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ATTRACTIONS WORTH SEEING
Oświęcim is a town of great historic importance, which is well-known both in Poland and worldwide. This town is full of interesting places and friendly, welcoming people. Certainly, it is worth visiting and exploring all possibilities that it has to offer.
1. Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.
A symbol of the Holocaust and World War II. The Museum was founded in 1947 and it consists of two integral parts: the former main concentration camp in Oświęcim (KL Auschwitz I Stamlager) and the former camp in Brzezinka (KL Auschwitz II- Birkenau). It is the only concentration camp listed in UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
2. The Jewish Museum and the Chewra Lomdei Misznajot Synagogue.
The Synagogue, which after World War II is again used as a house of worship. Visitors also have access to the museum, which presents the history of Jewish community in Oświęcim, who constituted a half of the population of prewar Oświęcim.
3. Oświęcim Market Square.
The market is situated on the site of the former marketplace of medieval Oświęcim. Former wooden buildings were destroyed by fire and replaced with stone tenement houses. One of the most important and interesting ones is Ślezbarskis’ house from the early 19th century, currently known as the seat of the District Court. The Gothic Town Hall was built between 1872-1875. Every day at noon, a trumpet call is sounded from this place, which consists of the first four bars of a polonaise composed by the resident of Oświęcim, Aleksander Orłowski.
4. Oświęcim Castle.
The castle was erected in the Middle Ages on the top of the hill. The remains of the fortifications have survived to this day. There are also two tunnels located underneath the castle: the older one (built before 1914) and the other one, excavated by Germans, used as an air-raid shelter. The castle tower is one of the oldest brick buildings in Małopolska (the Lesser Poland) and the highest preserved gothic wall in Poland.
5. The Salesian Church under the invocation of Our Lady Help of Christians and St. Hyacinth Chapel.
The temple was erected on the ruins of the 14th-century gothic Dominican church. Since the original structure was made of wood, it was exposed to fires. Moreover, after the dissolution of the Dominican order by the Austrian Emperor Joseph II in 1782, the abandoned temple started to deteriorate. In 1898 the Salesians from Turin took over the building and started to rebuild and renovate the temple. The original furnishings of the temple have not been preserved. However, the copy of the Turin painting of Our Lady from 1907 remained in the church. The only object of the original Dominican monastery is an old chapterhouse, from 1594 known as the St. Jack Hyacinth Chapel.
6. The Vistula Bicycle Lane.
A cycling path spreading along the Vistula River, connecting the Beskids (the beginning at Czerniańskie Lake, in confluence of Czarna and Biała Wisełka) with the Baltic Sea (the end of the path in Gdansk). The main route, as well as regional and local routes, amount to 1200 kilometres. It is the longest cycling path in Poland, as well as a link between objects of great cultural, historic and natural importance.
7. The wisent enclosure in Pszczyna.
In the enclosure, there are not only the biggest mammals in Europe – European bisons or wisents, but also other, such as mouflons, deer, fallow deer, mallards, ruddy shelducks, geese, swan geese, swans and Indian peafowls. The enclosure is equipped with information boards, informing the visitors about the history of each species.
In the vicinity of the guesthouse there is a picturesque place, where the Soła River feeds into the Vistula. This is the perfect place for avid anglers. Another place, which is ideal for fishing, are Kruki Lakes in Oświęcim – artificial water reservoirs, the outlet of the waters of the Soła River. The next interesting place for anglers is Dwory canal, where angling competitions are held. It is situated in the eastern part of Oświęcim (toward Zator). A treat for nature and photography enthusiasts: a unique opportunity to watch or take photos of very rare bird species in their natural habitat, such as black-crowned black heron, ferruginous duck, red-crested pochard and whiskered tern.
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