Travel tip: Trzęsacz, the church swallowed by the sea

Trzęsacz by Tomek Witan via Flickr, used under Creative Commons licence
No, I haven’t chosen today’s destination only because of its tongue-twisting nature. Trzęsacz is also a very unique place which shows the destructive power of the Baltic Sea.

1. What is it?

Trzęsacz is a tiny village on the Polish coast famous for its disappearing church (see below).

2. Where is it?

North-west Poland, on the coast, sandwiched between other (bigger) holiday resorts like Rewal or Pobierowo. It’s easy to get there by car, local narrow-gauge train or, if you’re adventurous, you can also go for a very long walk along the beach if you’re staying in any of the nearby resorts.

3. Why bother?

Several centuries ago the village of Trzęsacz had a church which was built right in the middle of it – some 2 kilometers from the sea. Over the centuries though the unstoppable process of coastal erosion has ‘swallowed’ much of the land separating Trzęsacz from the sea and by late 19th century the church was emptied of its fittings and artwork and was left to its own devices. The first part of the church collapsed into the sea at the beginning of the 20th century. Now only the southern wall survives – but it’s become a major tourist attraction in the area.

4. And you don’t want to miss…

The recently-built long viewing platform rises above the beach and allows you to admire the ruins from an elevated perspective, but hey, it’s a beach too! Jump into the sea or admire the sunset. It can be as spectacular as in the Med (the sunset, that is, not the sea itself). The whole area is also a heaven for extreme sports enthusiasts.

5. Want to know more?

You can find tourist information about Trzęsacz on Google, but if you want a detailed scientific analysis of the coastal processes in the area, have a look at the Messina Project which also contains very old images of the church before it collapsed into the sea.

 

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