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Tour programs extra list / North - Western Poland tour / Szczecin – Seaside National Parks – Gdańsk – Malbork – Torun - Poznan /
8 day North - western poland tour: Szczecin – Międzyzdroje – koŁobrzeg - Slupsk – Gdańsk – Malbork – Torun - Poznan
Arrival in Szczecin, an evening stroll through the Old Town. Welcome dinner in a restaurant, overnight stay at a hotel.
Breakfast, guided tour of Szczecin: Market Square, Town Hall, Loitz family house, the Harbour Gate, Maiden’s Tower, Cathedral of St. James, Castle of the Pomeranian Princes. Next visit to Miedzyzdroje - a spa which takes advantage of abundant springs of saline waters. One of the town’s attractions is the “alley of stars” with the imprints of famous peoples’ hands. The town borders the Wolin National Park. Dinner in a restaurant, overnight stay at a hotel.
Breakfast, transfer from Miedzyzdroje to Slupsk with some possible stops in: Dziwnow, Rewal, Trzesacz, Kolobrzeg, Darlowo and Darlowko. Kołobrzeg, a well known seaside resort, crowded promenade; Dziwnow – a renowned holiday resort and fishing village; Rewal - vast sandy beaches are occupied in summer by sun and sea bathers; Trzesacz - a beach resort on the Baltic Sea with the ruins of a Gothic church perched on a high cliff and known as the Bride of the Sea (only a tiny fragment of the building’s southern wall remains of the original brick church 15th c.); Darłowo - the city that has retained its medieval urban layout and familiar chessboard of streets; Darłówko - 2 km from Darłowo - a beach resort. Dinner, continuation of the trip to Slupsk, overnight stay at a hotel.
Breakfast, a trip to Leba and a visit to the Slowinski National Park. Guided tour - visit to the Museum and the Park where you can admire the unique moving sand dunes. Continuation of the trip to Gdansk, dinner and overnight stay at a hotel in Gdansk.
Breakfast, visit to Gdańsk and Sopot. Guided tour of Gdansk - the majestic Old Town: the Golden Gateway, Neptune’s Fountain, Artus Court, the Uphagen House and Dluga Street, Mariacka Street, the wooden Crane on the Motlava River, a stroll along the yacht harbor; the Solidarity Monument at the Gdansk Shipyard, the birthplace of Solidarity movement. Next we visit Oliva for a recital of organ music in the Oliva Dome. Sopot - a lively seaside and sunbathing resort, popular for relaxation. Overnight stay at a hotel.
Breakfast. Transfer to Malbork - the city has been put on the UNESCO list as one of the world's most unique monuments: Malbork Castle - the former residence of the Grand Master of Teutonic Knights - it also contains Poland’s largest collection of amber. Transfer to Toruń, dinner in a restaurant, overnight in a hotel.
Breakfast, guided tour of Toruń - the city tour includes the House of Nicolas Copernicus, the Town Hall, St. Mary’s and St. John’s Church, the ruins of the Teutonic Knights Castle. Continuation of the trip to Poznań with a planned stop in Gniezno. Visit to Gniezno Cathedral, where the first Polish kings were crowned. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Poznan.
Breakfast. Guided tour of Poznań: the Cathedral, the Renaissance Town Hall, the Baroque Church of St. Mary Magdalene, and the Museum of Musical Instruments. Departure to Szczecin.
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More then a thousand years of tradition and turbulent history are encapsulated in Szczecin, which is historical capital of western Pomerania. Its most illustratious period was during the reign of the Dukes of the Griffin dynasty, when the city belonged to the Hanseatic League. At a time it was one of the most powerful ports and trading centerson Baltic. today it is cultural centre with an opera and operetta house, numerous theatres and exhibition halls, and its mixture of gothic and successionists architecture combine to give it a captivating charm.
