Towns and villages - Gardna

GARDNA - a village in Smołdzino commune, on the Gardno Lake. Currently it consists of two combined villages: Gardna Mała and Gardna Wielka. The first written recording derives from 1282; it comes from a Pomeranian word >gard<, standing for a stronghold; German Klein Garde, Gross Garde.

Slovian settlements and the first strongholds appeared on this terrain already in the VII-VIII century. The buildings' layout in the village resembles along the street model with a square in the village centre, presumably the location of the middle ages stronghold. Formerly, the present Gardna consisted of three villages; it was a castellan's stronghold with a port on the lake. In the XII century, the village received civic rights, however in the next century there occurred a decline and the loss of civic rights. Gardna was the oldest parish centre of the Slovinian region; the parish was founded here by the Duke Świętopełk in the XIII century. That time the village belonged to Gniezno bishops. The evangelic clergyman Blancenius ministering the parish here made a translation of a postil in 1584 into Polish for the use of the in-habitants. Until 1845 the masses were held here in the Kaszubian language. In 1765 the riots took place, as the inhabitants did not want to approve a newly nominated clergyman who could not communicate in the Kaszubian language. The dwellers of Gardna had been resisting germanisation for long. In 1912 the village was devastated by a great fire, and all the monumental village buildings were burned.

The relicts of traditional building: old fishing huts and utility buildings, brick nogged timber wall, often with pedimental- smoke hole-roofs from the beginning of the XIX century. The church from the XV century, rebuilt in 1842; in the church an old, granite baptismal font possibly reaching back the Roman times and an expressionistic painting in the altar painted by Kołobrzeg clergyman, Paul Hintz. Near the presbytery and next to the church there grows an aged yew-tree. At the square adjacent to the church, former cemetery, monumental tombstones with blurred inscriptions have been preserved, dated even for the XVI century. There are also the remains of the monument commemorating the dead in World War I.
On the Stone Island there is a huge erratic bloc, called "a devil's stone", with which many traditions and legends are associated. The island is a strict sanctuary with the breading grounds of rare birds. In 1856 a Russian scientist Aleksander Hilferding carried out the research here upon the Slovinians.

Source: "Historical Dictionary of Towns and Villages of the Slupsk Province",
authors: A. Świetlicka - E. Wisławska

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