________ Surroundings ________

"The legend of the Beautiful Łucja (Lucia)and the Wise Knight."

Among the forests, meadows and fields lies the village now called Kretowiny.
A girl of unusual beauty once lived there. The girl with golden braids, snow-white face and blue eyes aroused admiration and respect in people. When she walked she seemed to not touch the ground with her feet as if she was floating just above the surface. Her singing was more beautiful than the singing of birds and only through the birds was understood. The animals gave her extraordinary trust, and the sun shone in her presence. Even at night, when Lucia appeared outside, it was getting even brighter because the moon was raising its ancient forehead to look at the unusual glow of her beauty.

Everyone thought that Lucia did not come from a human being. Her parents were simple people who did not stand out in the village. Before Lucia's birth, her mother cried for many nights under the starry sky asking for a baby. Unfortunately, years passed and the child did not show up at the house of the peasant woman and her husband. People gossiped, because all the peers of this woman have long enjoyed numerous offspring. She herself almost lost her senses of despair. She almost did not sleep and did not eat. She spent almost all the nights outside, where she burst into tears looked at glistening reflection of the stars in the calm surface of the lake. One night, an unusual picture appeared to her eyes, a glow so great that she had to squint her eyes so that it would not blind her. Not disturbed the surface of the lake, now called Narie, began to change with countless colours and brushed with delicate flares of the approaching stars. A beautiful but unusual view made the villager stunned. The stars dancing right above the water seemed to be absorbed in dancing and did not pay attention to the woman. However, it soon turned out that this simple woman was the reason for this amazing phenomenon. One of the stars spoke in a voice so beautiful and melodic that it sounded like a harp brushed with delicate hands of the elves. The voice announced that the stars were so moved by the deep despair of an inhabitant of the coastal village that they decided to help her. They offered her a daughter who was soon to come into the world. The delighted woman thanked and asked what she could offer in return. Then the stars revealed her condition that had to be fulfilled so that her future daughter could receive a marital happiness. The girl that she was soon to be born could only marry a man who would give the stars a jewel as beautiful as the chosen on of his heart. The jewel was to be thrown into the lake and when the stars consider it to be appropriate, they give the fiancée a ring worthy of Lucia's hand, because the peasant woman was supposed to give the daughter this name. If the condition was not met, the girl was to die as a spinster.

The villager was happy despite the condition. She believed that on the ground there would be jewels exceeding the beauty of the most beautiful women. However, she did not think how beautiful daughter the stars would give. She did not dream about the unusual beauty of her child, she only wanted health and happiness for her. When this woman gave birth to a girl and noticed her unprecedented beauty, she understood that her daughter would not find her husband easily. She had doubts whether any man could get a jewel more beautiful than Lucia.

Years passed and there were numerous admirers, often from distant sides, appearing next to beautiful Lucia. The fame of her beauty proclaimed by song and numerous stories of wayfarers reached almost everywhere. In distant lands women whispered about her with envy, and the men, paralyzed by the beauty from the stories, set out on a long journey to see her. When bachelors from different parts of the world reached the village, now called Kretowiny, they could not believe their eyes delighted with the beauty of the girl's beauty. It was then that the mother decided it was time to reveal the secret to her daughter. Both decided to tell it the youngsters in love with the girl. They did not get discouraged and went to get jewels. Many tried and drowned in the lake crates full of valuables often acquired in expeditions extremely dangerous. But the stars were not appeased. One day, the village, today called Kretowiny, arrived a knight tempted by the news of the beautiful Lucia. He was a young man not tired of battle and extraordinary courage. The fights against the Teutonic Knights in that area have not been unknown for him. He was not afraid of anything and love never visited his heart. Although he was a guest at the royal court and participated in many distant expeditions, he never became interested in any of the many beautiful girls he met. He came to the village out of curiosity, whether the girl touted around the world would attract his attention. When he saw her, he noticed in her not only an extraordinary beauty but also a goodness, which in the eyes of others was not so important. At the time of their meeting Lucia's heart also started beating harder which had never happened before. He immediately wanted to embrace her as a wife and she would be with him forever. Their hearts were beating with one rhythm, but the condition of the stars robbed them of their sleep. The brave knight saw some beautiful jewels, but the splendour of the girl’s beauty exceeded them many times.

