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6 day karkonosze Tour: Wroclaw - Szklarska Poreba – Karpacz
During this tour we would like to introduce you to variety of Polish landscapes and regional cultures. Starting in Wroclaw – the capital of Lower Silesia to Karkonosze Mountains with its famous resort Szklarska Poręba and Karpacz.
Arrival in Wroclaw, an evening stroll along the Old Town Square, welcome dinner in a restaurant, overnight stay at a hotel.
Breakfast, guided tour of Wroclaw: the Old Town Square, Gothic Town Hall, complex of medieval architecture on Ostrów Tumski Island with gothic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, the University with Aula Leopoldina. Visit to “Panorama Raclawicka” magnificent picture, dinner in a restaurant, overnight stay at a hotel.
Breakfast, transfer to Ksiaz Castle, with history dates back to 13th century, picturesquely situated in an old park on a rocky hill with superb interiors of gothic and baroque splendor. Transfer to Świdnica, visit to a unique timber Church of Holy Trinity called the Church of Peace. Transfer to Szklarska Poręba, a stroll along Szklarska Poręba – The Peral of Karkonosze. Dinner in a restaurant, free time in the city center, overnight in a hotel.
Breakfast, chairlift to Szrenica (1362 m above sea level) 4 km long covering 600 m difference of height; on the way back you will admire the Kamieńczyk Waterfall (27 m). Afternoon: the Szklarka Waterfall. Dinner and overnight stay at a hotel.
Breakfast, transfer to Karpacz, sightseeing tour of Karpacz, chairlift to Śnieżka 1601 m the highest mountain in Karkonosze Range. On the way back visit to local highlight - the wooden Wang Chapel, originally built in the first half of 13th century in Norway. Dinner in a regional restaurant, overnight stay at a hotel.
Breakfast. Transfer to Wrocław, departure.
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Wrocław is one of the oldest and most attractive Polish cities. It is situated at the foot of Sudety Mountains on the Oder River. The city is intersected by several tributaries of the Oder and canals, with 12 islands and 112 bridges. Wrocław is a major university center with over 50,000 university students.
Old Town Square
from the 13th century of impressive proportions (208 x 175 m) is the focal point of Wrocław.
in the Old Town Square boasts a richly ornamented façade and an astronomical clock from 1580. Today it houses the Museumof History. Burghers’ Art Museum.
this former island is the oldest part of Wrocław. Initially a stronghold, later a castle and now the location of St. John’s Cathedral.
St. John the Baptist’s Cathedral
from the 13th and 14th centuries, with two scenic towers, is the oldest Gothic structure in Poland. Impressive view from the tower 56 m high.
accessible by Piaskowy Bridge, the oldest surviving bridge in Wrocław. Just across the bridge is a Baroque building of University Library, mills from the 17th /18th century are located at the tip of the island. An impressive view of Ostrów Tumski.
St. Giles’ Church
The oldest church in Wrocław erected in the Romanesque style in the first half of the 13th century. The nearby Archdiocese Museum houses impressive collections of sacral art.
The Grunwald Bridge
built in 1910, used to be the longest suspension bridge in Europe.
The main building of the Wroclaw University is a Baroque structure from early 18th century. Richly decorated interiors with the magnificent Aula Leopoldina housing the statues of Hapsburg emperors, paintings and frescoes.
The Racławice Panorama
This gigantic painting from late 19th century commemorating the victorious battle of Poles with the Russian army is located in an oval building at Słowackiego Park.
The People’s Hall
the first Modernist reinforced concrete structure in the world, erected by the Germans in 1913.
Poland’s largest (31.3 hectares) zoological garden established in the 19th century.
The Szczytnicki Park
established in the 18th century, one of the largest parks in Europe, with an impressive collection of local and exotic plants, romantic alleys and imposing trees. The Japanese Garden founded 100 years ago with a collection of exotic plants.
