Hotel Lublin i okolice | Dwór Sanna luksusowy hotel 58km od Lublina - rezerwuj online!



"The Sanna Manor in Wierzchowiska. A brief history"
"Cudze chwalicie, swego nie znacie, sami nie wiecie, co posiadacie" (literally: You praise the foreign, yet you don't know your own. You have no idea what you have; related English proverb: The grass is greener on the other side of the fence) /this statement coined by Stanisław Jachowicz ideally fits the fate of the Sanna Manor in Wierzchowiska Drugie, the place where various threads of Polish history used to intertwine in a bizarre fashion, and which nevertheless remained at the side track of history, forgotten, undiscovered and still unknown to a broader public. Perhaps it resulted from the geographic location of the village – at the springs of the Sanna river, on the picturesque the Upland of Lublin – and thus, in the opinion of many people, far from the big world. Therefore, it is worth presenting the history of this old noble manor, the most beautiful tales associated with it, the moments of glory, the sad fate of its demise and rebirth.
The most ancient history
Archaeological research show that people have always lived in the neighbourhood of the Wierzchowiska village. We may add – no wonder, knowing the fertility of the arable lands and the purity of the spring water of the Sanna river. According to Zenon Łukasz Baranowski "Slavic settlement was present around the village since the 9th century. During archaeological research five small settlements dating back to the 9th-10th century have been discovered here. A visible crisis in colonisation can be seen in the 10th century. Some traces with Wierzchowiska I prove its continuation in the Piast period (10-12th century), although it is difficult to tell if it was of permanent nature".  
One of the first historical mentions of the Wierzchowiska village can be found in the "Liber beneficjorum dioecesis Cracoviensis" (The Book of Church benefices, estate and privileges) written by Jan Długosz between 1470 and 1480. From the old Polish chronicler we can learn that the Wierzchowiska village (in Latin: Wyrzchowiska) used to belong to the estate of the Potok parish. But as it was the case in the old Poland, the place frequently changed its owners, being subsequently the property of: the Dłoto, the Bystram (after 1457), the Osmólski (since the beginning of the 16th century) and the Gorajski (since the end of the 16th century) families. Owners often changed according to the principle of donation or as part of a family exchange.  
As we can learn from the "Słownik ziem polskich w średniowieczu" (Lexicon of Polish lands in the Middle Ages), in 1457 one of the first owners of the village, Piotr Dłoto, donated half of the village (towards Biała) to his daughter, Elżbieta, the wife of Mikołaj z Radlina, while pawning the second half (towards Stróże) off to his son-in-law for 60 marks. Did the father-in-law make a good deal? It seems that he did not lose, as the contemporary sources state, purchasing a similar land would cost the son-in-law three times as much.
The subsequent written source, the collection registers of the Urzędów county of 1531 state that the village belonged then to the Słupia parish, had 7 fields (that is approx. 125 ha) of arable land and one mill. Therefore, we can safely say that Wierzchowiska used to bring a considerable income to their owners, of course bearing in mind that the economic system of the time was the feudal system, the inhabitants of the villages were serfs and the used method of cultivation of fields was the three-field rotation.
Wierzchowiska also saw the development of the Reformation in Poland. It is worth reminding that the most common denomination in Lubelszczyzna was Calvinism. The contemporary reader may be interested in the manner the nobility used to convert the villagers in those days. And so, the heir of the village would often drive the priests out of the church, take over their property and convert it to a Protestant temple. This way the stumped villagers would change their religion overnight, often having no choice in this matter. And this is what probably happened in Wierzchowiska. What we know for sure is that a Calvinist community was established in the village before 1560 and that it served its function until the half of the 17th century. According to the "Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich" (Geographical glossary of the Polish Kingdom and other Slavic countries), in 1602 the minister of this community was Jan Radziszowski.