When the knight understood what is the jewel more beautiful than the beauty of Lucia, he became very sad. He guessed that to marry a girl he had to give a clean and brave heart in which never lies a lie, evil and fear. His heart was a jewel more beautiful than the girl's beauty. The knight understood that the stars who live forever did not speak about a marriage in this world. It was very difficult for him to make the decision to sacrifice his life and wait in the afterlife for the arrival of Lucia. He did not know when her days would be fulfilled, and even a short separation with his beloved made him feel a great pain in his heart. It was hard for him to believe that the stars so sensitive to the suffering of the peasants were so cruel to sentence  her daughter and her daughter’s fiancé to such tortures. Unfortunately, not seeing another solution, he said goodbye to his beloved for the time of their separation and they went to the lake where they were to part. The girl burst in silver tears said goodbye to a valiant young man disappearing under the water. The stars moved by his wisdom and courage decided to give him his life back and the hand of Lucia. The next day, the young man woke up completely dry on the island, not far from the headland, and looked into the precious laid in the depths of the lake. Surprised that he is not in the water, he opened his clenched hand and he saw an engagement ring of pure gold studded with diamonds. He understood that the ring meant the consent of the stars to marry Lucia. The knight's heart, though still in his chest, beat for the stars he gave them. It did not bother him to love his beautiful wife because she was one of the stars temporarily sent to the earth. Lucia and her husband lived happily and long. After their deaths, many people said they saw stars in the sky that were not there before. Apparently it was Lucia and her husband, she came back to heaven and he went where his heart was.
Even today treasure hunters look in the lake, today called Narie, near the island near the headland for numerous valuables sunk by the admirers of Lucia and it is said they still find them. Many young people lost their possessions in those days to get a more beautiful girl's hand and, saddened by refusal, went home leaving the lake richer.
Apparently, in the area of today's Kretowiny the stars look very beautiful in a cloudless sky, apparently if you listen carefully, you can hear their song telling the story of Lucia. Apparently, if someone spends the night at the lake, which is an anniversary of this memorable night when the stars gave the child to the peasant and hear their stories, those will never live in poverty…

The basic tourist values of the region are mainly created by the natural and geographical environment, which is considered to be one of the best in the country.

Essential elements of this environment, such as terrain, forests and trees, water, atmosphere and the landscape they create require conservation and protection. It is possible thanks to the introduction of environmental protection regulations in the commune and determination of its recreational absorption. Taking into consideration the uniqueness of recreational values of the Morąg commune, its areas have the rank of holiday areas, preferring the existence and development of forms of recreation characterized by a longer stay in one place. Such conditions occur especially in the vicinity of Lake Narie. Lake Narie - one of the most beautiful Polish lakes. Area: over 1240 ha, maximum length: 10,800 m, the largest depth: 44 m. Picturesque coastline, numerous bays, 19 islands with a total area of over 26 ha. The largest of them - Big Ostrów, also known as Krowia Wyspa, grows over two hundred years old limes there. Narie is a paradise for anglers. The lake has a very varied bottom, with numerous hills and deep gutters, with sandy and silty edges. You catch there many kind of fish. Lake Narie is one of the cleanest lakes in Poland. The transparency reaches up to 5 meters. The water has the highest class of purity.

The village of Kretowiny, a picturesque holiday resort surrounded by fields, meadows and forests. There are currently 12 local families living there. Natural environment that is unpolluted by civilization shows the pearls of nature at every turn. Forests full of game and mushrooms and the lake of Narie, make this area a perfect place to spend your free time and rest.

How to get there

Morąg, formerly called Morung, Moring, Mohrungen, was founded in 1302. The first location Morąg received in 1327 from the commander of Elbląg. It  remained within the Teutonic state until its secularization in 1525. From that time on, this territory was a secular principality constituting the Polish fiefdom called Duchy of Prussia. In 1701, Morąg became part of the Kingdom of Prussia, and from 1772 to 1945, East Prussia, which belonged to the Prussian state - and then to the German Reich. The history of Morąg, apart from short transitional periods, when Morąg was in the Polish hands, was associated with the Teutonic Knights, and then with the Germans. It was only in 1945 when Morąg became a Polish city. This a 15-thousand inhabitants city located halfway between Olsztyn and Elbląg is an extremely charming place. The richness of various terrain forms from high moraines to beautifully situated numerous lakes, adds mystery to the landscape. Coming through the municipality, every now and then from the trees emerge the surface of the blue and clear water of lakes rich in fish. There are also traces of the former glory of the German farms.

