An easy excursion takes you to the birthplace of the great 19th. century Polish composer
Frederic Chopin, which is located at Żelazowa Wola, 50km (30 miles) west of Warsaw. You can see his original home which is now a museum at which concerts are frequently presented. None of the furnishings in the house belonged to the composer, but most are of the same period.
The Baroque palace of the pribe Oginski, and later prince Radziwiłł families Nieborów is located 13km. south-east of Łowicz. The palace was originally built at the end of the 17th. century. The Rokoko ornamentation and the gardens were added in the late 18th. century. The palce and most of its interior and fine furnishings miraculously survived Nazi and Soviet occupations during World War II. This fact alone makes this beautiful palace well worth the 2 hour drive from Warsaw. It os open to visitors evry day except Monday
The park of Nieborów was designed in the French style. The nearby park of Arkadia is designed the English style copying those of palaces in Great Britain. In the park there is a ceramics workshop established in the early 19th. century and still producing fine porcelain artwork today.
Continue on another 30 km (18 miles) to Łowicz, a small town at the center of a rich folkloric culture. The best time to see all the people of the town in ethnic costume, and particularly the women in their colorful striped skirts and embroidered blouses, is during the festival of Corpus Christi. This religious holiday occurs on the second Thursday after Pentecost. (2008: 22 May; 2009: 11 June; 2010: 3 June; 2011: 23 June.) However, you may see some of the women in their colorful dresses on any sunny Sunday.
In the Regional Museum, located in an old monastery, you may see collections of costumes and regional art.
In the tourist season there are excursions every day to Nieborów from Warsaw, some stopping at Zelazowa Wola and ಌowicz. Check with your hotel.
Wilanów is the royal palace built at the end of the 17th century as the residence of king Jan Sobieski, the victor over the Turks at Vienna. Afterwards it was owned by the princely Potocki family that greatly expanded the valuable collections. Prior to World War II it was owned by the Branicki family, but the museum was open to the public. Situated in a large park close to the river Vistula, it is an opulent example of Baroque archtecture. Looted by the Germans in World War II, most of the stolen objects have been recovered and after 15 years of restoration it is now once more in its full glory. See the full
description of all rooms.
There are 35 rooms on two floors in three wings, full of portraits, pictures, period furniture, scultures, vases and other precious objects.
The park covers 45 hectares (111 acres) consisting of four distinct areas - the Baroque Garden, English-Chinese Garden, Rose Garden and the English Landscape Park.
See opening hours,
tours and ticket prices.
Palace is closed on
Tuesdays. During the summer season and especially on Sundays, there may be long
waits for entrance. It is possible to make advance reservations, as explained on
the information page. English speaking guides are available.
is a suburb of Warsaw and there are city buses going close to the palace:
from Krakowskie Przedmiescie and Nowy Swiat - Express line E2, normal lines
180 and 116.
From Metro station Wilanowska - city bus 139, and suburban
buses 710, 724, 725.
Warsaw is at the center of a region called Mazovia (Mazowsze), which was an independent duchy during the 12th to 15th. centuries. Its capital Płock was also capital of all Poland 1043-1138. It was covered in the
North Poland tour, as was one of the Mazovia Princes' castles at Ciechanów. But some of the other towns that were important in those days are all accessible in a day trip from Warsaw.
Pułtusk is a charming town, 60km north-east of Warsaw. The old town is on an island in the river Narew and has a 400m (1300ft.) long market place. The castle of the bishops of Płock, originally built in the 15th. century, is south of the market place. The
Polonia House in the castle is a three-star hotel with several excellent restaurants serving traditional regional dishes.
The Gothic-Renaissance Collegiate church is also very interesting. Note the barrel-vaulted ceiling over the central nave.
Czerwinsk is another charming small town on the north bank of the Vistula, 60km (38 miles) north-west of Warsaw. The monastery was built in the mid-12th. century. The basilica, with two high towers, combines Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles. The Romanesque portal (1150) and the paintings in the Crucifixion Chapel as well as its Gothic frescoes have been well preserved. From here there is a splendid view of the Kampinos forest on the opposite bank of the Vistula river.
The large ruins of the castle of the princes of Mazovia at Czersk, 45km (28 miles) south of Warsaw were covered in the South Poland tour. They offer a great view over the broad valley of the Vistula, which originally flowed at the base of the castle.
Kampinos National Park is one of the largest Polish National Parks, embracing 365sq.km, (140sq.miles) of which 15 % is under strict protection. See the detailed
map of the Park. There are over 300km (188 miles) of marked hiking and cycling trails, through forest (mostly pine, alders and birch), sand dunes and peat marshes. It is one of the few National Parks in the world that is accessible by city bus from a large city.
All buses start from the Plac Wilsona Metro station.
#701 goes to Łomianki
#708 goes to Sieraków and Truskaw,
#726 goes to Sieraków.
Within the park there are several graveyards:
Palmiry - graves of 2,115 prominent Poles executed by Gestapo 1940-1941,
Kiełpin and other places - graves of more than 4,000 Polish soldiers killed during battles with German army in September 1939,
Laski, Truskaw, Wiersze and others - graves of several hundred members of Home Army A.K. killed in battles August and September 1944.
Suggested tours for those with a car:
2 or 3 day tour from Warsaw - Zelazowa Wola - Nieborów - Czerwinsk - Płock - Ciechanów - Pułtusk - Warsaw.
3 or 4 day tour from Warsaw - Zelazowa Wola - Lowicz - Nieborów - Tom - Łódź - Częstochowa - Kielce - Holy Cross - Wąchock or Kazimierz Dolny - Czersk - Warsaw.
Week tour - as above, but from Częstochowa proceed through Eagle Valley (Ojców) to Cracow then to Sandomierz (see this page.) - Holy Cross - Kazimierz Dolny - Czersk - Warsaw.
to Part 1 - Częstochowa, Holy Cross mountains, etc.