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Tourist Atraction

Polesie National Park

Only 50 km northeast of Lublin lies one of the most beautiful national parks of Poland. Although it’s not a uniform area (several roads cross through the park), around a dozen villages and settlements are found within it, among them Urszulin – one of those places that are great for recharging your batteries.

If you love nature, especially watching wild avians, and are not scared by mosquitos and wetlands while preferring flatter over hillier areas for sightseeing, you will definitely love Polesie National Park!

 

Polesie National Park is a protected area and part of list of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. It spreads over wide plains with numerous lakes, swamps and bogs. Part of the park is inaccessible for visitors, but that’s not a big problem thanks to a number of lookout towers built on hiking trails and nature paths – also great for watching flocks of birds.

Fauna and Flora

Other than a variety of avians, these areas are occupied by elks, beavers and otters. Some of the rarer plants include orchis and insect digesters. The biggest curiosity is european pond turtle – the only species of turtle in Poland and also unfortunately the one whose presence within Polish borders is the most threatened. The park is the zone of activity of Pond Turtle Protection Center, which researches all aspects of life of this sympathetic turtle and acts to protect them during periods of egg laying and incubation.

Tourism facilities

Park touring is not just moving across generic nature paths and bicycle routes – there are also impressive swamp footbridges that can go on for kilometers among lakes. There are campsites with designated car parking zones where one can make a campfire, eat a meal and rest. The largest of them, found in Łowiszów settlement near Wytycki Lake, is fenced and has toilets and canopies available for tourists.

If you don’t have your own bicycle yet would like to tour Polesie with one, the National Park’s headquarters in Urszulin has a bicycle rental.

There is also a professional 60 km long Polesie Equestrian Trail.

Polesie National Park Museum

In Stary Załucz (5.5 km west of Urszulin) is found Didactic-Museal Center of Polesie National Park.

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Tourist Atraction

Stone Town Nature Reserve

An inanimate nature reserve situated right by Route 981 Tarnów – Krynica on northeastern slopes of “Skała” hill (365 meters above sea level).
One of the few such places in Europe, where huge rocks are shaped into fantastic forms by erosion.
The stones found in the reserve are made of sandstone, that according to geologic researches is roughly 30 millions of years old.
In 1948 an inanimate nature reserve with 15 hectares of area was created. A blue tourist trail leads through “Stone Town”. You must be there and see for yourself.
WARNING!!! – This is not a place for climbing.

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Tourist Atraction

Castle in Niedzica

Castle in Niedzica and Incan treasure.

One of the best preserved castles in Poland.
Place of one of the most iconic Polish series for children and youth of the 60s: “Holidays with ghosts”.
According to legends it was the place of Janosik’s imprisonment and the site of one of the darkest, most mysterious yet least known stories that supposedly connected Poland to Incans.

Incan legend.

One of the most intriguing and half-legendary stories about the relationship of this place with the royal Inca and Indian treasures is connected with the Niedzica castle.

It all began in the middle of the 18th century when a young Polish nobleman, Sebastian Benesz, traveled to various countries in Peru, where he settled permanently. In his mature age he married a woman who was related to an Incan aristocrat. Their daughter Umin was born, who, after attaining the age of majority, became the wife of Tupac Amaru’s nephew. Tupac was the leader of the last Indian uprising against the Spanish colonists.

These were the days of resurgence of the native Quechua language in Peru, as well as nostalgia for times before the Spanish conquest, nurturing many elements of the ancient tradition.

The Incas Incident, which broke out in 1780, was eventually suppressed and Tupac Amaru and his entire immediate family were executed, while his more distant relatives suffered repressions.

In 1786 Sebastian took his daughter Umina with her husband and several Indians and emigrated to Italy. But after several years Spanish intelligence has tracked fugitives in Venice. In 1796 dies Umina’s stabbed husband, the only legitimate heir of the Incan crown and the Inquisition treasures. Then the refugees quickly change their place of residence and in 1796 Sebastian leads them over the Dunajec to Niedzica. Umina is then the mother of a few months old son – Antonia, born in Venice. After his father’s death he is now the heir of the Inca.

In the gardens of the castle in Niedzica, which welcomes the group of refugees, another play of the drama takes place. The Spanish, who followed the fugitives, murdered Umina.

