I often go back to the memories of our November East-Prussian escapade.
Not only because it was finally that dream vacation, so very well deserved after a frantic season. Also, because we visited some important places along the way… Those were places important to the history of Europe, and now often forgotten and neglected. Deliberately forgotten, I am tempted to say…
The majority of the Warmia-Mazury Voivodship is today still almost Terra Incognita.
Tourists rather go to Masuria, and the travel agencies (except for absolutely a few, which understand the place) still do not see anything interesting in the off-roads of the former East Prussia. In schools, teachers continue to avoid the subject as sensitive, moreover, they know little about it. Warmia is being discussed in isolation from reality. And thus it still is not very clear what is this phenomenon called: Warmia (Ermland).
I do not know whether it was important for the Great History, but it is certainly important for those who appreciate the beautiful views.
The village was founded near the old Prussian settlement of Pelten. It is known that around the year 1325 the Warmia chapter in the person of the provost Jordan built a castle here. Jordan managed the chapter, in place of Bishop Eberhard of Neisse who was seriously ill at that time. Soon he himself was elected Bishop of Warmia.
Parish in Pluty was established in the first half of 14th century. In 1326 the parish endowment appeared.
In 1410 during the Great War the village was destroyed. We know that more than a century later (in 1583) a parish school operated in the village.
Parish Church of St. Lawrence dates from the mid-fourteenth century. It was several times adapted, , first in the sixteenth century and then in 1801, it was extended in a westerly direction, and the tower was added. Barely visible today date “1521” in one of the top blind arches of the sacristy can be a certificate of completion of a phase of the temple’s construction. Church was consecrated by Bishop Martin Kromer in 1581.
The church was built on a rectangular plan, and it was built of fieldstone (in the basement) and brick (the walls). It was plastered recently (except the tower). It has two extensions: the north is the vestry and the south is the porch.The interior is baroque. And I have to trust the descriptions here, for when we got there during our peregrinations – the church was closed. It was raining cats and dogs, and the wind was quite bitter. Therefore neither of us at all had in mind to look for the Reverend, to ask him to open the temple for us.
From the descriptions I just know that the main altar dates from 1694, and that it was made in Königsberg. The maker of the altar was probably Isaac Riga, or his workshop. Side altars are from the same (more or less) period. In one of the side altars there is a painting o “The Last Supper” by Peter Kolberg (a prominent East Prussian artist – 1702), the pulpit dates from 1732, the choir was made in the 19th century and organ – in the early twentieth century The only medieval part of equipment are the granite font and stoup.In the Tower there is an original clock mechanism as well as two bells. And beneath the church floor there is a crypt with coffins.
“The old Prussian settlement is situated east of the village, on a hill 30 meters high (ca. 98 feet), overlooking the Wałsza River. The remains of walls and moats can be seen.” I had no opportunity to check this as it was raining 😉 …
Last year a fair amount of money was acquired from the EU for renovation of the cultural heritage of the village. And the result of the works could be seen in some places around the church… Hopefully the funds will appear sufficient, and the enthusiasm of the locals will not fade away.