Dwie podkrakowskie wyprawy Aleksandry Czechówny. Z „Dziennika” Aleksandry Czechówny

Bożena Lesiak-Przybył


Aleksandra Apolonia Czechówna (1839–1923) was a daughter of Tomasz Czech and Aleksandra née Zielińska. Her Journal of the whole life..., written almost without breaks for almost 68 years (1856– 1923), is kept in the National Archives in Cracow with a reference no 29/1582/1–29/1582/44 (old reference numbers IT 428/1–428/44). It constitutes an excellent source material depicting cultural, social and moral life of Cracow in the second half of the 19th century and two first decades of the 20th century. The development of touring, which nowadays is called tourism, began on the turn of the 18th and 19th century, and Cracow’s suburbs were already famous for their beauty. People eagerly visited Zwierzyniec, Łobzów, Krzeszowice, Czerna, Bielany, Swoszowice, Tyniec or Mogiła. However, Ojców and Wieliczka were considered to be the most worth visiting. Ojców and the valley of the Prądnik River,  where it is situated, due to their beautiful nature, Wieliczka because of its salt mine, one of the oldest ones in the world. Together with her parents and sister, Aleksandra Czechówna also went on such excursions. In the summer of 1856 she was in Ojców, Grodzisko and Pieskowa Skała. Next year, in October, on the day of the miners’ celebrations, she went to the Wieliczka salt mines. The text presented includes colourful accounts, full of delight, written after her return home by then young Aleksandra Czechówna. Picturesque and full of charm views of Ojców’s neighbourhood and mysterious, sometimes fairytale-like underground tunnels of the mine stimulated her vivid ima- gination. The text comes from two subsequent volumes of Aleksandra Czechówna’s Journal: volume 1, refernece no 29/1582/1 (old reference no IT 428/1) and from volume 2, refrence no 29/1582/2 (old reference no IT 428/2).