Poland

Poland has a long coast on the Baltic Sea and is largely dominated by low-lying rolling plains in the north. To the south, the Carpathian Mountains form a watershed and natural border with Slovakia.

 

It was the birthplace of the former Soviet bloc's first officially recognised independent mass political movement when strikes at the Gdansk shipyard in August 1980 led to agreement with the authorities on the establishment of the Solidarity trade union. Poland is also a land of considerable natural beauty, whose idyllic lakes, beaches and mountains provide a nice contrast to the cultural rigours of the cities.

Malbork Castle (Muzeum Zamkowe w Malborku)

Castle in Malbork was built from red brick, along the river Nogat, on a flat surface of ca. 8000 with the smaller Middle Castle inside and still smaller High Castle built on a hill, on a rectangle surface of 60x80m. The construction began in 1275. Malbork has been since 1309 the capital of The Teutonic Order Of Holy Mary in Jerusalem. 

Malbork Castle (Muzeum Zamkowe w Malborku)

Malbork was taken by the Polish army in 1475 and became one of the residences of Kings of Poland until 1772, when it was taken by the Kingdom of Prussia, to be devastated in the years after. 

Malbork Castle (Muzeum Zamkowe w Malborku)

The Malbork castle has been constantly reconstructed, under the guidance of several important German architects, with the best work done by the team of the historian Konrad Steibrecht in the years 1882-1921. 

Auschwitz (Oswiecim)

The Auschwitz complex was divided in three major camps: Auschwitz I main camp or Stammlager; Auschwitz II, or Birkenau, established on October 8th, 1941 as a 'Vernichtungslager' (extermination camp); Auschwitz III or Monowitz, established on May 31th, 1942 as an 'Arbeitslager' or work camp; also several sub-camps. There were up to seven gas chambers using Zyklon-B poison gas and three crematoria. 

Auschwitz (Oswiecim)

Auschwitz II included a camp for new arrivals and those to be sent on to labor elsewhere; a Gypsy camp; a family camp; a camp for holding and sorting plundered goods and a women's camp. Auschwitz III provided slave labor for a major industrial plant run by I G Farben for producing synthetic rubber.

Auschwitz (Oswiecim)

Warsaw Royal Castle (Zamek Krolewski)

The former residence of Polish kings and the seat of the Sejm of the Two Nations Republic. The classicist era marked the castle’s heyday in the 18th century, during the reign of King Stanislaw August Poniatowski.

Warsaw Royal Castle (Zamek Krolewski)

Destroyed during World War II by the Nazis, the palace has been restored thanks to the efforts of the entire nation; the interior decoration features salvaged works of art from the old Castle.During the WWII, Germans have methodically destroyed the Royal Castle. Now the castle is fully rebuilt with an effort of many Poles in the country and abroad.

Warsaw Royal Castle (Zamek Krolewski) in light

Great Barbican

Krakow's main city gate, Brama Florianska, was made insurmountable in the beginning of the l6th century thanks to Europe's mightiest barbican.The circular marvel of military architecture surrounds space 24.4 meter in diameter and three meters in width.There are 130 loopholes in four rows: the upper for archers and riflemen, the lower for the artillery. In the past the Barbican was surrounded by a 30 metres wide moat, which is now filled up.

Great Barbican

The circular marvel of military architecture surrounds space 24.4 meter in diameter. Its high walls are three meters thick. The awesome structure, topped with seven turrets, has 130 loopholes in four rows: the lower to be used by artillery, the upper for archers and riflemen. 

Great Barbican

Krakow Old Town

Any exploration of Kraków’s Old Town should start with the ‘Royal Route’ – the historical coronation path of the Polish kings when Kraków served as the royal capital from the 14th century to the very end of the 16th century. Most of the Old Town’s prime sights lay along this route from the Florianska Gate to Wawel Castle. 

Krakow Old Town

For many of less noble lineage, however, the route begins at Kraków’s train station, a walk from which to the main market square is among the most regal and awe-inspiring introductions to any city in Europe.

Krakow Old Town

Jasna Gora Monastery

The Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa, Poland is the most popular Marian site located in Eastern Europe. The complex was built in stages over the better part of two hundred and fifty years.  The main basilica is closely hedged in by the surrounding buildings, but the signature steeple tower is very visible, and as the tallest such structure in Poland dominates the monastery and the nearby town.

