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Tracing history

Heritage in the form of historical architecture, mementoes and works of art goes well with Poland’s rich natural environment and fine scenery.

From its inception, Poland was situated in the central part of Europe on the border of different cultures: eastern and western, southern and northern. Thus, multicultural traditions developed here together with unique architecture in different regions. These resources give Poland a competitive edge on the European tourism market, as they include many sites and buildings of great historical value – evidence of Poland’s history and flourishing culture and arts.

The best way of experiencing our country’s rich history and cultural heritage is to follow one of the historical tourist trails that connect interesting buildings and sights into a single cohesive tourism product, integrating different regions and themes. Exploring these trails is not just about visiting monuments and museums. It is also about getting to know people, regional differences, local cuisines and cultural heritage in the form of previous generations’ material and spiritual achievements.

Thanks to such a rich history and a multitude of tourism resources, there is so much to see in Poland. There are many historical trails to choose from, and everyone will find a theme to suit them.

If you enjoy castles, we have four different trails: the Gothic Castles Trail, the Teutonic Knights’ Castles Trail, the Piast Dynasty Castles Trail and the Trail of the Eagles’ Nests. This last one takes you to medieval castles and watchtowers built on inaccessible limestone hills in the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, resembling eagles’ nests clinging to the rocks.

Poland has always been famous for the „gold of the north” – amber jewellery is a favourite and very special souvenir. That is why it is worth seeing the Amber Route – it follows the Amber Road, one of Europe’s oldest trade routes, often compared to the Silk Road. The world’s amber capital is Gdańsk, where the largest international amber and jewellery trade fair is held every year.

Our beautiful country is also famous in the world for Pope John Paul II, who was born in Wadowice. Hence, there are many papal routes to explore, including the Augustów Canal — Papal Trail, a kayaking route tracing one of the pope’s visits.

Poland was also the birthplace and first home of world-famous pianist and composer Fryderyk Chopin. Admirers of his music should travel the Chopin Trail that follows the first 20 years of the composer’s life. Although this musical genius spent almost half his life as an émigré, his early years were spent in Warsaw and Mazovia. The Chopin Trail will take you to the most important sights in Warsaw and the loveliest corners of Mazovia, including Żelazowa Wola where Chopin was born.

History is combined with a special culinary experience on the Great Lithuanian Route, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth’s key trade and postal route in the 17th and 18th centuries. It connected the capital of the Kingdom of Poland with the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Travelling along this route, you encounter diverse cultural landscapes, extraordinary nature, outstanding people, wonderful monuments and original Mazovian, Podlasie, Jewish and Tatar cuisine.

The Piast Dynasty Trail, the oldest historical tourist trail in Poland, is also a guide to the earliest history of Poland. It runs through two provinces: Wielkopolskie and Kujawsko-Pomorskie.

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