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Three Crowns

Original version
The legend says that the Three Crowns and the entire Pieniny owe their creation to the saint Kinga. Fleeing the Tatars, she threw her crown behind her. Rocky peaks grew out of it, which stopped the infidels, and in memory of this fact, they were called the Three Crowns after centuries. History, however, says that during his first Mongol invasion of Poland, Kinga, the Hungarian princess was a child and had not even been married to Krakow's prince Bolesław, later called the Shy. When the Mongol invasion of Poland fell on Poland for the second time, they were already married, and the king and his wife fled the battlefield, instead of leading the knighthood. During the third Mongol invasion, known as Tatars for some reason, Kinga was already the prince of the Poor Clares convent in Stary Sącz, which she founded after her husband's death. Another legend says that Kinga was already escaping from the Tatar invaders in her habit, led by seventy nuns, to take refuge in the Pieniny castle, the remains of which can be seen today on the slopes of Trzy Korony. This version also mentions miracles - Kinga's comb turned into an impenetrable forest, the Dunajec river emerged from the sash, and her veil which fell to the ground in the mist in which the Tatars lost their way, and arrows from their warriors' bows missed the nuns. However, there may be some truth in these fairy tales, because according to old records, during the Mongol invasions, the local population actually hid in the rocky recesses on the slopes of the Three Crowns.
Alternative versions
Another legend says that the Three Crowns are the cradle of hang gliding, thanks to Brother Cyprian, known as the "flying monk", who lived in the Red Monastery on the other side of the Dunajec in the 18th century. He was a man of many talents. In the monastery, he performed the duties of a doctor, barber and pharmacist. He grew herbs and made medicines himself. He was also known as a botanist, the first researcher of the Pieniny flora. He described almost 300 species of plants living in these mountains, and his herbarium has been preserved to this day in the museum in Tatra Mountains. This apparently was not enough for him, as he had built a hang glider with his own hands and flew on it through the Dunajec from the top of Trzy Korony to the monastery courtyard. According to legend, it ended up much worse, because the wind carried away the "flying monk" and carried it to the Tatra Mountains, to Morskie Oko, where he was turned into a rock known today as Mnich (Monk, in English).
Main characters
Queen Kinga (saint), Tatars, nuns, monk
Connected artistic / architectonic / historical heritage
The region is a home to Polish highlanders, people who are brave, proud nad traditional. The attachment to tradition is proven by, among others, the Pieniny Museum Józef Szalay. This unique exhibition is entirely devoted to the history of the city and its inhabitants. It is worth taking a look here and take a look at the Pieniny highlanders and their achievements. The collected exhibits present an almost complete picture of this region - its culture, folk art and everyday life of the local population. To this day, the Szczawnica highlanders wear traditional clothes - hats with an turned up brim and blue cloth vests. The dialect, festivals and celebrations typical of this region have also been preserved.
Local traditions or historical connections
Trzy Korony - the highest peak of the Central Pieniny, belonging to the Three Crowns Massif. It is separated from the other peaks by the Wyżnia Łazek Pass. The slopes are cut by deep stream valleys, covered with forest. The top part consists of five crags made of resistant keratinous limestones: Okraglica - 982 m above sea level The highest one, there is a viewing platform with railings. There are about 30 people on the platform. Flat (Plaska) Rock - 950 m above sea level South-east of Okraglica. Nad Ogródki - 940 m above sea level South-west of Okraglica. From 1933 there was a rainfall totalizer operated by a hermit Pańska Skała (Bryłowa) - 920 m above sea level Rare wallcreeper birds nest there. Niżnia Okraglica (Porch, Saddle) - extended to the south under Okraglica and lower by 80 m. Before, before the peak was opened, the panorama was viewed from there.
Didactical Relevance
While working with the legend students will get to know Pieniny, southern region, one of the most picturesque and natural part of Poland. They will understand better local traditions and beliefs, endangered with extiction. The process of deconstructing the legend will teach students creative attitude towards their learning, arouse imagination and creative expression, help them discover their talents and passion and find bonds with cultures of other countries. In the terms of education students will develop their reading, analyticals and descriptive skills, as wellas IT skills for research and compiling information.
Didactical Activity
Activity: (for the whole class or group work) - Geographical – find Pieniny on the map, ask students what they know about the place or let them find information online (characteristics of the area, geological and physical). - Historical – easily connected to geopgraphical, especially when seeking information online. art/architecture – look for monuments. - Literature – read the legend and check for proper understanding especially if any folk or regional terminology appears. - Read the legend again and look for connections with the geographical/historical/art information that were found - Trip to Pieniny (if possible) if not – a virtual trip

PDF version of the legend in national language