Jasna Gora Monastery

Jasna Gora has been the most accessible major Catholic shrine in an area largely isolated from the rest of Catholic Europe by the Protestant churches in Germany and Bohemia and the Orthodox Church in Russia and the Ukraine.Because of this, a pilgrimage to see the monastery’s famous Icon of the Black Madonna became the alternative of choice for those in Eastern Europe who could not make it to other Catholic holy sites in the west. 

Jasna Gora Monastery

The monastery's treasury is a rich storehouse of votive offerings given to the Black Madonna over the centuries, from the 14th century to the present. Gifts range from swords and scepters to rosaries made of dried bread in concentration camps.

Jasna Gora Monastery

Kings, queens and popes have donated a vast array of precious objects, such as King Michael Korybut Wiśniowiecki and the Archduchess Eleanor of Austria on the occasion of their wedding in Jasna Góra in 1670. 

Every day, from early in the morning to late in the evening, a stready stream of pilgrims approaches the shrine of Częstochowa via the tree-lined main avenue. Pilgrims wear badges with the name of their town and a number showing how many times they have come on pilgrimage to Częstochowa. 

Wawel Royal Castle (Zamek Wawelski)

The Wawel Royal Castle proved to be a paragon of stately residence in Central and Eastern Europe and served widely as a model throughout the region. Its magnificent arcaded courtyard of great dimensions and immaculate proportions formed the ideal setting for tournaments and various court events. 

Wawel Royal Castle (Zamek Wawelski)

A guided tour through the exquisitely decorated Renaissance interiors is an experience steeped in history and legend. Once you've seen the famous Szczerbiec, a sword once used to crown Polish monarchs, in the Crown Treasury and Armoury, you may proceed to the Dragon's Den, the legendary home of a fire-spitting creature said to have wreaked havoc among the townsfolk and appeased only if a young girl was left in front of its cave once a month.

Wawel Royal Castle (Zamek Wawelski)

Wawel Castle combines Romanesque and Gothic. In the sixteenth century it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style. Visible from afar castle on the Vistula river inspires admiration and realizes how important it is to know the history of their own country.  

Wawel Royal Castle (Zamek Wawelski)

Pauline Monastery in Czestochowa

The Pauline Monastery on the Jasna Góra Hill is undoubtedly one of the three major  Roman Catholic pilgrimage center across the world. It enshrines the miraculous icon of the Blessed Mother and Child Jesus, which came to symbolize the spiritual core of the nation and whose holy quality is embraced in myriad legends. 

Pauline Monastery in Czestochowa

The most striking example of an event when the Black Madonna came to the aid of her people was recorded in1920, when the Soviet Russian Red Army gathered on the banks of the Vistula River with the intention of conquering Warsaw.

Pauline Monastery in Czestochowa

Slowinski National Park

Slowinski National park on the Baltic Coast of Poland is famous for its shifting sand dunes that move 10 meters per year, pushed by wind. Some of the dunes get very high. The highest dune rises more than 40 meters above sea level. The moving sands leave stumps of dead behind them.

Slowinski National Park

Embracing the most pristine part of the Baltic southern coast, its forests, plant cover, miscellaneous fauna and inspiring landscapes, the Slowinski National Park has been drawn on the World List of Biosphere Reserves, and one can hardly wonder why. 

Slowinski National Park

The park is perhaps most famous for its picturesque sand dunes, the biggest in Europe, which change shape, grow, and move with the wind. Roll down this golden slide, catch a glimpse of yourself in the 4 sparkling coastal lakes, and watch eagles draw circles above your head.

Slowinski National Park

Polish Jura Chain (Jura Krakowsko-Czestochowska)

Polish Jura Chain is situated in the south-central part of Poland. Jurassic landscape is very diversified. You will find there limestone rocks, caves, hills and valleys as well as extensive panoramas and sandy dunes. 

Polish Jura Chain (Jura Krakowsko-Czestochowska)

Get ready for multiple attractions as the area of Jura abounds in things to do. For those who opt for a little bit of physical workout, the region offers numerous biking trails and rock-climbing spots both for beginners and more experienced climbers.

