12 most interesting places in Warmińsko-Mazurskie
Warmia and Mazury is a dream come true for fans of nature, active vacation and peace and quiet. Extensive forests, picturesque lakes and rivers, an eventful history preserved in local monuments and hospitality of citizens create an incredible atmosphere of this region. Anyone, who visits Warmińsko-Mazurskie at least once, will want to come back.
The Warmińsko-Mazurskie region, located in the north-east part of the country, is one of the cleanest and most beautiful regions in Poland. The best recommendation for the landscape of Warmia and Mazury is its placev around the finalists of the worldwide contest for 7 New Wonders of Nature. In this region of Poland we can find many incredible places – for fans of active vacation, passionates of history and thosem who just want to relax around nature. Here are 12 attractions in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie region that everyone should know.
The Land of the Great Masurian Lakes.
This place hardly needs any introduction. The Land of the Great Masurian Lakes is not only number one among the attractions of the warmińsko-mazurskie region, but also a place considered one of 28 most beautiful places on Earth. The best way to get familiar with the charm and at the same time the natural richness of this land is from the perspective of… the water. In the summer season at the Masurian waters you can see many yachts and sailboats. In almost every town located by the lake htere is a harbor. In some of these harbors you can rent water equipment.
The Land of the Great Masurian Lakes is Poland’s largest lake complex to be connected with channels. The most popular lakes are Lake Śniardwy (113.8 square kliometers) Lake Mamry (105 square kilometers) and Lake Niegocin. But anyone who visits this place has their favorite places and lakes – such as Lake Nidzkie, Lake Bełdany and Lake Mikołajskie.
Krutynia is one of the most charming rivers in Poland with perfect conditions for kayaking. The popular route between Sorkwity and Ruciane Nida (about 100 kilometers) is considered one of the most beautiful kayaking trails in Mazury and in Europe.
The trail runs through the Piska Wilderness and the protected areas of the Mazury Landscape Park. Tourists will be impressed not only by the diverse landscape, but also the developed touristic infrastructure by the river – pubs with bridges for kayakers, bars and rest points. Additionally, the flow of Krutynia is slow, and the river is shallow, which makes this kayaking trail great for everyone, including beginner kayakers.
Giżycko, located in the centre of the Land of the Great Masurian Lakes, is called Poland’s capital of sailing (It has 111 sailing harbors!) This city is located precisely between two extensive lakes of Kisajno and Niegocin and is a popular tourist and vacation town.
But Giżycko is attractive not only for sailors there is also something special for sightseeing fans. Perhaps the most impressive monument is the Boyen fortress – an excellent example of Prussian fortification art. Another popular attraction is a rotating bridge at the Łuczański Channel – the only working bridge of its type in Europe from the 19th century. An interesting experience might also be having dinner in a 14th century Teutonic Castle – the monumental fortress was adapted into a hotel.
Frombork, located at the Vistula Lagoon is called the „Jewel of Warmia”. The greatest attraction of the city is the Cathderal Hill with a towering gothic temple, inside of which the tomb of Nicolas Copernicus is located. Frombork was the place, where the Polish astronomer lived and worked, as well as published his greatest work – „O obrotach sfer niebieskich”. In front of the hill there is a gigantic statue of Nicolas Copernicus. While you’re there, you can also visit the museum dedicated to the astronomer.
While being in Frombork, you should also see the 16th century plumbing tower or just walk around the harbor and the old part of the city.
The Elbląg Channel
The Elbląg Channel, which connects the lakes of Druzno and Jeziorak, is more than 150 kilometers long (including branches). A popular attraction are touristic cruise ships., as well as more chamber trips on yachts and kayaks. A characteristic part of this place are diverse levels of the channel at the length of nearly 10 kilometers. The Elbląg Channel, with Europe’s only working system of ramps, was considered one of the 7 wonders of Poland in a plebiscite of „Rzeczpospolita”.
This is the former capital of Warmia, and currently its largest city. The icon of Lidzbark Warmiński is undoubtedly the Castle of Bishops of Warmia. The 14th century fortress along with the ward and the bastion – is one of the most precious monuments in our country.
The castle was visited by famous people, including Nicolas Copernicus, pope Pius II, Ignacy Krasicki, Karol XIII and Napoleon Bonaparte. In Lidzbark you should also see the Krasicki orangery, the church of the Elevation of the Cross and the Collegiate of St. Peter and Paul with a monastery.
This place is the location of one of Poland’s best preserved complexes of enormous World War II German bunkers. Between 1940 and 1944 in the forest of Mamerki, nearly 250 objects were built, including 30 reinforced concrete shelters, which can still beadmired today. Currently in the former Main Headquerters of the Wehrmacht land army there is a World War II Museum.
Along with Wolf’s Lair, this complex was supposed to be a place to command the invasion of the Soviet Union. At the roof of one of the bunkers there is an observation point.
This incredibly charming town of Warmia attracts tourists with its aymosphere and monuments. Reszel became part of the international cittaslow network, which is a network of „good life” cities that take good care of the natural environment.
The best place to start exploring this city is at the monumental gothic bridge, and then walking the city park located in the gorge. One of the most precious monuments is the Castle of Bishops of Warmia, built in the late 14th and early 15th century. And to finish the trip, yuo can take a walk down the charming, narrow streets of the Old Town and stop by one of the countless cafes.
The pyramid in Rapa
An unusual attraction in the warmińsko-mazurskie region is the pyramid in Rapa (right by the Polish-Russian border) A characeristic part of this building is its shape, reminding tourists of pyramids in Ancient Egypt. This architecturally interesting object is actually a tomb.
This pyramid was most likely built in the early 19th century for the family of a Prussia baron von Fahrenheid. The building is 15.9 meters high and is one of the two objects in Poland with preserved mummified corpses. Many visitors believe in the healing abilities of this place.
Bridges in Stańczyki
The railway bridges in Stańczyki make a huge impression on visitors. Both viaducts are 36 meters high and extend at the length of 200 meters. The projects of their pillars were based on… Roman aqueducts.
Bridges in Stańczyki were built in 1917, and are currently included in the registry of motionless monuments in the warmińsko-mazurskie region. In the recent years thet were also used for bungee jumps.
Gierłoż (which used to be Wolfsschanze, or Wolf’s Lair) was the location of the famous, well known in the whole Europe headquarters of Adolf Hitler. This is most likely where many dastardly decisions about the fate of some nations were made during World War II.
Wolf’s Lair was the place where in 1944 an unsuccessful attempt to attack the leader of the Third Reich took place. During the retreat of the German Army, the headquarters was blown in the air. That’s why most of the buildings are completely destroyed. Today the historical area with the remainings of bunkers, shelters and administration buildings is available for visitors.
Olsztyn: the capital of Warmia and Mazury
The capital city of the warmińsko-Mazurskie region is a good place to start exploring this region. Sightseeing fans just have to walk through the Old Town, see the monumental Town Hall and the surrounding stonehouses. It’s also worth visiting the gothic castle of the Warmia chapter and the fragments of the city wall of the high chapter.
But Olsztyn isn’t just a historically interesting city, but also a beautiful area in terms of landscapes with 16 lakes (the largest one is lake Ukiel). The capital of Warmia and Mazruy is also famous for Poland’s second largest astronomical observatory. From the terrace of the building you can admire the panorama of the city.