Woliński Park Narodowy
ul. Niepodległości 3a, 72-500 Międzyzdroje
Wolinski National Park is located at the mouth of Oder River, in the North-Western Poland (Szczecin voivodship), close to the Polish-German border. It protects highly valuable north-western part of the Wolin Island. The Park was established in 1960 on the area of 4844 ha. It was extended in 1996 by incorporating 1 nautical mile broad belt of Baltic coastal waters in the north and delta of Swina River. Inclusion of the part of Pomeranian Bay and inner salt waters of Szczecin Bay has made the Woliński National Park the first maritime park in Poland. The total area of the Park today is 10 937 ha, of which forests covering 4530 ha (41%). 6 forest communities of a total area of 165 ha (1,5%) are under strict protection.
Geology and geomorphology
The landscape of the Park varies greatly, including its characteristic element: 15 km long and up to 95 m high cliffs. Storms, wind and sun contribute to the cliffs' erosion. As a result they recede approximately 80 cm per year. The altitude within the Park is from 0 to 115 m. Moraine hills predominate in the relief, covering approximately 75% of the Park area.
Waters, apart from forests, are predominating ecotypes of the Park. The northernmost part comprises a belt of Baltic Sea coastal waters and the western part - delta of Swina River. The delta is a complex of water-muddy islands, separated by channels with variable direction of flow and water level, and periodically overflown (especially during back flow, when Baltic waters, piled up by northern winds flow into the Szczecin Bay). The picturesque panorama of the delta can be admired from the top of Zielonka hill. The Park forests hide 4 post-glacial lakes: Warnowskie, Rabiąż, Czajcze and Domysłowskie, and artificial lakes: Turkusowe (Turquoise) and Stara Kredownia.
Over 1300 vascular plant species have been recorded on the Wolin Island. Many of the species are rare and protected, such us sand binders: sea-beach sandwort (Honckenya peploides), lyme grass (Elymus arenaria), sea rocket (Cakile edentula), spiny saltwort (Salsola kali), and salt water plants - halophytes (Halophyta) (about 30 species). Steep slopes of the cliffs are densely overgrown by common sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides). Ground and sandy bed of the Baltic Sea is a habitat of macroalgae: green algae (Chlorophyta), brown algae (Phaeophyta) and rhodophytes (Rhodophyta), of which the most frequent are bladderwack (Fucus vesiculosus) and chlorophyte Entetromorpha intestinalis. Inland areas of the Park consist mainly of moraine hills covered with beech-pine-oak forests. The most dominant tree species is though pine, which overgrows 68% of the inland Park area. Beech and oak cover respectively 23% and 7%, and other tree species the rest. The beech forests are among especially well preserved forest communities, their structure is close to the structure of original forests. The best preserved beech forest communities are under strict protection in two reserves in the southern part of the Park and one in its northern part, where the orchid beech wood occurs. It developed on a special aeolian cliff soil, created by wind transporting small mineral particles inside the forest. This extraordinary plant community comprises among other things 9 orchid species. Another plant communities, coastal coniferous forests with crowberry, which developed on podsolic soils developed on mellow sands nearby the Wisełka village, deserve special attention.
ul. Bohaterow Warszawy 1, 76-214 Smoldzino
Slowinski National Park lies in the central part of the Polish coast, between Leba and Rowy, in the Pomorskie Voivodeship. The northern border of the Park is formed by 32.5 km of the Baltic Sea coastline. Activities towards the creation of a national park started in 1946 during the conference in Leba with the participation of scientists from Poznan and Gdansk. The Park was finally established in 1967, over the area of 18,069 ha. Currently it occupies the area of 18,618 ha, of which 10,213 ha are covered by waters and 4,599 ha by forests. 5,619 ha, including 2,529 ha of forests, are strictly protected. In 1977 the Park was recognised by UNESCO as a MaB Biosphere Reserve.
The Słowiński National Park is famous for its unique moving sand dunes. Formed as early as 5000 years ago from the sand carried on by the sea. The dunes are moving inland at a speed of about 10 metres a year. The most important holiday sites enclosing the park on both ends are Rowy (in the west) and Łeba (in the north). In the village of Kluki at the south end of the Park, there is an open-air museum (skansen), with a display of architecture and folk costumes of the Słowińcy tribe that used to inhabit this region.
