Roadside crosses and shrines

Roadside crosses and shrines are inextricably linked with the Polish landscape. In the Low Beskid this phenomenon is  especially widespread. These objects are true gems of landscape and give our villages and towns a specific climate. They are often the work of art and fascinating architectural structure.  They pay an important role in community’s life. They are a historical monument, valuable information about the past and the spirituality of their founders. With every chapel or cross is related a story, which is passed down from generation to generation.

The chapel is a small cult building, erected at the roads or crossroads for votive, thanksgiving or ritual purposes. They have different shapes e.g. pole, houses and alcoves. They are often built of sandstone and plastered outside.

In the Podkarpacie Voivodeship, many chapels and crosses were created in the fields of battles and graves of the killed soldiers or guerrilla graves as a result of the great wars. The roadside chapels show the images of Christ: Crucified, Pensive, Sacred Heart of Jesus; Mother of God: Sorrowful, Immaculate, standing, triumphant, with Child; Saints John Napomucen and Florian most often and among others. Anna, Anthony, Barbara, Jan, Nicholas.

Roadside crosses remain about the presence of Lemkos in this region. All crosses are very similar to each other, with special ornaments. The crucifixion is the most common motif, Our Lady with Child or St. Nicholas. Mostly they were made of sandstone, where information such as the name of the founder and the date of the building was placed – often the data blurred with time. The cross in Orthodox and Greek Catholics is also called crucifix.

On the vertical axis there are three transverse beams:

The central beam is designed for the hands of crucified Christ.

Upper beam – signifying a sign where is written the Nazarene Jesus, the Jewish King.

The lower beam – in Orthodox tradition, it is desifned at the foot of Christ crucified.

One end is slightly raised – it points to the sky where a good thief has gone, and the end descended down indicates a hell, a place for a thief who has not repented.

Kapliczka to niewielka budowla kultowa, wzniesiona przy drogach lub rozdrożach w celach wotywnych, dziękczynnych, obrzędowych, itp.Mogą mieć różny kształt: słupkowe, wnękowe, domkowe, wykonanie drewniane lub murowane.

Na terenach Podkarpacia na skutek wielkich wojen powstawało wiele kapliczek i krzyżów, umieszczanych na polach bitew i mogiłach poległych, czy też mogiłach partyzanckich. Przydrożne kapliczki mieszczą wizerunki Chrystusa: Ukrzyżowanego, Frasobliwego, Najświętsze Serce Pana Jezusa; Matki Bożej: Bolesnej, Niepokalanej, stojącej, tronującej, z Dzieciątkiem; świętych Jana Napomucena i Floriana najczęściej oraz Anny, Antoniego, Barbary, Jana, Mikołaja.

O obecności Łemków na ziemiach Dukielszczyzny przypominają przydrożne krzyże, wszystkie bardzo podobne do siebie, ze szczególnymi ornamentami. Najczęstszym motywem jest ukrzyżowanie, Matka Boża z Dzieciątkiem lub św. Mikołaj. Przeważnie były wykonane z piaskowca, na którym umieszczano informacje takie jak nazwisko fundatora oraz data wybudowania – często dane te zacierały się wraz z upływem czasu. Krzyż w religii prawosławnej i grekokatolickiej nazywany jest również krucyfiksem. Na osi wertykalnej znajdują się trzy belki poprzeczne:

Belka środkowa przeznaczona jest dla rąk ukrzyżowanego Chrystusa.

Belka górna – oznacza tabliczkę z napisem Jezus Nazarejczyk, Król Żydowski.

Belka dolna – w tradycji prawosławnej jest ona pod nogi Chrystusa Ukrzyżowanego. Jeden koniec jest lekko podniesiony – wskazuje na niebo, dokąd udał się dobry łotr, a koniec opuszczony w dół wskazuje na piekło, miejsce dla łotra, który nie wyraził skruchy.

The Golden Well on the Cergowa Mountain

Golden Well is a place of worship of St. John of Dukla. According to tradition St. John began his life as a hermit in the forest of Cergowa Mt. The wooden chapel with a statue of saint protects the spring with holy water, which has the power to heal the sicknesses. The place is frequently visited by pilgrims. Close to the well grows a hart’s-tongue fern and a great scented liver wort from liverwort species class. Pink flowers and a wonderful sweet fragrance made it the most common plant of Cergowa Mt. In autumn the fruit of the plant are called Judas’ pieces of silver, which rustle in the wind.