A convenient geographic location allowed the village to develop without obstructions. "In 1626 the village was perfectly managed, apart from peasants it was inhabited by twelve craftsmen (blacksmiths, shoemakers, butchers, etc.)" - Baranowski writes. The fate of village was thus strictly connected to the history of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The silver age was coming to a close, as wars which brought the country destruction were about to begin. The village sustained certain losses during the 17th-century invasions. It also changed its owner, becoming the property of the Nahorecki family. Chronicles state that at that time (i.e. in the 1st half of the 17th century) Wierzchowiska was the location of a brick manor house (reportedly in an appalling condition), manor buildings, an inn, a mill, a bee yard, fish ponds and an Italian garden. The already mentioned "Geographical glossary of the Polish Kingdom" says that in 1676 the owner of the village Hon. Tomasz Innocenty Zaporski, Lublin treasurer, paid a head tax for 167 subjects, 16 manor dwellers and 2 family members.
The beginnings of the manor
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact date the manor in Wierzchowiska was established. The nearby inhabitants claim that the palace (as they call this building) has always been there. Of course "always" is a rather wide category, nevertheless, one can assume that since the village was inhabited by noble families, the manor has existed in one form or another. At the beginning it was probably a wooden manor house, as this building material was the most popular, available and therefore the cheapest in the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Along with the passage of time the building changed into a bricked one, as its owners were becoming richer. The demise of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth strangely coincided with the downfall of the manor , as a fire consumed most of the manor buildings at the beginning of the 19th century.
And as it goes in history, something was ending and something was beginning. Wierzchowiska changed its owner again, as a result of the Modliborzyce estate being divided between the Doliński and the Wiercieński families. It happened in 1808. Wiercieńscy were the successors of the Nahorecki family and it was them who acquired the village along with the benefit of inventory. How the village could have looked like back then? The "Geographical glossary of the Polish Kingdom" records that in 1827 in Wierzchowiska there were 104 houses, inhabited by 416 people. For comparison, in 1886 86 houses were already inhabited by 735 people. Therefore, before the November Uprising Wierzchowiska were not too abundantly populated, which perhaps resulted from the Napoleonic wars which had happened not so long before. Of course, as it used to be in the case of the village at the Sanna river, its owners did not enjoy having it for too long, as they sold it to the Kochanowski family (the descendants of one of the brothers of the great poet from Czarnolas) in 1840. The period between 1830 and 1840 also saw the reconstruction of the manor, which was acquired by the Bogdański family some time later.
January Uprising
After less than twenty years the manor was visited by the grand history again, as the January Uprising, in which the region of Lubelszczyzna had and the Janów Land played a significant role, broke out in 1863. This region, located on the border of the Kingdom of Poland and the territory of Austria, was a strategic place for both sides. It is where the routes of transfer of weapons and volunteers for the insurrection were running. It is where many Russian regiments were garrisoned, wishing to foil these plans. In the neighboring forests also the insurgents were hiding. Even today, in tradition places related to this heroic period have been preserved. They include names of battlefields, old shrines, lonely crosses and tombs consecrated with the blood of the heroes. At this point, it is worth presenting some of these histories. on 18 July 1863, in the battle near Polichna, the insurgent units made a trap for the Russian army, returning from Lublin to Janów, making them suffer serious losses. Although there were ca. 350 insurgents, they managed to split the marching column of the army and achieved a measurable success. Unfortunately, it was not full, among others, because the insurgents were nosed out by the Cossack dogs that warned following them Tsarist infantry. Nevertheless, in spite of large losses (the insurgents: 14 fatalities and 29 injured), tactical goals were executed and the insurgents managed to withdraw to the area of Blinów.