The Wrocław Mime Theatre
famous mime theatre established in 1959, its performances enjoy a great popularity. Open mime art workshops are organized.
Niepold’s Shopping Arcade
housing numerous pubs, nightclubs and disco clubs, is a popular leisure center. Young people frequent the GAFA club with a dance performance stage, a bar and billiard room, Celtic Pub with Latino music. Metropolis with techno, house and trance music and the Buldog with rock music.
In the shadow of the cathedral Ostrów Tumski, far from the hubbub of the city, is the terra sancta of Wrocław. To get there, you need to cross Tumski Bridge, once the border of church jurisdiction. Representatives of the lay authorities, including princes, were obliged to take off their hats when they crossed the bridge. This is an area of monumental churches, a marvelous Gothic cathedral, the houses of the canons and the archbishop's palace. The terrace on the cathedral's northern tower mentioned above offers a great view of the church towers and the Oder River winding through the city. When the gas lamps are lit at night and the most striking architectural landmarks are illuminated, Ostrów Tumski is a breathtaking sight. Those who enjoy Modernism will be intrigued by the Ludowa Hall, which at its opening in 1913 was the largest reinforced-concrete structure in the world. Today it is a venue for trade fairs, exhibitions, concerts and sports events first and foremost matches played by Poland's best basketball club team, Śląsk Wrocław, a 16-time Polish champion. Wrocaw is a city where culture plays a special role. Important events include the Wratislavia Cantans Music and Fine Arts festival, featuring oratorio and cantata music, the International Festival of Viennese Music and the Wrocław Organ Summer. The city has an opera house, an operetta, numerous theaters and museums, among which the most important is the rotunda housing the Racławice Panorama, a monumental work by Wojciech Kossak and Jan Styka, portraying the victory of insurgents led by Tadeusz Kościuszko over Russian forces at the Battle of Racławice.
Ksiaz is situated in the south-west Poland, very close to Walbrzych. The place to see in Ksiaz is the castle - the biggest in Silesia, and the third largest in Poland. It was constructed between 1288 and 1291, and was built by the Silesian Piast Prince Bolko I. It sits on a huge cape, surrounded on three sides by the dark valley of Pelcznica river.
During World War II the castle was confiscated and transformed into a bunker by the Germans. Supposedly, it was meant to be the most magnificent of Hitler's headquarters. Shelters and tunnels were constructed underneath. But after Hitler's defeat it was taken over by the Soviets. By that time it was completely robbed of all the valuables. Later the castle has been totally forgotten. Finally, the authorities set up the idea of restoring the historic building. They turned it into a museum, but you can find there a restaurant, an art gallery and a hotel as well.
While visiting the castle you should take a tour to see the main tower. The walk at the top is often compared to a journey into the past. It shows the whole history of Ksiaz - Gothic elements are combined with Soviet graffiti. At the top you can have a look at the surroundings - deep forests in the valley of Pelcznica river.
Of the interiors, an absolute must-see, is the Maximilian Hall. As the whole eastern wing, this part was constructed in the 18th century. The Maximilian Hall is the largest room in the whole castle, and is decorated in a Baroque style. You can admire a beautiful interior, among which you should draw your attention to magnificent mirrors, antique chimneypiece, gilded chandeliers, and huge windows with a splendid view. Painted ceiling is a fresco of Mount Parnassus.
You should also see the terraced gardens, that are situated on the slopes around the castle. There are few of them, each one on a different level. They are a great place to have a rest after visiting the interiors. You can sit beside one of the fountains or admire various plant compositions. Near the castle there is a stud farm, where castle stables were situated.
Szklarska Poręba – The Peral of Karkonosze
Szklarska Poręba an important centre of tourism and winter sports at the foot of the Karkonosze Mountains, on the Kamienna River. Within the town borders different heights from 650 to 900 m above sea level. Several guest-houses, hotels and holiday centers, as well as ski- runs and lifts.
