Unknown tourist attractions in Poland
Underground Nazi towns, viking villages and Disney-styled castles – all of that can be found in Poland! Our country is full of unusual places to explore. For a certain time, Polish monuments have been appreciated not only in our country, but also abroad. However, Poland still has a few mysteries waiting to be discovered. Here are 8 places in Poland, which are definitely worth visiting, and of which many people haven’t heard before!
99 towers of the Moszna palace
The palace that you can see in the Disney logo was inspired by the Bavarian Neuschwanstein castle, but it could have might as well been the picturesque castle in Moszna. The building, which is located in the Opolskie region, was constructed between 1896 and 1913 and combines several architectural styles, which only makes it even more original. For centuries, the castle was home to the family of German industrial magnates, and after World War II, the building found itself within the Polish border. During the PRL period, a sanatorium was organized at the area of the palace. Currently it holds a hotel and a restaurant.
The interesting thing is that the castle has exactly 99 towers and 365 rooms. It might be easy to understand the second number, but it is surprising that the originator of the palace, Franz Hubert Tiele-Winckler, didn’t design excatly 100 towers. There are many legends surrounding this fact. According to one of them, the owner of the property feared that if he construct more than 100 towers, he’ll have to maintain the military garrison in the palace. But others believe, that the
Tiele-Winckler family had exactly 99 properties and that’s the fact that the architect wanted to pay tribute to, while choosing this specific number of towers.
A horror-styled chapel
When you think of a typical chapel, you usually think of a place, where you can calm yourself down while praying. However, when you visit the Skull Chapel in Kudowa-Zdrój, calm might be the last thing you can feel while walking inside. You could even say that this is one big cemetery locked in four walls. The walls and ceilng of the chapel are entirely filled with human remainings. In general, more than 3000 human bones were used to create the chapel’s interior. These remainings came from the victims of the cholera epidemic from the 17th century and the people killed during the Silesian wars which took place 100 years later.
The idea of this peculiar construction came from a local parish priest named Wacław Tomaszek. And although you might have thought, that no one else would come up with an equally terrifying idea, the Polish chapel is not a unique place in a worldwide scale. Similar monuments can be found in the Portugese town of Capela dos Ossos and Kutna Hora, Czech Republic.
Buried like a pharaoh
The village of Rapa in the warmińsko-mazurskie region is located roughly two kilometers away from Polish-Russian border. However, the history of this region is more associated with the German Eastern Prussia. In the early 19th century, not for from the village of Angerapp (the former name of Rapa), there was the headquarters of Baron Friedrich von Fahrenheit, one of the richest land owners in the eastern parts of the Reich. In Paris, the German aristocrat saw the remainings of Egyptian culture, which instantly fascinated him. The idea of building the pyramid is most likely associated with a family tragedy. In 1811, the baron lost his 3-year old daughter, Ninette. At the area of his property, von Fahrenheit ordered to construct a stone tomb, the proportions of which were exactly the same as the proportions of the pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. The specifiv microclimate, that can be felt inside, was supposed to make the girl’s body mummified and last for centuries in an untouched form. In general, the tomb became the burial place of eight members of the family, including the baron himself.
Soon after the death of the mansion’s owner, a gossip appeared nearby. It was all about the curse, which began to surround this place. The bodies of people resting there were injured by unknown people. The locals began to avoid the surroundings of the tomb, just in case. The mysterious powers stuck inside the pyramid even became the interest of the leaders of the Third Reich. According to the fans of the theory of dowsing and geomancy, the pyramid was constructed in the cutting place of several energetic wires of enormous power. One of the buildings, which was supposed to be located at this unusual trail, is Wolf’s Lair – the former headquarters of Adolf Hitler. Currently, the pyramid of Rapa was included in the registry of monuments nd given into the process of revitalization.
Hitler’s underground town
An enormous labyrinth of corridors, bunkers and halls. A mysterious enterprise with the codename „Riese” was occupied with suffering of thousands of prisoners of concentration camps, who were working on the creation of the complex between 1943 and 1945. Today, the purpose of this object is still unknown. Some believe that it was supposed to be Hitler’s underground headquarters, others suggest that it was an underground weapon factory. The huge size of this construction shows that it was supposed to be a crucial place, and the construction works were suddenly interrupted because of hte army getting closer.
