It’s always spring in the cheerful southeast Polish village of Zalipie, where colorful flowers are painted on the whole town. From houses to barns, to bridges and churches, vibrant hues abound.
But what’s the story behind this fantastic artistry?
There is some speculation as to how the tradition began. Supposedly, more than a century ago, someone in the village painted a flower on her ceiling to cover up a soot stain. She was most likely trying to get her home in presentable order for upcoming religious festivals. Some of the ladies in the neighborhood also liked the idea and everyone in the community started doing the same thing. The designs became more elaborate. Painted flowers began taking over all the houses — and, eventually, the rest of the town.
Since 1948, the village has held a Painted Cottage Competition every spring. It has been said the original purpose of the contest was part of a movement geared toward helping Poland psychologically recover from World War II. The bright paintings helped lift local spirits.
Today, the villagers continue to produce beautiful artwork. Surprisingly, Zalipie is not overly frequented by tourists. Sounds like a great place to go for some rest, relaxation, and refreshing of the soul!
Feature image via adamtkincaid