Every day I wonder where I would be and what I would be doing…
On the territory of the Ciekocinko estate, completely plundered during the 40 -year reign of communism in Poland, and then devastated during the 20 years of free democracy and dynamic capitalism, in the autumn of 2004, already in free Poland, a new chapter of this unique, magical place began and our life changed once and for all and bears no resemblance to the previous one.
Every day I wonder where I would be and what I would be doing, if one day, standing in front of the Palace in Ciekocinko, I wouldn’t say to myself, as I did not see anyone else around apart from village kids throwing stones at the palace windows: “Someone has to do something about this.”
In the entire Palace building, which is not in the least small, we managed to find only one metal element of the construction: a cast iron ventilation grate. This was both funny and scary: the vent was painted over with oil paint so many times during all those years of PGR that scrap thieves did not notice it. Everything else had been torn out earlier.
In the attic, however, we discovered about 30 television sets, all black and white. Not in a good condition. Strange. And about 3000 bottles, mainly vodka bottles. And not only in the attic, but nearly everywhere in the building, the park, the stables, the surrounding forest and in all possible holes and pits. And old mattresses as well. For the comfort of drinking of course. That’s about it as regards the condition of the property administered by the state. If I could ask only one question, it would be: why did someone construct a potato hall in the 1970s in the middle of the main entrance alley leading to the estate, surrounded with hundred-year -old red oaks, if there is 800Ha of land around?
When I look at all those photographs of Ciekocinko in 2004, I am flooded with strange, sometimes contradictory, thoughts. What I was thinking…? If I had known everything I know today, would I have taken up the challenge…? One thing is certain. Even in the most difficult moments, I did not regret my decision, because today Ciekocinko is my place in the world and the satisfaction of actually changing a part of my own country – is invaluable, as they say in a certain commercial
Tomasz, Ciekocinko 2013
The history of our country is not only about rebellious bids for independence and the undeniable heroism of our fathers and grandfathers. It is also about the terrible fate of our national wealth, which, in the most part, was lost in all the great European wars, and which we could not and still do not know how to respect in times of peace. There is no logical explanation why we condemned this particular place, and many similar places, to gradual devastation, both in the difficult times of the 1950s and 60s, but also, even to a larger extent, in the period following the “round table”. Our national wealth, also the property inherited from our neighbors on what used to be German territory, constitutes a fundamental element of cultivating our national traits of a proud, independent and free nation belonging to the great European community.