This week we have been to Poland where we visited Poznan, Wrocław and Castle Książ in Wałbrzych to do a bit of sightseeing and to explore the Polish culture.
While Konstantin has already been in Poland several times, I had no clue what to expect when arriving in Poland and was positively surprised about the old towns and Polish food. The only negative experience I made on this trip was that the train broke down on the way from Warsaw to Poznan (it was quite hot on this day) and that it was not possible to get into Książ castle at 5.10 pm even so the tourist brochure told us that the castle is open till 6.00 pm. Once I arrived in Warsaw I saw the tallest building of Poland – the Palace of Culture and Science built from 1952 – 1955 with a height of 231m.
I have only spent 3 days in Poznan but enjoyed the Market Square with it’s Restaurants which are reasonable priced. On Saturdays it’s possible to get free entrance at the museums as well so he managed to visit the National Museum and the City Museum of Poznan which I liked a lot. Worth to visit are also the St. Stanislaus Church (see picture below) and the Franciscan Church which are situated in the city centre as well.
If you are a connoisseur you should also try to visit the breakfast market in Poznan where you can find different Polish and foreign meals which were quite tasty. Moreover, there is also a Restaurant called Brovaria in the city center which is brewing it’s own beer. From a historical point of view, I have also learned that 500 German settlers arrived in the city in the 13th century since there was a lack of farmers in the region and that nowadays German last names are still quite common in this region. What didn’t fit at all to the city was a building dating back from the 1960s which was built in the center of the old market square but which can not be removed since buildings with an age older than 50 years are protected. Worth to see is also the mechanical goat play on top of the old town hall (see picture below) every day at noon.
The old town of Wroclaw is similar structured as Poznan – just bigger. As we had only a few hours in Wroclaw we were just able to scratch the surface of the city. In the old town you can find plenty of Restaurants and we opted for a dinner in Pizza Hut (since we were eating the whole week Polish food). What’s special on Wroclaw is that you can find gnome statues on different spots in the city centre. Wroclaw is an interesting city with a mixture of old, socialist and modern architecture. The Odra (Oder) which flows through the city also gives a special character to the city. Unfortunately, we had to continue our trip back to Poznan on so we were not able to visit any museums on that day.
In Jawor we visited the church of peace – an UNESCO world heritage site. This church is one of the three churches of peace which were allowed to built in the region shortly after the end of the Thirty Years’ War.
There were some requirements on building the church. The building time was limited to 1 year. Clay, hey and wood were the only allowed building materials and the church should not look like a church from outside.
Castle Książ at Wałbrzych
Castle Książ was built in 1288-1292 and is a must see when you are traveling in Slesia. Unfortunately, we were not able to get into the castle since there was an error on the castle brochure concerning the opening hours.
In general, it was a fun trip to Poland. The food which I got in the Restaurants was good (I especially liked the mushroom soup and the pan cakes in Restaurant Gospoda Wedle Bucków in Jagniątków) and there are also plenty of shopping opportunities available in case you get tired of cultural activities. Communication in English also worked for me in many cases.