Werstok - Good House

The first mention of the village comes from 1574. The former Werstok was divided into a "manor" part, with the church, and a village part - located more than a kilometer away in the forest. When the fire destroyed the rural part, the inhabitants built their farms next to the part of the "manor house". And so it has already been.

The Orthodox church was funded in 1768 by the then owner of Werstok, Józef Wilczewski - chamberlain of Wizna, two-time deputy to the Seym, captain of the Crown Cavalry of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, later the Podlasie castellan. In 1777 he lost Werstok due to debts and ordered his sons to regain it by force. The night raid on the manor house ended tragically. There were about 150 invaders, they used firearms and melee weapons. There were killed and wounded. The case became known nationally and involved the king and the government at the time.

In 1869 a thorough renovation of the church was carried out. Then the "ryznica" (a place for storing the liturgical vestments) and the "ponomarka" (sacristy) were added, and the iconostasis was placed inside. In 1909, the porch and belfry were added.

The oldest icons come from the second half of the eighteenth century. The Orthodox Gospels and the Apostle (i.e. liturgical book containing the New Testament writings concerning the Apostles - the Acts of the Apostles, Universal Letters and Letters of St. Paul) with the personal record of the founder Wilczewski are also monumental.

Our commune (Dubicze Cerkiewne) is one of the first three Polish communes with the highest percentage of national minorities. Over 80% of residents declare Belarusian nationality.


The Bialowieza Forest and Bialowieza
The Bialowieza Forest is about 12,000 years old. It is the only natural heritage site in Poland from the UNESCO World Heritage List. We can recommend our friendly forest guides to our Guests.

In Białowieza - apart from the natural-forest and park museum - we recommend the coffeehouse "Bike Cafe" - the place combining the advantages of a café with the utility of bike and cross-country ski rentals, run by our friends. In the summer season it is worth visiting Przystań na Lato ("Summer Harbor") – you can rent a kayak and sail along the Narewka to the border with Belarus.

It is the biggest city in the area - with large chain stores, impressive Orthodox churches (among others, the Holy Trinity Cathedral - a two-storey church housing 5,000 people at a time), the Water Park and the market (well-known in the neighborhood) where healthy food can be bought on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The route of the Narrow-Gauge Forest Railway begins in Hajnówka - you can traverse the forests of the Białowieża Forest from May to September.

The photo - Polimerek / Wikipedia

Holy Mountain and an important place of pilgrimage for Orthodox believers in Poland. There are three Orthodox churches in Grabarka, the female monastery of Saints Marta and Mary, two Pilgrim Houses (wooden and brick) and an Orthodox cemetery. Every year thousands of pilgrims come to Grabarka. Some of them leave votive (intent) crosses on the hill around the church. The estimated number of crosses is over 10,000. The oldest crosses date back to the 19th century.

The Good House is located 48 km from Grabarka.

The photos - Wikipedia: Jacek Karczmarz (1), Bladyniec (2)

Skit in Odrynki
Skit means a secluded building, a hermitage for monks who wish to lead a harsher life than in monasteries. There are only two skits in Poland: the male skit of Saints Antoni and Teodozjusz Pieczerski in Odrynki and the female skit of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Holeszów.

The skit in Odrynki is picturesquely situated among the floodplains of the Narew basin, in the Kudak wilderness. A wooden, 800-meter-long footbridge leads to it from the village of Odrynki. The hermitage was built in 2009, and in 2013 a newly built wooden Orthodox Church of the Protection of the Mother of God was consecrated in the skit area.

The Good House is located 49 km from the skit in Odrynki.

The photos - Wikipedia: Franczesko Genelli (1), Svevovic (2)

The synagogue in Orla
The majestic synagogue was built around 1754. Until the mid-twentieth century it was one of the few masonry buildings in Orla. Above the entrance there was an inscription: "What fear fills this place! Nothing else here but the House of God". The interior was covered with beautiful frescoes with floral and animal motifs, whose remains have survived to this day. A trade route important for local Jews to Brest, with roadside taverns, ran through Orla and further near Werstok. One of the taverns was located next to our village.

