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info about Lesna, Poland

We are traveling to Poland next month and plan to visit Lesna because of ancestral connections. We can get to Wroclaw but do not see a way to get to Lesna. Has anyone been there that would offer information on what to expect and how to get there? Thank you,
Jane

Posted by
808 posts

There are 2 Le?nas in Poland. One close to the German border, formerly known as Marklissa, and one near Klotzko, until 1945 Löschney. The Le?na near Klotzko (formerly known as Glatz, and the region was called Grafschaft Glatz) is beautifully situated in the mountains, but more or less abandoned today. Expect 5 or 6 old houses in bad shape and less than 10 old people. To get there you need a taxi.
The other Le?na near the German border is bigger than before WW2 and partly preserved, although in bad shape. Contrary to other places in Silesia both the Catholic and Protestant church and the cemetery survived (in many other places they were destroyed by the Polish Commies), but the castle is a ruin today (thanks to the Polish Commies). Since your family comes from Silesia I highly recommend to visit Görlitz on the German-Polish border. It's without a doubt the best preserved Silesian town today and probably also the place were you can learn the most about Silesia (the Silesian museum is a must). In Poland the Polish Commies worked very hard to erase all German traces (all German cemeteries of Wroclaw for instance were destroyed around 1970, only the 2 Jewish cemeteries (that survived the German Nazis) are preserved) and created a Polish Ersatz history. That's still very noticeable today.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you for the reply. We will be going to the Lesna that was formerly Marklissa. Too bad about the castle as it appears to be the one place available to stay. Looks like the train only goes as close as Wroclaw, do you know if there is a bus to Lesna? Have already decided to go to Gorlitz as well.

Posted by
808 posts

Oh, I see I wasn't precice about the castle(s). Sorry. There are several castles in and around Lesna. The one which is located right in the town (formerly Schloss Beerberg) is a ruin today. The second, Swiecie or formerly Schwerta, is a ruin since 200 years. The third, which you probably mean, Czocha or formerly Tzschocha, is close to Lesna (2,5 miles), in good shape and a hotel today. I don't know if there's a bus to Lesna. Maybe from Luban, but getting to Lesna by public transport will be difficult. Maybe you should simply take a taxi from Zgorzelec. More expensive, but will save you a lot of hassle. BTW: since you visit this Lesna you should definitely visit Görlitz and maybe also the surrounding area. This Lesna was actually not really Silesian but Upper Lusatian. After 1815 Upper Lusatia was divided and this part became a part of the Prussian province of Silesia. After 1945, when the Germans were expelled the Upper Lusatian heritage on the now Polish side was completely lost. Görlitz, which like Lesna came to Silesia after 1815, still offers this mix of Silesian and Upper Lusatian culture that was typical for Lesna until 1945. The heart of Upper Lusatia is Bautzen, a mostly baroque town surrounded by impressive medieval fortifications. Have a look at this gallery of Upper Lusatia (copy and paste): http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=869852 The unique half-timbered houses you see there are typical for this region and are a major part of the local identity. Before 1945 the villages around Lesna looked like the one in the gallery, but today you can only find such villages on the German side.

Posted by
11277 posts

Jane, You can also do a day trip from Dresden to Bautzen, also a battle field site. #2...If it's about the land, culture and life in the former Silesia (Schlesien) you want to see, there is such a museum devoted to exactly that: Museum für schlesische Landeskunde im Haus Schlesien, Dollendorfer Straße 412, 53639 Königswinter. Tel. # 02244/ 88 60. You can get to it by train from Köln or Koblenz.

Posted by
808 posts

> "#2...If it's about the land, culture and life in the former Silesia (Schlesien) you want to see, there is such a museum devoted to exactly that: Museum für schlesische Landeskunde im Haus Schlesien, Dollendorfer Straße 412, 53639 Königswinter. Tel. # 02244/ 88 60. You can get to it by train from Köln or Koblenz." This is the museum of the expelled Silesians, created after WW2. It's a small, unscientific collection of personal artefacts that survived the expulsion. The official "Landesmuseum" (= state museum) of Silesia is in Görlitz. It was founded in the early 1990s and is operated by the Federal Republic of Germany, the state of Saxony, the town of Görlitz and the Homeland Association of Silesia. A much bigger collection. And the building itself is one of the earliest (1526) and most beautiful German Renaissance buildings:
http://www.unser-goerlitz.de/baudenkmale/schoenhof/

Posted by
3927 posts

Jane, have you considered hiring a private driver? Several tour companies offer custom tour itineraries and transportation, and specialize in family-root type trips in Poland.

Posted by
11277 posts

Good, thanks for the information. That gives me another reason to make that day trip to Görlitz. I've seen the Landesmuseum Oberschlesien in Ratingen.

Posted by
1 posts

Jane, I am curious to hear about your trip. We will be traveling from Prague to spend a day in Lesna this summer. We also have family ties to Marklissa. I am curious about what might still be there - any older buildings, churches, cemeteries. I have read that much of it has been destroyed. Were any of the museums mentioned above notable? Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.
Sue

Posted by
808 posts

@stkerndt
Here is a great website that hopefully answers some of your questions:

Marklissa -> Lesna

It's a huge Polish site that collects old and new pictures of Silesia.
The linked page lists objects, streets and general views of Marklissa/Lesna. If you know the street where your ancestors lived you could maybe even find their house.