Warmia-Mazury Province - castles, lakes, forests and history in one region


01 July 2020

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Warmia-Mazury Province – castles, lakes, forests and history in one region

Warmia-Mazury Province is a region where you can find lakes, forests, nature and history. Unique cuisine will surprise you with extraordinary combinations of ingridients and flavors. This is the area where you can experience surprising history, stunning nature and good food.


Olsztyn is capital city of the Warmia-Mazury Province. Here you will feel like pulling out your camera at every tenement house you pass, lying on a bridge by the lake, admiring the clean air, or sailing through the city by canoe. It was in the Olsztyn castle that the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus wrote the first two chapters “On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres”. The Gothic castle dates back to the 14th century and now houses the Museum of Warmia and Masuria. A photo with Copernicus is a must.

The most important sights of the city include the medieval Old Town and the Olsztyn Cathedral. The picturesque market square is part of the European Route of Brick Gothic and the cathedral is regarded as one of the greatest monuments of Gothic architecture in Poland.

Old Town in Olsztyn

photo: www.visit.olsztyn.eu


The Boyen Fortress is a former Prussian fortress named after Prussian Minister of War Hermann von Boyen, was built between 1844 and 1856. There was a workforce of about 3,000 soldiers. During First World War, the fortress supported the German troops. During World War II, the fortress was not involved in military operations. It was a site for a field hospital and headquarters of the German military intelligence service. It was abandoned by Germans without fight in 1944. After the war the Boyen Fortress became administered by the Polish Army. In 1975, it was declared a monument and opened as a tourist attraction with a small museum on its grounds.

Boyen Fortress

photo: www.atrakcje.mazury.pl


The Land of the Great Masurian Lakes is a Mecca for sailors – lakes connected by canals create perfect conditions for swinging on the water and discovering places where unspoiled nature is not only a cliché, and sunrises reflected in the water mirror remain in memory for a long time. The abundance of lakes, natural water canals and rivers create perfect conditions for organising a one day trip or a few days long canoeing trip.

Yachts on the lake

photo: www.fotopolska.travel.pl


Copernicus Trail leads through unique places. It’s nearly 300 km of exciting journey in the footsteps of great discoveries that have changed the perception of the universe forever. In Warmia, Nicolaus Copernicus spent 40 years of his life as a canon of the Warmian Chapter, and regardless of that he observed the sky and worked on the heliocentric theory.

The Copernicus Trail in Warmia and Masuria leads through the following towns: Elbląg, Tolkmicko, Frombork, Braniewo, Pieniężno, Orneta, Lidzbark Warmiński, Dobre Miasto, Olsztyn, Olsztynek, Lubawa and Nowe Miasto Lubawskie. No matter where you start your journey from, be ready for great discoveries.

bench of Nicolaus Copernicus in Olsztyn

photo: www.fotolia.pl


The cuisine of Warmia and Masuria combines flavours of old Polish, German and borderland cuisine. It is delicious, natural and simple, yet full of flavour. While travelling in region you should try some of the most unique dishes in region.


Smelt is a tiny fish that’s hard to taste elsewhere. Its fishing is only carried out in the winter, when the Masurian lakes are gathering ice. Smelt’s meat has a specific smell, completely different from the typical smell of fish, because it smells of… fresh cucumber. After frying, these fish are mild in taste and their bones are completely soft. This Masurian delicacy can be tasted in the form of a crunchy miller’s smelt floating in sauces or accompanied by salads, cheese toast and mayonnaise sauce.

Dzyndzałki with hreczka and skrzeczki

Where did the name “dzyndzałki” come from? That is, “ears” on the edges of dumplings. Hreczka is buckwheat, and skrzeczki are popular bacon or pork fat greaves. The whole secret of “dzyndzałki” is inside them. The buckwheat groats stuffing is enriched with chopped boiled egg, smoked bacon and onion, and the “skrzeczki” additionally contain garlic and marjoram.


photo: www.fotopolska.travel.pl


In the Warmia-Mazury Province you will find a lot of castles. Do not forget to visit at least a few of them. You will be amazed. You can explore their history by following the Gothic Castles’ Route.

Nidzica Castle

The largest Teutonic Castle in Masuria. Erected in the 14th century. Surrounded by vast swamps and wet meadows, it served an important defensive function. It also played a role in the great war with the Teutonic Order – both the fortress and the town were taken over by Władysław Jagiełło, on his way to Grunwald. Currently it houses a cultural centre, a museum, a library, a seat of the Knights’ Brotherhood as well as guest rooms and a restaurant. Knightly tournaments are held here both in summer and in winter.

Castle in Lidzbark Warmiński

The castle in Lidzbark Warmiński was built in the 14th century as a new seat of the Warmia bishops. There is much to admire, the castle is considered a historical monument and is undoubtedly one of the most valuable monuments of Gothic architecture in Poland. The castle in Lidzbark is sometimes called “Wawel of the North”. Inside there are preserved undergrounds that once served as warehouses and prison, and you will find priceless paintings. You can learn more about the history in the Museum of Warmia and Masuria, which operates in the castle. You can also stay in the stylish Krasicki Hotel, which operates in the castle’s bailey and spend a truly royal holiday there.

Nidzca Castle

photo: www.mapio.net


Wolf’s Lair was Adolf Hitler’s first Eastern Front military headquarters in World War II.The complex, which became one of several Führer Headquarters. The top-secret, high-security site was in the Masurian woods. Three security zones surrounded the central complex where the Führer’s bunker was located.  Hitler first arrived at the headquarters on 23 June 1941. In total, he spent more than 800 days there until his final departure on 20 November 1944. On 25 January 1945, the complex was blown up and abandoned 48 hours before the arrival of Soviet forces.

Wolf's Liar - Adolf Hitler's bunker

photo: www.piolskazachwyca.pl


Elbląg Canal is 80.5 km length, which runs southward from Lake Drużno (connected by the river Elbląg to the Vistula Lagoon), to the river Drwęca and lake Jeziorak. It can accommodate small vessels up to 50 tons displacement. The difference in water levels approaches 100 m, and is overcome using locks and a remarkable system of inclined planes between lakes. Today it is used mainly for recreational purposes.

Elblag Canal

photo: www.fotopolska.travel.pl

All of those beautiful places you can visit as a one day tour but we recommend you to stay longer and explore more. Region is worth to discover. You can soak the nature and touch the soul of the cities. Contact us and we will prepare an itinerary for you 🙂