Sebastian, slowly approaching his deathbed, cleared the tracks to protect his grandson by giving the small Antonio to Benesz family of relatives from Moravia, to accept him as a son.

At the castle of Niedzica, a will and a document of adoption are written down. This is happening in June 21, 1797, the day of the greatest Inca festival – Sun Holidays. Documents from this event went to Church of the Holy Cross in Cracow, probably in 1828.

The accompanying Peruvians were scattered and not heard of since. Waclaw Benes, the adoptive father of Antonio, takes the boy – still an infant – to Krumlov in Moravia, and writes it to his parish priests as his son.

Antonio grows up in Moravia. Adoptive father in a letter or another record woe that Antonio was so overwhelmed by France and denied that “the old history of the family, the proper name and titles, or hear not want”. According to the commandment of the will after reaching the age of majority, however, he learned about his incarnation origin. Nothing, however, did not come out then. In 1826, Antonio married in Brno. He is married to a Polish woman, Rubinowska, daughter of an Austrian grenadier.
Their relationship is born three daughters and five sons, whose only one son has reached the age of majority – Ernest.

In Brno Anton Benesz stays three, maybe four years. Then his father, his mother, and his father-in-law still dies. In short intervals, all loved ones die. Anton moves to Krumlov, where he lives at home number 56, which was built by Wacław Benesz from the funds he received from Sebastian on a solid Antonio device.

Anton Benesz dies on March 20, 1877, handing over his oldest son Ernest documents and family memorabilia, ordering him never to return to this matter. However, Ernest, who became an engineer – an oil worker, however, became interested in his pedigree. It was even talked about his trip to South America, taken to discover the roots of the family.

Ernest’s son, Janusz, a professional military officer, did not deal with the history of the family. Only Andrzej Benesz, born in 1918, Janusz’s son, began his pedigree search. It was he who discovered that the change of name from Berzevic to Benes was made at the end of the seventeenth century by the name of Barbara, who, in order to shake off the curse of the family, abandoned her husband, moved from Spisz to Germany and began using the name Benesz – and later imposed it as a nickname for their children.

On a track of resolute and effective search, Andrzej Benes pushed a significant incident, when in 1934 two people appeared in his parents’ apartment in Bochnia, claiming to be plenipotentiaries living in the family line of the Benes-Berzevic family and offering to buy all the family-related archives. After searching, he found the Antonin Adoption Act.
The document was kept in the cover of one of the missions in the Church of the Holy Cross in Cracow, so it did not appear on any list.

Already after World War II, Andrzej Benesz began his search for the will and treasure of the Inca at the castle in Niedzica. He was granted permission to carry out exploration work in the Niedzic Castle. There, in his staircase, they managed to find metal-wrapped incase kip to which gold plaques attached.

Several people, including a local village headman and 3 soldiers of the local Border Guard Army guard, witnessed the search and opening of the kip. At the interval of almost a dozen or so years, almost all witnesses of this event died in dramatic circumstances.

The first were killed “WOPs”, who witnessed the excavation of the kip from the threshold of the castle. Another victim was a curator of the Niedzic castle, who allegedly fell into the trap of a treasure hidden here – the waves of the river swallowed him. Then, in 1976, was the death of Andrzej Benesza. On the eve of the sixteenth birthday of his only child, he ate dinner in his family and announced that, as the tradition implies, the next day he would convey to him the mystery of four generations passing from father to son family.

The next day he died on the highway in a car accident. Another death took two of the Salamon family. They came from Hungary and started searching for a castle in Niedzica. They died during the journey, in the famous time and memorable railway catastrophe under Piotrkow, the biggest one that happened in Poland.

It is said about the curse that hangs over the Incarnate Testament – death reaches everyone who wants to expose the mystery of the Sons of the Sun.

It is currently unknown where the testament of the last Inca kings is. There is a legend that still flashes imaginatively that it was in the vicinity of the Niedzic Castle, hidden part of the last Inca treasure.

