February 18, 2022

Stanislaw Baldyga, Ręcznie budowany zamek / Single-handedly built castle

pictures courtesy of Eliza Łabarzewska
Białogrady is a small village of some 130 inhabitants (2011), part of the municipality of Grajewo in north-eastern Poland, located in the Podlaskie region, bordering Belarus. 

In this village is the castle pictured above, built singlehandedly by its inhabitant Stanislaw Baldyga.

Life and works

Baldyga was born on August 27, 1943 in Poniatowa, a small village, part of the municipality of Sokółka, also located in the Podlaskie region in Poland, some 100 km east of its capital Bialogrady.

After his primary education, young Stanislaw entered the Technical Building School in Warsaw in 1959 at the age of 16.

Stanislaw Baldyga would spend his entire working life in cnstruction.

At a relatively young age he developed a predilection for poetry. So one of his first poems entitled "Świat Młodych" (The world of the young) was printed in the school magazine of the Technical Building School. And also during his military service, he described his thoughts and feelings in poems, which were published.

In the following years he would regularly publish a bundle of poetry  with titles such as Mother's heart, Angels walk on the earth, and Sing my soul, all together some 40 publications.

In the early 2000s, as Baldyga neared retirement, another passion took hold of him. It started by building a small tower near his house, initially for fun. But it would grow into a major project, the construction of a large castle with six towers and walls topped with battlements. 

Construction would take eight years and after Baldyga retired around 2005, he had plenty of time available to devote to his newfound passion. 

As the photos show, the walls of the castle were built with large stones and boulders that were found in the wild. The stones were bricked together with cement. 

Despite the robust stones and two fake cannons in a front yard, the whole complex is not tough in appearance, but it rather exudes an intimate atmosphere, which is also promoted by the location on a lake and a waterfall from the castle that feeds this lake.

The interior of the castle includes a large hall for conferences and banquets, a guest room, a hunting room, and a room with a cupboard containing all of Baldyga's books of poetry and other publications.

The completed castle was consecrated in 2013 by a priest. It got known and became a local tourist attraction. 

Cultural events take place regularly, such as gatherings of poets, including Bałdyga, where poems by local writers are read. There was also a festive meeting on the occasion of the appearance of a new book written by Baldyga (2014).  And the video below reports a banquet for elderly inhabitants of the municipality.

In 2017, the Municipality of Grajewo organized an art competition for young residents to see who could make the most beautiful painting of the castle, using any technique. Fifteen works were submitted. The award was presented by the mayor, in the presence of Baldyga, the children and their parents.

Article (January 2022 ) by Radek Labarzewski on his weblog Znalezienie with a series of photos
* Article on the website of Bialystok TV, with a video of the castle (cannot be embedded here)
* Article (October 2018) on website e-Grajewo about a festive meeting of seniors from the municipality, in the caste (with the video below)

* Video (October 2018) of a festive meeting of seniors from the municipality, with shots of the exterior of the castle in the first minutes (YouTube, 6'42")

Stanislaw Bałdyga
Single-handedly built castle
Białogrądy 41, 19-200 Białogrądy, region Podlasie, Poland
visitors welcome

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