Wianki

Wianki is a Midsummer Solstice Festival involving primarily the launching of wreaths of flowers into water. It is an ancient Polish pagan rite connected with fertility, ritual purification, and fortune telling. The manner in which a wreath floats on the lake, down the river or stream is believed to foretell which girl will soon be married. Wianki takes place all over Poland during the Kupala Night (Noc Kupały) celebrations on the 23rd June each year.

wianki poland

Wianki is also the name of a well-known annual event, which takes place near Wawel Hill in Krakow. The event in Krakow is a large commercial festival with music, fireworks, bonfire jumping, and, of course, the floating of wreaths down the Wisła river.

Gurkow / Gorki

Three old images from our picture archive of Górki, Lubuskie, Poland. These photographs were all taken before the First World War when Górki Noteckie was part of Germany and named Gurkow.

Gurkow Górki

A 1912 photograph of the main street through Gurkow in former Neumark, now Górki, Lubuskie, Poland.

Gurkow górki

An old photograph of children in a boat on the River Pełcz in Górki / Gurkow in 1912.

Gurkow Gorki

The church in Gurkow / Gorki and children paddling in the stream opposite in 1912. Click to enlarge image.

Górki Noteckie is a village on the River Pełcz in the Lubuskie province of western Poland.

Related content on Polish Poland: Old images of the nearby village of Zdroisko / Zentzthal

Alternatywy 4

Alternatywy 4 polish comedy

Alternatywy 4 (Alternative Street) was an early 1980s Polish comedy television series based on a residential apartment block estate in Warsaw, Poland. Nine episodes of 55 minutes long were made. Each of these programmes has probably been watched many times by every adult Pole with a television. Alternatywy 4 is an absolute classic of the communist-era. Top satire! Super comedy!

Watch the first episode right here by clicking on the arrow in the middle of the image above.

Alternatywy 4 featured many fine actors including: Hanna Bieniuszewicz, Stanislawa Celinska, Anna Chitro, Bozena Dykiel, Kazimierz Kaczor, Wojciech Pokora, Witold Pyrkosz, Roman Wilhelmi, and Mieczyslaw Voit.

Polish Chocolate

polish chocolates and sweet snacks

Chocolates, sweets and candy from Poland. Top makers include: Wedel, Goplana, and Wawel.

Poland produces a fine selection of chocolate and sweet snacks. Our picture features a random selection, which we regularly enjoy! We recommend any candy bar made by the Wedel or Wawel chocolate makers and classic Polish chocolate bars such as Grzeski and Jezyki by Goplana; Prince Polo by Olza / Kraft; and the Princessa chocolate bar made by Nestle in Poland. And don’t miss the delight which is Ptasie Mleczko (Bird’s Milk) – a chocolate covered marshmallow – made by Wedel.

polish chocolate candy

Four of many great Polish sweets – Grzeski gofree, Wawel Maciek toffi, Jezyki classic, and Wedel’s Aha! sesame bar.

Swinoujscie

Swinoujscie polen

The delights of one hotel in Swinoujscie pictured on a 1970s picture postcard. Click on image to enlarge.

Here are three scans of postcards sent to us by friends and family from the seaside resort of Swinoujscie between the mid 1970s and the early 1990s.

Swinoujscie poland

A photograph of tourists and boats docked in Swinoujscie in Poland. This postcard was mailed in 1987.

Świnoujście (Swinemünde) is a town and seaport with a population of around 41,000 and is located on the Baltic coast in the extreme north-west of Poland. It is part of the province of Western Pomerania (Pommern / Zachodniopomorskie).

Swinoujscie

A picture postcard sent to us from Swinoujscie in north-west Poland in the 1990s. Click on image to enlarge.

Interesting facts related to Swinoujscie:

  • Swinoujscie occupies three islands – Usedom, Wolin, and Karsibor.
  • Poland’s tallest lighthouse (68 metres tall) can be found here.
  • There are passenger ferries connecting Swinoujscie with Hamburg (Germany), Copenhagen (Denmark), and Ystad (Sweden).

Related content on Polish Poland: pre-war images of Swinemünde / Świnoujście.

Bułka z pieczarkami

bulka pieczarkami poland

Mushroom-filled baguette bread rolls (Bułka z pieczarkami) are a popular fast food dish in Poland. More traditional and certainly healthier than the many other fast foods one can now buy in most Polish cities – Burger places, Turkish kebabs, and the like. The current price of a Bułka z pieczarkami tends to range from around 4 zl to 5 zl and for this one gets a lot of mushroom roll and a filling quick meal.

Bułka z pieczarkami

Bułka z pieczarkami (mushroom and onion filled bread rolls) for sale at a kiosk in Gorzów, Lubuskie, Poland.

