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Łancut Legends
By Pogranicze Media
Published: 10.09.2010

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Julia Potocka
- the patron of lovelorn.

    Sometimes, in the middle of the night some quite sobbing can be heard. People are of the opinion that this is a ghost of Julia Lubomorska, which saunters in the castle’s chambers. She is bemoaning, because she has lost her love and mainly, that is why she is often called as the patron of  lovelorn.
   Julia was the youngest daughter of  Isabella Lubomirska. As her mothet she could not chose her husband. Her family decided that the best candidate would be a famous traveler and writer Jan Potocki. However she felt no love for him. Potocki was often considered as an eccentric, in fact he was a very intelligent man, whose imagination was almost impossible to understand by people who live that time. Julia gave birth to two sons – Alfred and Artur. Potocki was not a “family man”. He preferred traveling then raising his children. During, one of his journeys when  his wife stayed alone Julia met Eustachy Sanguszka. He was Tadeusz Kościuszko’s friend. Soon, Julia and Eustachy felt in love. Unfortunately, during the battle  Eustachy   received a serious wound. He was in agony. After few days the messenger brought a terrible news -  Julia was almost dying. She suffered from tuberculosis. Julia was very young – she was only 28. When Eustachy received the news he decided to go to Krakow to see his lady for the last time. However, he didn’t manage to be on time. He sow his beloved Julia in the coffin. In his diary Eustachy wrote : “ I sow her, but I’ve got imagine that she is just  sleeping and she is still alive. I was trying to wake her up. I was calling her name. I was sure that sound of my voice will bring her to live, but it didn’t. Their first, real love was fulfilled by their grandchildren in 1851 when Maria Saguszka married Alfred II Potocki. 
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The Sky-blue Lady 
- the history of princess Isabella Czartoryska

   Isabella was famous for her sky-blued crinoline gowns. The old habitants of Łańcut say that sometimes some strange figure is seen in the castle. People believe that this is a ghost of Isabella, which is often called the ghost of  the Sky–blue Lady. The stories claim that the ghost is rather calm and good for people. What’s more, there is a theory that anybody who meets the Lady has a good luck during the whole year. She seems to be especially favorable for the artists. 
   Her childhood was totally carefree. She grown up together with her cousin – the further Polish king Stanisław August Poniatowski. He was her first real love. However, her father a very famous and influential politician  had toward her definitely  different plans. He force 17 –years old Isabella to marry  the owner of Łańcut  prince Stanisław Lubomirski. Her husband was a Knight of the Order of the White Eagle and he was a very famous Polish nobleman, however he was much more older then Isabella.
   Although Isabella was rather  undersized (only 150 cm) she had a vivacious and magnetic personality. She paled around with  Queen Marie Josephine of Saxony. Her marriage wasn’t happy, because she wasn’t in love with her husband. Mainly, because of that she decided to enlarge  and rebuilt the castle in Łańcut. The palace become one of the most beautiful  Lubomirski’s proprieties. Isabella was very sociable, that’s why her castle was always full of  people, mainly artists and poets, such as: Szymon Bogumił Zug a renown classicist architect and designer of gardens, Jan Chrystian Kamsetzer and Piotr Aigner who were one of the best known architects and artists, who worked in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and also Fryderyk Bauman. She was a very rich woman and she loved travels. Isabella visited France, England and Italy (1785-1791). She worked as an archeologist in  the town of Pompeii  together with her son-in-law Stanisław Kostka Potocki, who was a  very famous dilettante. They both bought a lot of ancient sculptures and souvenirs, mainly from Herculaneum.
   Isabella was a very intelligent woman. She was fluent in French and she was consider as a  really enlightened lady. She fiercely demanded from her husband to take care of his people. Isabella knew that education is very important, so that she was an originator of village’s schools.
   She gave birth to four daughters. However she really wanted to have a son. That’s why she decided to adopt Henry Lubomisrki. Henry was a lovely child. He had everything : foreign tutors, painters and sculptors. Anton Canvoy made a  marble sculpture which presets the image of Henry. Nowadays, the sculpture is one of the best known Łańcut’s work of art.                               
   Isabella died in 1816 in Wien. Her heart was buried in crypt beneath the Łańcut’s  parish church.

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The Devil of Łańcut
- the history of Stanisław Stadnicki.

    Sometimes, when the thunderstorm suddenly breaks in the middle of the night and when the blustery wind howls through the empty streets people who live near the castle in Łańcut claim that they are hearing some strange and terrifying noises. The witness come forward with their own theory that those horrible sounds come from the castle dungeon where Stanisław Stadnicki used to keep rebellious peasants or slaves. It is also said that Stadnicki was barbarously murdering his prisoners. However, people who have heard this awful noises say that those sounds are not the only one sign that something strange is going on. Some Łańcut’s inhabitants are sure that during stormy nights they have seen a rider on a black horse who was ridding through Trześniak Street , which leads to the castle. Everyone believes that the mysterious rider is Stanisław Stadnicki’s ghost. However the question is why he came back? Some people say that he feels guilty about his cruel and harsh way of ruling. The next theory claims that his soul can’t find way to heaven, and all of this because his numerous unforgivable sins which he committed during his entire life.
   Łańcut was a Stadnicki’s Family property till 1620. Their first castle was upon the Łysia Hill and was entirely wooden. Here was the “headquarter” of Stanisław Stadnicki. He was known as troublemaker, called ‘the Devil of Łańcut’ for his violent behavior. His favorite ‘activity’ seemed to be invading the lands of Łukasz Opaliński (Leżajsk’s owner) and Spytko Ligęzy (Rzeszów’s owner). In 1606 he became on of the leader of the rokosz of Zebrzydowski which broke out against Sigismund III Vasa, the Polish king. However, what goes around comes around. That’s why in 1608 Łukasz Opaliński invaded Stadnicki’s land and burnt his wooden castle on Łysia Hill. The most famous subcarpathian reveler couldn’t take it on the chin and after 2 – year preparation he decided to attack Leżajsk. Stadnicki never came back to Łańcut. He died in the battle of Tarnawa on 20 August 1610 where he was confronted with an overwhelming force loyal to Łukasz Opaliński. He didn't manage to evade pursuit to return to his own men.. He died of stab wounds to the chest and was killed by Cossacks’ arrow. After his death, his family carried his tradition of troublemaking. His both sons Władysław and Zygmunt earned the nicknames of the Łańcut Devilchildren and both of them were murdered like their father. However, before their death they started to built new castle, which gave the fundaments of present building. When both Stanisław’s elder sons have died the Duke of Wiśnicz Stanisław Lubomirski decided to take care of the youngest Stadnicki’s son Staś. He was able to meet Stadnicki’s obligations and after thathe became the owner of Łańcut. In the same year he started to rebuilt the castle.
translated by JustynaB

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Bohdan Zhukiewicz

Roztoczański National Park in Zwierzyniec