Highlights

Poland is a country of 1000-year-old history, rich traditions and abundant cultural heritage. The legacy of bygone centuries that includes monuments of architecture, historical mementos and masterpieces of art is perfectly combined with the wealth of Polish nature and its original landscapes.

All those who wish to deepen their knowledge of history and see outstanding art pieces should travel to our country in order to admire Poland’s UNESCO sites entered on the World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. The list distinguishes buildings and sites that constitute the most valuable examples of peoples’ material culture, products of human genius or unique nature reserves. The states that possess those special sites on their territory are bound to protect them from destruction

The Tatra Mountains and the Podhale Region
The Tatra Mountains and the Podhale Region
The country of 10 000 lakes and wild rivers
The country of 10 000 lakes and wild rivers
Białowieża Forest
Białowieża Forest
Pieninski National Park
Pieninski National Park
Slowinski National Park
Slowinski National Park
Krakow historical center
Krakow historical center
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Auschwitz Concentration Camp
Auschwitz Concentration Camp
Historic Centre of Warsaw
Historic Centre of Warsaw
Old City of Zamosc
Old City of Zamosc
The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork
The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork
Centennial Hall in Wroclaw
Centennial Hall in Wroclaw
The Churches of Peace in Jawor and Swidnica
The Churches of Peace in Jawor and Swidnica
The Medieval Town of Torun
The Medieval Town of Torun
Wooden Churches of Southern little Poland
Wooden Churches of Southern little Poland
Wang Chapel in Karpacz
Wang Chapel in Karpacz

The Tatra Mountains and the Podhale Region

The scenic Podhale region makes one think of how magnificent God’s creation can be. The foothills seem to climb towards the mountain peaks. The High Tatras are the only alpine range in Central Europe that stretches between Poland and the Czech and Slovak Republics. Their beauty is well represented by such nature marvels as Lake Morskie Oko (Sea Eye Lake), streams, waterfalls, rock formations, forests, beautiful valleys as well as their rich animal life.

The country of 10 000 lakes and wild rivers

The region’s landscape was shaped by retreating glacier. It features two large lakelands in Masuria and Pomerania. Many lakes are hidden in the depth of thick forests unspoiled by man or industry. Paradise for sailors, anglers and other water sports enthusiasts as well as for those who seek rest in healthy and peaceful environment. It is also a place for nature lovers and bird watchers.

Białowieża Forest

Situated on the watershed of the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, this immense forest range, consisting of evergreens and broad-leaved trees, is home to some remarkable animal life, including rare mammals such as the wolf, the lynx and the otter, as well as some 300 European Bison, a species which has been reintroduced into the park.

Pieninski National Park

This may be the smallest of Poland’s National Parks but still is home to thousands of unique and protected species of plants and many rare species of animals. The biggest tourist attraction in the Pieniny National Park is a raft ride on the Dunajec River but hikers and cyclists also find many extremely interesting trails. In this small park there are a total of 34km of trails of remarkable natural value.

Slowinski National Park

The largest attractions of this park are its beautiful and shifting sand dunes. It was founded in 1967 and has an area of 32,744 hectares and is therefore one of the largest in the country. The park is located in the central section of the coast with the Baltic Sea as its northern border. Lake Lebsko is within the park as well as forests, bogs and Lake Gardno. One of its greatest peculiarities are its large sand dunes which occupy a major portion of the park from the side of the sea. It is the largest area of wandering sands in Europe, having an area of around 500 hectares. This whole region is reminiscent of a sandy desert. Some of the dunes still continue to move in an easterly direction with speeds of up to 10m per year. The flora in the park is represented by 920 species of vascular plants, 165 species of bryophytes and 430 species of fungi. The zonal arrangement of the vegetation is a characteristic of the park, which runs inland in parallel strips from the coast. In addition to two main tourist trails (northern and southern) there are many cognitive paths and trails running through the park. www.slowinskipn.pl

Krakow historical center

Located at the foot of the Wawel, 250 km south-east of Warsaw, Krakow, the former capital of Poland, has a rich historic centre made up of the medieval site of Kazimierz in the southern part of the town with remnants of the 14th-century fortifications, the 13th-century site of Krakow with the largest market square in Europe, the City Hall, the Jagellonian University, the Royal Castle and the Cathedral of San Waclaw where the kings of Poland are buried.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Mined since the 13th century, this deposit of rock salt in Wieliczka- Bochnia is still actively worked. With over nine levels and 300 kilometers of galleries with famous works of art, altars, and statues sculpted in salt, it constitutes a fascinating pilgrimage into the past of a major industrial undertaking.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp

The fortified walls, the barbed wire, the platforms, the barracks, the gallows, the gas chambers and the cremation ovens all bear witness to the conditions within which the Hitlerian genocide took place in the former concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most extensive of the Third Reich. Four million persons, among them a great number of Jews, were systematically starved, tortured and assassinated in this camp, symbol of the cruelty of man to his fellow- men in the 20th century.

