It is said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I wondered about this old proverb when we walked a muddy road leading to an abandoned church located in a heart of a Polish town. This road, paved with long forgotten headstones of long forgotten people was laid so that the community could join together in faith and remember those who are lost. It was Easter and practically all the churches were packed with families and even small towns seemed busy to us, when we saw gatherings of people wandering to local churches. This church was an exception.
Headstones were grumbling and collecting moss. A partly fallen old stone wall with beautiful ornaments circled the area containing Roman style faces and figures. According to what we could understand, professors and wealthy merchants were buried here, but the reason for it’s abandonment remained a mystery to us. This cemetery wasn’t the first, and probably won’t be last abandoned one for us. Cemeteries surely have an original atmosphere surrounding them and visiting one in such a state made us more compassionate towards the classic idea that these places have a special status in folklore, myths, and ghost stories.
The church welcomed us with open doors. Inside, all was lost. No sign of benches or bibles were visible and the choir balcony had collapsed. A preposterous pentagram had been spray-painted to the wall. Windows had been broken and a couple seasons would probably bring the place to the ground. It reminded us of similar places we’d seen in the Baltic countries. Large cemetery parks populated with old beautiful mausoleums and churches in disarray. These were sad, yet strangely interesting places and we could understand the hobby by tombstone tourists, or taphophilia. Who knows what kind of personalities, scientists or artists are resting here and what kind of stories are lost forever.