The Hill of Three Crosses

Was commissioned by the abbot of the Lubiąż monastery, Ludwik Bauch (1696-1729), most likely as a votive offering for sparing the monastery from the Swedes during the Thirty Years’ War, but it has not survived to our times. German sources report that it was destroyed by the Red Army in 1945. The original hill was surrounded by a wooden fence.One of the legends about this place says that there was an entrance to an underground armaments factory from the time of World War II nearby, the existence of which was never confirmed.The present Golgotha was rebuilt by the efforts of Lubiąż residents in 1997 and has been reconstructed three times already. In 2020, a granite altar was placed at the foot of the crosses.Located amidst fields, by the road to Krzydlina Mała (an extension of Wiejska Street), it offers a great viewpoint of the Odra Valley and the Karkonosze mountain range.In September, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, a Mass is celebrated on the Hill, and during Lent, residents of Lubiąż and neighboring villages come here from the parish church of St. Walenty to participate in the Stations of the Cross devotion.

The Wayside Chapel of St. John of Nepomuk

Located at the crossroads in the center of the village, it was built in 1727. It is a central building with the entrance placed to the south. The interior is covered by a dome with a lantern. Above the entrance, there is a cartouche with the monogram of the founder, Abbot Ludwik Bauch, and the date of construction, „LAL/1727”. Just below the dome, oval windows illuminate the interior of the chapel from above. The dome is crowned with a small lantern covered by a domed roof. The baroque interior decoration of the chapel has not survived. In 1997, at the initiative of the residents, a wooden sculpture of St. John of Nepomuk was placed in the chapel. On May 20 of that year, His Eminence Cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz performed the act of re-consecration, and since then, the chapel has once again served a sacred function.

St. John of Nepomuk was the vicar general of Prague. In 1393, he was arrested by the Czech king Wenceslaus IV. He was tortured and then bound and thrown from the Charles Bridge into the waters of the Vltava River. Legend has it that the Czech king imprisoned and then killed John of Nepomuk because he refused to betray the secret of the queen’s confession.

St. John of Nepomuk is the patron saint of good confession and confessors. He is also the patron saint protecting against turbulent waters and floods, which is why his statues are often placed in towns located along rivers.

The Parish Church of St. Valentine

Situated on a small hill overlooking the Oder River, formerly known as „Wine Hill,” it serves as the second architectural highlight of Lubiąż alongside the monastery. It was erected on the initiative of the abbot of the Lubiąż monastery, Konstanty Bayer, between 1734 and 1743. The interior furnishing and decoration were completed in 1745, and it was consecrated in 1749. The tower was added six years after the church’s consecration, with Wolfgang Hubert from Lubiąż being its builder. This is already the third church built in this place, following the church of St. John the Evangelist mentioned in the founding document from 1175 and the church likely built after the invasion of the Hussites, dedicated to St. Hedwig.

The author of the church’s design is unknown. Its spatial form is reminiscent of the architectural trend exemplified by the Church of St. Nicholas in Lesser Town, Prague. The direct model for the Lubiąż church was the Church of St. John in Legnica.

The building is constructed on the plan of an elongated rectangle, closed from the west by a semicircular apse, and from the east by a massive three-story tower added later. The spacious, single-nave interior with rows of side chapels, above which galleries connecting with each other are placed, is covered with a barrel vault. The entire surface of the vaults is covered with paintings by Ignacy Axter, a student of K.F. Bentum. The composition in the apse, above the altar, depicts the glorification of St. Valentine the Martyr. On the left side of the apse is a depiction of the church with the originally planned form of the church tower’s top. On the vault of the nave is the symbol of the Holy Trinity against the background of clouds, surrounded by scenes from the Old Testament, below are the figures of the Fathers of the Church, and above the choir is a depiction of the Last Supper. The decorative painting of the main altar consists of two paintings. The lower one depicts the „Miraculous Healing of the Pagan Son Kroton by St. Valentine,” a work by Krystian Filip Bentum, and the upper one, originating from the previous church, depicts St. Hedwig. The author of the sculptures depicting saints: Peter and Paul, Benedict and Bernard, as well as the personifications of virtues – faith, hope, and love, is Franciszek Józef Mangoldt. Both artists are also the authors of the decoration of the chapel of St. John Nepomucene, located on the right side of the sanctuary. In the other chapels, there are altars adorned with paintings from the M.L. Willmann school or works by the artist himself. In the first chapels from the entrance, both from the north and south sides, the altars have not been preserved. The pulpit, placed in the church nave, is decorated with sculptural elements made by F.J. Mangoldt, depicting „Christ with the Samaritan Woman at the Well” and „Christ at the House of Mary and Martha.” It is an outstanding work of baroque woodcarving.

