Gmina Korczew

 Korczew is located 120 km to the east of Warsaw. It would seem a simple communal village like hundreds of others. One of the smallest in the province of Mazovia. The lands here are sandy and the farms are small. Korczew is a municipality, which is struggling with the problem of migration of young people in search of work.

                          Korczew is located 120 km to the – a plce chich etches in ones memory after having visited this place. It’s a region which cannot be forgotten just like that. It’s a place that enchants with its natural beauty, a place that although it is close still a few pe ople know it. Korczew by the Bug river.

Chapter I - a bit of history

              The documented origins of the settlement of Korczew date back to the fifteenth century However, some sources cite the first reference to the city surrounded by ramparts already from the thirteenth century. However, the first document on the assignment of these lands by the Duke of Mazovia to someone named Preythor is dated to the year 1401. The other heirs of the estate of the were the familie of Hlebowscy, Lewiccy and Kuczyńscy. It is worth mentioning the charakter of Christopher Wiesiłowski, the owner of the goods of the family of Korczewsk. He was the Masrshal of the ordinary Seym in Warsaw and the supporter of King Sigmund III.

              The date of 1712 begins the period of Korczew’s prosperity. During this exact period the new owner of Korczew became the Chamberlain of Drohiczyn’s surroundings and later Castellan of Podlasie, Victorinus Kuczynski. He presserved himself in history as an excellent strategist, and the proof of his foresight was sending a grain barges to Gdansk where one could sell them at a much higher price. In 1734-1736 was the time when baroque palace, in Korczew, designed by an architekt of the family of Radziwill - Konceni Bueni. The Palace, because of its charm, has been dubbed "the pearl of Podlasie" and "Wilanów of Siedlce." Later on the palace was rebuilt several times Since it has been been a silent witness to the following historical events. And so its halls were places of conventions of the nobility, on chich, more of ten than not, important decisions for the country were made. This palace was thus the mainstay of patriotism and polishness. It was also a place of social life. Feasts and banquets took place there. Very often people sang and danced. The "King of Podlasie" as Wiktoryn Kuczynski was called then, was also the founder of the Church and the Benedictine Monastery in Drochiczyn as well as of the Church and the Monastery in Krześlin, 15km from Korczew.

              After Wiktoryn’s death his son became the heir to his possessions. He was called „The Rabbit of Podlasie”. He was the main organizer of the Confederation of Bar in Podlasie. The the area was rulled by Leo's son - Felix. History should remember him as the originator on the Bug River militia during the Kosciuszko Uprising, however, much more is said about him in connection with his wife Joseta Butlerówną. It was at that time a very modern woman. Countess Renata Ostrowska, sister of the current ruler of the "goods of the family of Korczewscy" in the book, "My house," wrote about her: "mocked the conventions, gossip and criticism, and contrary to the accepted morals, instead of sitting embroidering vestments, burned cigarettes and rode a horse with a fix hat - horror of horrors! - "in a manly manner" throughout the neighborhood - either alone or alongside her husband, shooting and drinking as he did during hunting. " [1]

              Josefa and Felix's son - Alexander - another owner of Korczew took a fortune after his parents and childless aunt and uncje Butler. He was an officer during the time of the November Uprising, He was a member of staff of Gen. Chłopicki. On the request of a new heir of Korczew - Francis Jaszczodł, he conducted the reconstruction of a beautiful baroque palace in a neo-Gothic style. Also, the Western fashion of palace gardens has spread to Alexander. He commanded Jaszczodł to design a park mainly in the English style.

              Alexander’s beloved wife was Joanna Wulfers – a daughter of a lawyer from Warsaw. The park was designed just for her as a gift from Alexander. Together with Joanna’s appearance opens a new, one of the finest chapters in the history of the properties. Joanna was an exceptional woman in every way. Not only was she wise and prudent, but also extremely talented. She had also an unprecedented sensitivity. She was a graphic artist, she painted in watercolours and made beautiful embroidered vestments. The garden was her great passion, ahe who lovingly cared for it. Half of the park was decorated in the English style that is supposedly with natural lawns and clumps of trees. The other half is "Dębniak" that is a park in which oaks dominated.

