The Czorsztyn settlement, located on the shores of Lake Czorsztyńskie, is an open-air museum and tourist complex of valuable buildings relocated from places flooded by the waters of the emerging reservoir, created by the construction of the dam on the Dunajec River, in Niedzica. Wooden villas, guesthouses, cottages and stone cellars create an almost fairytale-like tourist attraction with a beautiful view of the mountains and the medieval castles in Czorsztyn and Niedzica.
The settlement on Stylchyn hill was established in the 1990s. It was established in connection with the construction of Lake Czorsztyńskie and flooding several villages with its waters. Objects from the 19th and early 20th centuries were moved from the former Mani, Kluszkowiec and Czorsztyn to the new, picturesquely located site of about 17 hectares, including: 9 historic wooden pensions and villas, 11 cottages and farm buildings and 11 stone cellars with a wooden lamppost above them. The concept of the open-air museum was changed several times, and finally the whole was divided into 2 parts: the spa sector with villas, intended for tourist use, and the rural sector with peasant homesteads and cellars – for the quasi-museum part. The buildings have retained their original forms.
In February 2019, the settlement was bought by the company IMS Budownictwo. A conflict of interest then arose and a dispute broke out between the conservationist and the owners of the site. It is currently unclear what future awaits the buildings. The Małopolski Provincial Conservator of Monuments in Kraków decided to enter the historic building complex – Osada Turystyczna Czorsztyn – into the register of monuments, while the IMS Budownictwo company believes that the conservator’s service is too restrictive in its approach to protecting the site, which will result in the lack of possibility of self-financing the project to adapt the settlement. According to the company, the actions of the conservation services threaten to ultimately bury any chance of saving the open-air museum. The dispute continues and the formerly well-kept and tourist-attracting attraction now presents a depressing picture. The lack of maintenance and care of the buildings is visible to the naked eye. Access to them is unsecured and it is probably only a matter of time before devastation begins.
Aleksander Malachowski, known by his psuedonym Hashtagalek, is an architectural photographer and Master of Arts. Author of the famous work “Polish Hospitality”. Ambassador of Samsung. He has created photographs for brands such as National Geographic, Canon, Uber, Mastercard, ERGO Hestia and Skanska. When observing reality, he focuses on geometry, symmetry and minimalism. (facebook, instagram)
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