Currentl, the guests can choose between four sightseeing routes: historical, extreme, educational and „ekspedycja Riese”. No matter what route you choose, each of them will allow you to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the secret Nazi operations and have unforgettable thrills. There are approximately 1700 meters of underground corridors and rooms in total available for visiting, which hide the stories of day gone by. It’s also worth mentioning, that the Osówka complex in the Wałbrzych county is the most interesting and longest complex availablre for tourists to be constructed in the picturesque scenery of the Sowie Mountains.
A division for the working mass
A genuine treasure of Warsaw’s socialist realist architecture is of course the Palace of Culture and Science. However, it is not the only construction to be created according to the instructions of the socialist realism. Another flagship project of this period is the Marshal Residential District, the central point of which is Plac Konstytucji.
The gigantic buildings at the already mentioned piazza were decorated with mosaics and monumental sculptures of the labor leaders. The architectural ornamentations include the ideological message, which was supposed to be a visual lesson of socialism for the new society, based on the proletariat. It was sort of a communist Bible of pauperum.
The designers didn’t care about the comdort of citizens. The flat windows were coming out either to the piazza, which was a centre of the capital’s night life in the 1950s, or to the dark backyards. Despite that, the new district delighted the people of Warsaw. At the background of the not completely reconstructed Warsaw it was something completely new, what filled the local people with optimism.
Today, Plac Konstytucji is not so delightful anymore, but when you’re visiting the capital, it’s definitely worth stopping in this place. It is undoubtedly one of the most important symbols of our difficult, post-war history.
Provence in Warmia – lavender fields
Lavender is a plant, which especially likes mediterranean climate. But there’s a saying:
„Nothing is impossible, if you want to do it!” By staying true to this saying, Joanna Posoch decided to start growing lavender in the town of Nowe Kawkowo, not far from Olsztyn. With the help of crowdfunding, she also established the Living Lavender Museum, which lets the visitors get familiar with, among others, the secrets of growing and processing this plant.
Thanks to this initiative, you can experience a brand new type of agritourism. The gathering of lavender and preparing it for drying and processing is often accompanied by incredibly inhteresting conversations on various topics. All of that obviously takes place in the surroundings of gorgeous nature and incredibly pleasant smells of lavender. For anyone, who wants to escape from the city from time to time, the Lavender Fields will be a genuine heaven on earth!
Biecz – the pearl of Podkarpacie
Wrocław, Warszawa, Toruń, Kraków and Zamość – the old towns of these cities are impressive among both experts and common tourists. But is anyone familiar with the Old Town in Biecz – a small, roughly 5000-citizen town in Podkarpacie? The Old Town of Biecz does deserve the title of one of the oldest Old Towns in Poland.
That’s because the history of the Old Town of Biecz dates back to the middle ages. It was the
royal town of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom, and its patron is Jadwiga Andegaweńska – the only woman to ever sit on the Polish throne by herself. Meanwhile, the Barbican and defensive walls of the city remember the times of the reign of her husband, Władysław Jagiełło. There are also
late-medieval stonehouses and churches, including the Colegiate of the Divine Body, which towers over the city and is one of the most important examples of gothic architecture on a national scale. One thing is certain – fans of ancient buildings definitely won’t be disappointed!
The Island Viking Village
However, the history of the Polish land dates back further than the middle ages. If you want to get familiar with the pre-christian history of Poland, it’s worth visiting the island of Wolin. The Slav and Viking Centre is based upon a reconstruction of the constructions of the early-medieval Wolin – the buliding dating back to 9th-11th centuries. The reconstruction works are fulfilled basedon the archaeological researches, organized in these surroundings for over 100 years.
Currently, the settlement has the character of an open-air museum, and while visiting the buildings you can also see how supposedly did the life in settlement look like a thousand years ago. Additionally, every year on August 1st, the Viking Festival is organized here. At the time, approximately 1500 reconstructors from all around the world come to Wolin, the recreate the reality from hundreds of years ago on a large scale. Apart from that, in the Slav and Viking Centre you can take part in workshops of crafting and military art of ancient tribes. Another great attraction are the reconstructions of battles between the Vikings and the warriors of Wolin.