Photo by Paweł Dutka
Magical area of Lesser Poland with its capital - Krakow is certainly the top tourist attraction in Poland.
We will start our tour from Biecz - a picturesque town, often called Small Krakow where you can unwind and take a break from hectic city life.
We will encourage you to visit the most precious items on Wooden Architecture Route, which spreads on the whole Lesser Poland region ending in highlands and the Polish winter capital - Zakopane.
Our last destination will be the pearl of Polish architecture and culture - Krakow - the place with its exceptional spirit, you cannot find anywhere in the world.
WE HOPE YOU WILL ENJOY YOUR VISIT TO OUR AREA!
1) Biecz - Corpus Christi Collegiate Church - the pearl of Gothic architecture in Poland
Photo by Mariusz Kozień
The oldest part of the church is the chancel (started in 1326, completed around 1480). The altar was made in 1604.
Next to the church there is a late Gothic bell tower of the fourteenth century.
Do you know Polish Queen Jadwiga Andegaweńska ( of Anjou ) ? She was famous from her charitable activities - and that was she who funded a hospital in Biecz - you can still see its renovated fasade. In our collegiate church there are Jadwiga's relics.
Let's go inside and touch the past!
-You can start touring half hour before each mass (never during the service)
-During the holidays every day except from Sundays and public holidays from 10.00 to 13.00
Entrance is free of charge!
If you are Gothic art enthusiast that's the place for you!
Klaudia Zielińska & Aleksandra Mazurek
2) Biecz - The House with the Tower - one of the oldest pharmaciest in Poland
Discover the real meaning of medieval times. You have oportunity to visit The museum „The House with the Tower” which is located in tenement from 1523 year. Come and see first pharmacy in Sub-Carpathian region which was situated in this building. Unique pharmacy was founded in 1557 by pharmacist Marcin Barian Rokicki. If you are into art, fascinating fact for you will be that the tenement consists Renaissance elements, which were restored during renovations in the years 1968-1978. Also you will enjoy this if you are interested in historical monuments because the Tower from XVI century is a defensive tower called "Rajc's Tower" and it adheres to the tenement.
In “The House with the Tower” there are exhibitions:
-From the past of pharmacy in the Sub-Carpathian region- Have you ever imagined how medicine looked like in medieval times? Now you have chance to see it live! The excellent exhibition focuses on the history of pharmacy and pharmacies with a particular focus on Biecz. Feel the atmosphere of the past and see reconstructed Apothecary's room which is placed on the ground floor of the Tower. There are exposed necessary raw materials for the production of medications and there’s also wonderful collection of devices used for medications production and their storage. You can step back in time by seeing precious medical library from XVI century and inventory books of pharmacy equipment will perfectly show you how the medicine looked like in those days. Pharmaceutical exposures are rare in polish museums, don’t miss to visit it!
Here you can see the virtual exposure, just check it out!
-From the musical past of Biecz and the region - Have you ever seen an instruments from the XVIII - XX century? Now you can see with your own eyes a fabulous exhibition of different musical instruments used and manufactured in Biecz and the region. It’s divided into two sections: folk instruments and court instruments.
-Middle-class culture from XIX- XX century - Have you wondered how people lived in the past? Middle-class living room from XIX century shows uniforms and middle-class clothes which people were wearing, also there are historical painting.
In the Tower is presented fascinating craftsmanship which includes superb tools, products and craft documents of Biecz and the region over the centuries.
Artur Ryba & Miłosz Majznarski
3) Biecz - Franciscan Monastery
Are you interested in baroque monuments?
Necessarily you should visit franciscan monastery in Biecz. It was founded in 1624. The old church consists of beautiful st. Anna temple monastery and a courtyard. It is on the little hill on the east side of Biecz. It's good to konow that the monastery was the 3rd settlement of franciscans monks in Małopolska. It's baroque, one nave church built in 1645-63. Earlier there was a starost castle. There are stained-glass windows from 1903. In the church and monastery there are valuable things: figure of Virgin Mary from 16th century, iron doors with jagiello eagles from 15th/16th century. A visit in the monastery will enable you to see the library with books collection. It counts 2000 old volumes. The oldest are from 1624. It is worth mentioning that in the church's basement the gratest baroque poet in Poland ,Wacław Potocki,was buried.
