10 interesting cities and towns in Poland that everyone should see – part 2
The 12.000-citizen Węgrów is located at the historicla border between Podlasie and Mazowze. The settlement in the valley of Liwiec gained citty rights in the mid-15th century. It expanded mostly thanks to the reign of the Radziwiłł family – a memorial of the merchant times is a large, rectangular market square with a lovely stonehouse known as Dom Gdański.
Until the 17th century it was a crucial place of reformations – this was the location of the arian, Calvinist and Lutheran churches. The town was later owned by the catholic Krasiński family, who built a franciscan church here.
In Węgrów you should see two baroque-styled churches with rich, excellent interiors. Apart from the already mentioned Franciscan reformator church there is a parish church of the Assumption of Our Lady, famous for gorgeous relighious paintings of Michael Palloni and, the famous Twardowski mirror, kept in the sacristy.It has been said that the deas wife of Zygmunt August, Barbara Radziwiłłówna ws shown in this mirror, and Napoleon himself saw his own death in it. Evenv today, some people warn others not to look in that mirror.
A few kilometers away from Węgrów there is a town called Liw with a castle of the princes of Mazowsze.
8/10 Jarocin (Wielkopolskie region)
The 26.000 -citizen Jarocin is basically ssociated in Poland with only one thing – the famous Rock Museum, which is organized here in the summersince the 1970s Taking part in this event can also be a reason to take a short (or longer) walk around the town.
Fans of music that are not eager to take part in crowded, noisy events, can visit the Polish Rock Granary. This is the first multimedia museum in Poland dedicated to the history of rock music. The exhibit was created in the espeially adapted former grain granary, located in the monumental zone of the centre of the city.
Jarocin was established in the 13th century at the crossing of merchant trails. The city didn’t have defensive walls, but only strengthenings in a form of a palisade and you could enter it through four gates. The remainings of the late-medieval castle from the 15th century is the so-called Skarbczyk in the city park. The old times can also be remembered by the church of the Holy Spirit, and more specifically, by the gothic ruins left behind it, as well as St. Marcin’s church, which was rebuilt in baroque style. The medieval urban layout was preserved in a network of streets with a market square, in the middle of which there is a town hall with arcades.
The most precious monument of Jarocin is a neo-gothic Radoliński Palace from the 19th centur, in which today there are schools and a library.
9/10 Wolbórz (łódzkie region)
Located between Piotrków Trybunalski and Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Wolbórz is a town with not much more than 2000 citizens. But today, very little people remember about its greatness, that went down in history, and that’s a shame.
The history of Wolbórz dates all the way back to the 11th century, as a centre of Opole, and later a castellany. In the early 12th century, it became the second capital of the kujawy bishopric, and later a residentional city of the bishops of Włocław. The bishops – who ruled this place until the 19th century are the people whom Wolbórz can be thankful to for its greatest attraction: the
baroque-styled, 18th century palace surrounded by a beautiful park and currently meant to be a museum. The palace went through several reconstructions and renovation, after the presence of the russian armies back in the 19th century, as well as in the early 20th century, after the war activities and the visit of the Germans.
The times of the greatness of Wolbórz is the 15th and 16th century. At the time, it had as many citizens as it has today, including more than 250 craftsmen; the town had 6 churches, 3 hospitals, a town hall and a bishops’ castle with and Italian garden and a zoo. This was the timee when the city’s most famous „son”, the renaissance writer Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski, was born, and Wolbórz frequently hosted the kings of Poland: Władysław Jagiełło, Zygmunt August, Stefan Batory, and later also Jan Kazimierz, Jan III Sobieski and Stanisław August Poniatowski. The peaceul Wolbórz is located not far from the Sulejów Lagoon, and the undeniable nature attractions also include the Blue Springs in Tomaszów Mazowiecki.
The 5000-citizen Pieniężno is located in the middle of the road between Braniewo and Lidzbark Warmiński. It is undoubtedly one of the less known towns of Warmia – it is far from being as recognizable as Lidzbark or the nearby Orneta. It is not exactly fair, but the fact remains, that during World War II it was almost entirely destroyed.
One of the monumental objects that survived is the gothic church of St. Peter and Paul, rebuilt in the 19th century, as well as the ruins of the castle, out of which only one wing has survived.
However, there is a unique place in Pieniężno – a Missionary-Etnographic Museum at the Seminary of the Verbalist Priests, hidden between the trees, behind the city. It gathers memorials from the missionary trips, mostly to Asia and Africa/
If ou want to get to the museum, you’ll definitely have to follow the gorge of the river Wałsza – a forested canyon with steep, almost 30-meter slopes. A nature reserve was established here.
Pieniężno was visited multiple times by Nicolas Copernicus, so this is another place to search for his traces.