The Good House is located approx. 16 km from the synagogue.

The photo comes from the site polskaniezwykla.pl.

The Eastern Bicycle Route "Green Velo"
It is over 2000 km of a specially marked route. The trail leads through five provinces of eastern Poland. The Good House is located approx. 4 km from the "Green Velo".

Bachmaty Lagoon
The lagoon has a public, sandy beach. A lifeguard is present in the summer season. There is a playground for children and the rental of kayaks and water bikes. The Good House is located approx. 4 km from the Lagoon.

The photo comes from the site atrakcjepodlasia.pl.

Repczyce Lagoon
Similarly to Bachmaty Lagoon, there is a public, sandy beach with a seasonal lifeguard, a playground for children and a rental of floating equipment. The Good House is located approx. 20 km from the Lagoon.

The photo comes from the site grupabiwakowa.pl.

You can jump out of the Good House - without a visa! - to Belarus. We are adjacent to the visa-free zone "Brest - Grodno", where you can go by bike or on foot (border crossing near Białowieża) or by car (border crossing in Połowce, approx. 20 km from Werstok). Closest to us is the so-called Kamieniecki District - with a 30-meter defensive Kamieniecka Tower built in the 13th century, called the White Tower, and with a number of monuments (castle ruins, baroque and classicist palaces and temples) in the former estates of Sapieha, Potocki and Puzyna (the Polish magnate families).

Near Werstok, at Jakubowo 3, you can experience the goodness of the forest. Nadi Massage Room is a place where palm therapy can be added to forest therapy. We recommend!

Other selected attractions from our area (the calendar is indicative):

☀ Hajnowski half marathon

☀ fair of local products in Białowieża
☀ sailing regatta "The Bison Cup" on Zalew Siemianówka (Siemianówka Lagoon) (photo: Międzyszkolny Ośrodek Sportowy in Ełk)

☀ Kupala Night ("Na Iwana na Kupała") in Dubicze Cerkiewne - an important point in the calendar of cultural events in Podlasie, an ethno event with concerts and a fair. Kupala Night is also organized, among others in Białowieża (photo: Janusz Bakunowicz)
☀ Festival of Many Cultures and Nations in Czeremcha - folk concerts, performances and shows of folk art, handicraft, music, dance and culinary workshops, exhibitions, film screenings, handicraft fair
☀ International Theater Festival WERTEP - performances and outdoor shows in Dubicze, Hajnówka, Białowieża, Orla, Bielsk Podlaski and other places
☀ The Bison's Fair ("Jarmark Żubra") - folk concerts, shows, competitions, culinary workshops
☀ National Rock Music Festival ROCKOWISKO in Hajnówka
☀ The International Festival of Music, Arts and Folklore "Podlasie Octave of Cultures" ("Podlaska Oktawa Kultur") in Białystok
☀ Kleszczele Days - concerts, shows, sightseeing flights, runs, Nordic walking marches, animations for children

☀ Białowieża Days - fairs, educational stands, animations for children, firefighting equipment shows, concerts
☀ Belarusian Folk Festival in Hajnówka - concerts
☀ Białowieża Artistic Integrations - Peretocze - concerts of Polish, Belarusian, Jewish, Gypsy, Lithuanian, Russian and Ukrainian music

☀ The International Festival of Orthodox Music Days in Hajnówka (photo from: www.powiat.hajnowka.pl)
☀ Festival of Colors and Soap Bubbles in Hajnówka
☀ Archaeological Festival in Zbucz - demonstrations of warriors, workshops of medieval crafts, folk concerts
☀ hut building workshops in Hajnówka
☀ Baked Potato Festival on the Repczyce Lagoon
☀ Belarusian festivities "And there live people" ("I tam żywuć ludzi")

☀ The Festival of Belarusian Singing Poetry and Authors' Songs "Autumn of the Bards" in Białystok

☀ Christmas market in Hajnówka


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