Waplewo Wielkie

Waplewo belonged to the Sierakowski family since the 18th century. Count Alfons Sierakowski along with his wife Maria brought the manor to perfection. The family owned a big palace with a garden and a library of around hundred thousand volumes. Sierakowski was an initiator of the fund for folk education and a co-founder of the Poznań Society of Friends of Sciences. He was visited in his manor in Waplewo by great Polish writers, politicians and artists, among others, Stefan Żeromski, Józef Ignacy Kraszewski, Jan Matejko, and probably Frederic Chopin. Oskar Kolbers stayed here for a week in the first half of September 1875. In a letter to Roman Konopka (a brother of Kolberg’s friend, Józef Konopka), he wrote “Finally I visited the castle in Malbork. I went to count Sierakowski to Waplewo. I was taken by the brother of the countess Sierakowski, the count Sołtan. I spent there a very fruitful week, similarly in the neighbour manor of the Donimirski family”.

In Waplewo Kolberg collected the story of the Nowatorskie Lake:

“In the evening, three figures loom out of the lake. They are grey, but they are surrounded by a white glow. Their faces are invisible.

Standing on a pond in Waplewo, one can see at night a lighthouse, which appears in the air above the Rychędrys manor. Below the pond a black dog walks out of the lake. It frightens the passing horses so as they do not want to continue the journey. Moreover, it makes a person sleepy. However, if one surrenders, lays down, makes a sign of cross and takes off his shoes, he will hear a harsh laugh and wake up in a ditch”.

Kolberg described also some customs connected to a harvest festival here called ‘wieniec’ [wreath]:

“They sing during the celebrations of ‘wieniec’. There are two wreaths one from rye, the other from wheat. The wreaths are brought by two reapers; later they take the wreaths to the manor. When they finish harvesting, men wait hidden for women and pour water on them. Women try to run away, but this joyful custom provides them amusement.

When the harvest is finished all peasants attend a dance meeting in a granary. On this occasion they do not sing”.