The architectural appearance of Polish cities is very diverse – these are Gothic churches, and castles of the Renaissance, and pompous palace and park complexes in the style of classicism. They are full of wonderful historical monuments – evidence of the clash of different directions of Western and Eastern cultures. The largest cities in Poland are Warsaw, Krakow, Poznan, Lodz, Wroclaw. In addition to them, there are many small towns in the country that deserve no less attention.
According to Top-mba-universities, Warsaw is the capital of Poland, its economic, scientific and cultural center, the largest railway junction of international importance and an important tourist center. Almost all of the city’s sights are on the left bank, while most of the right bank is occupied by a trendy district called Prague. The original core of modern Warsaw is Stare Miasto (Old Town). Almost all monuments of history and architecture are concentrated here. One of the most beautiful parks in Warsaw is Lazienki Park. Numerous monuments of history and culture are located on the territory of the park – the Lazienki Palace, often called the “Palace on the Water”, several smaller palaces, pavilions, an amphitheater and two greenhouses, which are also noteworthy.
AT There are 43 museums in Warsaw, the largest of which is the National Museum, which stores monuments of Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman culture, a huge collection of Polish and European paintings.
Krakow is the former capital of Poland and one of the most beautiful European cities. Visitors to Krakow are most attracted by its rich traditions, beautiful monuments, world-class cultural events. The main attractions of the city are Wawel, the historical residence of kings, St. Mary’s Church, the market, the Royal Road. Krakow’s museums, dedicated to a wide variety of topics, deserve special attention.
Poznan is the capital of Wielkopolska, a historical region where the Polish state was created more than a thousand years ago. Currently, Poznan is one of the most important industrial, commercial, cultural, scientific and tourist centers of the country. It is worth seeing Tumsky Island with churches of the 13th – 15th centuries, the Old Town with the Market, the Town Hall and houses of the 16th – 19th centuries. In Poznań there is also a water sports center, a park “Malta” and a sports and recreation center “Malta-ski”. Music lovers from many countries of the world come to Poznań for the Heinrich Wieniawski Violin Competition, as well as to listen to the Poznań Nightingales chamber choir.
Lodz is the second largest city in the country. Since the 19th century large textile factories, workers’ quarters, mansions of manufacturers and palaces surrounded by parks have been preserved here, forming the largest architectural complex in Poland in the Art Nouveau style. It is interesting to see the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe (40 sq. km.), the Museum of Art, the Museum of the History of the City of Lodz, the White Factory of Ludwik Geiler, the administration of the Lodz University of Technology, the Poznański Palace, the Cathedral of St. Kostka, the Petersi House, the largest old building in Europe the industrial complex of Poznański and many other monuments of history and architecture.
Wroclaw – the largest industrial, commercial, scientific, cultural and tourist center in the southwestern part of the country. For centuries the city was part of the Kingdom of Bohemia, Poland, Austria-Hungary, Prussia and Germany. Traces of those times remained in urban areas and in cemeteries where Protestants, Catholics and Jews are buried. The oldest part of the city is Ostrow Tumski, where numerous cathedrals and churches of the 12th-15th centuries attract attention. The city itself is located on the other side of the Odra. As in most other cities, its center is the Market with the Town Hall. Around the market there are ancient stone houses and churches.
Lublin – one of the oldest cities in the country with a rich history, known since the 10th century and located a little away from the main tourist routes. Particularly interesting here are the old winding streets, medieval fortifications and towers, the Holy Trinity Chapel (1418) and the Lublin Castle (XIII-XIX centuries), which now houses a wonderful museum. It is worth visiting the Catholic University of Lublin (Poland ‘s oldest private university), wander around the Old Town, visit the Krakow Gate (XIV century, now the city historical museum is here). Also of interest are the baroque Lublin Cathedral (1596), the Town Hall (XIV-XVIII centuries), the Trinity Tower (XIX century) with the Museum of Religious Art and the circular panorama of Lublin, the Market Square with the courthouse (XVI century) and many old buildings. To the south-east of Lublin lies a sad monument of history – the second largest concentration “death camp” in Europe, Majdanek, in which more than 360 thousand prisoners died.
Czestochowa is one of the largest pilgrimage centers in the country and even in the world due to the icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Black Madonna located in it. It is kept in the Pauline Monastery on Yasnaya Gure. The legend ascribes the authorship of the icon to the Evangelist Luke, who painted it in Nazareth, on the top of a table from the house of the Holy Family. The monastery complex on Yasnaya Gora is over 600 years old. This is a magnificent architectural monument, where works of art and objects of past centuries are stored. From the monastery hill you can see the main street of Czestochowa – the alley of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which goes through the whole city. Every evening, a bell ringing is heard from YasnaGura, which calls the faithful to a common prayer on the field near the monastery. Numerous pilgrims end the day with it.
