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Pszczyna, a tourist spot

The Green Lungs of Silesia

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Market Square, Pszczyna

Market Square, Pszczyna

Pszczyna (read: [ˈpʂt͡ʂɨna] belongs to the less known places in Poland as compared to Krakow or Warsaw. Besides that it is located in a rural area, close to the Czech state border. Visiting this city, you will find yourself in a green nature and a peaceful environment. It is not for nothing the locals call Pszczyna the Green Lungs of Silesia. Pszczyna is often called the Pearl of Upper Silesia. It is one of the most visited tourist towns in the Silesian Voivodeship. The city is famous for its well-preserved and richly equipped castle and the Castle Museum.

Castle Park

Castle Park

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Pszczyna seems to be far away from the famous Polish “hot spots”. It is a quaint little town centered on a handsome market square. However, despite its small size, Pszczyna has quite a few attractions, among them Pszczyna Castle (formerly Pless Castle). The castle has stood here since the 13th century. It was formerly inhabited by European aristocracy, who had influenced the history of the Land of Pless and Silesia, as well as events in Polish and European past. The castle underwent many renovations to keep up its Baroque design. The Castle’s historical interiors were thoroughly restored during the renovations. Now there is a history museum here.

Pszczyna Castle

Pszczyna Castle

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According to our castle museum guide, the castle contains 80% of its original interiors from the 19th and 20th centuries, despite all the hard times the area experienced through the wars.

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Pszczyna Castle Museum

Pszczyna Castle Museum

Pszczyna Castle Museum

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The old castle in Pszczyna was built on the busy trade route leading from Kraków to Silesia and further through Cieszyn to southern Europe. According to the 19th-century archivist and chronicler of Pszczyna Dr.Schaeffer, the first castle was erected as early as in the 11th or 12th century by the Piast dukes. It was a single-wing structure, surrounded by earth and water fortifications. Its primary function was a hunting lodge. The first preserved and known records of Pszczyna date back to 1303 and 1347.

Pszczyna Castle Museum

Pszczyna Castle Museum

Pszczyna Castle Museum

Pszczyna Castle Museum

In 1433, the castle and defended the city against the Hussite invasion. The castle was severely damaged the. At that time, the castle consisted of two free-standing buildings. The present eastern and western wings of the castle were formed on the basis of those buildings later. The buildings were surrounded by massive walls. There is a tower at both southern ends of the buildings. This compact, four-sided fortified complex with a courtyard inside was additionally surrounded by an earth rampart and a moat filled with water, and was separated from the city by a drawbridge.

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Pszczyna Castle Museum

Pszczyna Castle Museum


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Pszczyna Castle Museum

The once defensive castle in Pszczyna was later transformed into a representative three-winged residence. Now it houses the Museum of Historic Interiors. This building is still called a castle, despite the loss of real defensive features. They are simulated only by the surrounding stone terraces in the form of reduced bastions and by the extensions in the mansard roofs that tower over each wing, suggesting the remains of feudal castle towers.

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The city guide told us that even after the last nineteenth-century reconstruction, the castle performed the same old function - a hunting lodge. Since the forests of Pszczyna still existed, there were hundreds of successful hunts in those forests, which were reserved for the duke and the nobility then.

Our ticket to the Castle Museum, Pszczyna

Our ticket to the Castle Museum, Pszczyna


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The Castle Museum has an armory that contains old weapons and knights' accessories.
The armory is in the basement of the castle and was fun to visit.
Pszczyna Castle Museum_Armoury

Pszczyna Castle Museum_Armoury

The armory at the Pszczyna castle existed at least by the first half of the 15th century. The weapons collected in were collected during the reign of Princess Helena (1424-1449).

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The Castle in Pszczyna and Promnice Hunting Lodge in Kobior are outstanding national heritage places in the entire Silesia. The castle in Pszczyna is undoubtedly the "gem" of the Silesian Voivodeship.

The hunting residence of the dukes of Pszczyna

The hunting residence of the dukes of Pszczyna


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The hunting residence of the dukes of Pszczyna

The hunting residence of the dukes of Pszczyna


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The hunting residence of the dukes of Pszczyna dates back to 1765. It is located in a charming spot at Lake Paprocany and administratively belongs to the neighboring village of Kobior located to the north of Pszczyna. The name Promnice originates from the name of the Promnitz family, who were its founders. It owes its enchanting appearance to its alteration made by the dukes of Hochberg in 1868. For over 200 years, this residence served as a place of accommodation during the hunting time for subsequent families of Pszczyna land owners. It was also a favorite place for their wives and children. Here, they had freedom and did not have to wear long skirts or jewellery.

