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Open shutters of Podlasie – 4 villages

Open shutters of Podlasie – 4 villages

Shutters are a characteristic element of Podlasie architecture. You have to try very hard not to notice them.

If you’re intrigued by what this is all about, where it came from and where to go to see the prettiest shutters – you’ve come to the right place.

Shutters – what is it all about?

The houses in the surrounding villages are richly decorated in a very distinctive way. Window lintels, shutters, corners – you can see the craftsmanship and effort of local woodcarvers.

Where did this come from? Has it always been like this? Well, no. In the past, Podlasie houses were simple, they were meant to serve as a shelter, not something to please the eyes. The locals were very conservative when it came to decoration.

It was only as a result of the “exile” that they saw in the big (Eastern) world how houses could be decorated. The “bieżeńcy” were returning to destroyed houses, which had to be rebuilt, and during the rebuilding of which decorative elements were introduced

Bieżeństwo (Belarusian: Бежaнствa, Russian: Беженство – exile) – a mass evacuation, in Polish also called exile, resettlement or displacement of the population, mainly Orthodox, from western governorate of the Russian Empire into Russia, after breaking the front line by the German army in the period from May 3 to September 1915. The apogee of the bieżeństwo occurred in the spring to autumn of 1915.

wikipedia.org

The decoration is done by cutting out patterns on the boards, which are then nailed to the right places on the building. A contrasting colour is also important.

Interestingly, houses are still decorated in this way, even in modern times. Below you will see a house clad in plastic siding (yuck), with traditional decorations.

Three villages:
– Trześcianka,
– Soce
– Puchły

They have set up the Land of Open Shutters Trail to encourage tourists to visit the area. We liked the houses in Wojszki village the most.

Wojszki

The advantage of the village of Wojszki is that no major, important road passes through it. So you can easily stop, watch and admire the houses.

Interestingly, even the local shop is decorated in this style.

Soce

Another village on the outskirts. This is where we came across a house with a plastic facade and traditional decorations.

Trześcianka

Road 685 passes through Trześcianka, which makes it difficult to see the houses in comfort. Driving a car, you cannot just stop here and there. The Trześcianka’s church is also decorated in this way.

Colourful shutters

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Puchły

We took very few pictures in Puchły, despite the fact that this village also belongs to the shutter trail. Somehow we were not impressed by the houses there.

It is also worth remembering that decorated shutters are a speciality of the entire region, so practically in every village you will find a house decorated in this way. So visit Rybaki, Czyże, Nowoberezowo or Kotówka.

Or do you guys have favourite villages worth visiting? Share the information in the comments!

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