The city that doesn't exist

Photos by Tomas Zadamowicz


Zygmuntów was founded in 17775 by Zygmunt Siemieński. It was located in the vicinity of Szydłowiec. Inhabited by only 60 people, yet the town still enjoyed many laws – to organise 12 fairs during a year being one of them. However, after 30 years it ceased to exist. What is even more intriguing is that no one knows what happened. According to the legends, the town vanished from the face of the earth or the people died of a plague, and the buildings were burnt down. To this day, the town is full of stories about ghosts that supposedly hunt the neighbourhood.

Empty fields and meadows are to be found where once Zygmuntów was. And only some parish registers of the adjacent village allow tracing down signs of the existence of this ghost town.

Still, it arouses interest in the residents of the nearby villages. The town is present in their minds; they think about it, they try to find the answer to the riddle of what happened there. As they believe, the objects that they uncover from time to time in their fields used to belong to the inhabitants of Zygmuntów. There is one family in the area, whose members can be the descendants of the ghost town residents; their last name bears an uncanny resemblance to the one mentioned in the parish registers.

The area of Zygmuntów reveals no traces of human inhabitancy. Only the memories passed to future generations survived. What I wanted to show in my material was precisely the sense of elusiveness, but also anxiety and fascination that I was filled with during time spent in the ghost town. I also wished to emphasise that a place that once was teeming with life has been devoured by nature and left with nothing.

Tomasz Adamowicz (b. 1987) based in Warsaw (Poland) Graduated Social Prevention and Rehabilitation at Warsaw University.
In the past 3 years has cooperated with FORUM Polish Agency of Photographers and Gazeta Polska Codziennie daily newspaper.

Co-author of Warsaw – „Faces of the City” exhibition in Green Gallery. Photographed Warsaw cafés with Tadeusz Rolke in 2010;
taken shots resulted in a „Social and emotional life 2010” exhibition. Won 1st prize in Grand Press Photo 2013 contest in category Environment. Interested mainly in news and documentary photography.













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