Art  •  ,

Is this the most beautiful village in Poland? The painted houses of Zalipie

October 15, 2016

the most beautiful polish village

For the past year I’ve stumbled upon blog posts titled “the most beautiful village in Poland” on various blogs and portals. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the village was close to the city my family lives in, Krakow! I had no choice but to to check if Zalipie was worth all the hype.

Zalipie is know for its hundred years old tradition of decorating the houses with colourful flowers and plants. It was started by Felicja Curylowa who first decorated her home for Catholic feast called Corpus Christi, held in the beginning of summer. The other ladies in Zalipie liked the idea and painted their houses as well. It’s not a forgotten custom though, every year a competition for the most beautiful house is held with more than 100 people taking part! The rules of the contest are harsh though, as contestants have to remove the previous year’s designs from their walls.

I arrived in Zalipie one perfect August afternoon, after driving a little more than an hour from Krakow (sadly, it’s hard to get there without a car). The village is surrounded by lush green cornfields. After a while you start to see the painted houses but also wells, dog kennels, buckets, tables, bridges, even trees! There’s a small museum of Felicja Curylowa where you can see her beautiful folk artworks and another place called “Dom Malarek” (The House of Painters) with modern displays from other folk artists living in Zalipie.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t see the flowers on every house though! Zalipie is not an open-air museum and painting the walls is not compulsory for its residents. It’s more of a fun tradition they’ve developed. Also, not everyone would like you to take pictures of their house, please ask the owners first :)

felicja-curylowa museum

painted bucket zalipie

zalipie most beautiful village

most beautiful village in poland

polish village

folk art in poland

traditional polish house

zalipie church

The interior of Zalipie’s church

zalipie painted houses folk artZalipie tree painted with flowers

zalipie beautiful polish village

Anyway, I can confirm Zalipie is one of the most perfect Polish villages I’ve ever seen and if you ever visit Lesser Poland please make time for Zalipie :)

All the pictures in this post are mine.

Editorials  • 

Alfama district, Lisbon

April 27, 2015

The view from Miradouro das Portas do Sol

Lisbon’s Alfama district must be the weirdest and most unexplainable place in Portugal. Being the oldest place in the city, just by the walls of Sao Jorge castle, it attracts a great number of tourists who love walking its narrow and steep streets. Alfama is like a medieval village, not only because it’s small and has a provincial feel, but also thanks to its community of people who lived here their whole life and know each other pretty well.

The people of Alfama have become quite an attraction themselves. Tourists are obsessed with Alfama’s quirky decorated doors, street art and most of all – laundry. That’s right, fresh laundry hanging outside the residents’ windows is the most documented sight of Alfama!

alfama_graffiti alfama_laundry alfama_lisbon alfama_stairs alfama_streets alfama_tourists alfama lisbon_alfama_castle lisbon_alfama_district lisbon_alfama_streets

The best and quickest way to get to know Lisbon’s old town is by tram 28, which will take you on a tour around the most popular sights of Alfama, Baixa and Estrela districts.


Travel Inspiration  • 

Blue flower season in Hitachi Park, Japan

April 17, 2015
flowers field japan

Photo: Azure

Late April to early May is the blooming season of 4.5 million nemophilia (baby blue eyes) in Japan’s Hitachi Seaside Park, which got everyone’s attention after tons of blog posts last year. The blue flower fields get lots of visitors which is perfectly understandable when you look at their beauty, but the Hitachi Park offers colourful sights all year round – just check out their flower calendar!

blue flowers field

Photo: kobaken

hitachi blue fields

Photo: Yumi

blue flowers

Photo: kobaken


Culture, Travel Inspiration  • 

Dogon country, Mali

April 16, 2015

The Dogon people living in Mali’s Dogon country are an ethnical group with distinct traditions, including mask dancing, wooden sculptures and architecture. As they refused to convert to Islam a thousand years ago, they had to build settlements in defensible positions, along the walls of the Bandiagara cliff. Their religion which involves animals, spirits and androgynous creatures, is separated into several sects who worship different gods or totems.

Dogon society has experienced many changes during the last century, as Dogon’s country became one of the main tourist attraction of Mali. The main sights include mud huts and shrines, cave paintings and funeral masquerades.


Photo: El-Len