Travelogue

Polish Manor Houses

Big or small, old or new, Polish manor houses or, as they are called in Polish, Polskie Dworki, are very characteristic. They were built in the countryside and according to the sarmatism ideology, they were their little castles, their own universe, away from the towns. The vast majority of such countryside manors were made of wood.  The noble class accounted for a substantial percentage  of society and even poorer nobles built small manor houses. The smallest ones had only a few rooms, the largest were like palaces. Before the war there were some 16 000 manor houses in Poland, today only a few hundred of them remained. They were usually single-storey houses. Polskie dworki were not only the places where the family lived, they were also used as centres of agricultural management and most important as beating hearts of national tradition in the worse time of Poland’s partitions.  An idealised manor house has two or four-column portico on the front, is surrounded by the park and is di­rected at ’11:00 o’clock’. Today, majestic and dignified, in all state of repair, they still tower above the fields and forests and bring the nostalgic feeling about the past.