Polish Jura Chain (Jura Krakowsko-Czestochowska)

The climate of the upland differs significantly from the surrounding area. The snowpack covers the area for 80 days a year and the rainy season lasts from April until September. Annual precipitation varies between 650–700 mm, higher than in surrounding regions, the median temperature is lower, from 0.5 to 1.0°C. Average temperature is 19°C in summer and -3°C in winter. Apart from a diversity of plant and animal species, one can find a unique cultural landscape with archaeological objects and relics of ancient inhabitation, with a vast collection of artefacts.

Polish Jura Chain (Jura Krakowsko-Czestochowska)

Warsaw Rising Museum

The Warsaw Rising Museum is one of the most visited places in Warsaw. Opened on the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of fighting in the city, it is a tribute to those who fought and died for a free Poland and its capital. 

Warsaw Rising Museum

Visitors freeze on hearing the sounds of battle and heart beats emanating from the central highlight of the museum - an ordinary wall that in its mediocrity aptly captures the brute force and the human dimension of the Warsaw Uprising. The undertaking is there to portray the triumph of the Polish spirit over the ultimate futility of resistance subdued by the greatly outnumbering Nazi forces. 

Warsaw Rising Museum

Ksiaz Castle

The castle we see today took shape during the 16th century, when the central tower, walls and ramparts were added to the original building of the ducal seat, which was itself greatly extended. 

Ksiaz Castle

The castle we see today took shape during the 16th century, when the central tower, walls and ramparts were added to the original building of the ducal seat, which was itself greatly extended. 

Ksiaz Castle

The main tower, with its amazing views of the grounds and gardens, is only open to those who sign on for a guided tour.Best of all, however, is simply exploring the multi-level gardens and terraces, amongst the finest in Poland. If time allows, you should also visit the stables of the castle’s famed stud, which puts on dressage shows and rents horses for riding, as well as offering riding lessons.

Ksiaz Castle

Ksiaz Castle

Ksiaz Castle

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Feeling like exploring something? If yes, head for Wieliczka, the famed Polish salt mine. Not less magnificent than the Egyptian pyramids they say, the mine opens its subterranean realm of labyrinthine passages, underground lakes and enormous caverns right in front of your eyes. Let yourself marvel at the rich ornamentation in the salt rock as well as salt sculptures and even chandeliers filling the chambers with dim light.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

The mine is a product of work of tens of generations of miners, a monument to the history of Poland and to the Polish nation  a brand, present in Polish consciousness for centuries. Today, the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine combines many centuries of tradition and modernity, the history of several hundred years and an underground metropolis with extensive infrastructure. 

Wieliczka Salt Mine

From the outside, Wieliczka Salt Mine doesn’t look extraordinary. It looks extremely well kept for a place that hasn’t minded any salt for over ten years but apart from that it looks ordinary. However, over two hundred meters below ground it holds an astonishing secret. This is the salt mine that became an art gallery, cathedral and underground lake.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

The uniqueness of the underground space attracts a variety of thrill seekers. In the largest room accessible to visitors, with a soaring, 100-foot ceiling, the first ever underground balloon flight took place. 

Wieliczka Salt Mine

The mine’s large underground lake once was an unlikely playground for an adventurous windsurfer, who glided along the water propelled by a giant fan. Even the chandeliers casting a golden glow on many of the rooms are made from rock salt.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

The largest of the chapels took three men the course of 67 years to decorate, chiselling and sculpting artwork from the salt. Today it has large chandeliers hanging from the roof and can be used for weddings and other ceremonies.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

The largest of the chapels took three men the course of 67 years to decorate, chiselling and sculpting artwork from the salt. Today it has large chandeliers hanging from the roof and can be used for weddings and other ceremonies.

Tatra National Park

With its headquarters in the bustling town of Zakopane, Tatra National Park is where the most precious, natural Polish riches find tranquil refuge. Embracing the only mountains of alpine type, which rise steeply from a high plateau and extend for approximately 64 km along the Slovakian-Polish border, the park features a diversified relief with height differences up to 1,700 m, mesmerizing streams, marvellous lakes, and myriad species of fauna and flora.