For those of you who are classical music lovers the best time to come is August as concerts, which are part of prestigious Kromer Festival take place here!
Natalia Baran & Justyna Pasterska
4) Biecz - Defensive Walls with the Blacksmith Turret
The city walls were built in the early XIV century. Along with 17 defensive towers have a length of 1200 m. Unfortunately, today only a few fragments and 3 towers towers are preserved. One of the standing towers is that one in the photo, called the Blacksmitch Tower.
It is another great place to visit in Biecz if you want to get step back in time. Defensive walls make a very big impression on tourists even though there are not much left of them. So have a lazys stroll along them.
by Artur Bajorek
5) Biecz - Marcin Kromer's house - The Museum
A perfect place for people who love history
Marcin Kromer's house is a building from the XVI century. It was rebuilt and renovated a few times. The funniest thing in it is that it really never belong to Kromer’s family.
In its history it was a private house, but before World War II it was library and after the war, until today it has been a regional museum.
Collections of this museum include material culture, folk art and numismatics. The oldest exhibits are hatchets and axes from the Neolithic period and fragments of dishes. But it is only a little of all exhibits and if you want to know or see more you will have to visit it by yourself, because it’s great place for people that are interested in history.
Come and take step back in time!
When you can visit:
In the summer season (1st of May - 30th of September):
In the holiday season (July - August):
In the winter season (October - April):
Phone number: 13 / 447-10-93
by Artur Bajorek
6) The Wooden Arrchitecture Route
Are you interested in historical culture and wooden architecture?
Are you beatuty lover?
Then, you must see monuments on Wooden Architecture Roude in Lesser Poland!
Wooden Architecture Route is a collection 253 the most valuable wooden monuments from Lesser Poland. They contain churches, orthodox churches, beauty old residences, grups of buldings, museums and open-air museums. The idea appeared in 2001. Already in 2004 four monuments from Route were entered into the UNESCO World Cultular and Herigate List (churches: St. Michael's the Archangel in Binarowa,St. Michael's the Archangel in Dębno, St. Leonard's in Lipnica Murowana, St. Philip and Jacob's in Sękowa). In 2013 on this List came next 4 orthodox churches (St. Jacob's junior in Powroźnik, Care Mother of God in Owczary, St. Praskiewa's in Kwiatoń and St. Michael's the Archangel in Brunary Wyżne). Entrace to monuments is grant and often free.
Open: 1 V - 30 IX weekends
Wooden Architecture Route
Owczary’s orthodox church
Kwiatoń’s orthodox church
Brunary’s orthodox church
Powroźnik’s orthodox church
Wooden Orthodox Church in Kwiatoń
Catholic Church in Binarowa
- If you want to get away from daily routine of modern world, you should visit this place.
One of better places to go to, when you are somewhere in Poland is Binarowa. It is a little village 4km from Biecz and here there is a beautiful XV-century St. Michael Archangel church. Since 2003 church is inscribed on UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage. In term of historical and artistic value the church in Binarowa is the most valuable and best equipped building of this type in Central Europe.
Have you ever wanted to do step back in time? Well it is perfect place for you, because the church looks beautiful and you can really experience the spirit of XV century there. It makes great impression and atmosphere, that you’ll never forget.
Come and see it with your own eyes!
When you can visit:
May - October (tourist season):
- Monday - Tuesday: phone disposition
- Wednesday: 9 am. - 5 pm.
- Thursday - Saturday: 9 am. - 6 pm.
- Sunday - 12 am. - 5 pm.
And if you want to visit it after season it is necessary to register earlier,
Phone number: 13 / 447-63-96| 504-646-865
Internet site: http://www.binarowa.wiara.org.pl/
Krzysztof Baniak & Artur Bajorek
7) Tatra Mountains and Zakopane
Are you looking for natural beauty?
