On a dream of a lake: The monastery of young nuns

in Pinmapple4 months ago

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We want to go to Poland, a country near and far away at the same time. What adventures are waiting there? Today we are fight our way through a maze of reeds to discover a magical ancient monastery. 

You can read the first part here, second here3 here and 4 here and the 5 here, 6 here, 7  here

We are lucky again this morning and the sun is shining. We continue on the Krutynia, out of the lake, into a long river, the next lake and then again a weir must be carried around. An old fisherman sits here at the jetty and takes one fish after the other out of the water, in a minute rhythm. But no envy, the little animals are all less than ten centimeters in size.

The Krutynia is very nice when you are alone on the riverThe Krutynia is very nice when you are alone on the river

After that follows a short, easy flowing section, which leads us into the Krutyn Lake. And from here on, the Krutynia now takes on a completely different appearance. Even though it wasn't really lonely before, we are shocked by the crowds and boats we encounter on the following section of the Krutynia.

You have to cross some huge lakesYou have to cross some huge lakes 

Huge boats full of tourists

This is high tourism, big boats full of elderly people who let their captain explain the area to them. On the shore there is one restaurant next to the other, with a coffee garden, cakes on offer and beer on tap. We stop and a few minutes later we paddle past, because the destination is still far away.

After a few days some hands are looking like this. Ouch.After a few days some hands are looking like this. Ouch.

Behind the lake, the river becomes very shallow, giving it a pleasant current that obviously causes problems for inexperienced recreational paddlers. We are fully loaded in our boats. But we are also the ones who keep dodging.

You’re reaching your destinationYou're reaching your destination

On the shore we see tour buses landing and the huge boat supply of the many rental companies: Thousands and thousands of boats are waiting here for excursionists. We don't even want to imagine what must be going on here if only half of the boats are rented out. You wouldn't see a drop of water.

Carry your boat

But fortunately it is not like that, and soon after the mill weir of Krutyn, where the boats has to be carried over 150 meters, it becomes empty. A few local boys help with a self-made boat trolley. The transfer is done in a flash. Now Wojnowo follows, one of the most mysterious places in Poland, which is not even easy to find. The monks who once settled here hid their church and homesteads behind a kilometer-wide reed belt that you have to zigzag across. It is narrow and more than once you think you won't be able to go any further.

But before you have to find the way through the mazeBut before you have to find the way through the maze

But then the lake opens up and behind a small sandy beach a place is waiting that seems to have fallen out of time. In the 17th century, Russian Old Believers, also called Philippons, fled here before the church reforms of Patriarch Nikon. The monastery was established in 1847, in the middle of the wasteland. In 1849 the monastery became a branch of the Old Believers' Center in Moscow and a refuge for many persecuted people.

The sundown after the storm are unbelievableThe sundown after the storm are unbelievable

The great crisis

The heyday of the monastery fell on the years 1852 to1867, on the initiative of Pavel Pruski a few builings were erected and a church too. But Pruski, however, decided to return to Russia in 1867 and subordinate himself to the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Churches. This caused a great crisis in the community, the monastery fell into disrepair and became private property.

On the right side a tree with the face of father Aleksander AvayevOn the right side a tree with the face of father Aleksander Avayev

One nun finally took pity and returned the impressive site to its purpose. In 1885 the nun Eupraksja bought the monastery and invited other nuns to live here. At its peak, there are said to have been 25 women who followed their faith here, working hard in the fields and mothering sick and elderly people from the surrounding area.

A rainbow over the holy church of the PhillipinosA rainbow over the holy church of the Phillipinos

Full of gold and pomp

When you enter the old and small church, you are struck by the splendor and magnificence. Everything is full of gold and pomp, as the Othodox Christians love it. Today the monastery grounds are private property again, a few nuns live in Wojnowo, a few kilometers away in another monastery, as Orthodox in the middle of Catholic Poland. There is also - as here - a magnificent collection of icons, the whole thing they call the Parish of the Dormition of the Mother of God.