Another well-known battle of those times was the battle on the Sowia Góra (the Owl's Mountain), in the neighborhood of Batorze, on 6 September 1863, in which the Polish army was commanded by Marcin "Lelewel" Borelowski. After the battle near Panasówka, the insurgents could not release from the Russian forces chasing them. On Sunday morning, after 3 days of forced marches, the unit of colonel Borelowski stopped in the village of Otrocz. The insurgents reinforced with the unit of Kajetan Cieszkowski "Ćwiek" amounted to nearly 750 people. A part of the unit participated in the service in the local church, the remaining part was resting. Suddenly, one of the patrols fired an alarm shot. The appearance of the Cossack units was a prove that the insurgents had been located. The unit was attacked by the Cossacks under the command of colonel Jałoszyn, forcing Poles to withdraw towards Batorze. At the meeting of the staff of the insurgent troops it was decided to fight, in spite of protests of Lelewel. It was planned to use convenient land form - especially gorges in the nearby forest, where it was possible to surprise Russians. Unfortunately, these plans failed. A part of the Russian units bypassed the positions of the insurgents and attacked the left wing. Colonel Borelowski, in order to anticipate Russians, jumped on his horse and gathering a part of people tried to reform his units to attack. However, he did not manage and died on the battlefield, shot in leg and stomach. Trying to rescue the situation, the head of the staff, major Wallisch, also deceased, which resulted in loss of the will to fight. In the battle near Batorze,32 insurgents were dead or 47 were injured, while a few dozen ware taken captive.
Immediately after the battle, a part of the defeated unit retreated to the area of Wierzchowiska, where several injured insurgents died. They were buried under an oak growing at the border of the forest, from which, after cutting boughs, a live cross was made. In 1914, during the whirls of World War 1, this cross was cut by Hungarians (namely the Honveds), but inhabitants of the village placed it again. On the other hand, in 1937, the cross was sacrificed by priest Władysław Goliński and transferred to the manor park. It is commemorated by the following text, placed on the metal plate attached to the cross: This cross, made by the insurgents of 1863 from the oak trunk on the fields of Wierzchowiska, cut by the Honveds in 1914, was transferred here in the times of Marian Świda, consecrated by priest Wł. Goliński in the presence of Maria Świda and her children and grandchildren on 2 July 1937.
With the battle near Batorze, one more event is connected, concerning directly Wierzchowiska. The unit of Lelewel, before the unlucky battle, had several successes, including, among others, acquisition of the governmental strongbox in Łuków. Thus, the insurgents had a considerable amount of money. Unfortunately, the Polish fighters fell victim to treachery. It is because they deposited the money with a Jewish innkeeper, Jan Michelis, who, in order to appropriate it, revealed (and, at this point, sources are contradictory, according to some of them it was before the battle, according to the other sources - immediately after) to the Cossacks the hiding place of the insurgents, or, according to a different version - a place of stop of the unit. Thus, the fortune of the insurgents became determined, and the innkeeper became owner of a considerable fortune. After the insurrection, he bought for this money, among others, the manor house and the grange in Wierzchowiska as well as he funded the construction of the Europa Hotel in Lublin. And though Michelis invested in his properties, which is proved, for example, by the construction of a brewery in Wierzchowiska in 1876, producing "good Bavarian beer", his previous attitude could not be, however, perceived favorably by the then society, which was proved by the social boycott of Michelis during his life and after the death (in his funeral only family participated). Michelis lived 80 years; he died in 1902, but just before the death he sold the manor house in Wierzchowiska along with the grange to Gustaw Świda and his wife Maria, nee Przewłocka. A new history began.
Era of the Świda Family   
The Świda Family distinguished itself in the history of Wierzchowiska. What could make them buy, for 4 thousand rubles, a ruined manor house, requiring redecoration and substantial investment? Was it only the desire to settle down, administer on their own? Indeed, they both arrived from Głodno nad Wisłą, where Gustaw was administrator of the local property. However, the passage of time showed clearly that it was something else, as both belonged to the generation of positivists, social activists, wishing, through their grassroots work, to raise the level of the people, and thereby – affect favorably the economic and cultural development of the Polish land. This Świda Family founded at the manor house a school for children of the grange service, after 1900, and, in order to obtain funds for expansion of the manor house they plotted the land three times, which resulted in creation of several settlements, among others, Zamłynie and Ostrogi. In the memory of the people also the custom was preserved of organizing picnics for the whole village by Maria Świda. It was only the beginning of cooperation.
