Krasnogruda is the revitalised manor house situated near to Sejny at the Polish-Lithuanian border. Part of the pre-war estate of relatives of Czeslaw Miłosz, the Nobel prize winning poet used to spend his school and university holidays here, experienced his first heartaches and the crises of youth and wrote poetry. He felt strongly attached to the “place of many contradictory experiences”, returning to visit in 1989. Abandoned for many years, the Borderland Foundation brought it back to life and today it houses the International Centre of Dialogue. The core activity here is focused on the multicultural legacy of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and its new meaning in the unified Europe.
Panoramic image: Marek Skorupski and Jola Kozińska
Krasnogruda was reopened with a special four day event in June 2011 – the European Agora – held under the auspices of UNESCO, connected with the Polish Presidency of the European Union and Czesław Miłosz Centenary Year.
The Centre provides the base for the Atlantis project in the Podlaskie region, and involves participants from the nearby towns of Sejny, Suwalki and Augustow. Podlaskie has the lowest population density of the sixteen Polish voivodeships, and its largely unspoiled nature is one of its chief assets, attracting many tourists.
In 2013, Sejny celebrates 450 years of existence. At the beginning of the 17th century, a Dominican monastery was built, marking the first beginnings of the modern town. Sejny has 6,500 residents, with the population growing considerably during the tourist season. It is located in the eastern part of the Suwałki Lake Area, on the Marycha river, being a tributary of Czarna Hańcza.
Suwałki has today some 69,000 residents. The foundation of the town dates to the arrival of Camaldolese monks who in 1667 were granted the area surrounding the future town by the Grand Duke of Lithuania and John II Casimir, the King of Poland. They built the splendid monastery at Wigry. Following the end of Communist ruke in 1989 the town experienced a period of economic difficulties. Many of the town’s major factories went out of business. However, the creation of special economic zone for the area, with the close proximity of the Russian and Lithuanian borders, opened new possibilities for local trade and commerce, while the natural environment has attracted many tourists from all around the world
Augustów has over 30,000 residents. It is located on a canal which connects the Vistula and Neman rivers. It first gained city rights in 1557. Today it is a popular health resort town. It was the site of battles in 1914 and 1920, and mostly destroyed and depopulated in the Second World War, caught between the Nazi and Soviet forces.