Gdynia is a port city on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Unlike many other cities along the north coast where German colonists lived for a long time, Gdynia is an exclusively Polish city. There are no valuable monuments of antiquity here, but there are many museums: for example, the Oceanographic Museum with a marine aquarium and the Museum of the City are the most visited places by tourists. There is a Maritime Museum with a section on the warship “Blyskawica”, which took part in naval battles during World War II.
In addition, the city hosts an annual festival of Polish feature films, and film fans come here. Those who want to see Gdynia from a bird’s eye view can climb the Stone Mountain, which offers a view of the bay, the port and the city center.
Torun – the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus, as well as a large medieval Hanseatic city and one of the residences of the Crusader Knights. One of the largest complexes of Gothic buildings in Poland, listed by UNESCO in the list of monuments of international importance, has been preserved here. On one side of the Vistula, fragments of the former city fortifications with gates and the “leaning tower” Kshiva Vezha (“crooked tower”), as well as granaries in the Gothic and Renaissance style, have been preserved. In the neighborhood rise the ruins of the Crusader castle (1231), among the ruins of which the museum is located.
Most of the architectural monuments are concentrated around the market and along the streets of the old part of the city that branch off from it – this is the Town Hall (XIII-XIV centuries), which now houses the District Museum, the Copernicus monument, the Copernicus house-museum, the Church of the Holy Virgin Mary, the unusual architecture of the Church of St. Yakub and the Church of St. John (XIII century) with a rich interior and the famous bell “The Trumpet of the Lord” (1500), the second largest in the country. No less interesting are the “House Under the Star” (1697) with the Museum of Art of the Far East, the old stone house with the tavern “Under the Clever Apron” (1700), as well as the military fort of the Second World War and the Torun astronomical observatory, open to visitors.
Many interesting architectural monuments are located in cities that in the XIII-XIV centuries. belonged to the Teutonic Order: the magnificent castle in Malbork, the fortified cathedral complex in Frombork, the castle in Golub-Dobzhin, where knightly tournaments are still held, city fortifications in Pachkow, palace and park complexes Kurpik near Poznań, Wilanow near Warsaw, Lancut in the southeast.
Malbork in the Middle Ages it was the capital of the Crusaders. Its main attraction is the castle. In 1280, a small monastery arose in its place, which gradually expanded over time. The architectural complex of the castle was surrounded by brick walls with towers adapted for firing from firearms. In the XIV-XV centuries, the castle, surrounded by four lines of defense, with huge stocks of food and weapons, an internal well and a well-armed numerous garrison, was practically impregnable. Malbork was not only a fortress, but also the residence of the ruler of the most powerful state, which is why there are so many magnificent secular and religious architectural structures. Currently, the 700-year-old castle is a museum. In the halls there are expositions of the history of the castle, a magnificent collection of amber and products from it, collection of ancient weapons and armor. Solemn meetings and concerts are held in the castle halls, but, above all, visitors have a unique opportunity to see a real medieval knight’s castle almost the same as it was during the time of the power of the crusaders.
Many people come to Auschwitz to honor the memory of those killed in the concentration camps. The Auschwitz-Brzezinka State Museum, established in 1947 on the site of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps, has become a memorial to the millions of victims of Nazi terror.
Salt mines “Velichka”.
Salt mines “Wieliczka” are located 10 km from Krakow. They are protected by UNESCO as a natural and cultural site of world importance. The extraction of rock salt was started in 1280, and stopped only in 1992. It was quite a profitable business – income from the mines accounted for a third of the royal treasury. As far back as the 15th century, eminent Poles started the tradition of visiting the mine. To this day, high-ranking figures, including foreign figures, are brought here. The depth of the workings reaches 327 meters underground, there are more than 2000 cameras on 9 levels. There are many things to see in the mines. The workers had an interesting hobby: in their free time, they carved figures, sculptures, chapels and much more from solid pieces of rock salt. Entire themed halls were created in the worked-out cells. The tour ends at a depth of 135 meters in the “Vistula” chamber, where you can eat deliciously and inexpensively, as well as buy souvenirs.
Masurian Lake District.
The Masurian Lake District is a land of unique wilderness, the best place for solitude, relaxation and communion with nature. It consists of thousands of lakes connected by numerous rivers. There are many landscaped parks and nature reserves. An interesting excursion program is offered for tourists.
There are about a thousand caves in Poland, most of which are located in the highlands near Krakow and in the Tatra Mountains. The most amazing caves are Medvezhya near Klodzko and Raiskaya near Kilche.