Polish Cinemas

Polish cinema has a long history going back as far as almost any country in Europe with the first cinema (kino) founded in Lodz (Łódź) in 1899. Today, there are cinemas in virtually every large town and city in Poland.

slubice kino piast

A photograph of Kino Piast (Piast Cinema) in Slubice, Poland, c.1964.

Here are three old images from our archive of cinemas during the Communist-era.

synagogue wolsztyn

The Tatry Cinema in Wolsztyn, western Poland, c.1970. The building was a synagogue before the war.

Notable Polish filmmakers / directors include: Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Agnieszka Holland, Andrzej Wajda, and Andrzej Żuławski. With the best known Polish films (outside of Poland) probably: A Short Film About Love; The Three Colours trilogy; and the The Double Life of Veronique.

Kino slupsk

The Kino Milenium (Millennium Cinema) in Slupsk, Poland, c.1974.

Related content on Polish Poland: Vote for your favourite Polish Film / Movie!

Vikings in Poland

vikings poland

At the time of the Viking migrations and expeditions from what is now Denmark and Norway to western European countries such as England, Scotland, Ireland, and Iceland, Vikings from present-day Sweden were making their way eastward to areas like Poland, Ukraine and Russia.

viking festival Poland

A phonecard from 1999 commemorating the annual Viking Festival held in Wolin, Poland.

Selected facts about Vikings in Poland:
- Perhaps controversially some believe that Mieszko I (c.932-992) was himself of Viking stock!
- Archaeologists have found traces of Viking settlement and the graves of Scandinavian warriors in Wolin, Lubon, Bodzia.
- The island of Wolin in Western Pomerania is home to Europe’s biggest Germanic-Slavic Viking festival.
- Wikingowie is the Polish word for Vikings!

Polish Soups

Polish zurek soup

A bowl of what was a most tasty Polish Zurek soup! Follow the link below to discover our family recipe.

Polish cuisine is blessed with a veritable wealth of fantastic soups. Here are a few of our favourite soup dishes.

Barszcz – red beetroot soup served with dumplings called uszka (little dumpling ears) with mushroom or sauerkraut filling. This is the traditional first course of the ‘Wigilia’ Christmas Eve meal.
Barszcz bialy – sour rye and pork soup with diced pork, sausage, ham, and hard boiled egg.
Flaki / flaczki – beef or pork tripe stew with marjoram
Grochowka – pea soup
Kapusniak – cabbage/sauerkraut soup
Kartoflanka – potato soup
Krupnik – barley soup with chicken, beef, carrots or vegetable broth
Kwasnica – traditional sauerkraut soup
Rosol – clear chicken soup
Zupa borowikowa – borowik (porcini) mushroom soup
Zupa grzybowa – mushroom soup made of various wild mushroom species
Zupa ogorkowa – soup of salted gherkins, and sometimes pork
Zupa pomidorowa – tomato soup usually served with pasta or rice
Zupa szczawiowa – sorrel soup
Zurek – soured rye flour soup with sausage and hard-boiled egg. Eaten all year round but an essential part of many Polish families traditional Easter meal.

Do you have a favourite soup? If so, please vote using the poll below!

Dried Mushrooms

Dried Mushrooms from Poland

The first of this year’s pick of wild mushrooms have now dried and are about to be put in store. Dried mushrooms, kept in a sealed container, will happily keep for up to a year, so will be used over the coming winter and beyond.

dried wild mushrooms

Here are a couple pictures of some of our dried Porcini (borowiki) and Bay Bolete (podgrzybek) mushrooms. All have been picked over the last week or two by our family in the forests of the province of Lubuskie in the far west of Poland.

polish dried mushrooms

Dried mushrooms are re-hydrated by soaking in boiling water for about 30 minutes and used in Polish dishes such as Bigos (Hunter’s Stew) and Polish Wild Mushroom Soup.

Synagogue Conversion

A former Synagogue transformed in to a Chinese Shop

synagogue poland

Three photographs of what was the pre-war synagogue for the town of Meseritz (Miedzyrzecz) in Lubuskie, western Poland. It has recently been transformed into a Chinski Sklep (a shop selling all manner of cheap imports from China).

Synagogue miedzyrzecz

A closeup of the exterior of the former Synagogue, now the ‘Wielki Chinski Sklep’.

The synagogue in Miedzyrzecz was built between 1825 and 1827, on the site of an earlier synagogue, and served the Jewish population of the town. It went out of use as a place of worship around 1940 and was used as a storeroom until the end of the war. In 1945 the building was nationalized and used for a variety of uses before falling in to a state of disrepair. In the 1990s there was some extended discussion of the building being used as a Jewish museum but unfortunately this never materialised. It was sold to a private entrepreneur about ten years ago. Following which it was extensively renovated with the aim of using the space for office or retail purposes. It is now in use as a Chinese Shop selling everything from clothing to toys.

synagogue synagoge

The only visible sign that this was once a place of worship for the Jewish population of Meseritz / Miedzyrzecz.

See also: Pre-war images of the Synagogue in Meseritz / Miedzyrzecz.

The Skansen in Torun

skansen poland

Poles in traditional dress at the skansen museum (Muzeum Etnograficzne) in Torun, kujawsko-pomorskie, c.1976.

Two photographs of the Skansen (open-air) Ethnographic Museum in Torun.

skansen torun

A windmill, scarecrow, and peasant housing at the open-air museum in Torun, Poland.

The museum includes much of interest to anyone who would like to learn more about the rural history of this part of Poland. The central feature is a variety of fully-furnished, period houses in a village setting. Visit and transport yourself back to 19th century Poland! Other more recent exhibits focus on life in 1950s and 1970s Poland. Further details can be found here.

Related content on Polish Poland: old images of Thorn / Toruń.

Wild Bison

News from Poland

zubr bison poland

A Bison has been spotted in a forest clearing in Różanki, near Gorzów, in the western province of Lubuskie. Young male Bison are expelled from their herd and often wander over long distances in search of a new home. This one is believed to have wandered along the River Warta on his travels. Although there are believed to be more than 1,300 Bison in Poland it is unusual to find Bison quite so far west. The largest herd can be found in the Bialowieza Primeval forest on the border between the eastern Polish province of Podlaskie and Belarus.

Three facts relating to Bison:
- The Polish word for a Bison is Żubr.
- All Bison in the Białowieża Forest were the property of the Polish kings until the third partition of Poland.
- The European bison is the heaviest surviving wild land animal in Europe.

Related content: Wolves in Poland.

Borowik Mushrooms

Borowik Mushrooms

We’ve just returned from a successful two hour expedition into the forests around our house with two kilograms of splendid Borowik (Porcini) and Podgrzybek (Bay Bolete / Xerocomus) mushrooms. Here’s an example of just one of these beautiful and tasty Polish forest mushrooms. Most of the mushrooms we found today will be sliced and dried for use throughout the year.

Borowik mushroom

More about Polish Mushrooms.