Castle – gallery form 2009 :

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Tourist Atraction

Church of Peace in Jawor

The Church of Peace in Jawor is one of the most unusual places not only of Lower Silesia, Poland but also of Europe. This object was entered in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 2001. It is hard to believe that the church built in the middle of the 17th century consists mainly of wood, clay and straw.
This church is one of three in Europe built after the end of the Thirty Years’ War. Even today, in Jawor, the second in Świdnica has survived. During the holiday season, Jaworski Chamber Music concerts are held in its interiors, performed by artists from Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Sightseeing:
April – October:
– Monday – Saturday from 10.00 – 17.00
– Sunday from 12.00 – 17.00
(at other hours after prior telephone notification).
November -March after prior telephone notification.

Source of information: wikipedia.org and the museum’s own website: http://www.jawor.pl.
Photo gallery from 2009:

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Tourist Atraction

“Środa” Treasure

History of Środa Śląska’s treasure is more or less a series of assumptions made by historians and archeologists based on available knowledge on its origin’s times.
The treasure was most likely a property of Moses – a jewish banker, who in 1348’s Wrocław made a profitable loan transaction resulting in Bohemian king Charles IV of House of Luxembourg depositing a large part of his collection of valuables in exchange for financial support of his efforts to obtain Imperial crown. During plague epidemic, which at that time struck nearly entire Europe, Moses left Środa Śląska in fear of persecution and never returned. He didn’t manage to retrieve the treasure buried in his home’s basement, either.

The hidden treasure of medieval banker was discovered after a few hundred years by accident, when in 1985, during foundation digs for telecommunication center, a clay jug filled with silver coins was found. Although the finding was secured and sent to Museum of Archeology in Wrocław, nobody bothered to conduct further research in its discovery’s place.

The treasure was discovered for the second time in May 1988, during demolition of adjacent tenement house. This is when a history that could easily be adapted into another “Indiana Jones”-esque movie begins.
The new discovery quickly became a revelation that brought hordes of treasure hunters to the place. Before proper authorities managed to act, a large part of coins and jewelry was carried out of the basements’ ruins.
Militia and prosecution became involved in the treasure’s case. Aleksander Krawczuk, the then Minister of Culture and Arts, appealed to people who misappropriated coins and other valuable items to return the items in exchange for thrice their worth.
Most people went along with the offer, but some did not react. In consequence, Civic Militia organised a search operation, codenamed Crown, encompassing the entire Poland territory. As a result, a few people were charged and sentenced.
Despite further attempts, not all stolen elements of Środa’s treasury were found.
The currently collected coins and items include:
Over 7.5 thousand silver coins,
A golden female crown probably belonging to Emperor Charles IV’s wife Blanche of Valois,
Golden pendants from 12th and 13th century,
A large quantity of tiny jewelry made of gold and valuable rocks, mostly by Italian goldsmiths.
Most of the treasury lies in Wrocław’s Museums: National and of Archeology. A fraction remained in Regional Museum in Środa Śląska, while single items are being kept in various museums in Lower Silesia.

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Tourist Atraction

Pounds in Duszatyn

Duszatyn is a tiny settlement, consisting of just a few houses, located seven kilometers away from Komańcza. Like many other such tiny villages in the Bieszczady Mountains, it is virtually cut off from the world.
The only open road is a 6km-long forest duct leading to Komańcza. The road ends near Mikowo at the river, and although the local lumberjacks simply drive through it, it is definitely not supported by the National Directorate of Roads and Highways, and it’s also quite doubtful whether the insurer would cover the cost of repairing the suspension.
4 km from duszatyn on Chryszczata mountain’s slope is found one of the largest natural curiosities. Two small lakes formed in 1907 as a result of stemming the outflow of Olchowaty stream by masses of rocks and earth landsliding after heavy rains.
The lakes have been since undergoing gradual silting by streams flowing into them – in the 20s their surfaces were twice as large as now.
Reaching that place via the red trail from Komańcza through Prełuki and Duszatyn to Chryszczata (997m above sea level) takes about 2.5 hours.
If you risk a ride through Mików or Komańcza, the approach takes about 1.5 hours.
One of the curiosities of this place deserves a mention. Originally there were three ponds instead of two nowadays. Current lack of the third is a “merit” of the then owner of the land – Count Potocki, who, wishing to quickly pick out the fish contained therein, ordered to drain out the entire water from it. 20 trouts fell to his prey…

Pictures from: 2009.