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Gra Letnisko, Summer Resort Game.PDF
In the second half of the 20th Century, in the rapidly developing and overcrowded cities of Europe, the rail and new communication possibilities facilitated the development of suburban villégiatures(the then-name for summer resorts).
The development of villégiatures,summer resorts surrounding Warsaw, was facilitated by launching the rail connections from Warsaw to Vienna (1844), Warsaw to Petersburg (1862), Warsaw to Terespol (1866), Warsaw to Mława and Lublin (1877, The Vistula River Railroad) and Warsaw to Kalisz (1902).
Let us imagine a scorching summer outside of the city; surrounding of pine forests; a crystal clear, meandering, refreshing river; and hot sand on the beach. Next to all this we can find gorgeous summer houses and fine lace-like richly ornamented wooden patios with their exits directly to the garden... Such showplaces were guaranteed to the guests from the city during their stay in the villas and summer houses located by the river Świder.
The first summer houses by the river Świder, called Andriolli’s residencies, were designed, built, decorated and let by the owner of those lands. The Warsaw artist Elwiro Michał Andriolli (1836–1893) is the author of the famous illustrations to such books as Pan Tadeusz by A. Mickiewicz, Meir Ezofowicz by E. Orzeszkowa, The Last Mohican by J.F. Cooper, or Romeo and Juliet by W. Shakespeare.
The land owned by Andriolli since 1880 was over 200 hectares, located on both sides of the river, in the present boundaries of Otwock and Józefów towns.
The characteristic style of Androlli’s residences, the Świder style, known today as świdermajer, charmed not only the vacationers who came for their holidays. As soon as the first holiday makers started arriving at Androlli’s, his neighbours started adjusting their out-of-town residences for letting.
Very soon after, the guests from Warsaw lived during the summer not only in 14 Androlli’s residences, they also frequented the houses of nearby landowners and the owners of newly built villas and summer houses.
Seeing that some of the holiday makers were interested in purchasing some of the land and the forest, Androlli was keen to divide his property up into smaller parcels and to sell them – sometimes together with the house build on it.
In such a way, Brzegi, a place chosen and named by Andriolli, became the cradle of outer Warsaw villégiatures located south-east of Warsaw, along the Vistula River Railroad, at the section between Wawer and Otwock, i.e. the so-called Otwock line.
Since 1885 the followers of Andolli’s ways were settling in close to the Otwock rail station, only a few kilometres south from Brzegi, creating the villages Wille Otwockie, Wilegiatur Otwock.
Close to the end of the 19th Century, launching a new train station, located north of Brzegi, Falenica, and more stations in Radość, Józefów and Świder, contributed to the creation of villégiatures in those locations, and the 1914 launch of narrow-rail from Warsaw through Wawer, Radość, Falenica, Józefów, Świder, Otwock to Karczew contributed to the creation of more villégiatures, which at the begining of 20th Centruy started to become or health resorts and summer resorts.
In the years between the First and Second World Wars, the most popular summer resorts were Otwock Health Spa and Falenica Summer Resorts, whose history became the direct inspiration for Karol Madaj, the author of the “Summer Resort” game.
The establishment of Wille Falenickie, Villégiature Falenica is connected to Jakub Karol Hanneman (1850–1937), who after purchasing the Falenica manor started to divide it up in the year 1895. Hanneman was determined in realising his vision of a summer resort town with its own amphitheatre, cinema, sports grounds, trade, service and various summer houses. In Hanneman’s actions, the good of the society of the newly established town, also called sztetl Falenica, was an aim superior to social or religious divisions. He himself was Lutheran, his actions were noble and he enjoyed great authority among the inhabitants of Falenica – both Catholic and Protestant, as well as Jews, who were the majority of the town.
At the break of the 19th and 20th Centuries, the owners of summer houses invited the inhabitants of Warsaw for summer breaks in Falenica through newspaper advertisements and small ads. The advertisements praised Falenica’s furnished rooms with patios, kitchens and all amenities, flats with “warm baths” in very affordable prices. The idyll of summer holiday was introduced by “rich, dense pine forests” and “Vistula baths” or in the river Świder if the guests wished. At the rail stations of both railways there were porters from the summer houses waiting for the arriving guests. The porters offered information about rooms for let or houses for sale.
What also contributed to the development of the villégiatures of the Letniska Falenica district was the activity of the Society of Summer Houses Affactionados. I think that in hot Summer evenings the president of the Society, dressed in a summer suit and wearing the fashionablepanam hat – which was a hit of those ages not only in summer resorts – has many times walked along the paths in the pine forest and was watching new villas and summer houses growing like “mushrooms after the rain”.
Falenica was bursting with- and was the focal point of- the life of the small town and the holiday resort-focused district, encompassing ten summer resorts located along the rail line of the section Wawer–Otwock. These were the summer resorts of: Anin, Międzylesie, Radość, Zbójna Góra, Miedzeszyn, Falenica, Michalin, Emilianów, Józefów and Świder.
Why are we writing about the summer resorts of the Otwock rail line?
Well, in the years between the World Wars, in the years of the greatest splendour of greater Warsaw summer resorts, the summer resorts which were visited most often and by most people were the summer resorts of so-called Otwock line, located along the rail line Warszawa–Lublin on the section Wawer–Otwock, and along the narrow rail line Warszawa–Karczew, to which the journey from Warsaw lasted about an hour.
Furthermore, it was this area where in the summer resort architecture a Świder style came to existence. The poet Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński called this style perversely świdermajer. The phenomenon of this style, started by Andriolli, was based on the fact that the summer houses built in the years 1880–1939 along the Otwock line had characteristic architectural details completely different from the ones which were found earlier in the towns and villages located in the same area or nearby. At present the świdermajer style is in its renaissance.
During the years between the World Wars in Poland, the excursions to summer retreats were very popular and a similar summer resort history is surely shared by many
a city in Poland and all over the World. The trend for summer holidays caused an investment boom, changed the destination of once forest and sandy wildernesses and had an impact on the economic development of its inhabitants.
Source: Kronenberg, Andriolli i wilegiatura, czyli podwarszawskie letniska linii otwockiej,
Wydawnictwo Świdermajer, Józefów, 2012.