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Otwock, Józefów, Warsaw. Festival Świdemajer 2023 – programme

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The tenth edition of the Świdermajer Festival starts on Friday. The event is dedicated to the local traditional wooden architecture of the Otwock line. The program is varied and includes visits to historic houses, outdoor photography, historical and nature walks, as well as concerts of One, Two, Trzy or Natalia Kukulska with a string quartet.

The Świdemajer Festival, dedicated to the local cultural heritage and – above all – traditional wooden architecture, characteristic of the Otwock line, will last in Wawer, Józefów and Otwock from Friday to next Sunday, June 25.

“There is a villa town / It is called threateningly Świder / A river of the same name / Shines behind the villas in the back / These villas, as the mayor says / They are in the Świderjer style”, wrote Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński before the war in the poem “Wycieczka do Świder”, not suspecting not at all that several decades later the name of the style would become the slogan of a major festival.

– This year, the event will once again cover towns along the former Vistula Iron Road, from Wawer to Otwock, and perhaps even further, and will last as long as ten days – said Sebastian Rakowski, president of the Society of Friends of Otwock. – In order for the festival events to take place on the whole line, the Wawerskie Centrum Kultury and the Municipal Cultural Center in Józefów joined the organization and implementation of the project for the second time. The festival will start on June 16 and end on June 25 with the traditional outdoor finale, he added.

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Workshops, debates, meetings, concerts, walks and bicycle rallies

The program of events is very diverse. Planned events include vernissages, exhibitions, open-air photography, film screenings, workshops, lectures, debates, historical and nature walks, a bicycle rally, an orienteering event and concerts.

At the beginning of the festival (June 16) you will be able to go to “Otwock after sunset. Evening-night PHOTOwalk”. A day later (June 17), the owners of Świdermajers from Otwock and Józefów invite you to visit their homes as part of the “Open Houses” event. There will also be a walk around Teklin with the creators of the “Cegielnia Teklin” profile, and in the afternoon a family picnic “Day at Letnisku” in Anin.

On Sunday (June 18), lovers of two wheels will ride a bicycle rally around the monuments of nature and architecture on the Otwock line (starting at PKP Wawer), and those who like bicycles, but … do not like pedalling, can take a rickshaw ride on Świder. In Międzylesie, the discussion “Around Świdermajera” will be led by Andrzej Rukowicz, and in the evening in Falenica, Raz, Dwa, Trzy will play.

On Monday (June 19), Katarzyna Chudyńska-Szuchnika, the author of the book Świdermajers, will meet readers in the former Gurewicz. Paweł Ajdacki will give a lecture on well-known and lesser-known inhabitants of Świder in Falenica On June 22, at the Frankowska villa in Józefów, architects will talk about Świderjers in the 21st century.

The following Saturday (June 24) is the “Kościuszko Street Feast” and a vege picnic on the beach. On June 25, Lidia Głażewska-Dańko will lead a walk “See before they are demolished – the last wooden houses of Letnisko Michalin”. And in the afternoon, in the area around the former Gurewicz, the musical finale of the festival will take place. They will play and sing Świdermajer Orchestra, Bogusz/Kolenda, Natalia Kukulska with the Atom String Quartet and Michał Dąbrówka. “Atomi” arranged Kukulska’s songs, replacing typical electronic sounds with playing string instruments, using many techniques.

This is only part of the program. Full list of attractions can be found on the festival website>>>.

The event helps to save pre-war architecture

This year the festival is held for the tenth time. The originators of the event are Tomasz Brzostek, founder of the Swidermajer.info portal, and Sebastian Rakowski, president of the Society of Friends of Otwock, which is the oldest social organization in the city, operating since 1912.

The Świdemajer Festival is organized by enthusiasts, people of culture and history lovers, integrating the local community of the city around them. This event is not only for entertainment, but also disseminates knowledge about the history and the entire heritage of the Otwock line – it promotes and helps to save the pre-war architecture of this area.

– The activities undertaken as part of subsequent festivals have brought noticeable changes in the approach to buildings in the Świdermajer style, both among residents and architecture experts. Just a few years ago, such houses were contemptuously called Beijing or slums – reminded Sebastian Rakowski. – Today, their value and beauty are widely appreciated. The wooden architecture of the Otwock line is increasingly becoming the subject of scientific research, the purpose of tourist trips or the object of interest for photographers – he added.

Świdermajer – wooden architecture in Świdrzań

Świdermajer, or in other words the Nadświdrzański style, is the name of wooden summer resort architecture, which was created at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries on the so-called the Otwock line. Along the axis, which was the former Vistula Railway, popular summer resorts were built at that time: Anin, Kaczy Dwór (today Międzylesie), Radość, Zbójna Góra, Miedzeszyn, Falenica, Emilianów, Michalin, Józefów, Świder and Otwock. The creator of this style of construction is considered to be the painter Michał Elwiro Andriolli, who from the 1880s lived in the settlement of Brzegi, which he founded, located on both sides of the Świder River.

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Main photo source: MWKZ

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