History

  • Picture: Remigiusz Józefowicz | <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en">CC BY-SA 2.5 </a>Picture: Remigiusz Józefowicz | CC BY-SA 2.5
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  • Picture: Robert Parma | <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>Picture: Robert Parma | CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Picture: Maatex | <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en">CC BY-SA 3.0 </a>Picture: Maatex | CC BY-SA 3.0
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  • Picture: moszna-zamek.plPicture: moszna-zamek.pl
  • Picture: orlegniazda.plPicture: orlegniazda.pl
  • Picture: czestochowa.plPicture: czestochowa.pl
  • Picture: kopalnia.plPicture: kopalnia.pl
  • Picture: auschwitz.orgPicture: auschwitz.org

History was (and still is) a crucial factor for Poland. All over the country you can see traces of the past - catles and palaces as well as old towns and churches are to be found behind every corner.

The city of Gdańsk is a true pearl of the former Hanseatic Union. Take a stroll along the Royal Route and let yourself be charmed by the astonishing 17th century facades of the burgher houses. Admire the majestic church of St Mary - the world's largest brick church - and do not miss the sophisticated construction of the harbour crane!

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Not long from Gdańsk one will find Malbork - a town known for the world''s largest brick castle. Even today constructing such a fortress would be a demanding challenge - the medieval masters deserve true respect. A visit to this place is absolutely unforgettable.

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Sometimes man and nature fight each other. A good example of such a conflict is the summer resort of Trzęsacz, where the waves have taken down allmost an entire gothic church. The only remaining wall is proof that we never can totally control nature.

trzesacz_w_3.jpgPicture: Remigiusz Józefowicz | CC BY-SA 2.5

If yu plan your trip according to the UNESCO-listed sites, then the city of Toruń should be high on your priority list. This fantastic structure of narrow streets, marketplaces, brick churches and burgher houses is usually associated with the famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus and with the local speciality - Polish gingerbreads.

torun-o-2.jpgPicture: fb.com/MiastoTorun

Faith and religion have always been of incredible importance for the Polish people. Not only are we talking about the predominant Catholicism. Góra Grabarka (the holy Grabarka hill) is the most important place of the Polish Orthodox faith. Pay a visit to this spiritual centre and take a break from the hectic everyday life.

grabarka_o_3.jpgPicture: grabarka.pl

Those who are seeking genuine historical experiences will fell like a fish in the sea in Warsaw. The Polish capital has it all - from the medieval town centre through the Royal Castle, Royal Baths and the Wlianów palace to the Warsaw uprising museum. The spirit of bygone days can easily be felt overall in Warsaw.

starowka-wwa-w-8.jpgPicture: Robert Parma | CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the most important Polish cities is Poznań. The city, being the capital of the agriculture and trade district of Wielkopolska (Greater Poland), has a great variety of things to offer. Visit the medieval cathedral on the Ostrów Tumski, stroll along the posh Ceasar District and afterwards just take it easy and order a cold pint from the local craft brewery and restaurant Brovaria.

poznan-w-4.jpgPicture: Kwolana | GFDL

Planned cities are usually great symbols of the times they were conceived in. Example needed? The city of Zamość is regarded as a perfect renaissance city, sometimes referred to as the Padua of the North. Take a stroll through the charming old town and end your promenade with a cup of (Italian!) coffee on the main square.

zamosc_o_1.jpgPicture: zamosc.pl

Just a stone's throw from the city of Wrocław, in the towns of Jawor and Świdnica, you'll find the so called Churches of Peace. These astonishing wooden temples have witnessed neither war nor fire - do not miss the amazing wall paintings and detailed sculptures!

kosciol_pokoju_o_2.jpgPicture: kosciolpokoju.pl

Posh, posh, posh - this is what the majority of visitors think of the castle in Moszna. Just a few numbers to enchant you: the palace consists of 365 rooms and on the roof one can count 99 towers. Take a walk in the surrounding park and afterwards follow on a guided tour of the palace. Time to feel like a real noblesman!

moszna_o_2.jpgPicture: moszna-zamek.pl

In the southern part of Poland you'll find astonishing castles and castle ruins. These mighty stone fortresses were built in the medieval times in order to protect the country from the war-seeking neighbours. Today the castles are accessible as either picturesque ruins or functioning attractions. Due to their fantastic location on tops of hills and mountains they are referred to as the Eagles' Nests.

orle_gniazda_o_1.jpgPicture: orlegniazda.pl

If you happen to be talking about Polish catholicism, it's impossible ot miss the city of Częstochowa and the monastery on the Jasna Góra. It is here the unique image of the Black Madonna is located - the painting is said to have miraculous properties. Almost every day of the year the monastery is crowded with pilgrims - even various professions have their own days for pilgrimage!

czwa_jasna_gora_o_1.jpgPicture: czestochowa.pl

The Royal City of Kraków... The previous Polish capital is a renowned destination in this part of Europe. Visit the castle on the Wawel Hill to see traces of the bygone days. Stroll on the enormous market square and visit the mighty Church of St. Mary. Round up the day with a good supper in the former Jewish district of Kazimierz. Kraków is a real must!

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Just a stone's throw from Kraków you'll find a true wonder - the salt mine of Wieliczka. The heart of the mine is the Chapel of St. Kinga - a spacious room with walls and ceiling made entirely of salt. Admire the fantastic salt sculptures and feel yorself like a medieval miner!

wieliczka_o_5.jpgPicture: kopalnia.pl

However even places of tragical past can be fund in Poland. The former concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in the town of Oświęcim near Kraków is probably the most tragic example. Here people have been murdered on an industrial scale. A visit to the camp leaves nobody untouched - but such places are to be preserved for the future generations.

osiwecim_o_1.jpgPicture: auschwitz.org

Poland is a country where the old meets the new - this mixture can be seen in all regions, towns and cities. Discover how fascinating the Polish history can be!

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