Then and Now
Welcome to Kwiatonowice! There is only one village in Poland with this name: ours!
Kwiatonowice is first mentioned in documents from the 14th century. For many years it belonged to Benedictine monks from Tyniec. In 1367 it received Magdeburg town laws from king Casimir the Great. In the 1790s, as Tyniec lost many of its properties (the abbey was ultimately dissolved in 1816), the village was bought by Antoni Neumanowski. His daughter, Marcyna, married the lawyer Karol Tetmajer. In 1813 their son Adolf was born in Kwiatonowice, and later in his life he would take part in the November Uprising and have the sons Włodzimierz (painter) and Kazimierz (poet) Tetmajer. In the second half of the 19th century Kwiatonowice was owned, in order, by Herman Neumanowski, Róża Załęska, Ignacy Gumiński. In 1875 the village was purchased by Kazimierz Sczaniecki (1837-1918). The Sczaniecki family of the Ossorya coat of arms originated from Greater Poland, and their hometown was Sczaniec in the Lubusk area. Kazimierz Sczaniecki fought in the January Uprising. In 1864 he emigrated to Switzerland for four years. After his return, unable to go back to Greater Poland, he settled down in Galicia. He married Aleksandra née Günther. Among other roles, he was a member of the Gorlice County Council, the president of the County Department and one of the originators of the founding of the Gorlice hospital. Kwiatonowice was inherited by his son Stefan, who lived in the family house until the year 1945.
After the Second World War, Kwiatonowice was divided and sold off, and the estate housed a children’s community home, which closed down after two years. In 1947 it was a chicken farm, in the 1960s — a nursery school, primary school and farming school. In 1979 it was taken over by the “Kwiat” production collective, which had its offices within the estate. After its bankruptcy, the liquidator sold the estate to a private buyer. Five years later, in January 2000, the owner sold it to us. That’s how our destiny was fulfilled.
We first came here on a sunny September Saturday in 1999. We took a right at the crossroads in Zagórzany and made the car climb the steep and winding road. First we saw the southern landscape, stretching for kilometres, from Bieszczady Mountains to the Pienins, perhaps even the Tatras. Our amazement was multiplied when from beneath the church another panorama was revealed, showing us the Ciężkowice Piedmont. This meant that Kwiatonowice lay on the top of the world, or at least the piedmont!
A ruined house in a ruined park — that’s what our new house was in 2000. It had never been the luxurious home of an affluent noble, a truly aristocratic manor surrounded by an expansive park. Just a beautifully located house with a shake roof that had grown to accommodate the families who had lived there, that fit its surroundings, being hugged by trees older than it was and overlooking the village. Still, we found it to be ceaselessly inspiring. There is something enchanting about it. The sight of the mountains before dawn, the comfortable smell of rose and night-scented stock, the quietness of a Sunday afternoon, the robin nest under the porch roof, the silent evening flight of the owl that lives in the hole in an old ash tree, the smell of cut grass.
What more could anyone ask for?