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Wolin National Park



Wolin National Park (Polish: Woliński Park Narodowy) is situated on the island of Wolin in the far north-west of the country.

It was established on 3 March 1960 and covers an area of 109.37 square kilometres (42.23 sq mi). The Park has its headquarters in the town of Międzyzdroje.

The Park contains a number of species of flora and fauna. Its attractions include the sea cliffs of Gosań and Kawcza Góra, and a wisent (European bison) sanctuary.



 

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Świnoujście Windmill



A landmark at the harbour entrance built between 1873 and 1874 as part of modernisation project of the navigational system. Designed by a building advisor called Severin, its individual character made it an easily recognizable symbol of Swinoujscie.



 

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Drawa National Park



Drawa National Park (Polish: Drawieński Park Narodowy) is located in north-western Poland, on the border of Greater Poland, Lubusz and West Pomeranian Voivodeships.

The park is a part of the huge Drawsko Forest (Puszcza Drawska), which lies on the vast Drawsko Plain. It takes its name from the River Drawa. It was created in 1990 and it has 113.42 square kilometres (43.79 sq mi) of which forests account for 96.14 km².

Although the park is located on Drawsk Plain, it does not necessarily mean that it is flat. There are picturesque and deep valleys of the Drawa and Plociczna rivers as well as numerous water channels, lakes and peat-bogs. In some places the height can vary by 30 meters within 500 meters. This is quite remarkable for a plain. The highest hill (106 m) is located near the Martew lake, in northern part of the Park. The soil in the park is of poor quality and it mainly consists of sand.

One of main reasons for the creation of the park was the need for to protect valuable areas along the Drawa and Plocziczna rivers. The Drawa creates interesting valleys and hollows and 40 km of the river is within the borders of the park. The river flows at a quite fast pace, which makes it similar to rivers located in mountains. The Drawa kayaking trail is one of the most picturesque in Poland. Lakes include the meromictic lake Czarne (3.7 km²).



 

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Łagów - Joannites castle



Lagow Castle – a castle on the moraine hill built after 1347 by the knighthood of Joannites.

It is located between two scenic lakes of Trzesniewskie and Lagowskie, and surrounded by the old park.

The castle is overlooked by the high watchtower. After closing the order in 1812, Lagow became a private property, it survived the turmoil of WWII and now houses a hotel and restaurant.


 

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Templar Knights of Chwarszczany



Chwarszczany Chapel - the origins of this chapel lie in the gift to the Knights Templar of 1,000 łany (1 łan is approxiamtely 17 hectares) by Władysław Odonic, the Polish Prince of Wielkopolska in 1232.

This land was in the Kostrzyn region and centred on Chwarszczany. This donation fulfilled more than simply religious reasons, as it provided a safeguard in a borderland and enabled the settlement of the area under German Law.

In 1234 Barnim I, the Duke of Pomerania gave the Templars a further 200 łany, the centred around Dargomyśl. It is not known where the Templars of Chwarszczany came from but it may have been the Silesian commandery in Oleśnica Mała. In 1241 the property portfoloio of the Templars of Chwarszczany was expanded with the addition Lubno and Oborzany, donated by Włast, a Silesian magnate.

By the middle of the 13th century, the Brandenburg margraves of the Ascanian dynasty gained control of the Chwarszczany property. Following disputation, in 1261 an agreement was reached between the Templars and the margraves: the Templars ceded rights to a commandery in Myślibórz, and gave up lands situated by the road from Kostrzyn to Gorzów. In return they received confirmation of the possession of Chwarszczany with ten villages with the addition of the village of Kaleńsko.

In 1286 Otto VI, Margrave of Brandenburg entered the monastery in Chwarszczany, giving the commandery greater significance. In the 1290s Bernhard von Eberstein, the commander of Chwarszczany, became the Templar preceptor of Poland, the New March, Bohemia and Moravia. There is a reference to the sale of the village of Cychry to the Frankfurt upon Oder townspeople in 1308.

This is the last mention of the Templars of Chwarszczany, with the chapel being taken over by the Hospitallers following the suppression of the Templars.




'Templariada' - annual event in Chwarszczany dedicated to Templar Knights
 

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Radzyń Chełmiński - Teutonic Knights castle ruins



The castle was built between 1305 and 1330 by Teutonic Knights. It was the biggest Teutonic Knights castle till Malbork was constructed.

In 1397 the knighthood of the Chełmno Lands was established, and during a secret meeting in Radzyń, the Lizard Union was founded. Its members aspired to suppress the power of the Teutonic Knights and regained previous rights and privileges, which they had during the reigns of Polish kings and princes.

During the Polish-Teutonic War in 1410-1411 the castle and the city were taken over by the Polish-Lithuanian army. After the Thirteen Years' War (1454-1466) Radzyń was situated on the borders of the Royal Prussia. In the castle a seat of a village headmen was located, who held an office by turns in Radzyń and Kowalewo. Sejmiks and Territorial Courts took place there.

The city and the castle were badly damaged during the Polish-Swedish Wars in the 17th century. The city was gradually rebuilding itself in contrast to the castle, which fell into pieces. In the end of the 18th century the Prussians began to take it apart. It had been stopped in 1837, and conservation works began.



 

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Gniew castle



Beginning in the 10th century, the region belonged to the Polan tribe and was part of Gdańsk Pomerania. After the division of Poland by Bolesław Krzywousty, Gniew fell to the castellany of Starogard Gdański. The land later fell to the Princes of Świecie and in 1229 Prince Sambor and Swantopolk II of Pomerania granted it to the Cistercian abbey in Oliwa.