Gdańsk – the maritime capital of Poland and a large business, science and tourist center. Lech Wałęsa started to overthrow communism here. Sopot, the smallest town of Tri-City, was one of the most fashionable Baltic resorts before WWII. Gdynia, the youngest of the three cities, boasts commercial, passenger and navy ports. It was the largest and most modern port on the Baltic coast before WWII. The coat-of-arms of Gdańsk.
A symbol of the city – the Gothic harbor crane sitting on the Motława, its arm was capable of lifting up to 4 tons of weight to a height of 27 m. Today it houses a branch of the Central Maritime Museum.
A charming street with restored characteristic forecourts; students and graduates of Music Academy often perform here. Old Town in Gdańsk.
St. Mary’s Church
A Gothic shrine from the 14th century designed for 25 000 worshippers, its astronomical clock was the biggest in the world; the tower (78m high) offers a magnificent view over Gdańsk.
Remnants of the fortifications from the 15th century, comprise Executioner’s House interconnected with the Prison Tower. ul. Targ Węglowy,
A Baroque structure, which replaced in the 17th century an earlier Gothic gate.
Green gate from the 16th century was the residence of Polish kings in Gdańsk. The Green Gate closes the Royal Route on the Motława side.
Town Hall of the Inner Town from the 16th century, initially a Gothic brick structure, later rebuilt in the Renaissance style. Its splendid interiors include the Read Hall of the Council. The seat of the Museum of Gdańsk History.
This Gothic stone house of merchants’ guilds with the biggest tile stove in Europe (10.5 m high, 520 decorated tiles) is standing next to Town Hall. Today it houses a branch of the Museum of Gdańsk History.
This bronze statue in front of Artus Court epitomizes the maritime nature of the city.
Old merchant tenement house with typical interiors from the 18th century. Today it houses a branch of the Museum of Gdańsk History and is open to tourists.
Only a few of the 300-some old granaries survived to this day. Between New and Old Motława River.
National Museumwith a collection of Gdańsk paintings from 14th through 19th century and a gallery of Dutch painting, including the Last Judgment by Hans Memling, ul. Toruńska 1.
Cistercian monastery complex in Oliwa
Cistercian monastery complex in Oliwa with a cathedral built in 1200. Wonderful sound of organs from the 18th century blends with decorative sculptures: angels, suns and stars actually move during the concert.
Łaźnia Contemporary Art Center
Contemporary art exhibitions, quasi-artistic projects are presented and documentary films screened in the building of an old bath. Polish and foreign artists, acclaimed productions and young exploratory art.
Halfway between Gdańsk and Sopot is Oliwa, famous around the world for its precious organ, housed in Oliwa cathedral. A few kilometers west of Sopot is Gdynia. This city was built from scratch, on the site of an existing village, in the 1920s and '30s. It was designed as the port and shipbuilding center for Poland, which regained its independence in 1918. Gdynia's modern center is a favourite shopping area among Tricity residents. Places to relax include the nearby Nadmorski (Seaside) Boulevard, which runs at the foot of a scenic park right on to Sopot. Gdynia is home to one of the world's largest shipyards, built in 1923.
On both sides of the pier there is a wide sandy beach. On the sides of the Bohaterów Monte Cassino Street there are countless shops, cafés and restaurants. A well renowned Sopot Forest Opera has 4500 seats. In the summer months many performances, musicals and musical festivals are held here. To the east of Gdańsk only a narrow stripe of land separates the Vistula Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. The Vistula Sandbar belongs in part to Poland and in part to the Kaliningrad District (Russia). On the isthmus there are some really impressive beaches. The reed on its southern side nests rare water bird species.
Muzeum Zamkowe w Malborku
ul. Starościńska 1, 82-200 Malbork
Malbork with its extensive Gothic castle complex. The Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights once lived in this fortress. “Light and sound” spectacles are held here as well as knights' tournaments for those who find looking at museum collections is not enough.
This 13th-century fortified monastery belonging to the Teutonic Order was substantially enlarged and embellished after 1309, when the seat of the Grand Master moved here from Venice. A particularly fine example of a medieval brick castle, it later fell into decay, but was meticulously restored in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of the conservation techniques now accepted as standard were evolved here. Following severe damage in the Second World War it was once again restored, using the detailed documentation prepared by earlier conservators.
