scott

There is a couple, who are Gail’s age, traveling with the group that are from Detroit, the same Polish neighborhood that my grandfather had his Polish book store. They are fluent in Polish as well. As I travel around listening to the spoken Polish, I recognize words from my childhood from the time I was around my grandparents and the book store

by Fredricgail2017

Must be nice to have some young people around:))) Enjoy the auditory memories, and don't be shy about trying to utter a few words yourself. Neat that you have some people from your Grandparents old neighbourhood, I'm sure they appreciate some of your recollections of what that part of Detroit was like back then. Celebrate life!

by Don Scott

Love the continual juxtaposition of olde and new. What a fascinating country!

by DeborahE

You are giving us an impressive glimpse at what is great about traveling in Poland and much of Europe. The attention to quality there always impresses me; the architecture, the food, the culture are preserved and presented in ways that many countries which claim to want to attract tourists could well learn from. Thanks for your blogs and photos.

by Bill Harany

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