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    Mikołaj Rej – the Father of Polish Literature

    Mikołaj Rej is often regarded as the “Father of Polish Literature” because of his pioneering work in establishing Polish as a literary language. He was the first to write in Polish only.

    “And let other nations know that the Poles are not geese; they have their own language”

    Mikołaj Rej (1505-1569) was a Polish Renaissance poet, playwright, and translator. He is considered one of the most important figures in Polish literature, as he is credited with the creation of the first Polish-language tragedy, “Żywot Józefa” (The Life of Joseph), in 1551. Rej also wrote several other plays, including “Rebelianci” (The Rebels) and “Golgota” (Golgotha).

    In addition to his plays, Rej also wrote poetry, including sonnets and other forms of lyrical verse. He was also a prolific translator, rendering works from Latin, German, and French into Polish.

    Rej’s contributions to Polish literature were significant in helping to establish the Polish language as a literary language, as prior to his works, Latin had been the dominant language of Polish literature. His works are still studied and celebrated in Poland today as an important part of the country’s cultural heritage.


    “In Nagłowice, where he lived, in a mansion dating from 1800 and erected by Kacper Walewski, there is a special memory chamber devoted to him. It shows the writer’s connections with the town as well as the importance of his work both for the literature and the whole Polish culture. In an old, English-style park surrounding the mansion, one can see some venerable oaks, which remember the times of the writer. Tourists who come to Nagłowice can find accommodation in the old interiors of the mansion.” (swietokrzyskie.travel)

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