Tatra National Park

The climate here is that of mountains in the temperate zone, and there are marked high-mountain features. Snow covers the higher slopes, ridges and peaks for 7-8 months of the year and a strong (warm) föhn-type wind called the halny blows at regular intervals.

Tatra National Park

There are 275 km of marked tourist trails located in the Tatra National Park(established in 1954 and covers an area of 21,197 hectares), with various degrees of difficulty from very easy to extremely difficult ones, fitted with safety equipment, such as chains, iron steps or rope ladders. 

Tatra National Park

The best-known animals are the brown bear, chamois, alpine marmot, lynx and golden eagle. While spruce is the dominant tree, there are also beeches, firs and arolla pines. A typical Tatra plant, uniquely forming its own vegetational layer here, is the dwarf mountain pine, while besides it we may find various gentians, edelweiss and crocuses. 

Tatra National Park

One of the main tourist attractions in the Tatra Mountains is the cable railway on Kasprowy Wierch that was constructed in 1936.  It is the oldest such construction in Poland and the 60th in the world. 

Holy Cross Church

The Holy Cross is a Roman Catholic Church and one of the most notable Baroque twin tower churches in Warsaw. It was built in the late 17th century, to replace an old and small wooden chapel. As you enter the church above you will see Christ carrying his cross. 

Holy Cross Church

One of the draw-card for the tourist is Frederick Chopin heart placed in an urn inside the church located on the left hand side wall. During the 1944 Warsaw Uprising battles were fought inside the church and the church was badly damaged. The church was rebuilt after the war. The interior was well restored in its original style and contains many famous graves, including a shrine with the heart Frederic Chopin.

Holy Cross Church

The figure of Christ carrying the holy cross is the landmark of the church. This bronze figure was found after the war amidst the rubble with its finger pointing to heaven.

Holy Cross Church

Throughout history the church has played its role in Warsaw’s glories and calamities. It was here that the last Polish King forged the Order of the Knights of St Stanislaus, and it was directly outside in 1861 that Russian troops brutally suppressed a patriotic protest. It was this bloodbath that lit the touch paper for the January Uprising of that year. 

 

Over the course of time, the church structure was demolished and rebuilt several times.  For many polish people this church is a symbol of the fallen Warsaw that was rebuilt.

Lazienki Palace (Palac Lazienkowski)

The Royal Lazienki Museum in Warsaw consists of a palace and garden complex, which stretches within the area of nearby 80 hectares.

Lazienki Palace (Palac Lazienkowski)

The origins of Lazienki date back to the of the 17th century. In 1764 Ujazdów became the property of Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski, the last king of Poland, who established his summer residence here and gave it its general appearance. During the partitions of Poland, when the Lazienki were taken over by the tsar’s court. 

Lazienki Palace (Palac Lazienkowski)

The Belveder was reconstructed and several pavilions, also in classicist style were built.Today, the Royal Lazienki Residence fulfils functions of a museum and the garden, being visited by a throng of tourists from the country and the entire world, at the same time serving as a splendid promoter of culture. The park is not only a must see venue for the tourists, but also the favorite Sunday destination for the Varsovians.

Lazienki Palace (Palac Lazienkowski)

Lazienki park

The Łazienki Park is the biggest park in Warsaw . The park is located in the district Śródmieście on the Aleje Ujazdowskie , the southern part of the Warsaw Royal Route , which leads to the Royal Castle. Without question it is one of the most beautiful park. 

Lazienki Park

The garden was created by the 17th century Tylman van Gameren. Compared to the old town area, the buildings in the park were saved from most of the destruction that the rest of the city suffered during war. The castle itself, while appearing to float on the water is actually located on an artificial island on the Łazienki lake, which is connected by two arcaded bridges to the mainland. 

Lazienki Park

This majestic looking fellow is John III Sobieski, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Famous and highly regarded around Europe, the King led the combined forces of Poland-Austria-Germania against the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Vienna. It was well known as his valour that the Ottomans named him the "Lion of Lechistan" and he was held as saviour of European Christianity by the Pope.

Lazienki park -John III Sobieski Monument

Lazienki park John III Sobieski Monument