|Welcome to the village of Gosprzydowa|
The beautiful village of Gosprzydowa is situated between mountains and hills which are surrounded by rich forests. The village is about 15 km South from Brzesko, on the road from Brzesko to Nowy Sącz. In the middle of the village flows the river Uszwica (the right affluent estuary of the Vistula River) which divides the village in two parts.
In the centre of the village by the river stands the high, baroque, wooden church St. Ursula with Companions. The church lies on the road from Gnojnik to Lipnica Murowana, this making it available and attractive to all pilgrims and visitors. Not to forget that it is only 6 km from Lipnica Murowana - "The King Town" - which was built in XIV Century. It was in this town that Bl. Simon was born.
The church in Gosprzydowa has been known as modest but offers a wonderful retreat for gods prayer and it is full of simplicity. It was built with much effort and design at the end of the XVII Century. In the huge altar of this church is a wonderful picture of St. Mary painted on wooden board. Stanley Wolski - a Cracow high school teacher - wrote a Latin poem, which was printed in 1698, telling us about the strong influence of St. Mary. Many pilgrims at that time witnessed suffering and diseased, it was said in those days the Holy Mother in Gosprzydowa was the best physician and healed and eased all pain and suffering.
The church is enclosed by a wooden fence. Beside the church there is a two-storey wooden bell tower. Attached to this building is the "Organists House" in which was from 1877 the school room. It wasn't until 1910 that a separate house was built for the school.
The houses of the residents in the village are situated below the surrounding hills. Many of the roads leading to the village are now asphalted and kept maintained. The village is divided into separate areas, all having their own unique names. These names are of course legendary names.
For example, in the north going towards Wiśnicz is called "Prince's Borders". As the legend has been told this was the native place where the people, who worked for the prince once lived. On the hill by the other side of the river Uszwica is known as "On the Hill" (Nagórze).
The other part of the village leading in the direction of Lipnica Murowana is called "Glassed" (Szklana). This name comes from the inn, which stood near this part of the village. Then there is "Borders of Tymowa" (Granice Tymowskie). Another area is known as the "Bulrush" (Siciny). The name comes from many ponds that were covered by bulrush at that time. On the road to Nowy Sącz was an inn with the name of "Underknee" (Podkolanko), today there is another inn, which takes its place and still offers food and shelter for travelers today.
The part of the village which links with Gnojnik carries the name "Rotowskie". Here in 1953 the residents built a small stone chapel called "The St. Mary for Faithful Help". This was a request to the bad luck by the elemental forces, hail, storms and thunders that were striking and destroying this area at that time. As a result there were many fires which sometimes brought death to the villagers. The chapel is still standing today and in May each year there are many community gatherings. Not only can you hear the singing of the birds in the near bushes, but also May songs and the Lauretan Litany. Popular gathering is on the 24th May, when the pilgrims from near and far come together to pray to the "God Mother - Faightful Helper". In the holiday months the priests (who are also brothers of the holy St. Dominik) go to the chapel for the holy mass. In October people go daily to say a solemn "Rosary Prayer".
A small hill on the road from Gosprzydowa to Gnojnik is called "Churchplace" (Podkościelne). This name is not by coincidence. There were plans to build a church on the hill. The villagers collected the raw materials, woods and rocks. But the plan wasn't carried out. At night whilst the people slept, it was said, that the raw materials were carried away by "white horses" and put onto the site where the church now stands today. When the sun rose, the villagers saw that the raw materials on the hill were gone. They couldn't believe their eyes. When they realized what had happened, they decided to build Gods House (their church) where it now stands. When the church was built, it has been said, the river Uszwica carried the picture and threw it onto the shore, by the gate of the church. The villagers placed this image in the altar and this tale is still present today.
The village Gosprzydowa has had its history since XII Century. The founder of this village was the German knight named Godfryd, as the legend tells us. The oldest mention about Gosprzydowa is dated at 1215. In that time as Jan Długosz wrote in "The History of Poland", the cracow bishop Vincent imposed "the tenth" (a tax) on the villagers "situated near the town Czchów and belonged to the bishops table". One of the villages announced is Gosprzydowa.Nowadays the village has about a thousand residents. Most of them, like their ancestors, are engaged in farming work. Many others have their jobs in the nearby towns Brzesko, Tarnow and Cracow. We also have to mention that many villagers have moved away to earn their living in other parts of the country or even in other countries all over the world. In this way we do believe whilst writing these words the people will be setback into their childhood and remember this unusual beautiful village and its church along the riverside with its hills and rich forest land.
As our national poet once wrote:
Only one is the country
in which is a little joy for the Pole
the country of the Childhood! It will always remain
holy and pure, like the first love (...)
Translation: Mrs Sharon Welker neé. Slesser
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