Autumn is a great time to visit the most beautiful places in Poland. Surely, strollers, families with children, and fans of active holidays who decide to follow the Małopolska lime trail will not get disappointed, as old castles and amazing natural rock formations will await them.
Strongholds and residences
It is one of the biggest remains of ancient strongholds located in the Polish Jurassic Highland on Zamkowa Mountain near Rudno. It is here, where in the past a beautiful Renaissance residence Tenczyn Zamek, often called little Wawel, was located. Today, the building is open to public, and on sunny days it is possible to see the Tatra Mountains from Nowojowa Tower.
A must-see place in Korzkiew village is a castle complex that was entered into the Register of immovable objects of cultural heritage in Małopolska voivodeship. The ruins of the former knight’s castle were one of the objects forming a chain of defensive strongholds around Kraków. The medieval walls are reminiscent of times past, while the beautiful castle park is an ideal place for walks and picnics.
Gems in Ojców
In the second half of the 14th century, Casimir III the Great built a castle close to the city, which he called “Father at the rock”. Although only ruins – part of the defensive walls, living quarters, the tower and entrance gate – now remain, many are eager to visit this place in Ojców and admire the beautiful panorama of Prądnik Valley from the castle hill.Not far from the village, one can find another architectural pearl of Małopolska – Pieskowa Skała castle.
It was first mentioned in 1315 in a document issued by Władysław I the Elbow-high, where it is called a German sounding name Peskenstein. In the 16th century, this Gothic building was transformed into a renaissance residence and is now a branch of the Wawel Castle in Kraków, as well as one of the most visited monuments.The highest point of Pieskowa Skała is called “Dorotka”, which was a name of the unfaithful wife of Szafraniec, a wealthy owner of the settlement built on a hill, who in the act of vengeance ordered to wall her up alive in the basement.
The monastery miracle
Construction works of the monastery in Czerna, which was a place where the Discalced Carmelites could lead their contemplative life and continue the hermitage tradition, began in 1629. It was not until the end of the 18th century that it was made available to the worshipers and its strict rules were abolished. Next to the road leading to the monastery, one can find the ruins of arcaded Devil’s Bridge that the hermits had been building for 20 years!
It used to be quite impressive – 120 meters long, 18 meters high and 9.5 meters wide, and resembled a Roman aqueduct.The name of Devil’s Bridge comes from a legend – it is said that a treasure, guarded by the devil, was buried beneath it.
Not only castles
Ojców National Park, located only 16 kilometres from Kraków, attracts many tourist with its beautiful Prądnik Valley, rare species of plants and animals, and deep, karst ravines and caves that were formed in the calcareous substrate. The caves were home for the pre-historic man (traces of existence were found among others in Ciemna Cave), while today they are home to many species of bats.
In turn, Kraków Valleys Landscape Park covers 20 thousand hectares rich in numerous Jurassic valleys with forms of karst relief, inliers, and streams. The park includes 5 nature reserves, many nature monuments, caves, documentation sites and monuments. A true heaven for hikers and cyclists!