Historic monuments

Numerous monuments of brick and wooden architecture highlight the unique character and heritage of the region of Podbabiogórze. The most important monumental buildings of the area are listed below.

Wooden architecture

Church in Lachowice

Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church is one of the most precious monuments of sacral wooden architecture in Lesser Poland (Małopolska). Erected in the years 1789-1791, the church is a single-nave log construction with wood shingle roofing and a massive tower with a spherical crown. There are characteristic low arcades surrounding the building from outside with the Stations of the Cross from 1846. The church interior represents Baroque-Classicist style.

Church in Łętownia

Wooden parish church of Saints Apostles Simon and Jude was erected in the years 1760-65 in the site of two previous churches built in the 15th and 16th century respectively. The current building is a single-nave log construction (one of the biggest such buildings in the region of Beskids mountains), with two side chapels and a massive square tower with a spherical crown with a lantern on its top. There are also low arcades attached to the tower with two new chapels. The church interior represents a Baroque-Rococo style.

Church in Zawoja

Saint Clement Parish Church in Zawoja, erected in 1888 as a foundation of the then-owner of the village, Archduke Albrecht Habsburg, stands on the site of the previous, mid-18th century wooden church, preserving part of its original layout. Built in the form of a basilica, it a single-nave church with two side aisles, a transept, a separated presbytery and a four-storey tower. The Baroque and Late Baroque church interior is furnished and decorated with mostly 18th century objects.

Wooden inn called “Rzym” (“the Rome”) in Sucha Beskidzka

The 18th century wooden inn called “Rzym” (“The Rome”) at the Market Square in Sucha Beskidzka is a single-storey log construction covered with a hipped shingle roof, with characteristic arcades supported with carved wooden columns with balustrades in the front. The building was completely renovated in 1960s and today is one of the most precious objects of the Wooden Architecture Trail of Lesser Poland (Małopolska). The tavern is also widely known for its literary connotations: it was prototypical for the inn described in the famous ballad of Adam Mickiewicz featuring a legendary figure of Twardowski, a nobleman who, like Goethe’s Faust, entered a pact with the devil.

Open-air museum in Sidzina – Museum of Folk Culture

The open-air museum, opened in 1963, initially presented the early 19th century wooden farmer’s cottage of the Banasiki family, moved here from Sidzinka Mała. Nowadays, the visitors can also visit the old cottage of Anna Kozioł of Spytkowice (erected 1901), the late 18th century dwelling of Voyt Maj (a village head of Sidzina), the late 19th century granary (called “górka” in a local dialect), the old water-mill, the 19th century smithy from Sidzina Górna, and the Loreto belfry from Sidzina Wielka Polana (erected in 1897).

The cottage of Banasiki is the most precious exhibit of the museum. It is a log construction with wood shingle roofing and stone fundaments with cellars. The interior of the cottage traditionally consists of the black chamber (called “piekarnia” in local dialect), which served as a kitchen (sometimes also as a bedroom), the white chamber (called “świetnica”), which was more representative and served mostly residential purposes, the additional chamber, which served as a warehouse, and the space in the attic (called “wyska”), which served as a small home granary. Inside the cottage there is an exposition of typical 19th century furniture and equipment used by peasant dwellers.

Józef Żak Open-air Museum in Zawoja

The museum, established in 1973, is run by the Babia Góra regional section of the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society (PTTK) and exhibits three peasants’ cottages, a smithy, a detached granary with a small cellar, a chapel and a wayside shrine with the figure of Our Lady. The most precious building of the collection is the chimneyless cabin of Franciszek Stopniak, erected in the years 1802-1815, and moved here from another part of Zawoja. The cottage was built of fir and spruce logs on a low stone foundation with a cellar, and is covered with a gable shingle roof. A central hallway divides the cottage interior into two parts: habitable rooms including a black room, a white room and a storeroom, and also a farming part, i.e. a barn. The barn has been transformed into an exhibition room presenting an interesting collection of religious oil prints, whereas the residential part is nowadays an ethnographic exhibition presenting furniture and household equipment used by the peasants.

