A trip to Hel (and other scary places…)

 

…Especially considering that Hel is not scary at all.

Hel 2 ed

Ok, I’m really sorry for the terrible joke out there (but remember, most of the people out there would put the “Highway to Hell” soundtrack for this… so appreciate the effort!).

Last weekend, thanks to a great idea of Julia, we decided to go ahead and rent a car for a weekend visit of a couple of good places around here, all of them reachable in one hour/one hour and a half by car. As my car is happily standing in Italy, it’s really easy to forget how close are this places when you don’t have to rely on public transport. The first destination of the list was Hel. It’s not a big city at all, and “what’s so special about it”? Well, the fact that is a beautiful and particular place, for how it looks like.

                                                                Hel – (picture from student.travel.pl)

The only road to reach the place is in the middle of the forest, and apart from when you’re crossing a city, you’re surrounded by trees and the Sea. That’s just an amazing view, and the water looks just amazing. Here’s how it looked in Jurata, just some km before Hel:

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The Weather Gods (or whoever in charge up there) were actually on our favor, and despite a forecast of continuous rain, we were lucky enough to have 20C and a good sun for all the day.

The second day, we proceeded with the most adventurous part: Łapalice Castle and Dwór Borkówko!

Łapalice Castle is a very recent building, started on early ’80 under the commission of the wealthy artist/businessman Piotr Kazimierczak. It was supposed to be his masterpiece, but suddenly, around ’90, the construction was stopped. Which one was the real reason – well, it’s a mystery. According to someone, Piotr never had the official permission to create such a wonder: he was supposed to build a family house/studio, and he started… well, this.

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A 5000 thousand square meters castle, with 12 towers, an internal chapel and what seems to be a swimming pool downstairs. Huge, impressive and somehow the kind of place you don’t want to be in when it’s night.

...isn't it?
… Isn’t it?

And to connect all this majesty? Stairs. Stairs EVERYWHERE.

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One last view to the castle…DSC_0137

…and we can finally go to the last adventure: the Dwór Borkówko!
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The story of Dwór Borkówko is a bit more bloody. Or unfortunate. I apologize for the eventual mistakes on the history of this place, but all the article I found were in Polish, so yea… 🙂

The property of the manor changed quite frequently, passing from hand to hand in relatively short time. The mansion in Borkówku was built in 1733, and for 98 years no child was born on the place: the people started to talk about a curse. During 1776, the Count Philipp Georg von Weiher became the only owner of this manor. Only for 16 years thou: he lost his sight and died in 1792. The property was kept over the years by different members of the Weiher family, until 1916, when Georg Vichstaedt bought the manor. The new owner had 2 sons, Christian and Hans-Georg, and one daughter, Rosemarie. And the day of the marriage of Rosemarie, Christian, only 16, committed suicide with a shotgun. The father buried his son close by, 500 meters of distance, where still the tomb is nowadays (and to be honest, we missed this place, as I discovered the story while writing). However, the chain of terrible events didn’t stop: Georg, the father, died just at the beginning of WWII in a sanatorium. After this, the family moved back to Germany, but also Rosemary didn’t manage to survive longer than 5 more years.

FotorCreated

After the War, the building became State property, and during 1960, a new owner took possession of Dwór Borkówko: since then, the renovation got discontinued, and the building keeps its sinister look until today.DSC_0162

We haven’t try to go upstair or in the basement, as both the stairs looked in very bad condition, but apparently is still possible to go over there. But if you want to have an idea of how it looked like, here’s a video that I found on YouTube:

This was the end of our spontaneous-car weekend. Hope you enjoyed the story and stay tuned! 🙂

References: Regarding Borkówko:

http://dipp.info.pl/index.php/2013-02-06-09-27-03/95-dwor-w-borkowku
http://cmentarze.lebork.pl/index.php/gmina-choczewo/182-borkowko
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt51v-4xjWA – Video inside Borkowko

Regarding Zamek Łapalice:

http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/castle-of-lapalice-poland-march-2009.t40688
http://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/main/overseas-sites/31450-lapalice-castle-poland-july-2015-a.html#.VzsznJyLTWI
http://www.ruszajwdroge.pl/2014/01/zamek-w-Lapalicach-szalony-pomysl-marzyciela.html#.VzyL4pyLTWI
http://tonyface.blogspot.com/2015/02/il-castello-di-lapalice.html

Bonus content: Another YouTube video from the castle, enjoy! 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrDZRNQvymo

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