Inside god’s house the things are goldenInside god's house the things are golden

The movement of the "Jedinowjerija", the Old Believers, is almost forgotten in modern Poland. We are walking to the village and one of the young and very friendly nuns tells us something about the hard life on the land, about the attempt of self-sufficiency and about how the pastor Aleksander Avayev managed in 1921 to build nevertheless a wooden church with a bell tower, which can be visited in the village until today.

One of the young nuns, they’re living a hard life hereOne of the young nuns, they're living a hard life here

From time to time, vacationers at least get lost here, but most of them failed to reach the real old monastery. Yes, it is little known and the small cafe, which the owner has set up, usually remains empty.

The rainbow, a little bit laterThe rainbow, a little bit later

Wild storm is raging

Good for us, because we have it all to ourselves. Because a wild storm is raging outside, we retreat behind the thick walls and drink local beer. Later, as the evening turns to night, we can stake out a paradisiacal rose corner on the beach with a few tarps and hide behind it. The sun sets glowing golden in the lake, we light a fire in the windbreak. A day on the water cannot end more beautifully.

Aleksander Avayev build this churchAleksander Avayev build this church

Thank you for reading and if you like my work please follow me          on HiveTravelfeed or Steem or visit my homepage koenau.de

A few more pictures for you:

The cemetary of the Old BelieversThe cemetary of the Old Believers It’s like a ghost town in the sunshine of the next morningIt's like a ghost town in the sunshine of the next morning The church of the monastery is very beautiful tooThe church of the monastery is very beautiful too But Avayevs is a gemBut Avayevs is a gem Since over 100 years the last of the Phillipinos bury their dead hereSince over 100 years the last of the Phillipinos bury their dead here If you see this kind of cross you know it’s othodoxIf you see this kind of cross you know it's othodox It’s very quiet hereIt's very quiet here The second day - we stopped the tour for oine day because of the storm - the evening was a dream in blueThe second day - we stopped the tour for oine day because of the storm - the evening was a dream in blue Our camp (the cars are from a family from the Netherlands)Our camp (the cars are from a family from the Netherlands) Another view from the cemetryAnother view from the cemetry And another view on the lakeAnd another view on the lake A rose on a tombstoneA rose on a tombstone  The church by night, with starsThe church by night, with stars Some of the old buildingsSome of the old buildings
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Wow the first image is magnificent. Well to be honest of them are pretty awesome. Loved them.

Few days back, I took a trip in a boat and it was indeed a big one which can carry almost 12-15 people. Although, we were around 7 people. At one point out of curiosity I wanted to take the responsibility of trying to handle the boat and move it forward. But believe me even though it looked like a easy task but in reality it definitely was not. I literally tried for more than five minutes but it was in vain. I could not even move the boat little bit. Hence after admitting defeat, I came out to my place lol. Everything seems easy when we are just watching and passing comments.

On the other hand, I am pretty sure this adventure was one a kind for you. I was also surprised to see such a place hidden out there. While the church does looks very neat and clean and the antiquities does also looks impressive.

I probably also need a trip similar to this into wilderness!

My boat fortunately was smaller!

Reading this made me feel somewhat like a viking with our boats looking for plunder and gold from the churches and monasteries! Thanks for sharing your adventure!

Looks like you had a wonderful boating experience on the lake, the attached photos are amazing.

Thank you, the trip was better than the pictures can tell!

Congratulations @koenau! You received the biggest smile and some love from TravelFeed! Keep up the amazing blog. 😍 Your post was also chosen as top pick of the day and is now featured on the TravelFeed.io front page.

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Thank you!!!

Wow! It seems that the water is very clear


Beautiful place, although seeing the crosses scared me a bit. Well, if you mistreated your hands, lots of blisters, take care of yourself.

No reason to be scared. It's a kind of magic. Life comes, life has to go

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