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The Trail of Pomeranian Position Fortifications

In 2005 the first stage of a walking trail was marked and put into use. It runs along the most interesting remnants of military architecture on the eastern side of the Świna River mouth. The trail, approx. 4 km in length, due to its historical and educational character was designated as a didactic trail. The trail begins at the oldest and most interesting protective structure on the left river bank – the Eastern Stronghold, which is also known as “Gerhard’s Fortress”. Many surprises await tourists there, such as the tournament for the commander’s sabre, night maneuvers, treasure hunting. A few times in a year thrill seekers can visit the stronghold at night. There are two more strongholds on the other river bank. The Western Stronghold has a few cannons, sea mines and torpedoes on display. Occasional flea markets and military fairs are organized in high season. At the Angel’s Stronghold painting, sculpture and photography exhibitions are held, as well as music performances and poetry slams. There is a shooting range at the stronghold, where you can shoot a bow, a rifle and an air gun, and even throw an axe or a spear. From April 30 to May 1 a countrywide historical reenactment takes place here, called the Beltan Fire Feast.

In the Wałcz Lakeland, the remnants of the so-called Pomeranian Position are a great tourist attraction, especially for martial arts lovers. During Hitler’s preparations for war in 1934, intensified construction efforts were undertaken to build fortifications stretching from the Baltic Sea near Darłowo to the so-called Międzyrzecz Fortified Region. They made use of natural obstacles, such as lakes, swamps, hills and forests, and between them bunkers and shelters were built of steel and concrete. In the area of Nadarzyce, Wałcz and Strzaliny, special shelters were constructed, with walls as thick as 210 cm, and the ceiling 190 cm, each served by about 80 soldiers. They were equipped in one quick-firing gun of medium caliber, one antitank gun, 2 heavy machine guns and a grenade launcher. The shelters were at a 400-600 meters distance from one another and their fire range covered the whole forefield. The area around the shelters was mined and covered with barbed wire. The severe and bloody battle to break the Pomeranian Position began in early February 1945 and it ended on February 10, when Mirosławiec was taken over. The whole battle had to be managed by the Polish First Army. The Pomeranian Position was ultimately broken on February 5, 1945, at the northern shore of Lake Dobre. Today the testimony of these days are the remnants of destroyed bunkers and shelters in the forests of Wałcz Lake District, as well as museum exhibitions, even as extraordinary as the one in Zdębice, where an exhibition is held titled “The forest that witnessed the battle of the Pomeranian Position”. To commemorate these past events, every year in the first decade of June a tour is organized along the Trail of Pomeranian Position Fortifications (hiking and biking) with approx. 500-700 participants.

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Polish National Tourist Office
980 N. Michigan Ave, Ste. 1550
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 1 (551) 344-3057
e-mail: info.na@poland.travel