through Suwałki Region, every now and again, one meets on his
way places which bear a strong resemblance to little borderland
towns with a market square, streets, brick buildings and a yard
in front of a grand church.
Briefly speaking, such spatial arrangement is typical of town-planning.
And the truth is that a lot of present villages situated along
the Rospuda valley (Raczki, Bakałarzewo, Filipów) used to be
towns. So did the nearby Przerośl and a more northerly Wiżajny.
In the Sejny district this small-town circle is closed with
Puńsk, Berżniki and Sejny itself. Only Sejny is still a town.
The other towns mentioned lost their civic rights. Puńsk - because
of the wish of its townspeople. Prussian government deprived
Berżniki of the status of a town in 1805. The other towns lost
their civic rights as a result of Tsar's punishment for taking
part in the January Uprising of 1863. One glance at a map is
enough to see that these 19th - century little towns, together
with Augustów, form a circle around Suwałki Region. On the south
it is closed with Lipsk and Sztabin, the latter no longer being
a town. Such spatial arrangement of towns on the outer edges
of the post-Jatzvingian territory shows how colonization of
the primeval forests spread. The whole area of the forests belonged
to the king. Large tracts of these lands were given to meritorious
courtiers and mighty Lithuanian houses already in the times
of King Zygmunt Stary. Here,
manors and villages were built, of which the best-situated were
changed into towns. Some
of them like Augustów or Przerośl were created on king's order.
All towns were centers for administration, craft and trade.
At the same time they functioned as centers of colonization
of the middle part of Suwałki Region, at those times covered
with primeval forest. Different nations such as Mazovians from
Poland, Lithuanians and Russians from the east all colonized
this area, which resulted in considerable amalgamation of people.
The towns were inhabited by Poles, Jews, Germans, and in Sejny
Region also by Lithuanians.
towns of Suwałki Region, except for Berżniki and Szczebra, are presently
the seats of commune administration. At the same time, they function
as local centers of trade, craft service and healthcare. Catholics
have here their parishes and churches.
Here is a list of places which used to have civic rights: Bakałarzewo,
Berżniki, Filipów, Jeleniewo, Krasnopol, Przerośl, Puńsk, Szczebra,
Sztabin and Wiżajny. All of them, except for Berżniki and Szczebra
have kept the character of small towns, with old spatial arrangement
(the market square and outlet streets). Apart from churches and
a few tenement-houses from the 19th century, they do not have any
It is easy to get to these towns. Asphalt roads and bus lines from
Augustów, Sejny and Suwałki cross all these towns. We can suggest
a few of them as holiday villages, for example Bakałarzewo, Filipów,
Przerośl and Wiżajny.
- till 1870 - a town, nowadays a commune village situated by the
Rospuda River and on Lake Sumowo. A brick church from 1936, with
late-Renaissance altar form the 16th century. In the village: a
pharmacy, a bank, a health care center (tel. 569 40 06), a post
office (tel. 569 40 30), a police station (tel. 569 40 07), Commune
Council (tel. 569 40 23); moreover, shops and a bar "Carmen".
Filipów - a town between 1570-1870; now - a commune village,
situated by the Rospuda River (26 km from Suwałki). A monumental,
classicist brick church (from 1842). A good bus connection with
Suwałki, Olecko, Gołdap, Giżycko and Węgorzewo. In the village:
a pharmacy and health care center (tel. 569 60 43), a bank, a post
office (tel. 569 60 20), a police station (tel. 569 60 70), Commune
Council (tel. 569 60 81); besides a bar "Jedzonko jak Słonko", numerous
shops, agrotourist houses, a beach on Lake Kamienne with a campsite.
Jeleniewo - a town between 1780-1800; now - a commune village
near the border of Suwałki Landscape Park. A monumental wooden church
from 1878. In the neighbourhood - many agrotourist houses. In the
village: a bank (tel. 568 30 79), a health care center (tel. 568
30 56), a post office (tel. 568 30 20), a police station (tel. 568
30 70), a restaurant "Pod Jelonkiem" (tel. 568 30 21), shops, a
filling station, Commune Council (tel. 568 30 22).
Krasnopol - from 1782 till the beginning of the 19th century
- a town. It is situated by the road Suwałki - Ogrodniki border
crossing. Two monumental sites: a classicist church from 1862 and
a synagogue from the middle of the 19th century. In the village:
a pharmacy (tel. 516 40 11), a bank (tel. 516 40 18), a post office
(tel. 516 40 60), a police station (tel. 516 40 07), Town Council
(tel. 516 40 10); also shops, a bar "Wiking", agrotourist houses
Przerośl - between 1576-1970 - a town; now a commune village
on Lake Kościelne. Near the church - an old, wooden belfry. In the
nearby Pawłówka there is the biggest boulder in Suwałki Region.
In the village: a bank (tel. 569 10 02), a health care center (tel.
569 10 08), a post office (tel. 569 10 48), a police station (tel.
569 10 25), Commune Council (tel. 569 10 19). Also: shops, a bar
"U Marka", agrotourist houses, a beach.
Puńsk - between 1647-1852 - a town; now a commune village,
the capital of Polish Lithuanians. A monumental Neo-Gothic church
from 1881, a small ethnographic park (a Lithuanian farm) and museum.
In the village: a pharmacy (tel. 516 11 04), a bank (tel. 516 10
26), a post office (tel. 516 10 29), a police station (tel. 516
10 07), a restaurant "Sodas", (tel. 516 13 15), a filling station
(tel. 516 10 22), Commune Council (tel. 516 10 48); also shops,
a bar, agrotourist houses.
Sztabin - a commune village, earlier - a private town of
Chreptowicze family. A Neo-Gothic church from 1910. In the nearby
Cisów - a mansion of count Karol Brzostowski from 1835. In the village:
a pharmacy and health care center (tel. 641 20 13), a bank (tel.
641 24 99), a post office (tel. 641 20 48), a police station (tel.
641 20 97), a filling station (tel. 641 21 53), Commune Council
(tel. 641 20 36); also shops, a bar "Meksyk".
Wiżajny - a town between the end of the 16th century and
1870; now - a commune village. A classicist church from 1825 and
a monumental belfry; an obelisk commemorating Marshal Józef Piłsudski.
In the village: a pharmacy (tel. 568 81 03), a bank (tel. 568 80
52), a health care center (tel. 568 80 06), a post office (tel.
568 80 64), a police station (tel. 568 80 07), the Border Guard
(tel. 568 80 09), Commune Council (tel. 568 80 49); also shops,
catering facilities, numerous agrotourist houses, a few campsites.
information and agrotourist rooms reservation
Suwałki tel./fax 566 54 94
The Society For Sejny and Sejny Region Development "Ziemia Sejneńska",
Sejny tel./fax 516 34 00
The Society For Wiżajny Commune and Its Area Development, Wiżajny
568 80 78