Wars and Sawa

There are a couple of legends about Wars and Sawa; they emerged because, truthfully, nobody knows where the name of the capital comes from. Only two things are certain: Wars and Sawa used to live beside the beautiful Vistula River, and the beginning of the town is connected with the hospitality and good hearts of these local residents.

I will introduce two versions of the legend to you:

In one version King Kazimierz Odnowiciel, while on his way from Kraków to Gniezno, came across a poor fisherman’s hut. The hungry king found his way to the hut thanks to the smoke and the smell of fresh food. As he was having some fish from the night’s catch, the fisherman told the king the story of his family which had just recently grown bigger thanks to the arrival of two marvellous twins. The poor fisherman and his wife could not baptise the babies, though, because there was no church in the area. The king, who had really enjoyed the meal, wanted to pay the peasants with gold, but they, according to the old Polish tradition of hospitality, refused to take any payment. Then the king asked them for one more favour – he asked to be the twins’ godfather at their baptism that he would organize. An altar was set up on a hill, and a priest commissioned by King Kazimierz named the twins Wars (the boy) and Sawa (the girl). And King Kazimierz announced that Pietrko Rybak (Peter Fisherman) would from then on be called Piotr Wars, the royal fisherman, the father of Wars and Sawa, and the owner of the vast forest. The king also told him that one day, when a village began to take shape near his hut, that he should give it a name derived from his new surname – and that the village would carry that name forever.

Another version of the legend says that a long, long time ago there was a tiny hut standing at the shores of the Vistula River. Wars, a fisherman, and his wife Sawa lived there. One day a hunt was organized in the area and Prince Ziemomys³, the owner of the estate, got lost in the forest. He wandered around for many days and
many nights and he finally reached the fisherman’s hut. Wars and Sawa made the stranger welcome and in the morning the grateful prince said, ‘You didn’t hesitate to take in a stranger and save him from hunger, cold and wild animals. Therefore this land will forever be called Warsaw, so your kindness can never be forgotten’.

Pictures are from June 2010

Warsaw Mermaid
Chopin - Master of the Mazurka
The old town
Barbican and defensive walls
The Palace on the Water
The Palace on the Water - backside
The Church of the Holy Cross
Warsaw uprising monument
The old bell in Kanonia Square

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