The Wieczkowski Genealogical Tour of Poland – Day 7


Monday, June 12, 2023

Our last day of the tour. We spent the morning in the Diocesan Archives in Włocławek Cathedral. Zbigniew wasn’t sure if there were any records there that we couldn’t find online. I had told him that even if they were the same, I wanted to see the original books (so much better than seeing online records). He also thought it was worthwhile to go because the archives are up a winding staircase behind a door that we had to use our cellphone flashlights to find. It was so worth it! And we did find the Polish versions (the ones online were in Russian) of my 2x great-grandmother’s (Elżbieta Bronisława Dąbrowska) baptism record and her marriage record to my 2x great-grandfather Józef Więczkowski.

There is something so exciting about looking through the original record books.
The Polish version of the marriage record of my 2x great-grandparents, from the Diocesan Archives in Włocławek Cathedral
The birth record of Elżbieta Bronisława Dąbrowska; you can see her first name underlined near the end of the record.

And even without a visit to the Archives, Włocławek Cathedral was stunning and so worth a visit.

Włocławek Cathedral, finished in 1526, it underwent some renovations in 1883-1901.
The inside of the cathedral was absolutely stunning.

Zbigniew and I then toured the Kłodawa Salt Mine. (Dad stayed in the car because it would have been too much walking for him.) It was a very different experience than visiting Wieliczka Salt Mine because Kłodawa is still in operation. We saw the workers start their shift, descending on the same elevator that we took. The scale of the salt mine is unimaginable; we probably saw only less than 1% of it. It is the only other place, except for the Himalayas, where pink salt is found. In fact, we were each given a chunk of pink salt and a bag of table salt at the end of the tour.

The tour was given in Polish. Zbigniew translated the highlights for me. Even if I had not understood anything, however, the tour was worth it.
The ceiling of the salt mine.
Again, Saint JPII is everywhere. The cross is made out of pink salt.

After seven days of travel, research, walking, villages, churches, cemeteries, and lots and lots of emotion, Zbigniew dropped Dad and me at our hotel in Warsaw this evening. This truly was a trip of a lifetime, something that almost cannot be put into words (although I did try here). If you are at all thinking about taking a trip like this, do it. My father and I are forever grateful to PolishOrigins and especially Zbigniew Stettner for making our trip back to our Polish roots unforgettable.






  1. How wonderful that you and your father were able to go on this memorable trip! I enjoyed reading about your discoveries and experiences, and, looking at your beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing!

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