The monument to Duchess Daisy von Pless, Maket Square, Pszczyna

The monument to Duchess Daisy von Pless, Maket Square, Pszczyna

Duchess Daisy von Pless became a symbol of Pszczyna, and all tourist groups are taken here and listen to the city guide's interesting story about her and her times.
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Duchess Daisy von Pless wrote about Promnice Hunting Residence,“I always loved Promnice. It is small and architecturally picturesque. It overlooks a beautiful lake, surrounded by magnificent trees.” The small castle is also a rare non-sacral building with stained-glass windows showing coats-of-arms of the owners of Pszczyna Land – the Promnitz family, the Anhalts and the Hochbergs.

The hunting residence of the dukes of Pszczyna_The monument to St.Hubertus

The hunting residence of the dukes of Pszczyna_The monument to St.Hubertus

The sculpture of St.Hubert – the patron saint of hunting - stands in the front of еру ргтештп куішвутсу. The statue has the face of one of the last members of the Hochberg family – John Henry XI.

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The castle grounds are part of the larger historic Pszczyna Park. If you like historical things, it is a one more reason to visit the park. You can find the necropolis of the noble German family of Anhalt in its northern area. The locals call this place “Groby Anhaltów”, which means “Tombs of the Anhalts”. The Anhalts ruled the area of Pszczyna in the 18th century and were also buried there. The necropolis consists of a sandstone obelisk with a German inscription that reads,

Tombs of the Anhalts, Castle Park,Pszczyna

Tombs of the Anhalts, Castle Park,Pszczyna

“Auferstehn, ja, auferstehen wirst du,mein Staub, nach kurzer Ruh.“
It means “You will rise, yes, you will rise, my dust, after a short rest.”
In the front of the obelisk there are five simple tombstones of the rulers of Anhalt and their family members:

  • Duke Friedrich Erdmann (26.10.1731 - 12.12.1797)
  • Duchess Luise Ferdinande (30.9.1744 - 3.2.1784)
  • Duke Emanuel Ernest Erdmann (9.1.1768 - 7.6.1808)
  • Princess Christine (8.2.1774 - 8.8.1783)
  • Duke Georg (29.5.1776 - 29.7.1777)

On the opposite site there is a single tombstone on a pedestal of the ruler Ludwig Anhalt. He took the power in the Duchy of Pszczyna in 1830.

  • Duke Ludwig Anhalt (16.7.1783 - 5.11.1841).

The tombstone is crowned with a big iron Christian cross, embraced by an iron snake.
The duke’s tomb consists of a brick crypt covered with a sandstone top and a high plinth under a cast-iron cross with lily-shaped arms and a snake twisted around it. The snake is a conventional romantic symbol of resurrection of the copper snake that appeared to Moses in anticipation of the agony and resurrection of Christ.
We found out some interesting facts about the duke and his progressive activities. Like all other dikes of Pless, he did a lot for the development of the area. In 1810, Prince Ludwig of Anhalt-Coethen, the owner of Pszczyna, was the initiator of the expedition to Barania Góra (ascent through the valley of Biała Wisełka and descent through Przysłup and Czarny). It was the first documented trip to that area. It was aimed at popularizing the sights of that area. The journey resulted in the publication of the first detailed tourist notes. Trips to Barania Góra, Stożek and the surrounding peaks became more and more popular among the local population and hundreds of visitors from other places.

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The Soviet soldiers and officers cemetery is in the old Castle Park. It occupies the territory of 1.5 ha. The total number of soldiers who were buries there is 11,649. They fell in the battles in Pszczyna District and Rybnik District. They are buries in 320 graves, mostly common graves, but there are also individual graves.
The Castle Park has an area of 156 ha. They say it was built in English style and. It has several ponds with islands, canals and small streams, as well as rich vegetation.
There are many ducks on the park ponds. They stay mainly in couple, but there are also many single male ducks, who sometimes have to fight, which we witnessed one day.

The flowing River Pszczynka adds some more charm to this place. We took advantage of fine weather in spring and visited this park to admire blooming plants and fresh green grass.