Every year on the third Sunday of July by the Golden Well mass with the blessing is held. In the New Year’s Eve there is mass celebrated. Since 2006, on top of the Cergowa mountain Holy Mass on the anniversary of the death of John Paul II is organized.



49°31’58.4″N 21°42’20.2″E

Hillfort in Wietrzno

Archaeological discoveries that took place close to Jasiołka River, near Wietrzno, prove that a man with his settlement arrived here quite early, in the Neolithic (4200-1700 BC), as well as in the Bronze Age and Iron (1300 – 400 years BC). In addition it was found tumulus burial ground in the woods between the hamlets of Bania and Łazy and traces of the Roman period (I-IV century AD).

Wietrznów hillfort is located on the north of the village Wietrzno, on a wooded hill called Grodzisko (426 m asl). On descending from the main climax east headland, very steep side of the Jasiołka valley, there is a space after the early medieval Slavonic fortified wooden defense burgwall. Settlement is a quadruple ring of wood and earthen walls and defense moats. The object is spindle-shaped. It is a proper gord area on the east side – a steep slope. Its dimensions is 90x70m. There also come arched shafts of three suburbia, preceded by moats. The total length of the hillfort is 150m. At the top, to the west of the settlement is a earth mound probably a remnant of the guard observation point. The tower could stand here, from which the area was observed. Archaeological research started here by Aleksander Żaki in 1951, within the framework of the Carpathian archaeological expedition. Researches were ran later by different archaeologists, including Dr. Józef Janowski from Krosno. Hillfort had two phases of existence in the early medieval period in the X-XI and XII century. Traces of ash testify that the gord burned down. The oldest traces of settlement are from the Hallstatt period.

The rise and fall of the settlement was within the period of clashing influences of three emerging countries in the central part of the: Polish, Kievan Rus’ and Hungary. It was period of frequent border changes as a consequence of ofteninvasions of the three armies. One of the presumed reasons of the fall of the hillfort is the shift of the border with Halicka Ruś (Red Russia) over the edge of Jasiolka River.

A waterfall on Iwełka stream in Iwla

A waterfall on Iwełka stream in Iwla– is located in the southern part of the village on the Iwełka stream. It is a monument of inanimate nature. By the waterfall scenes for the movie “Strawberry Wine” were filmed. (this film is  based on short stories called „Galician Tales” by Andrzej Stasiuk.


49°32’45.4″N 21°37’05.3″E

Valley of Death

“Valley of Death”during the World War II in the Carpathian-Dukla Operation from 12-14 September 1944 in this area took place the famous mountain armor battle. There had been particularly fierce fighting in which Nazi and Soviet sides suffered heavy losses. From Głojsce general Baranov attacked by cavalry corps.  Czechoslovak troops in a very difficult weather conditions took control over Iwla and Chyrowa. Iwla was abolished from the face of the earth. According to tradition the blood of the wounded and dead soldiers colored water of streams red. The area after the war is called the “Valley of Death” and remain the cruelty of the war.

534 Hill

534 Hill – “Bloody Hill”

Since September 11, heavy fighting  took place on 534 Hill. Who had the hill controled the road from Dukla to Nowy Żmigród. Fights for the strategic hill lasted in day and at night, several times passing from hand to hand. September 19 hill was captured by troops of the 1st Czechoslovak Corps. Currently on a hill in Teodorówka stands a monument of soldiers who fought in the area during the Carpathian-Dukla Operation. There i also a great view point with a telescope, and the boards that shows the surrounding hills.

Flea market in Dukla

Flea market in Dukla takes place every Thursday and Saturday. In addition, every first Saturday of the month there is an “antiques” market in front of Dukla Palace. This is not an event for sleepers; when the city’s shopping centre’s are just waking up, the last stall-holders are already packing up to go. By 11 am it’s too late! The most interesting stalls spread out near the Jasiołka river and in the square next to the construction company. Rummaging through the junk you can find precious objects for only a few złotys; it might be a clay jug, old skis, a chair, brass coffee grinder, vinyl or business clothes. In addition to its commercial functions, Dukla’s market acts as a social hub. At Dukla market “friends may meet, but mountains never greet”.