Lubuskie

Gorzów Wielkopolski (125,000 inhabitants) lies in the northern part of the voivodship. The 13th century St Mary’s  Cthedral is a valuable architectural highlight of this 800-year-old city on River Warta. The Cathedral Square is lined with several restored historical buildings. The Garden Castle Museum (ul. Warszawska 35) is located in a beautiful mansion dating back to 1903. Together with the dendrological garden, it has been placed under the protection of the conservator of monuments. The museum’s collection includes zinc metal ware and contemporary art. To the north of Gorzów Wielkopolski is the Drawa National Park. It includes the valley of rivers Drawa and its tributary – Płociczna, together with 13 lakes. The high peat bog by the springs of Płociczna is one of the region’s greater attractions. The regional waters are populated by a variety of fish and inside the park numerous species of fauna can be spotted, including otter (the park’s symbol), beaver, white eagle and many others. The town of Drawno at the northern edge of he park is a popular water sports centre as well as a good base for hiking, cycling and kayaking trips. In Kostrzyn, the rivers Warta and Odra meet.

Their catchment area constitutes a protected landscape area that is also a borderland ecological zone. All the relevant information is provided by the Meadow Museum in the nearby village of Owczary, house no 17 on the way from Kostrzyn to Słubice. The old stronghold was completely destroyed during WW II. At present, on the bank of the river Odra, the archaeologists are uncovering fragments of a historical town. The Natural History Museum (ul. Dworcowa) organizes biketours in summer. The village of Dąbroszyn lies seven kilometres east of Kostrzyn. Its 17th century castle is being adapted for the needs of the PROVIADRINA Euroregion. First references of Międzyrzecz date back to 1005. Major monuments of architecture are the Gothic castle ruins and the former residence of the starost from the early 18th century, now turned into a museum. The major tourist attraction, however, is the Międzyrzecz Fortified Region, i.e. the underground system of fortifications in the close vicinity of the town. In some of its galleries the biggest bat reserve in Europe has been established with as many as 30,000 bats gathering here over winter.

The Mouth of the Warta National Park (Ujście Warty National Park) is one of the major breeding grounds of water birds and one of the largest bird reserves in Europe. To the west of Międzyrzecz lie attractive holiday centers. Łagów is situated over the lakes Łagowskie and Ciecz. The beautiful surroundings and mineral springs attract many tourists. The castle, since mid-14th century till 1890 occupied by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, now has been turned into a stylish hotel. Lubniewice between the lakes Lubiąż and Krajnik is a popular holiday resort. The castle dating from the early 20th century is now under restoration. Horses can be hired in its immediate vicinity. Around Sulęcin run numerous well-marked bike routes. Between Świebodzin and Międzyrzecz we run into one of the most noteworthy architectural monuments of the region, the Paradyż monastery in a tiny village of Gościkowo. Since 1952, the monastic complex has been housing a theological seminary. Świebodzin has a castle built at the turn of 14th century. In the same period the St Michael’s Church and the city walls were erected, the latter preserved only in part with a single bastion. The Renaissance townhall dates back to the 16th century. In Sulechów, fragments of the old fortifications survived the centuries in good state of preservation.

The Holy Cross Church was built in the 13th century.It is also worthwhile seeing  the 600-year-old half-timber church in the nearby village of Klępsk. The church has a wooden tower and beautifully painted interiors. The city of Zielona Góra, a seat of the voivodship seymik, is home to 120,000 inhabitants. The city is renowned for vine planted here since the 13th century. The city centre with its 18th and 19th century houses was thoroughly renovated. The most characteristic construction is the old town hall (16th c.), later many times remodelled. Near the town hall there is a late Gothic Tower of Hunger as well as a parish church from the same epoch. The Nysa Łużycka River defines the border with Germany and crosses the town of Gubin on its way. The town centre is situated on the Polish side of the river. To the south-east, in the village of Brody, stands a three-story 17th century palace, today turned into elegant hotel. Further south, the old princely town of Żagań has an interesting Baroque palace. Occupying both banks of River Nysa Łużycka in the vicinity of Łęknica, the Mużakowski National Park has been entered onto World Cultural Heritage List as an example of the 19th-century European art of gardening. It has a form of an English landscape arrangement and includes roads, forests, meadows, hills, lakes and rivers.

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