After the death of Gustaw Świda, in 1911, the administration of the property fell onto widow Maria and son Konstanty Świda, who, at the time of his father's death, was 26 years old. However, the young heir was well prepared to deal with interests of the manor and the neighboring properties, as he completed an agricultural school. It brought about, among others, introduction of new arable plant species. As a result of applying new farming techniques, the whole vicinity could be modernized. A history about peasants' children, stealing strawberries from the manor fields, has became an anecdote. Learning about constantly repeating dealings, the heir gave to the boys seedlings of strawberries so that the supervisor could have some peace, and the children could eat sweet fruit at home. Other praiseworthy activities undertaken still before World War 1 covered establishment of the guard fire in 1912 and of the primary school in 1916. Gustaw Świda junior was recorded in the memory of the inhabitants also as a man who liked pleasures of life. We know that the heir particularly liked balls in Warsaw, and the place where he always stayed overnight was the Hotel Bristol on the Krakowskie Przedmieście. It is said that during his stays in Warsaw Świda followed the principle "keep out with the Joneses", which however, brought a measurable effect, as it is where he met his wife, Zofia nee Skibińska, daughter of a rich industrialist. How did he manage to persuade her to change the place of residence, from teeming with life Warsaw to a peaceful village in the Roztocze region? Certainly, using methods known only to himself. Either way, in 1912, Miss Skibińska became Ms. Świda, and the dowry contributed by her enabled to finish the plans of modernization of the manor house.
Fortunately, the young couple managed to survive whirls of World War 1, during which (and specifically in 1915) their son was born, the last heir of the manor, Marian Świda. The war times interrupted ambitious plans of the spouses, however the worst was still to come. In 1919, Gustaw departed for the Polish-Bolshevik war, and before the departure he promised that if he returned safe and sound he would build a church in the village (at that time, the closest temple was in Modliborzyce). Also the hair's coachman, Andrzej Czajczyk, left to fight for the homeland. It was a right choice for both of them, as during fights near Hrubieszów this man saved the heir's life, pulling him out from the Bolshevik shelling, for which, in any case, he paid with a wound. Grateful Świda gave him in return a tenement house, where, until today, the descendants of the former heroic orderly have been living. After return from the war he wanted to fulfill his previous promise, however... he encountered resistance of the local population, which, instead of a church, preferred to build a school. Nevertheless, the heir got his own way and a wooden Church of the Heavenly Mother of Perpetual Help, built in the style of Zakopane, was built in Wierzchowiska in 1922. In the period 1920-22, the manor house itself was also rebuilt, obtaining appearance its has had until today. Thanks to the heiress' efforts, changes were made in the topography of the park, among others, hornbeam avenue was created, hedges and a lot of multicolored flowers were planted.
The interwar period was the time of development of the village, which, in 1921, had 1551 inhabitants, living in 223 houses. According to Baranowski, "the inhabitants were showing great activities in the social field, creating the fire brigade, Stefczyk union, agricultural group, cooperative "Przyjaźń". The following operated: Village Women's Club, Village Youth's Club "Siew", Polish Youth's Club, brass band, shooting team, Catholic Youth Association. With a monument the deceased for homeland were commemorated, with Józef Piłsudski's iron cross". Anyway, with the Chief of State a separate history is connected.
The most famous uhlan of the 2nd Republic, Władysław Belina-Prażmowski, forced one day his friend, Józef Piłsudski, to promise that he would be godfather of his son. The Marshal agreed, but the time when the son of Belina was borne (namely the year 1917) was not very favorable for friendly visits. Thus, the whole ceremony had to be delayed until 1923, and Piłsudski became finally the godfather of two children of "the first uhlan of the 2nd Republic". But what does this history have to do with Wierzchowiska? Well, going from Warsaw, the Marshal could reach by rail only Szastarka station. There, a carriage was awaiting him, hitched up with four white horses, conducted by Andrzej Czajczyk, heroic orderly, well-known to us. Only Gustaw Świda had such carriage in the area. It was also him who welcomed the Marshal on the bridge in Wierzchowiska (and his cortege, which included, among others, general Sosnkowski) with bread and salt, according to old Polish customs. Did Piłsudski come also to the manor house itself? Probably not, though, according to some sources, he drop there in for several moments. After all, he was in a hurry, as a word given to his friend and companion of weapons could not have been broken. And he did not break it indeed. He came to Godziszów, bringing to his godson the works by Adam Mickiewicz with a dedication "remember, at least few times in your life, about your Godfather, who, with your father, used to go to fight and build Poland for children".
