Weekend in Wałbrzych – the best attraction everyone should see

Anyone, who visited Wałbrzych 10 years ago and thinks that knows this city well, will be mistaken. It is no use looking for an equally surprising and swift metamorphosis in any other place in Poland.

For many years Wałbrzych was associated with the fall of industry, unemployment and ugliness. But there was a sign of change in the city’s picture in 2016, when the search of the Golden Train began. The fever associated with the legendary World War II Nazi treasure caused the city to be discovered and appreciated by media from all aroud the world, including editorial offices of
Die Welt, New York Times, BBC, CBS News, Wall Street Journal and CNN.
But the biggest surprise came to our national journalists, who used to present Wałbrzych in a negative light. After a period of „changes” they just couldn’t believe that they are looking at the very same city. Nobody expected such quick and radical changes. Journalists began appreciating progress in all areas of life. They began discovering qualities that werren’t here before, or just were not noticed. Nobody found the train, but the well-deserved opinion, which didn’t lack of praise, survived.

In 2019, the website www.polskazachwyca.pl without hesitation pointed Wałbrzych as a national leader in a ranking of cities, that went through most changes over the last few years. „Who used ot laugh at Wałbrzych?” they asked a criss-cross question. „Now there’s nothing to laugh about, because the town is getting more and more beautiful very quickly”.

Wałbrzych: the greatest attraction of the town
Today, nobody should be surprised with considering Wałbrzych as one of the most interesting Polish cities. The greatest attraction of this town is still the Książ Castle. It might look the same – one of the most beautifully located castles in Europe, the largest one in the Lower Silesia and the third largest one in Poland. But the sizes of the exhibit have been strongly expanded, a mausoleum was opened, and in close proximity the mysterious undertground route was created, for which everyone waited for years. The surrounding of the fortress was also taken care of. All these aspects made the Książ castle break popularity records – every year this object, towering on an incredible mountain headland, is visited by more than half a million tourists.

Although the local palm house was built more than 100 years ago, it regained great popularity in the last year after the modernization and „hiring” new roomers. This isn’t just the only Polish winter garden that preserved its original, historical character. This place is also home to lemurs, colorful peacocks, turtles and fish. Visiting the garden is a fascinating trip between 250 species of plants from all the continents a special bonsai exhibit and with an incredible background of lava of Etna in Sicily.

Many years ago, tourists usually got to the northern parts of the town, only stopping in the castle and the palm house. The south with an interesting, but neglected Old Town, didn’t enjoy as much popularity. But it all changed thanks to the widely comprehensive revitalization and the great investments associated with culture and sport.

In the Biały Kamień district (in place of the ruined complex) the largets sport-recreation complex in Sudety was created under the name of Aqua-Zdrój. Since 2013 football fans come for matches to the sport arena, children come to the aquapark slide and swimming fans come to the 25-meter swimming pool. But that’s not all. There is also a fitness zone with an excellent gym, excercising rooms, squash corts and a cryogenic chamber. Plus, a hoel for 120 guests, training fields an a stadium in a scenery of a majestic mountain of Cherłmiec.

Another interesting thing you can’t miss while being in Wałbrzych is the Stara Kopalnia Science and Art Centre. This object was created as a result of rebuilding the Julia coal mine in 2014. Currently it is one of the most precious monuments of technic culture in the world, the most beautiful overground excavation complex in Poland, and at the same time a tribute to a long mining history of Wałbrzych. The visit to the Stara Kopalnia Science and Art Centre is lead by former miners as guides and contains 2.5 kilometers of building and corners in the mines. Despite the prestigious prizes for the monument, the centre is mostly the cultural heart of Wałbrzych with an extensive exhibition offer, scattered at the surface of more than 4 hectares. For 361 days a year there is something happening in Stara Kopalnia – from chmaber events to outdoor concerts for thousands of people.

From there it is very close to the Old Town. Many movie directors fell in love with its climatic scenery, including Andrzej Wajda, Agnieszka Holland and many others. More than 30 live action movies and TV shows were created in the backgrounds of this town. The restored streets, squares and corners are thw administrational and financial centre of the town. You also shouldn’t forget about the magnificent churches, palaces and headquarters of renowned cultural institutions.

The oldest Puppet and Actor Theatre in the Lower Silesia is one of the best scenes of its type in Poland. The vanguard Drama Theatre became famous because of its comfortable artistic freedom. Its premieres are enjoying fame all over the country. Menawhile, the international fame of the Sudety Philharmonic became a reality thanks to the crating mastery and traditional teamwork with outstanding solists, including Piotr Paleczny and Leszek Możdżer. Fans of art are also guaranteed to be attracted to exhibition rooms of the renowned BWA Art Gallery in Wałbrzychm which has its second headquarters in the Książ Castle.

Another interesting place is Poland’s only porcelain museum. Although it was established in 2015, it has a nearly 100-year old tradition. Even though it was created in a modern style, it was placed in the elegant walls of the Albertich Palace. At the very centre of the town, you can see about 10 000 artefacts. This is one of the richest collections of historical Silesian Porcelain.

If you’ve got enough strength. Wałbrzych can also offer 50 kilometers of picturesque tourist trails and 170 kilometers of cycling routes for fans of recreation and mountain bicyclists. You can conclude your trip with Stado Ogierów – a wonderful riding school with a long tradition of horseback riding. A great advantage of this place is the location itself – in a gorgeous mountain scenery.

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