1. Szafarnia and Frederic Chopin trail.

Szafarnia is a small village near Golub-Dobrzyń where Frederic Chopin spent summer in 1824 and 1825 in the country manor of the Dziewanowski family. He was provided with an opportunity to participate in traditional harvest festivals in Szafarnia (1825) and Obrowo (1824) and got acquainted with Polish folk music and dance at wedding receptions in Bocheniec. An attentive listener, he also enjoyed playing with the musicians in the band, an experience which he later described in a letter to his parents.

Since the Dobrzyń Land was under the influence of the music of Kuyavia, the kujaviak was a dominant folk dance here; a lyrical melody (cantilena) in triple meter and a quarter-note rhythm being its distinctive features.  Chopin ingeniously used the folk musical traditions of this area (variable tempo referred to as tempo rubato), and, as it can be  easily noticed, his famous mazurkas display the characteristics of kujawiaks from the Dobrzyń Land. Visits to country manors of old noble families proved to be a good lesson in patriotism for the young composer. The Kościuszko Uprising (1794) and the heroic deeds of Jan Dziewanowski, a participant of the Samosierra battle (1808), were still vividly remembered. Today, the eclectic palace built in the early 20th century on the site of the old manor houses the Chopin Centre. Surrounded by a restored landscape park (dating to Frederic Chopin's summer stays), it has an exhibition commemorating the composer.  The most important events organised by the Chopin Centre include piano concerts, recitals and the annual International Piano Competition for Children and Youth. The following places along the Frederic Chopin trail are definitely worth visiting: Golub-Dobrzyń, Kikół,  Obory, Obrowo, Płonne, Sokołowo, and Ugoszcz.

Suggested itinerary for a car tour along Frederic Chopin trail (114km). Head for Warsaw. The first stop: Obrowo (21km) (Neoclassical country manor with a park, the 19th c.) - (5km)  Czernikowo (Gothic church, the 14th c.) - (9km) Kikół (Neoclassical palace, 1790, Lake Kikolskie) – between Kikół and Zbójno: protected landscape area Drumliny Zbójeńskie (Zbójno Drumlins – glacial landforms) – (23km) Obory (it is here that Chopin played the pipe organ in the Marian shrine in 1824; Carmelite Baroque church and monastery, the 17th c., Gothic sculpture Pieta, the 15th c., opulent interior) – (5km) Ugoszcz (eclectic palace, the 19th c.) - (8km) Radomin (first mentioned in the 12th c, Romanesque church remodelled in  Gothic) – (5km) Płonne (Gothic church, 1402, remodelled later, memorial to Jan Nepomucen Dziewanowski, the commander of the Polish charge in the Battle of Samosierra 1808, nature reserve Góra Modrzewiowa (Larch Mountain) with 400-year-old larches forming the north distribution edge of this tree species. In years  1926-1928 famous writer Maria Dąbrowska (1889-1965) spent summer in her sister Helena's house. She wrote to her husband: “These  are the lakes, the streams, the nature that keep me here... This place is an amazing, complete epic... I want to write a book here, a great novel on the contemporary countryside.” A four-volume novel entitled Nights and days was published between 1932-1934. The local school houses the 

Regional Memorial Exhibition Room commemorating the writer.) - (4km) – Szafarnia – (9km) – Golub-Dobrzyń (between 1815-1916 a border town between Russia and Germany, Neoclassical church (1823) with an outstanding Gothic crucifix in the Dobrzyń section, a castle (1296-1309) on the site of an  early-medieval settlement in the Golub section, Gothic church (1293-1350) with an opulent interior) – (5 km) Sokołowo (eclectic palace the 19th c., landscape park with nature monuments; Here Frederic Chopin visited his friend Jaś Białobłocki. The end of the tour. Return to Toruń.

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