Kacwin, Poland

Picture of Kacwin's parish church.

Off the main road between Lapsze Nizne and Niedzica Castle in Polish Spisz is Kacwin, Poland. It is an isolated village very near the Polish/Slovak border. Before 1920 it was actually a Slovak village named "Kacvin". But it started in the 14th century as a Germanic village named "Katzenwinkle" -- the meaning of which is literally "cat's whisker".
Kacwin's population of less than 1200 makes a living mostly from farming the steep hillsides along the Kacwin brook that runs through the village. There is also a 200-year-old mill and a waterfall near the village center. On the far edge of town next to the Slovak border fence is a small Polish army outpost. The tall peaks of the Tatra mountains are very close here.
The small Baroque-style church in the village was originally built in the early 1400s soon after the town was settled. It is a Roman Catholic church known as "All Saints Church". Many of the headstones in the nearby cemetery still have German-sounding names on them.

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