Mazury

Blue, white, red – the flag of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodship is made up of these colours. The deep blue of the lakes, the white of sails and storks’ wings. Sometimes, as a contrast, the red bricks of the Teutonic castles.

But the palette of the local landscape does not end with the three colours. You can find green and gold; the wonderful verdant forests or fields of golden flowers. Each sunset over any of the 1000 lakes in the Mazury is a composition of nature; sometimes grey-violet, sometimes pink. It is easy to imagine the Creator resting here, after creating the world.

The Voivodship, located in the north-eastern part of Poland, consists of the historical lands: Warmia and Mazuria and its neighbour is the Kaliningrad District of the Russian Federation. Its capital is Olsztyn, where the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus once lived. There is a fragment of an astronomical design made by him preserved in the castle of the Warmian chapter.

Warmia and Mazuria are, first and foremost, magnificent nature. The lakes are a refuge for birds (white eagles, cormorants, Pandion haliaetus, black storks) and the wilderness of the Piska and Borecka Forests are inhabited by bison, foxes, Nyctereutes procyonoides, martens and muskrats.

There are numerous historical hydro technology sites in the region, for example the Mazurski Canal, which was to join the local water channels with the Baltic Sea. The rotary bridge in Giżycko is unique in the whole of Europe. Dating back to the end of the 19th century it consists of a side-drawn span. Even though it weighs 100 tones it takes only one person to move it.

The Voivodship is well known for its fortifications. The oldest were built by the knights of the Medieval Teutonic Order. Defensive castles can be seen in Ryń and Kętrzyn.

The German bunkers built during WW II can be seen in Mamerki near Węgorzewo. Wilczy Szaniec in Gierłoże – Adolf Hitler’s headquarters, Wolf’s Lair, is the most well-known. The complex had its own airport, power station, train station and direct connection with the German frontline and Berlin. This is where the unsuccessful murder attempt on Hitler took place.

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