Visiting the Wildlands Park, Pszczyna

Visiting the Wildlands Park, Pszczyna


Visiting the Wildlands Park, Pszczyna

Visiting the Wildlands Park, Pszczyna


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Visiting the Wildlands Park, Pszczyna


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Our ticket to the Wildlands, Pszczyna

Our ticket to the Wildlands, Pszczyna

The park is also home to the Polish Bison Farm located in the northern part of the Palace Park. Here you can see not only bisons, but also other animals typical for southern Poland, such as mouflon, deer, roe deer and fallow deer, as well as other inhabitants of the farm, such as mallards, ruddy shelducks, black geese, swan geese, swans and pea fowls. That farm also has a museum with a detailed history of the area. The European bisons rank among the most endangered species and are hard to find in the European forests.
During our visit of the Polish Bison Park, we were happy to see what we called a peacock show., when one of the peacocks suddenly landed behind a fenced area near us and surprised us with all his beauty.

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Skansen in Pszczyna


Our ticket to skansen, Pszczyna

Our ticket to skansen, Pszczyna


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Skansen in Pszczyna

Skansen in Pszczyna

The Skansen ("Zagroda Wsi Pszczyńskiej") was established in 1975. It contains interesting old buildings of wooden architecture of the Pszczyna region, including operating replica of a water mill and exhibits devoted to bees and bee-keeping.
We saw an operating replica of a water mill at the skansen:

The Skansen consists of over a dozen wooden buildings (peasants’ huts and workshops), which are about 100 to 250 years old, which are the last evidence of the traditional rural architecture of the Pszczyna District. They were found in the vicinity of Pszczyna, then dismantled and reassembled in the area of Skansen. This history museum is located in the eastern part of the park of Pszczyna. It belongs to the unique attractions in Pszczyna and Silesia. We were strongly recommended to visit this place, which we did.

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Skansen in Pszczyna

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Skansen in Pszczyna

Skansen in Pszczyna

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Skansen in Pszczyna_the ancient beehives workshop


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We saw a short Polish – Silesian phrasebook at the skansen, but did not buy it thinking we would return some day. The people here have their own Silesian dialect, which some people perceive as a kind of a modified German language. But the Silesian language – Śląnsk- is too much deviant from the modern German, so the Germans would not understand this language although there are certain similar words etween the both languages. The Silesian is slowly dying out, and it seems that the younger generation does not speak this dialect anymore.
Silesian dialect is described well in the book of Professor Jan Miodek “Silesian Motherland of Polish as Mother Tongue.” He wrote, “Silesian language should be recognized as one of the most archetypal of Polish dialects. It can be said without any exaggeration that it is the most Polish of all Polish dialects and that the stubborn adherence of the people of Silesia to this dialect allowed them, despite their difficult position, to keep to their mother tongue.”
The name Śląnsk (that is, Silesia) derives from Ślężanie, a big tribe living in ancient times on the territory of the present south-western Poland. Ślężanie took their name from an old Slavonic word Śląg” meaning “wet, moist, liquid”. During centuries, Silesia was under the influence of Piasts, Luxembourgers, Hapsburgs, Prussians and Germans. However, the language and the culture of the region’s inhabitants remained intact. The Silesian language functioned in a certain isolation from the Polish language and preserved many ancient features that no longer exist in the official Polish language.

Visiting the alpacas shelter in Pszczyna_4

Visiting the alpacas shelter in Pszczyna_4

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Visiting the alpacas shelter in Pszczyna

Visiting the alpacas shelter in Pszczyna

Acrobatically eating fresh grass from behind the fence.

Visiting the alpacas
We were recommended to pay a visit to alpacas. They are kept at Ośrodek nad Dokawą Pizzeria on the northern outskirts of Pszczyna. Alpacas delight you with their charming appearance, intelligence and calm disposition.

Visiting the alpaca shelter_Kasia the Alpaca, Pszczyna

Visiting the alpaca shelter_Kasia the Alpaca, Pszczyna

They are bred mainly for their luxurious fleece, which is much warmer and more pleasant to touch than sheep. These animals are extremely friendly and contact with people, which is why they are often good companions during many therapies.
Each time we went shopping or for a walk, we visited the amazing Market Square, where we could walk around or simply sit on a bench or have an ice-cream at a coffeehouse.

