Łysa Góra / Św.Krzyż

In 1851 Kolberg went to ‘Święty Krzyż’ [Holy Cross monastery] situated on Łysa Góra [Bald Mountain]. The extensive descriptions of Łysa Góra can be found in the volumes of the Radom and Kielce regions.

According to his account, “on the summit there was one of the oldest Benedictine monasteries in Poland. It was erected along with the Holy Trinity church on the place of former pagan cult”.The most interesting descriptions in the volume of the Kielce region concern beliefs connected to Łysa Góra and the Świętokrzyskie Mountains:

“The people from the Świętokrzyskie Mountains believe that witches can put a spell on a coachman and his horses to prevent them from moving anywhere further”.

This is what he wrote about St. John’s Day in this area:

“The inhabitants of the villages located at the base of the Świetokrzyskie Mountains believe that on St. John’s Day witches come together at the peak of Łysica [Łysa Góra] to have a meeting. Next, they have a party with demons in the magical garden which is located at the aforementioned mountain”.

The herb of St. John had also magical powers:

“In the forests of the Świetokrzyskie Mountains, there is a herb, similar to mint, which is called by the locals the herb of St. John. Witches come to this area on St. John’s Day to find this herb. A small piece of it plucked from the top of the plant on that day has magical powers. This is why witchcraft practitioners do their best to find the plant to assure efficiency of their magical powers”.

There is also another piece of information about folk beliefs connected with witchcraft:

“A sickness called ‘kołtun’ [Plica Polonica] which was widespread in the vicinity of Kielce, especially near the Świetokrzyskie Mountains cannot be treated by any doctor. The same is believed about tuberculosis, paralysis and arthritis. According to herdsmen, the sicknesses are caused by spells”.