Kruty – a village on the picturesque Krutynia River – the most beautiful canoeing trail in Poland and, as some say, in Europe.
In the south of the Mragowo district, among the extensive forests of Masuria which are part of the Pisz Forest, you can find a place called Krutyn, hidden in the forest far away from cities. Krutyn – a village situated in a picturesque area on the Krutynia River. All along the Krutynia River, on its both banks, there are deciduous trees that cast their shadows on its smooth water surface. The depth of the Krutynia River on average is 65 cm. The floor of the river is overgrown with waterweed and water lilies. The shores are sandy and easy to reach. In spring there are lots of fish and crayfish in it so it is a place for relaxation and pleasure for those indulging in fishing or water sports. Along the river runs a beautiful alley sheltered in the shade of trees. The village of Krutyn is surrounded by a mixed forest, mostly with oaks. Thanks to its location, Krutyn is a holiday resort.” This beautiful description of Krutyn comes from a school chronicle from 1957 year.
The name of the village of Krutyn comes from the river whose official name is Krutynia. In Naronski’s map from 1663 year it is called Krutynia. The name comes from the old Prussian language – the language was related to the Lithuanian language.
The name means „a swift and winding river” and not „short” as some wrongly etymologise.
Krutyn dates back to the dim and distant past. It was created by the Grand Teutonic Master, Friedrich of Meissen, approximately in 1500 year as a defence borderland watchtower in the forest then belonging to the Sehesten [Szestno] administration. The watchtower was later rebuilt and became a small castle in which Prince Albrecht hid during the outbreak of plague in Prussia in 1527 year. The castle can also be found on the map of Prussia by Hennenberger from 1576 year. In 1620 George William came there several times. He was a guest there also in 1621, twice in 1627 and in 1629. It was during the the Thirty Years’ War which also took place in the area of Brandenburg. The castle in Krutyn was also mentioned then in 1674.
Around 1651, the castle was the seat of the forest inspector whose function was the supervision of all the forests in the Sehesten [Szestno] district. At that time, the exploitation of the forest became more intensive in order to increase the national income. Numerous wood-distilling works and potash manufactures were created then. Near the seat of the forest inspector, a small settlement was established and was inhabited by lumberjacks, sawyers, pitch burners and other forest workers.
Later, only about 1751, Grzegorzewski, a steelworker, was ordered to open a glassworks on the Krytunia River. It only existed till 1776. It was called the Krutynia Glasshouse, which was later a village called Stara Ukta.
In 1782 the settlement of Krutyn still was the seat of the forest inspector and his subordinates and had 16 homesteads. Nearby, there was also Krutynska Karczma with 1 homestead and farther down the river there was Krutynski Piecek with 3 homesteads.
In 1818 Krutyn had 27 homesteads and 151 inhabitants, Krutynski Piecek – 7 homesteads and 33 inhabitants and Krutynska Szklarnia [later called Stara Ukta] – 30 homesteads and 299 inhabitants.
All the mentioned villages were later separated from the forest administration and recognised as independent political communes. Krutyn and Krutynski Piecek became independent in 1874 and Ukta [Old and New Ukta] a little earlier in 1806.]
In 1939 Krutyn had 436 inhabitants.
In 1934 Krutyn was visited by Melchior Wankowicz who was spending his holidays in Masuria with his daughter Tirliporek, which was described in his novel „Na tropach Smetka” [Tracking Smetek].
In Krutyn lived Karol Mallek (1898-1969), a Masurian writer and folklore researcher, who recorded many customs associated with the harvest festival and the Masurian „jutrznia na gody” which were the equivalent of nativity plays known all over Poland. Mallek is the author of the novels „Dab nad Mukrem” [An oak on the Mukr] and „2 Mazur do Verdun” [2nd Masurian to Verdun].
Krutynia River and Krutyn Lake
Probably the most beautiful places in Masuria are on the Krutynia River (about 100 km long) which forms a popular canoeing trails along with 17 lakes. The trail begins in Warpuny Lake in Mragowo Lakeland and goes through morainal hills to Krutyn Lake where the proper Krutynia River flows out. The river flows through the Pisz Forest and flows into Beldany Lake. A picturesque nature path leads to the lake and runs along the shore of the winding Krutynia River. High shores are covered with old pines and oaks which form a green tunnel over the path. The path is 4 km long. The lake and a part of the river are part of the the Krutynia reserve (273 ha) in which there are wet-ground forests (forests with hornbeam trees mainly) and moxed forests. The following water plants are a curosity: freshwater sponge and red algae.
On the shallow Krutyn Lake(55 ha) with regular shores and an oblong shapre, yellow water lilies bloom in spring.