Located about 8 miles north-west of Dąbrowa Tarnowska, 5 miles west of Olesno, and 50 miles east of Kraków, Zalipie, also known as “The Painted Village,” is a lovely small town in Poland famous for its beautiful floral painted homes.
The tradition of Zalipie residents painting the town’s homes, schools, churches and other buildings with flowers using dye and cooking fat as well as brushes made out of cow hair dates back to the 19th century.
The floral displays first started after new furnaces with chimneys and modern ventilation were installed in the 1800s replacing the old-world stoves. The women of Zalipie decided to paint colorful patterns on their residences to cover up smudges of smoke and soot from their wood-burning stoves.
The artwork quickly spread from the walls of residences out onto nearly every blank surface. Nowadays, visitors can admire both the exterior surfaces of the town’s houses as well as their interiors all decorated in rustic floral patterns.
Although there are around twenty different cottages adorned with intricate decorative motifs spread throughout the town, the former home of local folk artist Felicja Curyłowa (1904 – 1974) is perhaps the one you should not miss while exploring the town’s bizarre tradition of “painted cottages.” Her former three-bedroom cottage is now open to the public as an open-air museum.
The Polish village of Zalipie hosts each spring, in the first week after the Feast of Corpus Christi, a flower painting competition during which the most beautifully decorated cottage is announced.