Treasures of the earth Amber, a fossilized resin from coniferous trees which also has therapeutic properties, has been collected on the shores of the Baltic Sea since at least the 1st century B.C. In the times of the Roman Empire, merchants came to Gdańsk from the Mediterranean basin in search of amber. The History of Amber exhibit at the Malbork Castle Museum presents marvelous examples of amber and amber jewelry.
Toruń (200,000 inhabitants) is proud of its Old Town, which has been added to UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. Founded in 1233 by the Teutonic Knights, the city is home to many splendid examples of historical architecture. The Old Town Hall combines the elements of Gothic with late Renaissance. Opposite, there is a monument commemorating Nicolaus Copernicus. In the house of his birth, a collection of documents and instruments from the epoch can be viewed. His name was given to the Toruń University. The sumptuous church of St Mary is famous for its stellar vault.
The famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was born and lived in the medieval town of Toruń, which is now on the UNESCO World’s Cultural Heritage List. Copernicus was the first astronomer who said that the earth is not the centre of the universe, but rather the planets revolve around the Sun. Maybe this is what makes our sky so attractive for aviators. Polish air clubs have training courses for aircraft and glider pilots. Hang-gliding and increasingly popular motor-gliding can also be enjoyed in Poland. Enthusiasts of hot-air ballooning and parachuting are also catered for.
The first capital of Poland and also the old sea of Polish Archbishops. the most important monument in the town is the Cathedral with the shrine of Saint Adalbert and the bronze doors a fine example of Romanesque decorative arts.
All who want to acquaint with the beginning of our State and the beginning of the Christian faith in Poland are cordialy invited to Gniezno, the First Capital of Poland and the City of St. Adalbert. It was here that legendary Lech bade his brothers Czech and Rus farewell, and stayed here to found on a hill the first city.
There are numerous hotels, motels and restaurants and many new project under development. Tourism still remains one off the most important income sources for Gniezno citizens.
Gniezno is a town open for investors. The authorities and citizens welcome all new prospects and ideas for those who are willing to invest in this marvelous city and see the great venues and opportunities.
Poznan one of the oldest cities in Poland by the Warta River.
Poznan's impressive cathedral is the earliest church in the country, containing the tombs of the first Polish rulers: duke Mieszko I, king Boleslaw the Brave, king Mieszko II, dupe Casimir I the Restorel, duke Przemyslaw I and king Przemyslaw II. Today the city is a vibrant center for trade, industry, and education. Poznań is Poland's 5th largest city and 4th biggest industrial center.
Poznań is known around the world as an important international trade-fair centre. Every year about 30 international and national events are held here. Specialist trade fairs, such as the Polagra Fair, featuring food products, and the Budma Fair, featuring building materials, are among the largest sectoral events in Europe.
The historical landmarks in this city are also well worth seeing. The observation terrace of the Economics Academy skyscraper, 80 m above ground, offers an excellent view of the city's old quarter, Ostrów Tumski, where the cathedral stands today and where once stood the castle of Prince Mieszko I and his son Bolesław the Brave, crowned in 1025 the first king of Poland. Their sarcophaguses can be viewed in the Golden Chapel of the cathedral. Besides gold cups and monstrances from the churches of Wielkopolska, the Archdiocese Museum houses Poland's only painting by Anthony van Dyck.
Poznań's most beautiful church is the huge Baroque Parish Church of St. Stanisław. This is one of Poznań's most mysterious buildings, since parts of the crypts have not yet been investigated. Rumors say that crates of sketches by great Polish painters Jan Matejko and Wojciech Gerson, purchased for the Poznań City Museum just before World War II, were hidden here. Organ concerts are held in the church every day in the summer, with proceeds going to the renovation of the historic organ. Billy goats on the Town Hall The city authorities were housed in the Renaissance Town Hall until 1939, and today the building is home to the Poznań History Museum. At noon two mechanical billy goats clash horns on the Town Hall tower in the middle of the Old Market Square. The fasade of the houses surrounding the square, once the homes of the wealthiest residents, feature Renaissance and Baroque motifs.