Poznan is a convenient base for many short tours by car to palaces and castles, small towns and parks. The following driving itineraries may be combined in any order to fit the time available to you, see map.
C. Drive south from Poznan
Take road #432 to Mosina, then #431 to Rogalin. A Baroque and Classical palace built in the second half of the 18thC One wing contains a replica of the London study of Edward Raczynski, for many years the Polish ambassador to Great Britain, then foreign minister and finally president of the Polish Republic in exile. Another wing contains a large collection of 19th and 20th century paintings and sculptures. The extensive park contains one of the largest collections of old oak trees in Europe.
Take Road #431 to Kórnik. Take the opportunity to visit Kórnik Castle covered in Part One. Then take #434 to Srem, then #432.
Turew Palace is located on a side road.
It is a large Baroque palace built in the 18thC lying in a large park with many very old oak trees. The palace interior is very interesting and may be visited by arrangement.
Return to Road #432, go south then left on #308. You will see an early 17thC Benedictine monastery close to the road in Lubin. Finally road #434 takes you into the town of Gostyn. The early 18thC Baroque church of the Marian monastery lies just east of the town and is well worth visiting to see the richly decorated altars and frescoes.
Take Highway #12 towards Leszno, but watch for signs to the left to Pawłowice at about 20km. This large 18thC. palace in the Classical style is well preserved. It is now government research center but may be visited by arrangement. The large ballroom is of special interest.
It is only 8km along a country road past a lovely wooden church in Dąbcze to the main destination of this itinerary - Rydzyna .
The small town is a wonderful example of an 18thC rural town. From its lovely square you get a view of the magnificent early 17th.C palace, built by the Leszczynski family (Stanislaw Leszczynski was one of the last kings of Poland. It is the largest castle-palace in western Poland, surrounded by a moat and a lovely park. The Hotel with an excellent restaurant will provide an overnight rest. Guests may request a tour of the wonderfully restored palace salons including the great ball-room.
10km north from Rydzyna lies Leszno, with a 17thC Renaissance town hall in the center a square surrounded by the houses of rich merchants of that period. The 17thC. Leszczynski palace is now the office building of the county administration.
From Leszno you mat return directly to Poznan by highway #5 (87km) or take highway #12 west to Głogów to join Tour D.
D. South-West and Lubuski Lake District.
From Poznan take Highway #5 to Leszno, then Highway #12 to Głogów , an ancient fortress on the Odra river. You can see remains of fortifications from the 13th, 16th and 19th centuries, as well as the 20th.C. Some underground tunnels may be visited.
You may take a side trip along Highway #12 into what is actually Lower Silesia to see the historic towns of Zagan and Zary, both with many interesting old castles and monasteries. In addition, in Zagan you can visit the Museum of the World War II prisoner camp Stalag Luft 3, made famous by the film "The Great Escape".
Otherwise turn right on Highway #3 to Zielona Góra (literally Green Mount). Situated in wooded hills it is the center of a wine industry. The 54m high tower of the 15th C. Gothic town hall is visible from far away. In the main square and adjacent streets there are many handsome 17th and 18thC. merchants' homes.
Continue on Highway #3 to Sulechów with tall tower of the 17thC, town hall dominating the main square. If you have time, go abou 9km to the east to see an exceptional example of a wooden Lutheran church from the 15thC. with over a hundred wall paintings.
Another 19km northward and you reach
Swiebodzin with its Renaissance
15thC town hall and richly decorated Gothic St. Michael Church. The 14thC castle is in ruins, parts of the old city walls with three towers remain.
You can take a rest in 14th and 18thC Łagów Castle,
situated in a beautiful park on a lake. It is now a hotel. To reach it take Highway #2 west about 20km west, then a side road 5km through the woods.
From Łagów take country roads through the pretty country back to highway #3 and the little town of Gościkowo. Here, in the 13thC., a Cistercian abbey Paradyż was built. Since the 19thC. it has been used as a school and seminary. The 17thC. basilica and the peaceful grounds of the abbey are well worth the visit.
Continue north to
Międzyrzecz (literally "Between Rivers"). Here you see the moated castle built in the 15thC. by King Casimir the Great. In the adjacent small palace there is a museum with many interesting historical objects, including painted coffins from the 17th and 18th centuries.
This is the end of this tour. From here you may return directly to Poznan, or continue north on Highway #3 to join Tour B at Gorzow Wielkopolski.
E. Drive North-east from Poznan
Take Highway #2 east for about 30km. Beyond Siedlec take road to the right to Gułtowy, a classical palace built in the late 18thC. for Count Bninski. Now belongs to the University of Poznan and may be visited by prior arrangement. The ball-room and the frescoes are worth seeing. There are many very old trees in th park.
Take a country road north-west about 13km to Czerniejewo, a large 18thC. palace in the Classic style located in a large park. It is now being used as a hotel.
Another 15km north you arrive at the ancient city of Gniezno, the first capital of Poland. Visit the old Gothic cathedral with the 10thC bronze door and the silver urn of St. Adalbert who brought Christianity to Poland. Note: If short of time you could go directly from Pozan to Gniezno by Highway #15 - just 40km.
Head north 37km on Highway #5 to Biskupin, at the village of Czewujewo, go right 5km. Located on a peninsula jutting into a lake is a remarkable reconstruction of an Iron age settlement. The remains were discovered in 1934, well preserved in a bed of peat.
Continue on to Znin, with a 15thC tower in the central square, Then take Road #253 for 12km to the large Classical 18thC. palace and park of Lubostron. There are several farm buildings in the large park. There is also a small restaurant where you may refresh yourself before the return journey.
Return to Znin, then drive west along Road #251 to Wągrowiec. From here you may either return directly to Poznan on road #196 (54km), or if you have time to take a 106km drive through pretty rolling country, take Road #190 north to Chodziez, where you may buy good china at the 150 year old Porcelana Chodzież. Then back to Poznan by Highway #15.
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