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Group Tourism - Itineraries

Trail of Polish Castles in Southern and Eastern Poland

Warsaw - Lublin - Zamosc - Rzeszow - Tarnow - Krakow
7 days, 6 nights


Day 1
  • Arrival to Warsaw - check in a hotel,
  • Welcome dinner in a stylish restaurant
Day 2
  • Half day sightseeing of Warsaw, entrances to: Royal Castle and Wilanow Palace.
The origins of the Royal Castle in Warsaw reach back to the middle ages. It was the ancient residence of the Mazovian Dukes and Polish Kings, as well as the seat of the Sejm during the Commonwealth. After Poland regained independence in 1918, it became the residence of the President of the Republic. Bombed during combat in September 1939, it was blown up by the Nazis in 1944. The plan to rebuild the Castle failed to win approval from the Communist authorities for many years.The decision to reconstruct it finally was made in 1971, rewarding the attempts of the nation's intellectual elite to recreate this symbol of Polish statehood. The reconstruction of the Castle was funded exclusively from contributions of individual Poles at home and abroad. The walls reconstructed in 1971-84 incorporated salvaged fragments of stone, stucco-work, murals, and wall paintings; the interior was furnished with original works of art that had been rescued before the Castle's destruction. The Castle is a prime monument of national history and culture. Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors enrich their knowledge of history and deepen their aesthetic appreciation within its walls. It provides the setting for cultural events and official state ceremonies, as well as visits by figures from international political life. The Castle apartments were recreated on the basis of original source materials, according to their functions during the reign of King Stanislaw August (1764 -1795). Their interiors are decorated with art works rescued from the old furnishings of the Royal Castle, including paintings by Bernard Belotto (known as Canaletto), Marcello Bacciarelli, and Jan Bogumil Plersch; sculptures by Andre Le Brun and Jakub Monaldi; bronzes by Phillipe Caffieri; and French furniture from the second half of the 18th century. A significant portion of the Castle furnishings were gifts, in some cases from heads of state and government, in addition to contemporary purchases.