The pearl of the commune is Lake Narie with a varied shoreline having numerous bays, peninsulas and as many as 19 islands. The largest holiday resort on this lake is Kretowiny, with a rich tourist base (water equipment rentals, bicycles, shops, bars, cafes, restaurants and swimming pools).

Lake Narie has kept its first class of purity. To protect the natural environment, most of the centres around the lake were sewered. For the same purpose, the commune continues the construction of a sewage system along the lake, started in 1997, with the planned connection of the villages of Bogaczewo, Gulbita, Niebrzydowo, and recreation centres. Thanks to the investment, sewage management is going to be arranged, which will largely protect underground waters and the pool of the most beautiful lake in our area from degradation.

Those who love to look at nature can spend a nice time observing the richness of birds nesting in the backwaters, which surrounds the city from the west. Due to the unusual qualities of this place, ecological land was created here. The Morąskie Rozlewisko is a wonderful, well-preserved boggy ecosystem, rich in species of animals and wetland plants. It covers the area of 121.7 ha. Every year, during the migration period a few kinds of goose flock here. As many as eighteen of the birds nesting here are on the list of the "Polish Red Book of Animals".

You can also relax by walking through the forests abundant with mushrooms and blueberries.

For those who prefer to explore the cultural landscape, the city also has many interesting proposals. In Morąg itself, the 15th-century town hall, the Gothic church of the 15th century – a town hall with 15th-century wall paintings, an impressive 14th-century crucifix and Baroque carved altars deserve attention. However, a special object in the church is the magnificent eighteenth-century organ made by Master Obuch. After their renovation, from 1997, the Summer Organ Concerts with the participation of the best musicians take place in summer holidays. Their recitals had there Roman Perucki, Hose Maria and Bonet, Viktor Lukas, John Walles, a French horn quartet from Germany and students of the Music Academy in Gdańsk in the organ class of prof. Perucki.

Also worth mentioning is the restored Dohns’ palace, which houses a branch of the Museum of Warmia and Masuria with a rich display of Dutch paintings from the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, which is a unique collection in this part of Poland. In the palace, there are also memorabilia of Herder, the most famous Morąganin, a leading representative of the philosophical and literary thoughts of the Enlightenment.

Thinking about the residents, but also about the tourists the Tourists' City Bureau and the Moravian Culture House organize summer festivities under the banner of Morag Days during summer holidays. In addition, a series of cyclical events take place in the city and the commune, which are permanently included in the calendar of national events, such as the National Dance Tournament for the Mayor of Morag Cup, the International Warmian Sports Tournament, Regatta and the Sports Bridge Tournament , Blue Ribbon of Lake Narie , National Caravaning Rally, Caravana for the holidays ", Song Festival of the Scouts, May Festivities, Football Tournament of Children's Homes, Polish Championships in Kendo.
Landscape values of the area, as well as clean environment, make the city more and more popular among tourists from Poland and abroad.

The distance from Kretowin - 25 km.
The city is located in the western part of the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship on Lake Drwęckie. In the second century AD there was a settlement there. In 1270, a Teutonic watchtower was established on the site of a Prussian settlement. 1329, the granting of city rights by the Dzieżgonski  commander Luther von Braunschwieg.  1340, the capital of the command.  In 1381, the Lithuanians, led by Kiejstut, invaded and burned the Teutonic stronghold.  In  1397, the "Lizard Society" was organized. After 1410, occupied by the Polish troops. In the years 1454-1466 Ostróda belonged to the Prussian Union, and in 1466, the Treaty of Toruń granted Ostróda theTeutonic Knights . 1519-1521 - during the Polish-Teutonic war in the hands of the Poles. In 1628, captured by the Swedish army. In 1657, incorporated into Brandenburg.  From 1701 in Prussia. 1758-1762 - occupied by the Russian troops. In 1807, the castle housed Napoleon's quarters. 1835-1848, the local pastor was H.M.G. Gizewiusz, a well-known Mazurian activist. In 1852, Ostróda received a water connection by the Ostróda-Elbląg Canal.

Monuments: a Gothic urban layout of the city, located around 1270; a fragment of gothic defensive walls from the 15th century with the present church of St. Dominika Savio, the Gothic church of St. Dominika Savio, from the 14th century; rebuilt after the war damage, the Teutonic castle originally in the Gothic style from the second half of the 14th century, then rebuilt several times, was the seat of the Teutonic Knights Command, rebuilt in the 80s and 90s of the twentieth century neo-gothic church under the name of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary from 1856-1875; Evangelical and Methodist Church of 1907; Baptist chapel, pseudo-Gothic; Evangelical cemetery Polska Górka - part of the graves from the first half of the 19th century, the pastor Gustaw Gizewiusz has been buried here; an eclectic building of 1907, currently a high school; the former tollbooth at the premises of Primary School No. 1, neoclassical of the nineteenth century; a granary built in the technique of the Prussian wall from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries; neo-gothic water tower from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries; houses of the 19th century.

