On 21-22 September, the project partners – the Municipality City of Rzeszów and the City of Stropkov had a pleasure to welcome interested guests from the Polish-Slovak borderland at the historical festival “In the Footsteps of Austria-Hungary”. The aim of the event was to promote the history and culture of this area, as well as the benefits of cross-border cooperation between the cities.
On the first day of the festival, a scientific conference was held and its participants had a chance to deepen their knowledge of the history of Rzeszów and Stropkov in the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Galician Rzeszów on photographs was presented by Małgorzata Jarosińska – the author of albums devoted to the history of Rzeszów, a volunteer at the Museum of Scouting in Warsaw. The history of Galician autonomy was explained by Tadeusz Ochenduszko, Ph.D., historian, author of historical books, and an academic columnist. Among the speakers, there were also the Slovak enthusiast of the borderland history Ľuboslav Šmajda, a history teacher and OKE examiner Marcin Świętoń, who spoke about the attitudes of the community of Junior High School No. 1 in Rzeszów towards the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the co-founder of the Military History of Beskidy Club Martin Drobňák, who illustrated the possibilities of using military history in tourism development.
22 September was the festival day of artistic-cultural events. Despite the unfavourable weather, the Lubomirski Castle’s moat held the presentations by reenactment groups from Przemyśl, Sandomierz and Gorlice. Their members presented the uniforms and military equipment of troops from the time of the Empire, and told interesting stories about military activities undertaken until 1918 in the area of the Polish-Slovak borderland. The participants of the event were eager to see the military camp created on this occasion, where there they had a chance to taste delicious soups – the traditional military “grochówka” (pea soup) and “żurek” (sour rye soup) in a field kitchen. The festival guests were also able to taste coffee and tea prepared in a historical samovar – identical to those once used by soldiers to prepare their drinks. Subsequently, there were historical games, demonstrations of military equipment and artistic shows. The participants received interesting materials and gadgets created within the project, such as backpacks, torches, binoculars or the Guidebook to the trail “In the Footsteps of Austria-Hungary” (Przewodnik po szlaku “Śladami Austro-Węgier”).