Bünnewitz - Buniewice

   Bünnewitz was the village I was most anxious to see, since my earliest known LUCK ancestors showed up there at the end of the 17th century.  I knew most of the oldest buildings had already been destroyed when the village was still German, so I wasn't expecting to see much.  What was important was walking the same ground they walked, and I certainly got to do that.

   The main road comes in from the east, and at the edge of town changes from asphalt to hexagonal concrete cobbles.  Right at that point I was surprised to find a small prison.  Since I'm a retired Corrections Officer I went in, introduced myself and "flashed tin".  I got to take a tour and hang out with the boys for a while.  Very informative.  For one thing, I think I found out why some people responded a little strangely when I first took off my hat and introduced myself.  In this jail the first thing they do with an inmate is shave his head, and I wear the same haircut.  The jail itself is an extremely grim little place, with none of the amenities, for both staff or inmates, we've come to expect in American corrections.  They told me pictures were forbidden, and the one I took from the road didn't come out, so I've got nothing to show here.

    Between the jail and the town itself a dirt road leads off to the right labeled "Glaz".  This led to the "royal stone", which has become one of the symbols for Kamien (Pictures 1 and 2 ).

    The northern part of town is taken up by an "Agregat" company (the brown rectangle on the map below).  They seem to have fallen on hard times.  Most of the buildings are empty, there were two tractors and two old trucks in the yard, but the office was closed and there wasn't much evidence of traffic.

    On the main east-west road I met a man called "Radach" who had the proverbial "cousin in Chicago" and spoke a little English and German.  I went with him to the Sklep (Picture 18), where there were four elderly women hanging out.  With Radach's help I was able to ask quite a few questions.  According to them: the concrete road cobbles were pre-war (and they're in amazing shape); the old school house had been converted to a private home two years ago;  the present school is in the old 'Große Haus', the apartment building built for the old cement factory workers (my picture of that did not come out); the only working farm still left is the one south of the Kanal (Pictures 14 and 15); although there's only the one farm, livestock sales are still held a few times a year at the stock ring across the street from the Sklep in the village pasture (another picture that didn't come out); the biggest employer in town is the jail; and there aren't any boats in the village anymore.  Of course, I don't know how much of that is true, or even if I correctly understood everything they were telling me.  

Bünnewitz map

Click on any image to see it full size 

1Bünnewitz 1  

This is what you actually see when you approach the Glaz.  It's just visible through the brush at the lower right-hand corner of the sign, at the bottom of a twenty foot bluff.
2Bünnewitz 2
After climbing down the bluff you get a view more like what's in the tourist brochures.  If you're tempted to wade out there, beware of broken glass.  This seems to be a popular place for drinking and there're lots of broken bottles in the silt.
3Bünnewitz 3
4Bünnewitz 4
5Bünnewitz 5
6Bünnewitz 6
7Bünnewitz 7
 The former schoolhouse, now a private home
8Bünnewitz 8
9Bünnewitz 9
 The main north-south street, looking south.  The present school is at the end of the row of houses, where the large chimney stands.
10Bünnewitz 10
 There's a large house just visible in the center of this picture (once the Beier/Trapp house) but two little terriers kept me from getting closer)
11Bünnewitz 11  
This should be the entrance to the former Kleyer house.  This time a german shepherd kept me out.

12Bünnewitz 12  
Some sort of academy has been set up here on the north side of the Kanal.
13Bünnewitz 13  
What's left of the old Kanal

14Bünnewitz 14  
This is supposed to be the last working farm in Bünnewitz (I believe it was once the Vollbrecht farm)

15Bünnewitz 15
16Bünnewitz 16  
The back road to Gristow

17Bünnewitz 17  
Looking across the village pasture from the Sklep to the old school

18Bünnewitz 18  
The village Sklep.  Not a big inventory, but a great place to meet the locals

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