Visiting Zalipie – the painted village
Zalipie is a small village located not far from Tarnow, in the malopolskie region. It is situated roughly 80 kilometers to the north-east from Krakow. You can get there in about 1.5 hours.
Zalipie is sometimes called the „painted village” because of the local tradition of painting houses in flowery patterns and colors. Zalipie has gained all kinds of opinions. Some people are delighted by the diversity of patterns painted on the houses, while others are rather critical about it. But no matter what you think about it, it’s impossible to deny that Zalipie is the mos colorful village in Poland.
The tradition of painting houses in Zalipie began in the late 19th century. Back then, people kept their homes warm with open furnaces, which coverd the houses with black soot. In order to brighten their houses, the ladies of Zalipie began to put lime on walls. Over time, they also started to decorate their houses with colorful patterns, as well as decorative cutouts and spiders made from straw.
There are two particular attractions that you cannot miss while visiting Zalipie – the Painters’ House and the Felicja Curylowa’s farm. The Painters’ House functions as a house of culture and a promotion centre of the painted village.
Here you can get information about where to find all the painted houses, of which Zalipie has approximately 40, discover a local exhibit and learn more about local traditions. In front of the building there is a beautiful painted cottage and well, which are photographed by countless people who visit this incredible place.
In order to keep the tradition of painting houses alive, the Painters’ House organizes the annual contest known as „Malowana Chata” (Painted Cottage). It is the longest lasting contest associated with folk art in Poland, first organized in 1948. During the contest, a special committee visits the painted houses on the saturday and sunday after Corpus Christi, and announces the results on Sunday. This grand local celebration is concluded with the do-called „Zalipie Fest”
The Painters’ House is available for individual tourists for free, but organized groups will have to purchase a ticket for the price of 20 PLN for 10-20 persons, or 30 PLN for 20 persons or more.
Felicja Curylowa’s farm was created as a division of the District Museum in Tarnow. In 1978, four years after the death of the most famous lady from Zalipie, her property was put under the care of the museum in Tarnow. The management of the museum decided to keep all the buildings in the same place where they stood when Felicja Curylowa was alive.
Felicja Curylowa was an extraordinary artist, who became known for painting anything that fell into her hands – walls, buildings and furniture. She even made colorful paper patterns, which were later put on the ceiling or under the bed. She was famous not only for painting, but also for creating ornaments from tissue-paper and colorful cutouts. The only thing in the Zalipie museum that was untouched with Felicja’s brush is the barn.
A visit the Felicja Curylowa’s farm will not only allow tourists to get familiar with the unique traditions of Zalipie, but also encourage them to keep looking for other flowery houses.
A ticket for visiting Felicja Curylowa’s Farm costs 8 PLN.
The village of Zalipie is the only place of its kind in Poland. You’ll need at least 2, or even 3 hours, to discover it in all its glory.