The Palace in Wilanow, originally the King John III Sobieski's summer residence, which is one of the most beautiful monuments of the Polish baroque architecture and one of the oldest museums in Poland with marvelous collection of paintings, porcelain, products of Chinese art and ancient vases, very valuable manuscripts, drawings, maps and books. The Palace on the Water was built as a summer residence to the last Polish King Stanislaw August Poniatowski. Very soon one could see other edifices belonging to the huge complex called £azienki, e.g. The White House, Myolewicki Palace, Kordegarda, the Little Theatre, an Orangery and Amphitheatre. All this monuments of architecture are set in beautiful surrounding of the park. In 1939 workers of the National Museum transported all works of art from £azienki and protected them from destruction. During the war, £azienki was methodically plundered. In 1944 many buildings were set in flames. After the war £azienki was rebuilt, works of art were brought back to its interiors and if today the King visited the Palace he would certainly feel at home.
  • Lunch
  • Transfer to Lublin,
  • Dinner, overnight
Day 3
  • Half day sightseeing of Lublin, visit to the Royal Castle,
The castle origins go back to the establishment in Lublin in the 12th c. of a seat of a castellan. In the first half of the 13th c., in the upper part of the castle, a stone-and-brickwork residential and defensive tower (or donjon) was built, preserved until today. This is the origin of the brickwork structures in the castle area. In the 14th c., during the reign of Casimir the Great, the castle itself was built, surrounded by a protective wall. This was probably also when a Gothic castle church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was built, which functioned as the castle chapel. Around 1520 Sigismund the Old started conversion of the castle into an impressive royal residence.It was the first Renaissance building in Lublin. In course of the 17th c. wars the castle was destroyed. Only the donjon and the chapel were preserved. In 1824-1826 a new structure in English Neo-Gothic style was built on the hill, to serve as a prison. The castle fulfilled this function until 1954. When the prison was closed down that year, the castle - reconstructed and refurbished - was given over to cultural purposes. Since 1957 it has been the main seat of the Lublin Museum, established in 1906.
  • Lunch,
  • Transfer to Zamosc
  • Sightseeing of Zamosc, visiting the fortress
Zamosc, often called the pearl of the Renaissance, is a rare example of a city designed in its entirety and raised over a short period of time. The urban layout of the oldest part of the city is a top class monument of significant historical and artistic value, therefore it was included on the list of the World's Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1992. The bruin behind the plan was Jan Zamoyski, the powerful magnate an one of the most influential figures in the Commonwealth of 16th century. In order to carry out his plans, Hetman Zamoyski commissioned an Italian architect from Padua, Bernardo Morando. He worked out a layout for the city, which was also supposed to be a strong fortress capable of facing Cossack and Tartar invasions that were frequent at that time. The historical part of the city is in the late-Renaissance style. It occupies the town centre and is encircled with a formidable system of fortifications with seven bastions. Some of the buildings did not keep their original shape as they were remodelled over the subsequent centuries. The most spectacular is the great market square with old arcaded burghers' houses. It is dominated by a lofty town hall with its sky-high tower and monumental staircase. On both sides stand beautiful houses, which were owned by rich merchants in the past. In the south-west of the market square there is the cathedral with its splendid Renaissance interior decorations, including a lot of good stone and stucco work, paintings, portraits of the Zamoyskis, and the family crypt.
  • Lunch
  • Transfer to Rzeszow, on the way a visit to the Castle in Baranow Sandomierski,
  • Arrival to Rzeszow, dinner, overnight
Day 4
  • Departure to Krakow, in the way visit in castles in £ancut, Tarnow, Dêbno, Nowy Winicz,
£ancut Castle is one of the few magnate residences in Central Europe that was not destroyed during the campaigns of World War II, nor through the actions of communist governments later. This magnificent building in French Neo-Baroque style has Rococo, neo-classic and nineteenth-century interiors, with authentic painted and sculpted decoration and lavish furnishings. The castle furniture is the work of the most famous French, English and Austrian craftsmen of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Among the most interesting interiors are the Ballroom, the Library furnished in late Victorian style, and the palace Theatre. The rooms are decorated with paintings by Polish, Italian, French, Flemish, German and Austrian artists. The sculpture gallery has objects from medieval times through the work of Antonio Canova. Of particular value is the Potocki library, preserved in its entirety, and the graphic art collection, containing prints from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. The Lancut palace group also includes, besides the main building, the little Romantic Castle, the Orangery, the Gazebo, the Coach Horse Stable and the Carriage House. The last two now house the Eastern Church Art Collection and the famous Carriage Museum. All of this is surrounded by a thirty-hectare English-style landscape park.
  • Lunch en route
  • On the evening arrival to Krakow, dinner, overnight
Day 5
  • Half day Krakow sightseeing, visit in Wawel Royal Castle, entrances to Royal Chambers, Royal Cathedral, Armory and Treasury
The mighty Castle of Wawel, Poland's heart and witness to her history, is situated on a promontory of the same name towering 25 meters over the Vistula River. For many centuries Wawel Castle was the chief residence of the kings of Poland. Embellished in a Renaissance development in 1499-1536 with its single-arcaded courtyard and with a Renaissance interior decor, the Castle now houses a rich collection of 16th-century Flemish wall tapestries (Arrases), alongside a Polish art collection. Prior reservation for fixed time is required for visiting the Royal Residence. Wawel Cathedral is another building on the Hill, next to the Castle. The present day Cathedral was consecrated in 1364, and is noted for its Renaissance Sigismundian Chapel alongside the Sigismundian Bell hanging in a tower which offers a magnificent view of the entire city.
  • Lunch in a restaurant at the Main Market Square
  • After lunch transportation to Castles in Nidzica and Czorsztyn
The Niedzica Castle which is also known under the name of Dunajec Castle, was erected on the site of former stronghold, approx. around 1325. The castle had numerous masters, and until 1945 it was owned by the Hungarian family of Salomons. Currently, it is managed by the Association of Art Historians.
  • Knight's fest in Nidzica Castle
Day 6
  • Transfer with luggage to castles in Ojcow and Pieskowa Skala
The Castle in Pieskowa Skala and the Ojcow National Park (30 km from Krakow: a 4-6-hour excursion). In the Ojcow National Park, which covers a surface area of 1,440 hectares in the Valley of the Pradnik enclosed by the Pieskowa Skala cliffs, you can see virtually all of the natural components of a Jurassic landscape. Driving along a winding road (on special permission by prior reservation), we pass breathtaking Jurassic rock formations such as the Cracovian Gate and the Club of Hercules. We take a walk around the ruins of Ojcow Castle and visit the "little church on the water". One of Poland's masterpieces of Renaissance palace architecture, Pieskowa Skala Castle, towers over a steep rock.
  • Farewell lunch in a restaurant in the castle,
  • after lunch - transfer to the Krakow Balice airport, departure to your country

NOTE: ABOVE PROGRAM IS ONLY A SUGGESTION AND CAN BE MODIFIED ACCORDING TO YOUR REQUIREMENTS





 
 
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