In the second half of the 13th century, Sambor retook Gniew from the Cistercians and in 1276 bestowed it on the Teutonic Knights. Their claim was formally recognized by Mestwin II of Pomerania in 1282, and the city became the first stronghold of the Teutonic Order on the left riverside of the Vistula.

A castle was built as a result of this important strategic location, and in 1297 the Teutonic Knights gave Gniew town privileges.

The city exchanged hands various times between 1410-1466 until it became part of the Polish province of Royal Prussia following the Second Peace of Thorn (1466).

In 1626, during the Swedish-Polish War, a battle between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Swedish forces was fought in the area of Gniew. In the second half of the 17th century, prior to becoming King of Poland, John III Sobieski served as the local district governor (starost) of Gniew and built the Marysienka Palace for his wife, Maria Kazimiera.

Gniew was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia during the Partitions of Poland and became part of the German Empire in 1871. With the defeat of Imperial Germany in World War I, Gniew became part of the Polish Corridor according to the Treaty of Versailles.



 

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Karkonosze National Park



The Karkonosze National Park (Polish: Karkonoski Park Narodowy) is a National Park in the Karkonosze Mountains in southwestern Poland.

The park is located in Lower Silesian Voivodeship, along the border with the Czech Republic. It was created in 1959 to cover an area of 55.76 km2 (21.53 sq mi).

The majority of the park, around 33.80 km², consists of forests. In 1992 Karkonosze National Park, together with the neighbouring Czech Krkonoše National Park, was designated as a biosphere reserve under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MaB) programme.

The Karkonosze Mountains are the highest range of the Sudetes. Its highest peak - Śnieżka, at 1,602 metres (5,256 ft) above sea level) is unique in its rounded, treeless cap and it stands in sharp contrast to other, lower peaks.

The Karkonosze Mountains are situated on the division of the European water system - it divides the basins of two rivers – the Elbe and the Oder – which means that it separates the basins of the Baltic Sea and North Sea. Many of the Karkonosze’s streams come down the hills, creating waterfalls, the largest of which in the Polish part of the mountains (300 m) is created by the Łomniczka stream.

The park's attraction are mouflons, brought here at the beginning of the 20th century.

Karkonosze National Park is visited by more than 1.5 million tourists yearly. They can use 112 kilometres of walking paths and 10 ski lifts. The Park has its headquarters in the town of Jelenia Góra.



 

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Beautiful highlights of German culture!
 

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Odry - Polish Stonehenge





Kromlech - circle made from vertical placed stones. Most known is definitly the one in Britain - Stonehenge. Not many people knows, that in Poland there are good examples of such stone circles.

Polish kromlech's are from Rome period and are 'little' less spectacular than British or Irelands ones. the biggest one is in Odra village on the Wda river. It is believed, that this stone circle was made by Scandinavians.

In Odry there are 10 circles - the smallest one has 15m and the biggest one 33m. On the circles perimeter the stones are positioned. Stones aren't big, because they have from 20 to 70 cm. Except of the circles in Odry there are about 30 tumuluses.



 

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Beautiful highlights of German culture!
Beautiful spots indeed.

As for German culture, well, Poland has felt the impact of German culture quite deeply...

[Nazi plunder] "After the occupation of Poland by German forces in September 1939, the Nazi regime attempted to exterminate its upper classes as well as its culture. Thousands of art objects were looted, as the Nazis systematically carried out a plan of looting prepared even before the start of hostilities. 25 museums and many other facilities were destroyed. The total cost of Nazi theft and destruction of Polish art is estimated at 20 billion dollars, or an estimated 43% of Polish cultural heritage; over 516,000 individual art pieces were looted, including 2,800 paintings by European painters; 11,000 paintings by Polish painters; 1,400 sculptures; 75,000 manuscripts; 25,000 maps; 90,000 books, including over 20,000 printed before 1800; and hundreds of thousands of other items of artistic and historical value. Germany still has much Polish material looted during World War II. For decades there have been mostly futile negotiations between Poland and Germany concerning the return of the looted property."

Further info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_plunder
 

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Beautiful spots indeed.

As for German culture, well, Poland has felt the impact of German culture quite deeply...

[Nazi plunder] "After the occupation of Poland by German forces in September 1939, the Nazi regime attempted to exterminate its upper classes as well as its culture. Thousands of art objects were looted, as the Nazis systematically carried out a plan of looting prepared even before the start of hostilities. 25 museums and many other facilities were destroyed. The total cost of Nazi theft and destruction of Polish art is estimated at 20 billion dollars, or an estimated 43% of Polish cultural heritage; over 516,000 individual art pieces were looted, including 2,800 paintings by European painters; 11,000 paintings by Polish painters; 1,400 sculptures; 75,000 manuscripts; 25,000 maps; 90,000 books, including over 20,000 printed before 1800; and hundreds of thousands of other items of artistic and historical value. Germany still has much Polish material looted during World War II. For decades there have been mostly futile negotiations between Poland and Germany concerning the return of the looted property."

Further info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_plunder

Right on the money with that one. But coming back to this thread and the true purpose of it. What a wonderful collection of photographs. Keep them coming.
 

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Atlantyda
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Bielsko-Biala - rynek (market square) by Zegarkowy






Bielsko-Bila - ratusz (town hall) by Zegarkowy



Szczyrk by Zegarkowy

 
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