Where to go further?

Kazimierz Dolny

- an extremely charming small town made famous by writers and painters who spend holidays and weekends here, both before the war and nowadays. The ruins of a Gothic castle tower over the town situated on the bank of the Wisła. At the foot of the castle, the Renaissance parish church stands next to the town square. The buildings surrounding it have magnificent, richly decorated facades.

Lublin

- the biggest city in central eastern Poland is an important academic centre. Lublin has a Catholic university which operated even during communism, and offered a refuge for people expelled from state universities for political reasons. Before the war, there was also a Jewish university there. To get to the most beautiful and interesting part of the city, the Old Town, one goes through Krakówska Gate; a symbol of the town. As a part of a castle is the 14th-century Trinity Chapel with its stunning wall paintings. A once detached city district, Majdanek, became a German concentration camp in 1941. About 360,000 people perished there. While in Lublin, it is worth going to the nearby palace in Kozłówka, once the Zamojski family house, now a collection of communist art, monuments, paintings, etc.

Zamość

- the best-preserved Renaissance town in Europe. Jan Zamojski, the Great Crown Chancellor and Hetman, one of the most powerful magnates, was the founder and owner of Zamość. The Great Square is surrounded by richly decorated houses, and the town has been divided into quarters destined for a number of different ethnic groups – Jews, Armenians, Ukrainians, etc. The town used to be a fortress, and most of its fortifications have been preserved.

Mikołajki

- summer capital of the Mazury Lake District, and its main harbour and marina. Most of the lakes are linked by rivers and canals. The ecosystem is extremely rich in rare plants and birds. In addition to enjoying them, one can go to see human creations such as St. Lipka, one of the most important of Our Lady’s sanctuaries, Gierłoż – the Wolf’s Lair – Hitler’s headquarters built in 1940, or Reszel – a Gothic castle of local bishops.

Augustów

- a tourist resort located in an extremely picturesque and wild corner of Poland. The most beautiful kayak route leads through Augustowska Forest along the Hańcza River and the Augustów canal built at the beginning of the 19th century. If you are not a keen canoeist. you can take a ship. South of Augustów, there is the Biebrza National Park with a great complex of marshlands and turf with very rich bird life (over 260 species).

Białowieska Forest

- a huge natural forest complex of 1,000 square miles, the last such large area in Europe. Most of this forest lies in Belarus; the Polish section is protected by a National Park. Numerous species of animals and plants live there (over 11,000). The most well-known are the bison – Europe’s largest mammals. 35 miles south of Białowieża lies Grabarka – a place of pilgrimage for many Russian orthodox believers. The slopes of nearby hills are covered with votive crosses.

 

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