Market Square, Pszczyna

Market Square, Pszczyna

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Market Square, Pszczyna

Market Square, Pszczyna

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As city guides say, the Old Town of Pszczyna has kept its traditional medieval layout. Market Square is one of the biggest and most beautiful in southern Poland. There are many nicely redecorated tenement houses that date back to 18th and 19th century. The square is bounded by three streets: Warowna Street, Piwowarska Street and Basztowa Street. The most noteworthy of the historical market square buildings include: the “Warta” building with Brama Wybrańców, The City Hall, Catholic and Evangelical churches, as well as a former winery, called Frykówka.

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Great archtecture in Pszczyna

Great archtecture in Pszczyna

My favorite apartment house in Market Square. I do like those bay windows...
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Matt and Urszula, our dear hosts and friends, who became our Polish family, took us to a couple of nice restaurant for dinner: U Mikolajchika, Inn, Promnice Hunting Residence. It was great to taste the local cuisine there. Thanks a lot!

c56f4be0-e9e9-11ec-8b70-6d36400c8407.JPGc56b5440-e9e9-11ec-b175-cf744f62c98a.JPGc50c6b60-e9e9-11ec-b175-cf744f62c98a.JPGThe hunting residence of the dukes of Pszczyna

The hunting residence of the dukes of Pszczyna


Dining at Inn,Pszczyna

Dining at Inn,Pszczyna

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We could not hep admiring the amazing old architecture, the cleanliness of roads and streets, numerous trees and shrubs, public spaces and churches.

Wonderful old architecture in Pszczyna

Wonderful old architecture in Pszczyna


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Doors of Pszczyna

Doors of Pszczyna


The All-Seeing Eye in Pszczyna

The All-Seeing Eye in Pszczyna


The 17th-century roadside chapel in Katowicka Street, Pszczyna

The 17th-century roadside chapel in Katowicka Street, Pszczyna


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The Catholic Cathedral we attended in Pszczyna.
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The pedestrian precinct was great for walking as well.
Silesian Labor Museum, pedestrian presinct, Pszczyna

Silesian Labor Museum, pedestrian presinct, Pszczyna


A bench in the pedestrian presinct,Pszczyna

A bench in the pedestrian presinct,Pszczyna


The Black Knight, pedestrian presinct,Pszczyna

The Black Knight, pedestrian presinct,Pszczyna

Nice roads in Pszczyna

Nice roads in Pszczyna


A mural at Strazhatska Street, Pszczyna

A mural at Strazhatska Street, Pszczyna


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We discovered this old work of art in one of the far streets of the Old Town.
We were sorry it is being renovated (it has been renovated), and is not open to public.
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Struggle and Liberty Memorial to the heroes of liberation wars in Poland.
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The River Pszczynka, Pszczyna

The River Pszczynka, Pszczyna


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U Mikolajtsa Restaurant
Railway station, Pszczyna

Railway station, Pszczyna

Railway station in Pszczyna

Railway station in Pszczyna

By train to Pszczyna and elsewhere

By train to Pszczyna and elsewhere


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Posted by Vic_IV 08:39 Archived in Poland Tagged castle bison hunting park; pszczyna castle; menagerie; farm; residence; poland;

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Comments

That skansen looks interesting and love the alpacas. I've been meaning to go see some here, but have never got round to it.

by irenevt

You are right, Irene! Such places not only entertain, but also give you food for thought...

by Vic_IV

I visited Pscyna during the Euro VT meeting based in Karkow...long ago.

I visited the palace and I also went to see the bysons. They were sleeping unfortunately!

Ciao!

by Maurizioagos

Matt told us about the visit of VTers to Pzczyna Castle...

by Vic_IV

Yes. Matt mananged a day trip to Pscyna, to Wadowice and to another place. A pilgrimage place.

by Maurizioagos

Well done, VTers! Those are great places indeed...

by Vic_IV

How interesting day! And I love the alpacas! We have many times joked with my spouse that we are going to start a alpaca ranch, hah :)

by hennaonthetrek

We loved those alpacas as well. They are so cute!

by Vic_IV

reading this, I can understand it why it is called a tourist spot, I would make me happy, especially the alpaca's!

by Ils1976

You are welcome for a visit! Just tell Matt and Urszula you are coming!..

by Vic_IV

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