Gateway of Warmia in Bałdy

While visiting Bałdy, one shall not omit the Bishops’ Valley , historically exceptionally interesting. This is where the welcoming ceremony of every new bishop taking up his diocese was taking place. Here a new bishop was paid tribute to and was welcomed in behalf of Warmian provincial chapter, a body sharing with him ruling the diocese. In 2006, many years later, the valley had been reconstructed. Next to symbolic “Gateway of Warmia” there are free-standing display cases here, containing historical information. There are 51 plaques dedicated to Warmian bishops placed alongside approximately 1200 meters long valley hedged with old linden trees. Last year several dignitaries of Polish catholic church, among others Józef Glemp, Edmund Piszcz and Wojciech Ziemba planted their trees here.

Every year in Bałdy, in the area of historical Warmia, takes place an outdoor event Warmian Fair (Warmian Kiermas in Polish). In the past it was a great occasion for family gatherings for the entire vicinity. All the relatives and family’s friends were coming to Bałdy to participate. Just after a church service in keeping with local tradition, all were visiting one of the relatives for gathering. These family gatherings were an occasion to chat and exchange views, consolidating the local Warmian community around its own tradition and customs, strengthening the same time the bond with the church. These fairs initiated  Warmian tradition, contributing to the preservation of old customs inherited after ancestors and to the defence against external influences of strange cultures. It is widely assumed that thanks to their attachment to tradition and innate conservatism, the Warmians resisted Germanization in their majority. In the face of threat to their own identity and tradition they were able to join forces and  in peaceful manner stand up to secularization.