The year 1927 brought other events important for Wierzchowiska. At that time, Gustaw and Zofia broke up. On a slope of a forested hill, known as copse as the sources of the Sanna river, on a forest clearing, the last conversation of the spouses was held. What might have they said? That they would never forget? That they could not be together, even if they wanted? That someone was to be blame and someone not? And maybe simply the following words were said: "this is how it has to be" and nobody denied. Who knows? This history cannot be reconstructed. A beautiful and romantic story remains, about love and evanescence, brittleness of what was to be eternal and irrevocable passing one another during the journey called life. The place of the last conversation of the spouses is commemorated also by a shrine with a statue of Heavenly Mother. What's interesting, at the back of the statue a hiding place was located, where wedding rings of both were deposited; the rings were to be removed in the case of change in the decision. Perhaps they would be there till today, but the son of both, the last heir, Marian Świda, who, having discovered a letter from his mother prior to leaving for the USA, broke the hiding place and took the rings with him. Rumor has it that he discovered also silverware dug in the garden, hidden there for the time of the war, first against Germans and then against the communists. However, who knows the truth?
After the divorce of Gustaw and Maria, the whole property was sold to gentlemen: Mazurkiewicz and Daltrozzo, so that Świda could repay his ex wife her contribution to the marriage. The fortunes of both spouses shaped differently. Zofia came back to Warsaw, where, in 1939, she married again, this time Stefan Ossowiecki, famous Polish clairvoyant of the interwar period, previously – a modest Engineer, in whom paranormal abilities appeared almost overnight and who was telling the future of, among others, Marshal Piłsudski. Ossowiecki died during the Warsaw Uprising, murdered by Germans at Al. Szucha. As Eugeniusz Szermentowski remembers, "He was telling to his wife that horrible things would be happening. Nevertheless, he did not want to leave Warsaw". As we learn from the memories of Ms. Zofia, during the War, Ossowiecki helped many people, notifying them, thanks to his abilities, of the fortune of their close relatives. Ms. Zofia did not have any information on the fortune of her second husband for a long time, but until the last moments she labored under delusion that he had managed to escape death. After the war, the communists expropriated her, later on she lived a modest life, reportedly working in a kiosk. She died in 1970, in Warsaw. She was buried in Powązki.
In the meantime, Gustaw Świda settled for good in Zwierzyniec, where, soon after the divorce, he got married again, to Zofia Weychert. It would seem that Świda might re-arrange his life, his new wife gave birth to two children, Helena and Gustaw junior, however, the happiness of the spouses did not last too long. Unfortunately, Zofia died delivering her second child. It took place in 1929. Unfortunately, it was not the end of disasters. Before the war, in 1939, a young Gucio joined the group of angels. It is hard to imagine the pain of the father, losing, in a short time, the most important persons...
However, let's come back for a moment to the fortune of the manor house. Unfortunately, the new owners could not administer well their property, especially at the time of economic crisis in which Europe was immersed. In 1937, the manor house was put for auction and again it was transferred to the former owners. That time the property was to be administered by Marian Świda, son of Gustaw from his first marriage. 