Brick architecture


The Castle and Park complex in Sucha Beskidzka

The Renaissance castle in Sucha Beskidzka is commonly referred to as “Little Wawel” due to its similarity to the impressive courtyard arcades of the Royal Castle in Cracow. The original defense manor was erected here already in the second half of the 16th century by Gaspar Castiglione-Suski and soon it was transformed into a magnificent lordly residence by Piotr Komorowski, the owner of Sucha. The castle became the administrative, economic and cultural center of the domain called “the state of Sucha”. Until World War II, the complex was in the hands of famous Polish noble families of Komorowski, Wielopolski, Branicki and Tarnowski. The castle is a three-wing massive construction of brick and stone, with large rectangular courtyard surrounded by impressive two-storey arcades. The so-called Marshal’s Hall (or the Knight’s Hall), with the Late Renaissance lavishly decorated sandstone fireplace, is the most representative chamber in the castle’s interior. In the southern wing of the castle there functions the Municipal Museum of Sucha Beskidzka.

The romantic landscape park on the southern side of the castle complex, with mid 19th century neo-gothic orangery, the so-called Gardener’s house (today hosting ethnographic exhibition) and a picturesque pond, preserved its original early 19th century layout.

Church-cloister complex In Sucha Beskidzka

The complex consists of early 17th century “old” church with former cloister of regular canons (currently a rectory) and three seperate chapels (one with a belfry), as well as the early 20th century “new” church. The whole complex is surrounded by a stone wall with an entrance gate. The “old” church, erected in the years 1613-1614 as a foundation of the-then owner of Sucha, Piotr Komorowski, is a single-nave Late Gothic building with Renaissance ornamental elements. The “new” church was designed by Teodor Talowski, described as “the Polish Gaudi”, in his characteristic style called  the “picturesque eclecticism”, resorting to monumental medieval architecture, combining Gothic and Romanesque details.

Manor House in Wysoka

Late Renaissance defense manor in Wysoka near Jordanów, erected in 16th century, changed its function into a lordly residence during late 18th century reconstruction of the building. Crucial elements of the original layout of the garden, landscape park and hunting forest surrounding the manor have been preserved till today, giving the complex a unique historic, architectural and landscape value.

Other interesting examples of brick monumental buildings

Small town functional architecture of Maków Podhalański (e.g. former town hall, bank building) and Sucha Beskidzka (e.g. town hall, court building), as well as several characteristic red-brick buildings in Jordanów, designed by a famous Polish architect, Jan Sas-Zubrzycki with Neo-Gothic and Neo-Romanesque details (e.g. late 19th century corner building with a tower, early 20th century town hall and Trinity Church – Our Lady of Jordanów Shrine) are interesting examples of brick monumental buildings in the area. Also the Transfiguration Church in Maków Podhalański, rebuilt in the years 1828-33, with the 16th century miraculous image of Our Lady of Maków in the main altar, is an interesting example of brick sacral architecture. Other such examples in the region include: late 18th century Trinity Church in Bieńkówka, early 19th century St. Nicholas Church in Sidzina and St. Philip and St. James Church in Osielec (erected 1838-55).

Small sacral architecture

One of the most precious examples of small sacral architecture in Podbabiogórze region is the early 19th century roadside chapel of John the Baptist in Zawoja Policzne (also called “Highland Robbers’ Chapel”), with a characteristic shingle roofing with a spherical dome with a lantern on top of it. The Chapel of Bar Confederates in the Jasień mountain (Sucha Beskidzka), Filasowa Chapel in Maków Podhalański and the chapel in Śleszowice constitute other interesting instances of such architecture. Also numerous wayside shrines placed on trees, columns or pedestals, dating back even to 18th century, are very characteristic for the region of Podbabiogórze.