The landscape of Tatras is a one of most beatiful view in whole Poland. The Tatra euforia starts to overhelm us on the doorsteps of this wonderful land, brought with the scent of the mountains. Picturesque valleys lead us along. A bit higher the forest gives way smoothly to ever-green long-needle dwarf pine, stretching out up to the first alps overgrown with tufts of grass. In the end we reach the granite alps, sprinkled only with yellow of the lichens topping the tatra summits, from which we can see the world patrolled by crowns and eagles.
While visiting Zakopane it’s no way to don’t get on Gubałówka and go to Orla Perć, The Kościeliska Valley or above Morskie Oko lake. For more skill turists is recommended expedition to mount Giewont or Rysy- the highest hill in Polish Tatras.
After tedious hikes just relax.
You must strool along this kilometer avenue or you can ride by horse-drawn carriage. Except shops and buildings in zakopiański style you find here museum of Tatras, famous hotel “Morskie Oko” and tatras station.
Do you like skiing? Zakopane offers a lot of ski slopes. The longest drive last 20 minutes! Even if you never skiing there are training centers.
Kacper Karp & Piotr Janowski
8) Krakow - the city you can’t miss and forget!
Have a virtual tour on our royal town
Kraków is one of the most popular and beautiful cities in Poland. It is also the second largest city. It is situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region. Kraków is a pearl of architecture and has a huge cultural history, the city itself dates back to the 7th century. It was the former capital of Poland, the place of coronation and later the burial ground of almost all Polish monarchs.
Kraków is the town which fulfills the expectations of the most demanding travellers. Must-dos of each visit are: the old town and the Main Market Square with St. Mary's Basilica, the Sukiennice Cloth Hall and the National Art Museum, you should take a chance to pass the medieval St Florian's Gate with the Barbican and move back in time walking along the Royal Coronation Route ending in the Wawel Castle with the Wawel Cathedral.
But if you don’t like the places overrun with visitors, you can feel the unique spirit of the town discovering it on your own way.
One of interesting options to explore is the Crazy Guides (riding all around the town in vintage Trabant automobiles and seeing the the true sights of city; website )
After the whole day, unwind in one of dosens of clubs, bars, cafes or restaurants where you should try traditional Polish dishes.
This pearl of Polish towns is the place that siuts everyone’s pocket and taste and you can never be bored there.
Krakow’s website http://www.krakow.pl/english/
Stanisław Lem Garden of Expierences http://www.ogroddoswiadczen.pl/en
National Art Museum http://mnk.pl/
Wawel Royal Castle http://wawel.krakow.pl/en/
Aleksandra Mazurek & Klaudia Zielińska
9) Krakow - the Wawel Castle
If you want to feel like king of Poland, you should absolutely visit the most beautiful building in whole country – the Royal Castle on the Wawel Hill in Cracow. It is located by the river Vistula. As the castle dates back to eleventh century it has been renovated many times. Due to its defensive role, the castle and the hill are surrounded by thick fortification walls. Within the walls, there is also a breathtaking Royal Garden. There is also one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Poland – the Wawel Cathedral. Inside it there are tombs of Polish kings, great poets and Jósef Piłsudski.
The cathedral has a remarkable golden dome over the Sigismund's Chapel. Inside its tower it has the Sigismund Bell which sound can only be heard on special occasions. There are also two more outstanding towers by the cathedral. Near the hill, there is also the Dragon's Cave, where, according to the legend, the Wawel's Dragon used to live. In front of the entrance there is the dragon's monument. Reading about it, though, is nothing compared to seeing it.
Do you want to feel like polish afterward and see like celebrations and parties were looking like? Come and visit State Rooms.
Have you ever thought like apartment of kings look like and how royal family and retinue were spending a part of the day? In Wawel are Royal Private Apartments that give you all the answers.
Crown Treasury is located on the ground floor of the north-eastern corner of the castle. It is related to the historic institution of the Crown Treasury once located here, which was a visible sign of the independence of the Kingdom of Poland, and later of the Commonwealth of the Two Nations. You can also see there the most significant Polish historic artifact – SZCZERBIEC - coronation sword.
If you love weapons and armours you have to visit Armoury and Basement. In basement under the vault hang copies of banners captured from the Teutonic Knights at Grunwald in 1410.