Since we don’t live in a city and therefore don’t have easy access to anywhere selling takeaway mushroom rolls we have come up with a recipe. With this you can make your own Polish Mushroom Rolls at home. In our opinion, this recipe produces Bułka z pieczarkami which are as good or better than any mushroom roll we have bought at a fast food kiosk anywhere in Poland. And believe me with have sampled mushroom rolls at many different establishments in many different Polish cities! 8-)

Our recipe for Bułka z pieczarkami

Ingredients for the filling:

500 g fresh mushrooms
1 onion
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt
pepper
oil
grated cheese (optional)

Bread Rolls (long baguette types)

Instructions / Preparation

Wash mushrooms and cut into small cubes or if you prefer slice. Fry mushrooms in a little oil, add salt. When any water from the mushrooms has evaporated, add the onion and fry for until the onion is soft. Season with dried thyme stuffing and pepper. If you wish you can also add some grated cheese, which will add a different taste and also help in binding the ingredients together.

Take a bread roll. Baguette style rolls works best. Cut to size required and if you need to cut the end off. Hollow out the centre and fill with the mushroom stuffing. Put in a pre-heated oven at 200c for 4 or 5 minutes. Ideally they will be warm but not too crunchy. Remove from oven and eat!

If you are in a real rush you can heat the mushroom-filled bread rolls for a minute in a microwave. Most mushroom roll takeaway places in Poland seem to do this. But we prefer to do ours in a traditional oven.

Smacznego!

P.S. We recently discovered a similar version of these for sale in Poznan made by combining sauerkraut and mushroom to make the filling – Bułki z kapustą i pieczarkami. We’ll add the recipe for that at a later date and even describe how to make your own Polish bread rolls from scratch. Come back soon for another look.

Poland beat Germany 2 : 0

News: Poland have just beaten Germany 2 goals to zero in the qualifying round of the Euro Football Championship at the Warsaw Stadium in Poland. This was the first time that Poland have ever beaten Germany in a football match. The home crowd and the millions of Poles watching the game on television were as you can imagine most happy! The actual competition will take place in France in 2016.

Germany are the current football world champions.

football poland

Bolesław Bierut

Bolesław Bierut

A set of postage stamps with the image of Bolesław Bierut. President of Poland – February 1947 to Nov 1952.

Boleslaw Bierut (Bolesław Biernacki) was a hard-line communist who became President of Poland after the Soviet takeover of the country at the end of the Second World War.

Bierut served as President from 1947 to 1952 and then Prime Minister until his death. He was also the first Secretary General of the ruling Polish United Workers Party. He died under mysterious circumstances on a visit to Moscow in 1956 and was succeeded as Prime Minister by Józef Cyrankiewicz.

Here’s a short film made at Bierut’s funeral in Warsaw. It includes his body on display and mourners paying their respect. Simply click on the arrow to watch the video.

Three random facts about Bolesław Bierut:

  • He was born on the 18th April 1892 in Rury Jezuickie, Lublin.
  • He was imprisoned in Poland between 1933 and 1938 for anti-state activities.
  • He adopted the surname Bierut by combining the first syllables of both his parents’ surnames. His father’s name and his original name is Biernacki.

Simple Carp Recipe

polish girls women cooking

Here is the very fast and simple way my mother cooks carp. Ideal when you have lots of other dishes to prepare for example on Christmas Eve.

Ingredients needed

2 kg carp
2 eggs
flour
bread crumbs
salt
pepper

Instructions

Wash carp thoroughly and cut into large pieces. Rub with salt and pepper. Leave in the fridge for about an hour. Coat carp with seasoned flour. Coat flour-coated carp with beaten egg. Finally coat with breadcrumbs. Fry the fish on both sides until browned in a large frying pan, turning frequently. Serve.

Be careful of the very sharp bones when eating!

If you want something a bit more fancy try this Polish carp recipe.

Zakopane in Galicia

zakopane galicia poland

Polish school children in traditional dress / costume and hats in Zakopane in the south of Poland.

Another scan of an original photograph in our collection of images of Poland. This one features a group of school children in the village of Zakopane in Galicia, Poland around 1918. Notice the wonderful trousers and felt hats and that at least three of the children are bare-footed / aren’t wearing shoes.

Compare the above photograph with the one below featured on a postcard sent to us by a friend who was holidaying there in the late 1980s. This, of course, a staged picture for the tourist trade.

zakopane mountains poland

Poles dressed in the traditional dress of the Zakopane region. In the distance the Tatra mountains and Slovakia.

Zakopane is at the centre of the Highlander (Góral) culture, which has a number of unique styles of food, speech, architecture, music, and costume. Zakopane is a popular destination for mountaineering, skiing, and tourism. Oscypek, a special smoked cheese made of salted sheep milk is produced in and around the town. Its a cheese which everyone should try at least once!

Related content: Three more old images and an interactive map of Zakopane, southern Poland.
And a selection of photographs taken in the 1970s to promote the Zakopane and Tatra region.