The exhibition “Village and Small Town” and the “Borderland Town” in Biłgoraj. Rescuing memory or falsifying the history of an image of a Polish traditional landscape

s. Anna Tejszerska uSJK



The aim of the article is the presentation and critical assessment of a development called “The town on the trail of cultures” or “Borderland Town” currently created in Biłgoraj. The main subject of the research is a contemporary composition, which is a free interpretation of historical architecture, in many respects far from factual credibility, but aspiring to be a tourist and cultural destination. The idea of building these houses and commercial properties was to replicate the traditional wooden small-town architecture of the region. Alongside them, of great interest to tourists, are replicas or copies of historic public buildings and places of worship, characteristic of the ethnic diversity of the eastern areas of the First and Second Polish Republic. The emerging district was evaluated in the context of the role of architecture in building local and national identity and the danger from an educational point of view, of falsifying history. The architectural form and urban layout of the project, as well as its ideational premises wa analysed. Special attention was paid to the noble objectives that accompanied the creation of the complex, and their convergence with the intentions of the architects who a century ago shaped the forms of the Polish national style. At the same time, the negative consequences of creating a peculiar hybrid of a historicizing but still contemporary composition and a kind of open-air museum, which should be characterized by reliable compliance with the facts, were shown. This type of procedure has led to creating an illusion of an authentic historic settlement, its falsification and popularisation of a distorted image of an historic town. The work was based on in-situstudies as well as analyses of archival illustrations and textual material and research into the authentic, historical architecture of the region, which was to serve as a model for the designed complex.

Full article view is only available on bigger screens.