Oriental Arts will present you a particular aspect of Polish heritage and artistic taste, shaped as a result of military and trade contacts with Near East countries.
“The Lost Wawel “can take you back in time. Exhibition in its present form opened in 1975. Building upon earlier expositions dedicated to the history of Wawel Hill and centered on the remains of the Rotunda of Sts. Felix and Adauctus (alternately, Rotunda of the Blessed Virgin Mary) from the late 10th/early 11th century, the exhibition also encompasses the former royal kitchens and coach house.
If you are a fan of caves you can’t miss surely among great curiosities of Wawel – Dragon’s den where, according to the legend, the Wawel's Dragon used to live.
Are you curious about the most beautiful garden in Poland? You should see The Royal Gardens. The historical existence of terraced gardens on the eastern slope of the hill from about 1540, known from written sources, was also confirmed by the discovery of stone steps, brick garden walks, and other elements of garden architecture during an archeological excavations. The Swedish invasion of 1655 put an end to the cultivation of the Wawel gardens. The present gardens have been developed to reflect the Renaissance gardens of the period around 1540. The reconstruction of Renaissance gardens dating from the first half of the 1500s is a rarity in Europe; gardens from the latter half of the century are more frequent. The Wawel gardens are the only reconstructed Renaissance gardens in Poland.
Come to us and find everything you look for this whole time! We wait for you!
•Address: Wawel 5, 31-001 Kraków
•Telephone: 12 422 51 55
* Monday - closed
* Tuesday - 09:30–17:00
* Wednesday - 09:30–17:00
* Thursday - 09:30–17:00
* Friday - 09:30–17:00
* Saturday - 10:00 – 17:00
* Sunday - 10:00 -17:00
Justyna & Anna Makowiec
10) Krakow - the Jewish district 'Kazimierz'
Have you ever wanted to get away from your daily routine? Then don't miss the opportunity to visit Kazimierz. It's a part of Krakow forming part of the district and the Old Town. From XIV to XIX century Kazimierz was an independent town, located on south of Krackw. On North-East part of this town was historic Jewish district.For many centuries Kazimierz was a place of coexistence Jewish and Christian culture.Currently it is one of the most important tourist attractions in Krakow. This is where you will be able to see the Ethnographic Museum.
In Kazimierz lots of synagogues were built. Now there are 7 of them: Old, Remuh, High, Popper’s, Kup’s, Izaak’s, Tempel’s. You can also see Jewish schools, universities, cementeries(Remuh) and houses of Jewish buyers and bankers. Before the Second World War Kazimierz had become an important centre of Jewish culture in Poland and in the world.
If you like taking part in cultural events, here is the Festival of Jewish Culture. Final concerts are organized in Szeroka street. There are also theather „El-Jot” in Miodowa street, and lots of galleries. Among monuments there are worth seeing churches: of Corpus Christi , St. Katarzyna, Paulites’ church on Skałka – it’s sanctuary of St. Stanisław, who is the patron of Poland. There ia alsothe National Panteon, town hall on Wolica Square and monuments of industrial architecture.
Monunuments of Kazimierz with the Old Town and Wawel were registered on the UNESCO list of World’s Heritage in 1978.
If you want to take a rest after sightseeing, there are cosy cafeterias and restaurants in this district. With old street and monuments they create amazing atmosphere.
It is worth stopping at this place!
Etnographic Museum : www.etnomuzeum.eu
Adress: Wolica 1, 31-066 Cracow
Telephone: 012 430 55 75
Opening hours: Monday- closed
Old synagogue: www.mhk.pl/oddzialy/stara-synagoga
Adress: Szeroka 24, 31-053 Cracow
Telephone: 48 12 422 09 62
NOVEMBER - MARCH
Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday-Sunday 9.00-16.00
APRIL - OCTOBER
Paulites’ chuch on Skałka: www.skalka.paulini.pl
Adress: Skałeczna 15, 31-065 Cracow
Telephone: (0-12) 61 90 900
You can take a virtual tour of Paulites' church: http://www.zumi.pl/69883,VRT_TRIP,Kosciol_Na_Skalce,wizytowka_warstwy.html
Natalia Baran & Justyna Pasterska