Island of Edward

As early as in 1815 the allure of an island located in the centre of a lake in Zaniemyśl was appreciated by a great patriot and enthusiast of Wielkopolska region, philanthropist Edward Nałęcz County of Raczyn – owner of Rogalin and funder of a library in Poznań. Due to his endeavours it gained Romantic appearance and it is still considered one of the most beautiful and charming in Poland.

From the water of Raczyńskie Lake, located on the southern end of a long channel of Kómicko-Zaniemyskie lakes, the Island of Edward raises, about which Ludwik Plater in his Geographic, historic and statistical description of the Poznańskie Voivodship of 1841 wrote: Close to the town, on the Zaniemyskie lake there is an island called Edwardowo, belonging to Count E. Raczyński on which the owner built a beautiful small castle and decorated the entire island so much that it is counted among the most beautiful in the country. The local tradition has it that the island was built by the Governor of Poznań Voivodship Stanisław Górka, to hide his treasures in a safe place, in which – as Ryszard Berwiński (the son of Zaniemsyka land) wrote in the article titled Zaniemyska islet published in the number 12 of Leszczyński People’s Friend of 1836 […] – a vast expanse of water separating the island from the land and the depth of the lake give raise to doubts. The island was once connected with the coast by a wooden bridge which remains have been preserved to our times. Next, R. Berwiński wrote: The island passed under a life donation to Count Edward Raczyński during whose rule it gained a truly romantic look. High lime and oak trees, perhaps as old as the as the very island, dip their tops in the transparent water. […] From this place the view is outstanding. Edward Raczyński was able to add so much charm to the island in Zaniemyśl that it is the most beautiful among the islands of Poznań region. It is indeed an extremely enchanting place. The history of the island, with the area of 3 ha, is interesting as well. It was recorded by historians in the end of July 1331 when near the Niezamyśl village of the time a battle with Teutonic Knights took place. Edward Raczyński in his Memoirs of Wielkopolska (published in 1842 in Poznań) stated that the island was one of the defence points which is proved by the discovered skeletons, pairs of spurs and several broadswords, among which there is one ornamented with Teutonic Knights’ cross set with gold.
On the verge of 18th and 19th cent. the island belonged to the family of Jaraczewscy. On 1st October 1815 castellan Józef Jaraczewski, who knew Edward Raczyński in person and appreciated his abilities and goals, gave him the Zaniemycka island. The deed of donation drawn up by a notary public of the Poznań department reads as follows: Due to my friendship, based on considerable knowledge of character, wisdom and talent of the Most Honourable Edward Raczyński, the heir of Rogalin estate, a knight of the military Polish and Maltese cross, Member of Parliament from the Poznań county, aiming to undertake all efforts resulting in happiness of the society, I hereby grant to him, under the right of perpetual and free usufruct and management of the island on Zaniemyśle lake, called Grunt to this time, and hereafter the Island of Edward, under the obligation to provide me annually on 4th October, on the anniversary of receiving the Island of Edward, by this life owner, J. W. Edward Raczyński, an ivy branch, as a proof of friendship, which is the basis of this deed. In this place it should be underlined that the castellan Jaraczewski did not receive the aforementioned ivy branch as he died a few months after the deed was written. It is worth mentioning that in the end of this deed Jaraczewski stated that following death of E. Raczyński the island will return in its current condition to the owner of Zaniemyskie estate. This is what happened. Now, a few words on Edward Raczyński (1786-1845), a great community worker and patriot, patron of art and science, participant of Napoleonic wars in 1806-1809, Member of Parliament of Poznań. He resided in Rogalin where he collected works of art. His book collection became in 1829 the beginning of Raczyński Library in Poznań funded by him; he funded waterworks for Poznań; due to his actions and financial assistance the Golden Chapel in the Poznań cathedral was constructed for which he funded statues of Mieszko I and Bolesław the Bold; he was a publisher and an author of many works, mainly historical ones. Today, it only takes a few minutes by ferry to come to the island which maintained its appearance from the time of the rule of E. Raczyński. A magnificent stand of coniferous grows on the island. There are over 300 ancient trees here, among others, impressive lime trees, alders, ashes, aspens and about 60 mighty oaks, from which 17 were recognised as monuments of nature. A particularly interesting is the oak with three trunks, with the perimeter of about 700 cm, growing near the so-called Swiss House, built by E. Raczyński in 1817-1819 in the southern part of the island. Raczyński stayed very frequently in this house, working, resting and amusing himself. He was interested in the art of war, travels and navy, he constructed a “navy” on the lake and, to his guests and local residents’ delight, he held famous “naval battles of Zaniemyśl”. The island witnessed a tragedy since on 20th January 1845 Edward Raczyński tragically died due to a cannon shot. After the death of Raczyński the island returned to the current owners of Zaniemyskie estate. Since 1945 it has been opened to the public and the Swiss House at first belonged to Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society (PTTK), later to the State Fishermen Enterprises, and presently to Agricultural Property Agency of State Treasury (AWRSP). Since the interwar period it also has catering and tourist facilities.

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Journey

You can get to Zaniemyśl by Kombus no. 560 bus. The route and timetable is available  here. If you want to use Bus Transport Company (PKS) services we recommend to find the most convenient route oncarrier’s website.

If you want to arrive by car follow the address: Zaniemyśl, ul. Raczyńskiego 29.

Our GPS coordinates: 52º 15' 32'' N; 17º 16' 44'' E

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Tourist attractions

In the northern part of Zaniemyśl we will see a post-evangelical church built in 1854-1855. It is a neo-Roman structure with a semi-circular chancel and a soaring tower. Since 1981 it is the church of the new parish of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
It was erected in 1776-1782 as an evangelical church. Its current condition have remained unchanged since about 1854. After the war in 1945 it was consecrated by ref. Dean Ewaryst Nawrowski. It became the property of the parish through actual usufruct. A decree of ref. archbishop Antoni Baraniak of 7th April 1965 approved the name of “The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and granted the ECCLESIAE character. In 1975 a pastoral centre was established at this church which transformed into a parish.

 

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