              Joanna Kuczyńska will remain the best-known owing to her acquaintance with the national poet Cyprian Kamil Norwid. Researchers never managed to confirm whether he was ever in Korczew, however owing many years of correspondence with Joanna he knew Korczew very well. He fell in love with this area and certainly planned to come here because there was a sketch of the Palace with the writer’s room selected.

              Norwid even wrote a special poem for Joanna entitled "For Lady in Korczew". It is possible that the poem entitled "My song," describes exactly areas in the near vicinity of Korczew.

              Joanna and Alexander had four children but their son Leon died very young. Their eldest daughter - Louise was married to a young immigrant Tadeusz Ostrowski. And so the next heirs of Korczew were Ostrowscy.

              The twentieth century has left a deep print on the Palace. After World War I the property was destroyed by Russian troops. The reconstruction was conducted by Krystyn Ostrowski, according to the concept the of Stanislaw Noakowski. Wanda Ostrowska supervised it all- with a well-known cartoonist, the creator of Koziołek Matołek nd Monkey Fiki Miki - Marian Walentynowicz. Then the palace was given its present shape. During the World War II the properties were destroyed again. The Ostrowski family went to exile in London. The properties have been parceled out, passed into the hands of the Agricultural Cooperative. Fertilizers were stored in one of the rooms, the buildings were demolished, the works were stolen ...

              The Palace’s state from the 80’s are reflected most appropriately in the words of Countess Renata Ostrowska, "Our father [Krystyn Ostrowski] did not live to see his return ... It was impossible to understand what happen in a 50 years of continuous and systematic destruction by the negligence or wilful and wanton acts of vandalism. Maybe it is better that he did not return, probably he would not survive the terrible reality ... " [2] It was in the 80’s that the Palace’s owners returned to Poland. Ely, They took up a heroic act – they decided to restore the old Palace to the state of its luminosity. Today, this work is being continued with excellent results by Beata Ostrowska-Harris and her sons Alexander and Dominici.


Chapter II - monuments, that is what is worth seeing?


              The central point of Korczew is the snow-white palace on the hill. The palace, since 1743 is a mute witness to the turbulent history of the region. It is surrounded by majestic atmosphere, so that even those who are new to the story are under its. It is impossible not to stop and visit it.

              Inside the mansion, visitors can admire the heel hall with a gallery, lined with carved wood panelling and beamed ceiling. The panelling is made ​​of black oak, which for several years has been soaked in the Bug river. There is also a ballroom called golden or white. It has an octagonal shape and its ceiling is decorated with stucco in the Rococo style. Palace has a permanent exhibition entitled "Cyprian Kamil Norwid and Korczew" and memorabilia from the residences and paintings by Wanda Ostrowska. The palace welcomes visitors 7 days a week.

              In the area of the Palace and Park there is a summer house known as "Siberia." Just as the park it was dedicated to Joanna Kuczyńska by her husband Alexander. The sources say that the "Siberia" was built on the foundation of a medieval fortified castle. Also the legend is interesting. It tells us about the underground dungeons, which extend to the former stronghold of Jaćwings in Drohiczyn, therefore it goes under the bottom of the river Bug. Among the inhabitants it is said that the tunnel leads up to Siberia. Fortunately, not all legends have to be scientifically explained. Therefore let’s leave it to the area of conjecture and mystery.

              The conservatory is now non-existent . It was named "Lady in Korczew". It was a conservatory in which the owner spent time among exotic plants. In the 20’s of the last century it has been lent to serve as a chapel until the church is built. To this day, the former conservatory serves as a chapel.

              Next to the former conservatory there is a well known as the source of "John". It was built in 1835 in a square of bricks. Its culmination is a sand sculpture of St. John of Nepomuk.

              In the park there is a lime tree avenue in the midst of a rock called "menhir". It was probably set here long, long ago as a sign of worship of the sun god. Some believe that the wishes told here really come true.

              At the exit gate to the residence there is the so called Tower. The tower formerly played the role of caretaker. Today it is decorated as an apartment for tourists.

