Regional legends

The most popular legends from the vicinity of Tomaszów Lubelski are those concerning the ‘Piekiełko’ nature reserve. It was established in 1962 and lies near the village of Łaszczówka. It is a protected place because of the large number of erratic rocks (Batiatic sandstones), probably brought here by the glacier. The largest of them have a circumference of 10 metres. Legends mainly explain the name of the place (“Hell”), but also suggest that it is an unclean place that should not be visited. The most popular one tells of a girl who refused to marry a devil disguised as a farmhand. However, she then promised her hand to another man. The jealous devil wanted to kill the bride and groom by covering the church with boulders during their wedding. However, as he walked to the church with the boulders in his hands, a hen crowed and the devil lost the magical powers that allowed him to carry the stones. He was buried under them alive, which is why stones should not be taken from this place, and the place itself is haunted by the devil.

Another legend states that centuries ago a lonely old man lived here who possessed mysterious powers. His crops were always much more abundant and prolific than those of his neighbours. Hailstorms and downpours, on the other hand, avoided his field. However, he was a rude man and did not help other people who often came to him asking for help. He drove everyone away and would not tell anyone why he had such a rich harvest. People in the village began to gossip that the old man had made a pact with the devil. One day, however, a terrible hailstorm came and began to sweep over the old man’s fields as well. He ran out into the field and began reciting mysterious incantations. When this did not help, however, he tried to command the storm to destroy the worthless crops of his neighbours rather than his field. However, even this had no effect. Then the old man began to threaten the sky and summoned a spell. Suddenly it became very dark, a thunderclap sounded, after which everything became quiet and the sky cleared. The villagers saw their fields, completely preserved, spared by the hailstorm, and the old man’s field covered by huge boulders. He himself had died under one of them. It was a lesson from heaven, for conniving with the devil and hating his neighbours.

There is also a legend about the Kurdwanowski heir to these lands. It tells of Mr Kurdwanowski getting lost during a hunt in his forests. Looking for his way back, he met an old man with a grey beard as long as the ground. He showed him a cave full of treasures and promised to give them to the heir in exchange for his soul. While the pact was being signed, a hen crowed, and both the cave with the gold and the old man disappeared. All that remained were the huge boulders that lie here to this day.

Some historians claim that it may once have been a place of pagan worship, which would explain the existence of various versions of legends associated with this reserve. Explaining with parables that this is a place associated with evil powers may have been introduced by the church in the early days of Christianity in these lands. Such parables would have been intended to discourage local people from performing pagan rituals, in a ‘devilish’ and ‘unclean’ place. Today it is a beautiful nature reserve where you can spend pleasant moments, surrounded by amazing geological and natural phenomena.