This Polish Village Has Been Covered in Flower Paintings Since the 19th Century
Zalipie, a small town located northeast of Krakow, has a tradition dating back to the 19th century that has left its corridors, homes, churches, and schools adorned in paintings of flower bouquets.
The paintings first started after new furnaces with chimneys were installed in the 1800s. Women in the village started to paint floral displays to cover up blackened walls.
The tradition continued, and today the art can be seen all throughout the town, from outside of its homes to its chicken coops and doghouses.
Each spring, a flower painting competition takes place after the Feast of the Corpus Christi.
Wander through Zalipie today and you'll find intricate paintings on many of the buildings. Some of them are even museums you can walk through, like the farm of Felicja Curylowa, which is bursting with the colorful patterns.
Inside, the homes are covered in floral designs, from the paintings to the embroidered linens.
The designs originally started as brightly colored spots made out of lime, before becoming simple flowers, and then evolving into detailed bouquets, according to Tarnów's Tourist Information Center.
This photo, taken in 1985, showcases what some of the earlier and simpler flower artworks looked like.
Also taken in 1985, this photo showcases the interior of the homes. Flowers of all shapes and colors can be seen on the stove, while even the china and bedding incorporates the art.
The village is so beloved for its paintings that it has earned the nickname, “The Painted Village.”
The process was not a simple one, as the women would use brushes made out of cow hair and use what they had, like cooking fat and dye, to create the paint, according to Atlas Obscura.
Originally started in the homes, the artwork began to extend throughout the village streets.
Even the local church is covered in the designs.
The contrast of the wooden cabins with the bright colors of the paintings adds a playful touch throughout the entire town. Today visitors can even find a selection of goods like pottery and linens that match the paintings.