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2. Skępe.

Founded in 1445, the town, later joined with the village of Wymyślin, is famous for the Shrine of Our Lady of Skępe, a beautiful architectural complex. The woodland surrounding the town with lakes Wielkie, Święte, and Mień together with the nearby nature reserve Torfowisko Mieleńskie (Mieleńskie Peatbog) increase the obvious attractiveness of the place. The Old Town Square is ringed by  well preserved houses from the late 18th an the early 19th centuries in Baroque and Neoclassical styles.  The houses retained the features of old urban architecture. The originally Renaissance Bernardine church and monastery built between 1508-1510 were subsequently remodelled in Baroque style. The church became famous for the worship of the Gothic statue (1496) of the pregnant Blessed Virgin Mary, handmaid of the Lord. Since 1608 the place has been a destination of pilgrims from Mazovia, Kuyavia, and the Dobrzyń Land, who arrive here on the 7th and 8th days of September to participate in the Festival of Our Lady of the Prairies. The Marian Shrine in Skępe is often referred to as 'Little Częstochowa' (translator's note: Częstochowa is the most popular pilgrimage centre in Poland). The harmonious architectural complex comprises the church, the monastery, and the cloistered courtyard with Baroque Chapel of St Barbara from the early 19th century in the middle. Viewed from the street, the façade  with corner towers and a tall gate resembles a defensive structure. The interiors of the church and St Anne's Chapel are covered with polychromes made after 1767 by priest Walenty Żebrowski. The chancel features an original epitaph of Płock voivode Ignacy Zboiński and his wife Salomea. The opulent Baroque and Rococo interior houses many works of art. Additional architectural attractions include an old 19th-century roadhouse and a wooden forester's cottage located near the monastery. A famous personality associated with Skępe: Gustaw Zieliński, a brave patriot, major social and political figure, writer, historian, collector, punished with the confiscation of his property and a ten-year exile to Siberia for his participation in the November Uprising. The founder of the impressive library and the publisher of the first edition of the collected works of Jan Kochanowski, a Polish Renaissance poet.

 
 
 
 
 
At Lake Wielkie there are two well-managed beaches and a holiday resort. In Skępe and its surroundings you will find accommodation in comfortable hotels and  boarding houses. Many educational trails run through the Jeziora Skępskie (Lakes Skępskie) protected landscape area.