Secrets of the Palace in the Sui Mountains. It dates back to the sixteenth century

– There is a fairly accurate record going back to these times, and even further back. The record shows that the owners of the building have changed a lot over the centuries. It was also connected to the very turbulent history of our small homeland – says Carolina Herreha, who with her partner runs Leśny Dwór Guesthouse.

The guest house was built as a farmhouse and has undergone many changes over the years. During World War II, it was used as a center for girls, and later for nurses.

– The first brick buildings on the site were erected in 1531, as evidenced by the presence of a stone wall in part of the building. A major change occurred in the buildings in the eighteenth century, as evidenced by the stone above the main entrance to the building dated 1723. A further extension was added at the end of the eighteenth century. The owner at that time had an idea to run a theater in the country mansion. This building no longer exists today, it was destroyed after the end of World War II – says Mr. Thomas Herreha.

Before Carolina and her partner Thomas started running a guesthouse in 2020, her parents took care of the place.

– We bought the facility at the end of 1993 and immediately began to rebuild and renovate – Carolina’s father Thomas Hare recalls. He was born in Lower Silesia in the forties. At the time, the area was part of Germany. At the age of 14, he and his family moved to Berlin. However, he often returned, in Poland he met his wife Golanta.

– We were about to open a camping site on the premises of this facility. In those years, rebuilding such a facility was not so easy, because of course there was no choice of building materials and willing firms as there is nowadays. The man remembers that we were able to open the facility as a camping site in July 1994.

At first, few visitors arrived at the camp site. The guesthouse was not included in any guidebooks, as people shared information about it with each other. Some guests said they would like to go back there with their parents, who would prefer a place not in the camp but at home. After that, further expansion began and the rooms in the guest house were used. Later, a cafe was also established.

– In the early years of our operation, apart from renting out rooms, we also organized weddings and New Year’s Eve parties, which were associated with proper organization and a lot of work. Once a year, there is a gathering of motorcyclists who travel. We occasionally show movie shows. Among the guests there were also old people from these regions, who brought back memories of their youth, when they still lived here – says Thomas Hareha.

At first, Leśny Dwór mainly received guests from abroad, German or Dutch, and as the years went by, more and more local guests were arriving.

Leśny Dwór is located in a valley on the edge of the village, right next to the forest. There is another smaller building next to the main building, which may have been economical in the past. After leaving the guesthouse through the back entrance, we head straight onto a beautiful street of beech trees, a natural landmark. But not only natural values ​​attract visitors to Leśny Dwór.

The guest house is filled with artwork, historical memorabilia, antique furniture, maps, and books relating to the area that Herhs has collected over the years.

– Our group is not systematic. Interesting things were collected in young years, which at that time were still more widely available as today. Of course, there was also a desire to save some things that were then underestimated and may have simply been destroyed – says Thomas Hare.

In the family collection, in addition to the old photographs of things to be admired on the walls of Forest Manor or the above-mentioned maps of Lower Silesia, there is also, among other things, the history of the city of Nowa Rhoda (Neurod), as the man says, “perhaps the most beautiful record of All the cities in our little country.”

– The city of Nowa Roda is also associated with a unique album with photos from the beginning of the twentieth century, which have not yet been published anywhere – says Thomas Herreha.

– Pictures of the city from the end of the 19th century, taken with a large format camera, are also interesting, so they show very detailed details of the city. In addition to historical maps of the region and books related to the history of the region. An additional curiosity is a dozen historical postcards. And we will not forget about antiques of various kinds, such as cameras, radios, coffee grinders, irons, etc. – he adds.

There are also owls. Dozens or hundreds. Plaster, owl crocheted with pictures, postcards, owl napkin holders and owl candles.

At the end of the Herh family’s work, due to their state of health, Leśny Dwór was active only in the summer season.

– Leśny Dwór has been waiting for better times for several years. I did not want the efforts of the whole family in this special place to be in vain and after reflection, I decided with my partner, despite the general difficult global situation, to “wake up” Leśny Dwór from sleep and bring him back to life – says Carolina Herreha. With a partner they run a guest house.

She was born in Wroclaw, but spent most of her life abroad.

She lived in Spain and Germany. I travel a lot. As he says, he loves to learn about different regions and cultures. She worked in the tourism industry, always in positions of direct contact with people.

– Because of epidemics, I was out of work overnight, and was previously a guide on St. James’s Way. I was wondering: “What next?” In Spain, I lived near the mountains and the sea, in Germany I lived in a big city. I wanted to return to life close to nature and nature, and at the same time he wanted to work in the field of contact with people – says the woman.

Her first memories of Leśny Dwór are vacations, helping out with guest service and working in the garden. In the evening there are bonfires running live concerts.

– It was then that I met a group of young people with whom I developed a friendship that continues to this day – he says.

During the pandemic, due to severe restrictions, we had almost no visitors, except for individual exceptions, which made it very difficult to maintain this place. Despite the difficult situation, it was necessary to change the heating system, renovate some rooms, and renovate the bathrooms. We have also planted fruit trees and shrubs in our area. We often wonder “if and when will we go back to normal?!” Carolina Hare continues.

He says, the challenge now is to preserve the essence of the building and renovate its individual spaces and parts. It is not easy given the age and size of the facility.

– When one task ends, few urgent calls are made. The greatest pleasure is when the guests, fascinated by this place, leave refreshed and come home with a new energy or go on another trip. It is with great pleasure that our guests come back to us and become regular visitors to Forest Manor – says Carolina.

She loves to cook and bake herself, so she treats her guests with home products. It also focuses on as many elements of vegetarian cuisine as possible.

In the future, she dreams of re-opening the hall that was previously used for weddings, communion, New Year’s Eve and similar events, and now organizes workshops or training courses there.

We also think about the antiques fair once a year and different cultural events. In the forested part of our property, the area will be made available for use in workshops in nature for students from the school in Wolibórz – the woman adds.

Meanwhile, Leśny Dwór has guests back there after years of yearning for nature and the magic of the Owl Mountains. They remember the delicious cheesecake prepared by Jolanta Sitnik-Herha, which you can still eat in the guesthouse.

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