Malbork is a town in northern Poland in the Żuławy region (Vistula delta). Situated in the Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999, it was previously assigned to Elbląg Voivodeship (1975–1998). It is the capital of Malbork County.Founded in the 13th century by the Knights of the Teutonic Order, the town is noted for its medieval Malbork Castle, built in the 13th Century as the Order’s headquarters in what later became known as East Prussia.
Photo by Art Walaszek.
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland’s principal seaport and the centre of the country’s fourth-largest metropolitan area.The city lies on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay (of the Baltic Sea), in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the Tricity (Trójmiasto).
Poznań is a city on the Warta river in west-central Poland, the region called Wielkopolska (Greater Poland). The city population is about 550,000, while the continuous conurbation with Poznan County and several other communities (Oborniki, Skoki, Szamotuły and Śrem) is inhabited by almost 1.1 million people. The Larger Poznań Metropolitan Area (PMA) is inhabited by 1.3-1.4 million people and extends to such satellite towns as Nowy Tomyśl, Gniezno and Wrzesnia,making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Poland.Poznań is among the oldest cities in Poland and was one of the most important centers in the early Polish state in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The first center city was Ostrów Tumski, the natural island on the Warta river-very similar to the Île de la Cité in Paris. The first rulers were buried in Poznań’s cathedral on the island. It also served as the capital for a short time in the 13th century, hence the official name: The capital city of Poznan.
The secluded village of Zalipie in southeastern Poland is home to a charming tradition. Over a century ago the women of the village began to paint their houses: however, it was not the single, uniform color one might expect from a traditional and conservative society. The village, through the intricate and vibrant paintwork of its womenfolk, bloomed.
Although no one is completely sure how and when this tradition began, it dates from when the smoke from stoves escaped through little more than a hole in the ceiling of the house. Women would paint over the spots of soot with whitewash. Yet the spots would still be partially visible and it is believed that the women, in order for their house to appear immaculate for religious festivals, took to covering the remnants of soot stains with paintings of flowers.
Opole is a city in southern Poland on the Oder River (Odra). Opole’s history begins in the 8th century. It this time, according to the archeological excavations,the first Slavic settlement was founded on the Ostrówek – the northern part of the Pasieka island in the middle of the Odra river. In the early 10th century it developed into one of the main gróds of the Slavic Opolanie. At the end of the century Silesia became part of Poland and was ruled by the Piast dynasty; the land of the pagan Opolanie was conquered by Duke Mieszko I in 992. From the 11th-12th centuries it was also a castellany. After the death of Duke Władysław II the Exile, Silesia was divided in 1163 between two Piast lines- the Wrocławska line in Lower Silesia and the Opolsko-Raciborska of Upper Silesia. Opole would became a duchy in 1172 and would share much in common with the Duchy of Racibórz, with which it was often combined. In 1281 Upper Silesia was divided further between the heirs of the dukes. The Duchy of Opole was temporarily reestablished in 1290.
Książ is a castle in Lower Silesia, Poland in Wałbrzych. It was built in 1288-1292 under Bolko I the Strict. It lies within a protected area called Książ Landscape Park and is one of the city’s main tourist attractions.The original fortification was destroyed in the year 1263 by Ottokar II of Bohemia. Bolko I, Duke of Świdnica and Jawor built a new castle between 1288 and 1292. Duke Bolko II of Świdnica died in 1368 without having children with his wife Agnes von Habsburg. After her death in the year 1392 King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia obtained the castle. In 1401 Janko from Chociemice obtained the castle. The Bohemian Hussites occupied the castle between 1428-1429. In the year 1464 Birka from Nasiedla obtained the castle from the Bohemian crown. He sold it to Hans von Schellendorf. This second castle was destroyed in 1482 by Georg von Stein. In the year 1509 Konrad I von Hoberg (from 1714: Hochberg) obtained the castle hill. The Hochberg family owned the castle until 1940’s. The castle was seized by the Nazi government in 1944 because the Prince of Pless, Hans Heinrich XVII, had moved to England in 1932 and became a British citizen and his brother Count Alexander of Hochberg, owner of Schloss Pleß, today Pszczyna Castle, and a Polish citizen, had joined the Polish army. Fürstenstein castle was a part of the Project Riese until 1945 when it was occupied by the Red army. All artifacts were stolen or destroyed.
Photo by Aisog.
Toruń is a city in northern Poland, on the Vistula River.Toruń is one of the oldest cities in Poland. The medieval old town of Toruń is the birthplace of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.
In 1997 the medieval part of the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2007 the Old Town in Toruń was added to the list of Seven Wonders of Poland. National Geographic Polska rated the old town market and the Gothic town hall as one of the “30 Most Beautiful Places in the World.” In 2010 Forbes magazine ranked Toruń as number one of the “Polish Cities Attractive for Business”.
Previously it was the capital of the Toruń Voivodeship (1975–98) and the Pomeranian Voivodeship (1921–45). Since 1999, Toruń has been a seat of the self-government of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship and, as such, is one of its two capitals (together with Bydgoszcz). The cities and neighboring counties form the Bydgoszcz-Toruń twin city metropolitan area.