For over 10 years now, the Walloon Brotherhood in the Sudetes has been operating in Szklarska Poreba. Its members, modern Walloons - mountain people, hunters of treasures and jewels and, above all, lovers of Szklarska Poreba; they are successfully popularizing medieval Walloon ideas among both visitors and locals.
The legend of the Walloons is revived.
Since the beginning of its operation, the Walloon Brotherhood in the Sudetes is actively involved in most events in Szklarska Poreba. The most spectacular events are the Parade during the Walloon Week and the Walloon Picnic, and in 2000 a Walloon Wedding was even held. Each of the events involving the Walloons is an introduction to a mysterious land of minerals and precious stones. The Walloon Fair, the Terrain Run for the Golden Fleece, shows of cutting and polishing agates, sandstone sculpture show is only part of the attractions taking place with the participation of the Walloons.
the Brotherhood cultivates the crafts of glaziers, blacksmiths,
sculptors, and above all "treasure hunters". In
case of the
latter, the "Quest for the Golden Aurun" - a play based on
off-road runs, going through the "hidden path of Walloons"
- is organized for them.
The Walloons can also be found in other major city events: Fire Walk or the Retro Slalom.
A visit to the premises of the Walloon Brotherhood in the Sudetes, located in the Old Lodge Walloon also provides unforgettable experience. This is where the Grand Master of the Walloon initiates his visitors in the Walloon rituals, mostly based on the old-Celtic rites. There you can listen to stories about the treasures of the Sudetenland, meet the Walloon Witch and take part in initiation rites. In fact, only after passing "The Trial of the Four Elements" can you say that you were in Szklarska Poreba - the Mineralogical Capital of Poland.
In the area of Szklarska Poreba, there is the Walloon Trail that leads hikers to the indelible time, magical places of ancient treasure hunters as well as to modern treasures of extraordinary gifts of nature - the Mineralogical Museum and the Museum of the Earth. It is an easy route, fully illustrated with boards with interesting descriptions of the trail, all marked in red as a didactic path. The Walloon Trail is described in a small guide with an attached map, which is available in Town Promotion Office in the center of Szklarska Poreba, on 1A Jedności Narodowej St.
Another attraction of the Walloons in Szklarska Poreba is the opportunity to taste the delights of the Walloon: Walloon pie, bread or butter cake, which are served in some local restaurants and bakeries.
... More about the Walloon Trail
A Modern Walloon - Juliusz Naumowicz
The idea for the reunion of the old Walloon Brotherhood, which existed in the area since the 30-years' War came up long before the official foundation of the Association. The first to start talking about the Walloons was Juliusz Naumowicz - the today Grand Master of the Walloon. He himself, on the other hand, had heard about the Brotherhood from Tadeusz Steć - an outstanding excursionist, raconteur and a guide the Sudetes. In the 1960s, Steć had translated a 15-century Wroclaw Book of Walloons, which is a real fountain of knowledge about the Walloons. Among its written legends and fairy tales, many were secrets forced out of the Walloons in the Torture Chambers. Such stories about treasures... these affected the imagination of young Naumowicz the most. Julo listened to these stories with a flushed face. "You had to be passionate about that in order to devote your time" - he highlights the merits of Steć, from whom he had learned the most about Walloons. Steć had also given him a lot of old maps, with which to set off in search of "treasures".
Juliusz Naumowicz himself devoted seriously to minerals and semi-precious stones in the 1970's. Once, he managed to sell a few brushes of pale amethyst from the Szrenica stream for 20 marks each. This used to be an incredible amount in those days. That made him aware that the stones can also be a way of living. Now the Naumowicz family runs a few points of sales of semi-precious stones, the JUNA Earth Museum and the Old Lodge Walloon in Szklarska Poreba. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens in life, the fate has treated the zealous treasure hunter and adventurer very harshly. As a result of a serious accident in the mountains, Juliusz Naumowicz has been stuck in a wheelchair for the last couple of years. However, he did not lose his Walloon spirit and today, as the Grand Master of the Walloon tries to instill in people the curiosity of the surrounding world with fervor greater than ever.
The Establishment of the Walloon Brotherhood in the Sudetes
Walloon Brotherhood in the Sudetes was officially founded on Sept.
19, 1999. The
is not accidental, since according to old-Celtic beliefs the numbers
one and nine have a particular power.
The founders of the Brotherhood mainly included people open to nature, lovers of mountains and inhabitants of Szklarska Poreba who are aware of the unique traditions of the town. The list of the first founding meeting (09-09-1999) includes 20 names: Beata Lepka, Grzegorz Sokołowski, Arkadiusz Wichniak, Renata Sokołowska, Juliusz Naumowicz, Marzena Naumowicz, Dariusz Naumowicz, Krzysztof Sielecki, Maria Sielecka, Piotr Żywina, Jolanta Sokołowska, Grzegorz Sokoliński, Bogdan Dziedzic, Irena Wichniak, Janusz Stańczyk, Waldemar Stodolski, Aleksander Ludomski, Robert Misztal, Marian Cap and Regina Cap.
During the meeting of the Assembly of the Walloon Brotherhood of the Sudetes (19.09.99r.), Brotherhood authorities have been elected: the Grand Master of the Walloon - Juliusz Naumowicz, the Chief Astrologer - Grzegorz Sokoliński, the Treasurer - Beata Lepka, the Keeper of the Seals - Arkadiusz Wichniak, the Chief Manipulator - Aleksander Luchowski, Bachelor - Janusz Stańczyk, the Scribe - Irena Wichniak.
10/21/1999 The Walloon Brotherhood in the Sudetes has been registered as an association in the District Court of Jelenia Gora. (*)
In the Statutes of the Association, the Brotherhood identified its key objectives:
- To promote the medieval ideals of Walloon treasure hunters,
- To popularize active holidays by searching gems, minerals and ore extraction,
- To promote touristic and sightseeing attractions in Szklarska Poreba and to support environmental and historical education in the Sudetes
- To seek to turn Szklarska Poreba into the Mineralogical Capital of Poland.
The emblem of the Brotherhood is the reactivated medieval coat of arms of the Brotherhood of the Seven Stars, and St. Lawrence became its patron. Modern Walloons wear long maroon hooded coats and leather hats.
Text by Edyta Głębocka
Photos 1-6 came from the archive of Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Maria Misztal (*) In 2003, the Walloon Brotherhood in the Sudetes ceased to exist as an association formally registered in the Court; however it remains an association of people joined by a common idea.