Historic Centre of Warsaw

Historic Centre of Warsaw In August 1944, during World War II, more than 85 per cent of Warsaw's 18th-century historic centre was destroyed by Nazi occupation troops. After the war, a five-year reconstruction campaign by its citizens resulted in today's meticulous reproduction of the churches, palaces and the market-place. It is an exceptional example of a total reconstruction of a span of history from the 13th to the 20th century.

Old City of Zamosc

Zamosc was founded in the 16th century by the hetman (head of the army) Jan Zamoysky on the trade route linking western and northern Europe with the Black Sea. Modelled on the Italian trading cities and built during the Baroque period by the architect Bernando Morando, a native of Padua, Zamosc remains a perfect example of a Renaissance town of the late 16th century which retains its original layout and fortifications and a large number of buildings blending Italian and central European architectural traditions.

The Medieval Town of Torun

Torun owes its origins to the Teutonic Order, which built a castle there in the mid 13th century as a base for the conquest and evangelization of Prussia. It quickly developed a commercial role as part of the Hanseatic League, and many of the imposing public and private buildings from the 14th and 15th centuries that survive in its Old and New Towns are striking testimony to its importance.

The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork

The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork When the seat of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order moved from Venice to what was then known as Marienburg, the earlier castle was greatly enlarged and embellished. It became the supreme example of the medieval brick castle. It fell into decay later, but in the 19th and early 20th century was meticulously restored; it was here that many of the conservation techniques now accepted as standard were evolved. Following severe damage in World War II it was once again restored, using the detailed documentation prepared by the earlier conservators.

Centennial Hall in Wroclaw

The Centennial Hall (Jahrhunderthalle in German and Hala Ludowa in Polish), a landmark in the history of reinforced concrete architecture, was erected in 1911-1913 by Max Berg, at the time municipal architect in Breslau, as the Polish city of Wrocław was called at the time, when it was part of Germany. The Centennial Hall, a multi-purpose recreational building, is a centrally-planned structure situated on the Exhibition Grounds. The structure of the Centennial Hall is a symmetrical quatrefoil form with a vast circular central space (65m diameter, 42m high) that can seat some 6,000 persons. The 23m-high dome is topped with a lantern in steel and glass. The windows are made of exotic hardwood and, in order to improve the acoustics, the walls are covered with an insulating layer \ of concrete mixed with wood or cork. The elevations have no decoration or ornament, but the exposed concrete texture is marked with the imprints of the wooden framework. On the west side of the Centennial Hall is a monumental square modeled like an ancient forum. On its north side is the Four-Dome Pavilion designed by architect Hans Poelzig in 1912 to house an historical exhibition. In the northern section of the Exhibition Grounds, Poelzig designed a concrete pergola surrounding an artificial pond. Adjacent to the entrance is the office building of the company administrating the Exhibition Grounds (Breslauer Messe A.G.), built in 1937 to the design by Richard Konwiarz. A monumental gateway leading to the forum is in the form of a colonnade with reinforced concrete columns, designed by Max Berg in 1924. The Centennial Hall is a pioneering work of modern engineering and architecture, which exhibits an important interchange of influences in the early 20th century, becoming a key reference in the later development of reinforced concrete structures.

The Churches of Peace in Jawor and Swidnica

The largest timber-framed religious buildings in Europe were built in the former Silesia in the mid-17th century, amid the religious strife that followed the Peace of Westphalia. Constrained by the physical and political conditions, the Churches of Peace bear testimony to the quest for religious freedom and are a rare expression of Lutheran ideology in an idiom generally associated with the Catholic Church.

Wooden Churches of Southern little Poland

The wooden churches of southern Little Poland represent outstanding examples of the different aspects of medieval church-building traditions in Roman Catholic culture. Built using the horizontal log technique, common in eastern and northern Europe since the Middle Ages, these churches were sponsored by noble families and became status symbols. They offered an alternative to the stone structures erected in urban centers.

Wang Chapel in Karpacz

A curious architectural gem – the Wang Chapel, the only Nordic Romanesque building in Poland. This remarkable wooden structure in Upper Karpacz was one of about 400 such chapels built at the turn of the 12th century on the bank of Lake Vang in southern Norway; only 28 of these ‘stave churches’ survive there today. By the 19th century it became too small for the local congregation, and was put up for sale to make way for a larger church. King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia bought it in 1841, had it dismantled piece by piece and then had it transported to Karpacz via Berlin. Not only is it the oldest church in the Sudetes, it’s also the highest situated (886m).