Warmia, a historical land in northern Poland, in the basin of the central Łyna and Pasłęka, where several physical and geographical units meet: Pobrzeże Gdańskie, Nizina Staropruska , Pojezierze Wschodniopomorskie and Pojezierze Mazurskie.

The name comes from the Prussian Warmian tribe. In the first half of the thirteenth century, conquered by the Teutonic Knights. In 1243, the Warmian bishopric was established on a part of the territory of Warmia. The name Warmia was established for the area that covered the territory of the bishopric. 1251-1254, the Warmian bishops received the third part of the diocese as the dominant property, i.e. they had authority over the peasants, burghers and noblemen as well as some state rights. Initially, the seat of the bishopric was Braniewo, then (1260-1278) Frombork, from 1512 Lidzbark Warmiński. In the 14th and 15th centuries there were frequent feuds between the Warmian chapter and the Knights over the staffing of the bishopric. In the second half of the 15th century, the nobility and the burghers of Warmia opposed the Knights, joining the Prussian Union. As a result of the 13-year war and the peace of Toruń, in 1466, the Warmian dominion was incorporated into the Crown. Soon, however, in the absence of unanimity between the king and the chapter, the Pope's war broke out in 1478-1479. A similar situation took place ten years later, after Watzenrode was elected to the episcopal capital.  Among the Warmian bishops there were many well-known creators, patrons of culture and diplomats, among others J. Dantyszek, S. Hozjusz, M. Kromer, I. Krasicki. Also Copernicus, a canon from Frombork, was connected with Warmia. From 1772 in the Prussian annexation, separated from the territory of Royal Prussia and incorporated into the former Ducal Prussia, then called East Prussia (in church terms, as from 1549, still subject to Rome). The church property was partially confiscated, German was introduced as the official language. In the 1830s, the Prussian government, striving for complete Germanisation of Warmia, removed the Polish language from schools. Polish residents of Warmia for a long time resisted the pressure of Germanization, they took an active part in national uprisings from the Kościuszko’s Uprising of 1794 to the January Uprising 1863-1864. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Polish press appeared (Gazeta Toruńska, Gazeta Olsztyńska) emphasizing the connectivity of the region with Poland and contributing to maintain the national identity of Poles. As a result of a plebiscite conducted after World War I (July 11, 1920), Warmia remained within Germany. It returned to Poland in 1945.

Masuria, a historical and ethnographic land located in the north of Poland, within the Masurian Lake District and neighboring regions. In the early Middle Ages, inhabited by the Prussian tribe, in the years 1233-1238 conquered by the Teutonic Knights, who completely exterminated them. In the former Prussian headquarters a state called Monastic Prussia was established, and from the secularization of the Teutonic Knights (1525) Ducal Prussia. Hohenzollerns ruled Prussia, vassals of Polish kings until the Prussian connection with Brandenburg (1618) and the creation of a state named Prussia. Current Masuria as so-called East Prussia was at that time a province of Prussia. The inhabitants of Masuria were largely influenced by the Polish population, mainly peasants from Mazovia who retained their language, culture and religion. During the intensification of Germanization in the 19th century, the Germans tried to blur the awareness of the Polish origin of the local population, giving it the name of Masurians. The name Mazury appeared as a new term for East Prussia. Attempts to Germanize met resistance, and prominent social activists stood up in defence of Polishness, including H.M.G. Gizewiusz, K.C. Mrongowiusz. Polish local publishing houses and political parties of a national nature were created (including the Masurian People's Party).
After World War I, Mazovian activists formed in Warsaw 1919 the Masurian Plebiscite Committee, which led an agitation for belonging to Poland during the plebiscite in 1920. Voting when the administration was led by the Germans brought unfavourable results, because only three Masurian communes were included in the Polish state . In the interwar period, a number of Polish national organizations operated in Masuria, which after 1922 entered the Union of Poles in Germany. Persecution of Masurian activists intensified after Hitler came to power, many of them were killed in concentration camps.
After World War II, by the decision of the victorious powers, Masuria was granted to Poland.

 

 

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