Bobrowniki Wielkie Posted by Anna on Jul 14, 2008 in Geography
One of the readers, Ed, had a question about a village called Bobrowniki Wielkie, located somewhere near Tarnów. Ed’s mother was born in Bobrowniki and he wanted to know more about the place. Initially, I was stumped, I never heard of it myself. But no worries, after a bit of searching, I found some info.
I was surprised to learn that the village still existed, in the same place nearby Tarnów where it had been for centuries, and with the same name today as back in the olden days. What were the odds of that? Huh? But that’s not all! I even found a whole web page dedicated to the village of Bobrowniki Wielkie. Now, what are the odds of THAT? There’s a wee little village in Poland, it has all of 700 residents and one of them decides to set up a web page! Lucky for us!
Unfortunately, the page is in Polish only, so you will be stuck reading my English summary.
Let’s start with the name – Bobrowniki Wielkie. Back in the medieval ages, the inhabitants of the village used to raise and trap beavers. Yep, beavers, those furry little mammals with big teeth, who like to construct dams on rivers and streams. And the river nearby the village is the Dunajec. A quite famous river in its own right, mostly for the Dunajec Gorge. But that’s a bit further south from Bobrowniki Wielkie, though I’m sure the river by the village is also lovely.
So, the first part of the name came from the word “bóbr”, meaning “beaver”.
The adjective “wielkie” is the plural form of “wielki” and it means big, grand, large.
There you have it, the name of the village used to mean a “grand beaver dwelling place”, or something equally exciting. These days, according to its website, the village is far from grand. It’s a small, quiet locale free from beavers – they were hunted to near extinction.
It’s an old village, the first mention of it comes from 1387. I’m not sure about the subsequent mentions, but it seems the place has managed to stay in relative obscurity since then.
I have contacted the guy who runs the Bobrowniki website, and if and when I get an answer, I will ask him a few questions, borrow a few photos and then hopefully, I’ll be able to tell you some exciting things about this village.
For now, we have to make do with these exciting words instead:
- bóbr (Castor fiber in Latin, noun, masculine, plural: bobry) = beaver
- wielki (adjective, singular, masculine),
- wielka (feminine, singular),
- wielkie (neuter, singular),
- wielcy (masc. plural) and finally, the last one
- wielkie (fem. and neuter, plural) = big, large, grand in size.
Even though the neuter singular form and the feminine plural form look the same in this example, I listed them separately, because they decline differently. Oh, yes, they decline! But you knew that already, right?
Uhmmm… I see that my next post should be about adjectives!
PS. The very nice gentleman from Bobrowniki, Mr. Panek just wrote back and invited everyone to take a closer look at his village. Here is his website.
Because it’s in Polish, here are some basic directions as to where to click. In the menu on the left, the items are as follow:
– The main page
– Where it is
– Life in the village – a photo gallery – definitely worth a click to see pictures from Dożynki (harvest festival)
– Interesting places nearby
– Chapels and roadside crosses
– Voluntary Fire Dept.
– Photo gallery
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