However, the worst time for Poland came – World War 2 and German occupation. War atrocities did not pass over Wierzchowiska, either. In 1940, in the village persons displaced from Greater Poland were settled. In the same year, a camp of forced labor for the Jews was established in Kamienna Góra, becoming rapidly a boot camp for peasants. It operated for two years, ca. 300 people stayed in it. In 1942, Germans carried out a number of hunts, conducting executions, arrests and deportations. The image of destruction is completed by the functioning, at the times of war (and after the war, according to Józef Wieleba – until 1949), of a gang of Stanisław Kiełbasa "Dziadek" in a nearby village, Pilatka, and in the neighborhood, conducting thefts, robberies and murders, not only of Poles but of miraculously survived Jews, who often, after being robbed, were murdered. 
The heir often tried to help inhabitants of the village, thanks to a good command of German he managed to rescue over ten people from the death or deportation. In spite of that, after the war, what was rewarded were ideological rightness rather than actions, and by a decree of PKWN in 1944 the property of the Świda Family was plotted. When the Red Army marched to the Polish land, Gustaw and Marian Świda had to hide in Janów Lubelski, afraid of NKWD, killing on spot "landowners" and "burgeoises". 
The former landowning world was becoming a thing of the past. After the war, Gustaw Świda was a worker of the university library at the Catholic University of Lublin. The dates of death joint the ex spouses. Although they knew about themselves, their life paths never coincided again. After all, it is impossible to step into the same river twice. Gustaw Świda was buried in Lublin. He died, as it was said, in 1970.
His son, Marian, in spite of education and knowledge of foreign languages, could count on employment in the institutions of the People's Republic of Poland (PRL) owing to "landlord" origin, therefore he made his living carrying out various activities, among others, playing the piano in Warsaw cafes. In the capital he met an American woman, employee of the US embassy, to whom he proposed and was accepted. After the death of the mother and of the father, he emigrated overseas, thinking probably that he would never come back. However, it did not happen. Living longer than his wife, who died of cancer, and being completely alone, he decided to come back. He came to Poland in 1995. He tried ineffectively to recover at least a part of the robbed property. He did not manage to do so. He died in 1999 and he was buried in the Świda family vault on the cemetery in Lublin.
What has happened to the manor house? Just after the war, a school was arranged in it, then it performed the function of, among others, teacher's house, post, farmer's club and kindergarten. When new buildings for these institutions were erected, the manor house was lefty as if escaping from the former past. The building was gradually falling into ruin.
However, simultaneously the village was undergoing civilization changes. In 1954, electrification was conducted, in 1964 to Wierzchowiska a hardened road was constructed and bus stop (PKS) was established, in 1967 a new school building was erected, and in 1969 - a health center was built. From 50 ha of the manor land initially a PGR (state-owned farm) was established, which, with the passage of time, was transformed into a production cooperative.
In 1976, the manor house was taken over by the Polish Scouting Association and adapted as training and recreation center of the local council in Tarnobrzeg (at that time Wierzchowiska belonged to Tarnobrzeskie Province). As a result, the building was redecorated and could return to the previous magnificence. It accommodated teenagers from 80 countries, mainly people's democracies, but also from countries from free world – among others, France and Portugal.
After the political breakthrough in 1989, the manor house was falling into ruin again, neglected by subsequent owners. Broken panes, empty interior – the building resembled a haunted castle rather than a place where people used to live. Fortunately, this situation changed completely. In 2006, the manor house in Wierzchowiska was purchased by Elżbieta and Dariusz Nizio. They had to wait subsequent 2 years to obtain a permit for maintenance and redecoration of the historical building. In 2008, after obtaining necessary formalities, redecoration works began immediately. They lasted (along with finishing works) until 2010. Currently, the manor house has recovered the former glory and as Hotel – Sanna Manor House, has an opportunity to make its name in history again. Since, as Norwid wrote "the past is today – only somehow further". After all, our tasks include not only to take care of the achievements of the past generations, but also to add pages in history, covering own – hopefully good! – chapters. The Sanna Manor House, combining history with modernity, is, without doubt, such initiative.


This website uses COOKIES.

By browsing it you accept our cookies policy, according to your browser settings. Read more about Privacy Policy

OK, close