The themes of the last day spent in Podlasie were history and culture of the region, as we visited Dorohochyn, Siemiatycze and the Holy Mount of Grabarka.
From Franpol, where we were staying during our visit, we went up the Bug River to get to one of the most important shrines for Orthodox Christians in Poland – the Holy Mount of Grabarka. We were showed around and told the story of the church and its neighbourhood by a nun from the local monastery.
With a reserve of water from the holy spring, we went to Siemiatycze where we saw two Catholic and two Orthodox churches, and a synagogue. Our STP members spent their free time visiting this atmospheric little town. The next stop after a big dinner was Dorohochyn, located on a northern scarp of the Bug River. Once again, Paweł shared his knowledge about local history – the coronation of Daniel I of Galicia – and architecture.
The impressive view of Korczew and Ruska Strona (“Russian Side”) on the left bank of the Bug River was a perfect illustration why the region was of strategic significance through most of the history of region – from the Middle Ages to the Second World War, the river was a natural border between countries. Moreover, we got to know the history of the Molotov Line, which signs are still visible among the hills of Podlasie.
Next we had a stop at the foot of the Castle Hill to listen to Natalia and Paweł who, with an example of tourism investments, showed how regulations of securing and using EU funds for public benefit activities actually work.
After our return to Warsaw, we went to a live concert in the centre of Warsaw.
Study Tours to Poland was launched in 2004 and is part of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation’s “Region in Transition – RITA” Program, conducted since 2000 by the Education for Democracy Foundation. The Jan Nowak-Jeziorański College of Eastern Europe from Wrocław has been the STP coordinator since 2007. The “Borussia” Foundation from Olsztyn coordinates STP for students. The study visit from 17 to 29 April 2012 is conducted by Common Europe Foundation, the parent foundation of our portal Eastbook.eu.
Translated by KD