St. Valentine was a bishop of Rome. Along with St. Marius and his family, he aided the martyrs who suffered persecution during the reign of Emperor Claudius II Gothicus in the 3rd century. Soon he was himself captured and sent to the prefect of Rome, who ordered him to be first beaten with clubs and then beheaded. He suffered a martyr’s death around the year 270. He is widely recognized as the patron saint of lovers and those suffering from epilepsy and other nervous system disorders.

The feast day, or patron saint’s day, is celebrated annually on February 14th.

The Historic Complex of the Hospital for Nervous and Mental Patients

It was built between 1902-1910 according to the design of the Wrocław architect Eduard Blümner, located in the northern part of the town, approximately 2 km from the monastery buildings. The hospital was designed in a pavilion system. The layout of the complex is based on a central axis with a clearly defined symmetry running through an alley from the entrance gate, past a row of buildings: a auditorium, kitchen, and infectious diseases pavilion. The remaining pavilions were mostly constructed according to four typical designs and symmetrically arranged around this axis. To the west of the hospital complex was an agricultural farmstead, and to the east was the boiler room and laundry facilities. The area of the hospital complex, including the agricultural farm where patients were employed, covered 151.6 hectares. At that time, it was one of the most modern psychiatric hospitals in Europe, with 1100 beds.

The hospital operated continuously until 1942. Later, from 1942 to 1945, it served as a sanatorium for German military personnel. From 1945 to 1948, it was occupied by the Soviet Army. From 1949 to 1956, it served as a Center for Agricultural Mechanization Training. Hospital functions resumed in 1957. At present, the hospital occupies an area of 16 hectares and has approximately 400 beds, occupying part of the historic buildings of the former complex.

The Nature-History Trail „In the Footsteps of St. Jadwiga” is 6 km long, taking approximately 2.5 hours to complete. This incredibly interesting trail, due to its unique natural, historical, and scenic qualities, begins at the Monastery Square, right at the entrance to the Abbots’ Palace, and is highly recommended for tourists visiting one of the largest Cistercian monastery complexes in Europe. After exploring the monastery, it’s worth embarking on a walk through the surrounding area to see the old 19th-century buildings in the southern part of Lubiąż, scattered along the Odra River, at the intersection of two picturesque mesoregions: the Wrocław Valley and the Rościsławice Upland.


The 18th-century „Paltrak” wooden windmill

The 18th-century windmill is a unique example of wooden architecture in our area. It is currently the only trace of a large group of similar buildings that once surrounded the extensive estates of the Cistercian monks of Lubiąż. The four-storey wooden structure of the windmill was built in 1798, covered with shingles, and has single-span arcades on the ground floor.

The first known owner of the mill was Carl Niesel (1850-1928), and before the war, the mill was named Niesel-Mühle after him. His son, Karl Niesel (1887-1962), took over the company in 1921. Around 1930, a bakery with a shop was established next to the mill, where bread and flour could be purchased. In 1932, the windmill was restored and thoroughly modernized.

The mill was powered by a four-bladed wind turbine, rotated depending on the wind direction. When the wind was too weak or absent, the turbine was driven by a motor running on oil. Since 1938, only a gas engine produced from coke combustion was used. Before the war, about 4 tons of grain, mainly rye and wheat, were ground daily. In addition to two types of flour, animal feed was also produced. In 1945, the mill was used by the Russians, and from 1946, it was handed over to the Polish authorities. In 1960, the windmill was expanded by adding a northern wing to the original layout. The building thrived until October 1973 when it was used as an electric mill.

The 1911 map of Lubiąż shows 6 windmills, while the 1936 map shows only 4. The penultimate one, located nearby on Wołowska Street, collapsed in the 1940s.

Text: Maciej Nejman

Translation: Martyna Gacek