Zalipie – Painted village
North of Tarnów, where Dunajec and Vistula rivers meet, resides one of the most interesting ethnographic micro-regions in Poland with the village of Zalipie at its center.
Its fame has resulted from a region specific tradition that involves the painting of cottages.
This custom of decorating both the exterior and the interior of houses originated at the end of the 19th century when old-fashioned furnaces were replaced with new furnaces with chimneys.
In order to cover blackened walls, women and girls tried to brighten the interior of their dwellings by decorating the walls with brightly colored spots made of lime. Later these round spots were shaped into simple flowers and finally they evolved into the detailed flower bouquets still visible today.
Using flower compositions, the women put special emphasis on decorating the wide stoves. Also, they painted flower garlands under pictures and around windows and doors. At a later period they began to paint the exterior of their homes.
Initially, the ornamentation was predominantly geometric with dots, curves, circles, zig-zags, and wavy lines etc. and the materials used were simply those that were most available like brown clay, soot, and lime.
As an adhesive they used milk, sugar and egg whites or dumpling stock. Women painted with brushes composed of horse hair, leather, or human hair; some of these types of brushes were still used up until a several years ago.
The talents of local artists are not limited to wall paintings alone, as they create embroidered and painted furniture coverings, ornamented table clothes, aprons, china, glass etc. Souvenirs are available for tourists at "Dom Malarek" Cultural Center.
Unfortunately, it may be difficult for tourists to find painted houses because the village is very spread out and the decorated structures are far from the main road. Additionally those are not exhibits but real homes. The only object opened to the public is Felicja Curyłowa's farmstead, actual branch of the Regional Museum in Tarnów.
In order to celebrate and expand upon this unique folk art, Tarnów Ethnographic Museum organizes annual contest called "Painted Cottage" which is the best opportunity to see local artists at work. The contest takes place in the spring immediately after Corpus Christi holiday.
Felicja Curyłowa’s Farmstead
Branch of the Regional Museum in Tarnów
33-210 Olesno, Zalipie 135
phone +48 14 641 19 12
Museum is closed to the end of 2018
summer season (1 May – 30 September):
tuesday – sunday: 10 am – 6 pm
winter season (1 October – 30 April):
tuesday – saturday: 10 am – 4 pm
sunday: 10 am – 4 pm
“Dom Malarek” Cultural Center
33-263 Zalipie 128 A
phone +48 14 641 19 38
monday - friday: 8 am – 6 pm
saturday - sunday: 11 am – 6 pm
monday - friday: 8 am – 4 pm