              Near Korczew , in the village of Knychówek there is a parish church of Bishop and Martyr St. Stanislaus and St. Anne. It is the only Renaissance building in the region, built in the seventeenth century. The history of this church is connected with the history of the Palace in Korczew. It is worth noting that earlier because in the fifteenth century a wooden church was erected here by the family of Korczewscy. Christopher Wiesiołowski – the Marshal of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1631 gave the act of foundation of the first brick church in the goods of the family of Korczewscy as his penance. Its construction was completed 1668. The church has one nave with a slender, high tower. Inside you can admire the ornaments of Kalisz and Lublin with four-leaf motifs, squares, circles and hearts. [3]


Chapter III - natural values


              The municipality of Korczew is located in one of the most beautiful parts of the Mazovia Province directly over the most wildly flowing river in Europe - by the Bug river. It is this position that makes these areas have a unique ecological and touristic value. The development of tourism takes place in a sustainable manner with respect to the laws of nature. This is required by the location of the region surrounded by forests, protected areas and Natura 2000 Nadbużański Natural Park, surrounded by three natural reserves: "Dębniak", "Kaliniak" and "Przekop".

              From the hill of Korczewski going up the asphalt road to the east one can get to the village Bużyska and to the ferry on the river Bug which connects the municipality with one of the oldest Polish cities - Drohiczyn called the capital of Podlasie. It is exactly from this point that the most beautiful panorama extends over Drohiczyn. A group of religious buildings and the Castle Hill appears to the eyes of tourists, with which perhaps the Palace in Korczew has a mysterious connection running under the riverbed. The view of this location is extremely inspiring. The walkers in the Bug areas should not be surprised by easels spread around, because this place is a popular choice for open air painting.

              Such values ​​also oblige to spread activities and sport. Cyclists will be satisfied with the bicycle path along the river, walkers with many meadows and forests, canoeists will certainly benefit from the harbour on the Bug, which one can safely reach and rest. The Volunteer Water Ambulance Service cares for safety. We notice also that trekking is becoming more and more popular - "men with sticks" both the younger and the older can be met more frequently on the paths.

              Also survival is gaining popularity. Groups of people who are trying to survive in difficult conditions (eg on the island of Bug) try to prove that a person does not have to destroy nature and perhaps use and enjoy it. Everyone who wants it can go through a "survival school " based on the model of the famous British commando,. There’s no need to watch programs, travel and dream about experiencing such adventures. just go about 120 km from Warsaw and fulfil your dream.

              The area of Korczew’s intimate terrain began to increasingly be appreciated by future spouses. Men who wish to ask their sweethearts to marry them often come to us from across Poland just to let this important life decision be made here. Getting engaged in our area brings good luck. The atmosphere is perfect for such occasions.

              Korczew thanks to its stunning location and natural beauty gives you a chance to go back in history and distance yourself from the hustle and bustle. Following the same tracks that once Jaćwings, Tatars and Swede went down is amazings. The untouched nature, tempting with its freshness and juiciness is a perfect background for monuments.

This area has much to offer to nature lovers. The location of the municipality in Nadbużański Nature Park,in Natura 2000’s area, and in three nature reserves: Dębniak, Kaliniak and Przekop makes it easy to see many wonderful animals and plants. That’s no surprise to see a moose walking or a running deer, wild animals, a multitude of which is of living in symbiosis with humans. Numerous storks are nested between the houses . In the morning we you are woken up by singing herons and cranes. The fields and meadows and forests are homes to rare species of plants and flowers.

              The history of this region is very tempestuous. The lands were passed from hands to hands, different cultures and religions clashed here. During the World War II many partisan who fought battles along the preserved to this day called the Molotov line worked here.

              Finally, we would like to invite you to the annual event called "Green Korczew and Fairs for the Village ." We start on the first weekend of August. It is a family picnic combined with exhibitions of works of folk artists. There is no shortage of Korczewski cuisine and folk band performances. Children can be sure of competitions and games. The smiling faces are guaranteed by the clowns, jugglers and stilt walkers. Sunday afternoon is ascribed to the Stars - a band or solo songs - always known and loved celebrities.


              Korczew is a magical place where everyone can find something for themselves . Such charm and the atmosphere cannot be conveyed by a means of a video or a photo. You have to live. It is worth a trip.




[1]Renata Ostrowska "My home", page 16

[2]Renata Ostrowska, "My house," pp. 64-65


Projekt "Bug - Raj dla turysty" współfinansowany przez Unię Europejską z Europejskiego Funduszu Rozwoju Regionalnego
w ramach Programu Operacyjnego Innowacyjna Gospodarka.