Theme parks and historical trails

Themed tourist trails are an opportunity to learn what is unique and unrepeatable in the Polish landscape. They can be a lesson in history, literature or .......tolerance.

The theme this year's festival is "Flavours from the Past" (12 – 20 September 2015). The 21st edition of this event at Biskupin, an archaeological site with a life-size model of an Iron Age settlement, in the Kujavian – Pomeranian Province, invites visitors to an outstanding journey in search of flavours from the history. From the beginnings of human history, man obtained nourishment in many different ways. Remains of buildings from the Stone Age (dating back eight thousand to five thousand years) and early Middle Ages were discovered in the village of Biskupin in northern Poland. About hundred years ago they started with the reconstruction of a fragment of an early Iron Age settlement with oak and pine log-houses covered with thatched roofs. The settlement in the Archaeological Museum is surrounded by a characteristic tall wooden wall, or palisade, set on a rampart made up of both wood and earth. Real life Iron Age culture Visit the life-size model of an Iron Age fortified settlement, picturesquely situated on a marshy peninsula in Lake Biskupin, during the Archeological festival. Every year, usually during third week of September, one of the greatest archaeological, popular-scientific festivals in Europe takes place with participants from all over Europe. During nine days you can experience various aspects of spiritual life from prehistory to the Middle Ages. Hear concerts, see dances, knights tournaments and slavonic-viking ship replica sailing. Try your own skills in dance, minting coins, bow and oxbow shooting, baking bread, medieval cooking, weaving and pottery. Learn about underwater archaeology, as well as smelting iron in furnaces and other techniques of almost forgotten crafts.Take part in workshops where you can learn how to strip off willow bark, read dates from tree trunks, or forge your own arrowheads. Archeologists show how to date excavations, classify bones, conserve wood or reconstruct the facial features of former inhabitants of this area. Children can take part in archeological competitions and activities, they can learn the steps of ancient dances, try their hand at felting, and even mold their own Stone Age Venus from clay. Farming You can also have a look in the newly reconstructed settlement of the first farmers from about six thousand years ago, where you can watch demonstrations of prehistoric ploughing. Rare breeds like Koniks, a species of horses which are related to forest Tarpans, Wrzosówka sheep and goats are kept in a stable and flock which are reconstructions of buildings from the Sorbian culture period. See how old grain and cereal species (wheat, millet, lentils, camelina and Celtic broad beans) are cultivated, you can visit a demonstration plot near the animal pens. See also:Biskupin official website
The Route of the Lubomirski Family Estates leads through the most interesting places in the Podkarpackie region, the south-east corner of Poland), the Lwow Province of the Ukraine and the Presov Region of Slovakia. Most of the historical sites, built between the 16th and 19th centuries are today still in good repair. They include palaces, castles, parks and other architectural sites which now house museums, hotels, and public offices. The total length of the Route is about 879 km, of which 478 km lies in Poland, 247 km in the Ukraine and 247 km in Slovakia.
Visitors can experience the living history of the Malopolska Region (Southern Poland) enshrined in the marvels of its wooden architecture. Stone and brick fortresses, Romanesque and Gothic churches and abbeys, palaces and manors are a living testimony of the history of the Malopolska Region (Lesser Poland). Preserved here are the numerous historical remnants of old Polish village life, built of wood and thus in harmony with the landscape. What is more, the wealth of local culture and art of the Malopolska Region is unmatched throughout Poland. Countless preserved Catholic and Orthodox churches not only amaze with the logic of their construction but also with their delightful shingle finish. The architectural landscape of the Malopolska countryside features also inns and granaries and the old Malopolska manors, built of wood "in accordance with heavenly prescription and the custom of Poland". Little provincial towns still today display the clear urban layouts where life has always been lived under the arcades of wooden houses. The Wooden Architecture Route in Malopolska Province, stretching over 1500km, includes 237 architectural examples, from Catholic churches, Orthodox churches, chapels and belfries to granaries, rural cottages and manor houses. All the points of interest on the route are clearly marked with directions on more than 600 signposts. The largest treasures of the region include the churches in Sekowa, Binarowa, Lipnica Murowana and Debno Podhalanskie, Binarowa, Lipnica Murowana and Debno Podhalanskie, which, in 2003, were entered on the UNESCO List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. See also:Wooden Architecture Route official website
The Piastowski Route is one of Poland’s most eagerly visited tourist tracts. Tourists can visit some parts of it or take the entire tour leading through Ostrów Lednicki, Gniezno, Trzmeszno, as well as Mogilno, Strzelno and Kruszwica (the latter group is located outside the administrative borders of the Wielkopolska region). On their way back to Poznan, tourists are advised to stop off in Biskupin and finally, via Gniezno, arrive in Giecz. Let’s not forget though that the above mentioned objects/places are nowadays set in a diff erent environment. A thousand years ago wooden constructions prevailed. Stone buildings, founded by princes and nobility symbolized a new world and embodied the spirit of the newly formed state and religion. See also:Piastowski Route official website
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.
Hitler’s headquarters at Gierłoż, known as Wolf’s Lair, is one of the most sinister places in the region, but it attracts many tourists because of its recent historical associations. The fortress is composed of 80 buildings built 1940-42, 50 of them are bunkers. The headquarters had its own electric power generator, railway station and an air-strip. Quarters for top Nazi officials as well as a casino and cinema were located in the central part of the compound. The whole area was camouflaged, protected by barbed wire and mine fields. In 1945, the retreating Germans blew up the fortress. Its ruins are open to visitors. See also:Wolf's Lair official website
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