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The priest also accomodated us in a climb to the tower of the church. I'm afraid I stopped at the second story, however. The stairs are steep, narrow and high... making it tricky to go up... but even more challenging to come down. Rose and I decided to forego the view from the top. Wladek went up and took pics at roof level.
Written Aug 2, 2009
Here we see the interior of the old wooden church and the altar where my grandfather was Christined and married, and where my uncle was Christined. St. Stanislaus and Adalbert Church was built 1656 - 1660 and moved to Poremby Dymarskie from Cmolas in 1979. The art work .. the gold .. the age of these wall paintings are absolutely amazing. When the church was being dis-assembled to prepare it for the move, pannelling was removed from the walls to uncover this early art and at the time, there were doubts about whether or not the church should be allowed to leave Cmolas. The people of Poremby Dymarskie prevailed, however, and the church now stands proudly in their village...fully restored.
Incidentally, I sent a pic of the paintings on the walls to a friend of mine at home. She included it in her second book about historic decorative painting. She was thrilled to see an example of the work she had been reading about in her research. Grandfather would be so proud to see his church publicized in this beautiful book. The author sent a copy w/ me to Poland in 2009 and I made it a gift to Wladek's parents. His grandfather was one of the men who helped to relocate the church.
Amazingly, on a previous trip, I sat next to a man on the plane ride home who got to asking about my trip. Turns out he lives near Cmolas and was married in the very same church as my grandparents!! Is that freaky or what? He works in NYC for 5 or 6 mos. a year. Small world, isn't it? I believe I was destined to make these trips.
Updated Jul 29, 2009
One of the highlights of my trip to Poland was that we were invited for lunch at Wladek's family farm. His parents are so sweet and all of us were having such fun with food, language, stories and reviewing their family album. Everything on the farm is built or created or fixed by Wladek's father and family. They live off the land in true farm style. Wladek commented to one of the women, "My parents don't buy anything but salt & pepper." Well, I don't think it's that extreme, but they certainly live independantly among their fields and in sinc with nature. I got a tour of the barns and animals and gardens..and enjoyed a few "you had to be there" jokes among the three of us.
Wladek's brother and bride-to-be were there as well. They will remain on the farm when they are married in August, 09, as tradition warrants. Wladek works in England and his sister works in Kolbuszowa.
Updated Jul 28, 2009
In July of 2006 I made my fourth trip to Poland. This time I was determined to locate my grandfather's church which I thought had been destroyed. It wasn't until after I left Cmolas the last time that I realized the church still existed...it was simply moved to a different location! Who would have thought that a 1600's church would have been moved? Gosia and I got the information, travelled deep into the hinterlands through areas of very sparse habitation, and we finally came upon the old church. Still standing in all her glory, it is used lovingly by the people of Pareby Dymarskie for their daily devotions. We investigated and I could detect newer building materials and modern-day nails. It was obvious that part of the church had to be rebuilt with newer materials Later we learned that the tower was in very poor condition at the time of the move, so they built a new one and replaced many boards as they reconstructed the church. The original timbers for the frame of the building were disassembled and reassembled
On the day Gosia and I arrived it was one of the hottest days of the summer (a Saturday). A young priest was there with teenagers doing a summer bible camp. They gathered in this old church without fans or air conditioning to continue their studies in spite of the heat. This sort of devotion ... consistent and unfailing is so much a part of the Polish nature.
NOTE THE CONTRAST IN SIZE BETWEEN THE HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET AND THE CHURCH. IT'S HUGE. AMAZING THAT THE LOCAL MEN COULD MOVE IT.
Grandfather's church Travelogue
Updated Jul 28, 2009
Wladek's grandfather helped to move and rebuild the old church from Cmolas in Poreby Dymarskie. He has sent me the old photos of the men working on the church and I offer them here to commemorate their wonderful work. To think it was just the local men who undertook such a task is certainly amazing.Their results are striking and I am so thankful they have saved a wonderful old piece of Cmolas culture and religion.
Updated Jul 28, 2009
In the hallway of grandfather's church there was a row of wooden figures which are used in special processions. You can see the two holes where the men put boards through and two men elevate the icon by putting the boards on their shoulders as they parade through the streets of the villages. I wish I could have seen one of the special processions. I'm sure they are colorful and fun.
Written Aug 20, 2006
These charming road side shrines are found all along the roadways of Poland. Farmers who are unable to reach their local church on a daily basis, visit the little shrines for prayer throughout the day. This shrine is on a little two lane road through the woods on the way to my grandfather's church. One of my other pics here is of a shrine that was along the road on the way to Pajezno, but not far from my grandfather's village.
I am also told that these shrines (less elaborate ones) are placed by the roadway where an accident took place. In the US we often see flowers placed at an accident scene as well. However, in Poland the larger shrines are truly unique and worthy of a stop and a photo.
Updated Aug 15, 2006