Szklarska Poręba is the major centre of winter sports in the Sudetes Mountains. The skiers and boarders can enjoy the local slopes from December till mid- April. The most attractive is the area of Mt Szrenica with its Ski Arena, cable car and diversifiedski trails. The latter include the FIS downhill run, a very long Lolobrigida trail (4444 metres) and the lit at night Puchatek. Various championships in alpine skiing and snowboarding are organized in the area.
The town is also good base for those interested in mountain routes, picturesque waterfalls and unique rock formations. the qualtites of Szklarska Poręba provide tourists with active holidays not only in winter season but for the entire year.
The Secrets of the Mountains
The Karkonosze Range is a part of the Sudety Mountains and the enchanted land of Lower Silesia. From the top of Mt Śnieżka (1,602 m), overlooking the Polish side of the Sudety Mountains, enfolds a splendid view of the natural and man-made wonders of this land. The network of signposted tourist trails (2,500 km) is well developed, still there are many secret places which will delight explorers and seekers of treasures, especially collectors of valuable minerals. The Bear’s Cave has more than 3 km of labyrinthine corridors and chambers, marble mines as well as many places untrodden by humans. The Karkonosze Range is 350 million years old. It is difficult to imagine long ago they came to be – it is certainly easier to wander about these mountains, trying to unravel the secrets of time… Sudety Mountains, is waiting for you.
The Szklarska Poreba Waterfall (106 m), the Kamieńczyk Waterfall (27 m) and the Kamienna (Stone) River fissure. Marked trails lead to the most interesting parts of the Karkonosze Mountains, among others to Łabski Szczyt (Top) and to the Kamienna (Stone) River fissure, as well as to the Izerskie Mountains, a range situated westwards from the Karkonosze.
There is no doubt that Karpacz is one of the most beautiful cities located in Karkonosze Mountains region situated in the south-western Poland (20 km south of Jelenia Gora). The best starting point to go exploring the Karkonosze National Park popular centre of winter sports and climbing, situated in a picturesque road at the foot of Śnieżka, the highest summit of the Karkononosze Mountains. Individual districts of Karpacz lie on different levels from 530 up to 885 m above sea level. Together with the nearby housing estates: the Upper Karpacz, Wilcza Poręba and others it forms a big tourist complex with several boarding-houses and hotels.
In the city there are numerous ski lifts and a chairlift to Mała Kopa (1325 m above sea level) 2300 m long covering the 530 m level difference. Popular Mountain Tourist School. A valuable monument of Upper Karpacz is wooden small Wang church erected in the 13th century in Norway and brought here in 1841 on king Frederick William IV’s own initiative. Worth visiting - the Wang Church.
58-540 Karpacz, ul. Na Śnieżkę 8
The wooden Wang Chapel, originally built in the first half of 13th century in Norway. Many who have visited the place have had the impression that they were facing a Chiese pagoda or a Hindu temple. Therefore, the fact that this structure is a Christian church originating not in the Far East, but the North, e. g. in Scandinavia comes to many visitors as a surprise.
Since we have few everyday dealings with Norway we are not very familiar with the Scandinavian homeland of the Wang church. Norway, on the other hand, is acknowledged as the motherland of Edward Grieg, the composer; the land of fjords; a starting point for the Vikings in their longships and a place of the past Winter Olympics.
On the other hand, the history of the Norwegian people, their cultural development, their past, in general, is hardly known to us. Yet this might even add to the interest and attraction of becoming more familiar with this structure, which is both an example of and an undeniable testimony to the output of indigenous Scandinavian culture. The church dates back to a specific time in their history, and comes from a specific place, the Valdres region.
The Wang church is not only a valuable monument, but first and foremost it is a House of the Lord where the members of the Lutheran Church come to worship. Theirs is the duty of looking after the building, so their care can be clear evidence of their faith.
There is one fact about the Wang church that deserves attention. It is not only a church, a monument but also an important meeting place for the people of Europe as well.