11 km north of Zelazowa Wola you come across Brochow, a small village with a magnificent 16th century church. It was here that on 23 April 1810 little Fryderyk Chopin was christened. The church must have been of some significance to the Chopin family as it was also here that his parents had been married four years earlier and that his sister...more
Czersk, once the capital of southern Mazowsze, is now famous for one thing only, the ruins of a great castle rising high above the fields and villages below. When it was built by the Mazovian Prince Janusz I in the 14th - 15th centuries, the Vistula River flowed right at its feet, making it invaluable for defensive purposes. Later, however, the...more
About 80 km west of Warsaw, Arkadia is a charming place to visit in all seasons. This 18th century English romantic park can be enjoyed by adults and children alike but don't expect swings or a playground there. It's a great place for walks in the beautiful scenery with a river and a lake, in which you can see reflections of the antique or...more
If you like the colourful Polish folk arts and handicrafts, Lowicz is just the place for you.It's only an hour's train ride away and the town is small enough to do the sightseeing on foot.You can visit its wonderful baroque Basilica in the middle of the Old Market Square and the museum nearby with all its baroque and folk art treasures. Don't miss...more
Konstancin is a resort now nearly adjoining Warsaw in the south. Situated in pine forest, it boasts some beautiful villas representing a variety of styles from neo-Gothic to art deco, many of them pre-war, but also a few residences of the nouveau riche, including a copy of the Lazienki Palace, interesting but missing the original palace's wonderful...more
Probably the most famous of all places in the Mazowsze region is this tiny village not far from Sochaczew - Zelazowa Wola, where the great composer Fryderyk Chopin was born and spent the first few months of his life. Chopin's father, Mikolaj was a private tutor to the Skarbek family. Their manor burnt down as Napoleon's army marched past. Luckily,...more
If you come to visit the castle at Czersk by car, you can go a little further down the escarpment to the banks of the Vistula River. In the past its course was just beneath the castle so it played an important role in its defence. However, later the river changed its course and it now flows by about 3 kilometres away. The Vistula runs quite wild at...more
Palmiry is a small village in the Kampinos Forest just north of Warsaw. Close to it in the forest there is a cemetery dating from World War II, no, not of soldiers whose fate is decided in battle. The people buried here had not been given a chance to defend themselves. They were civilians, mostly representatives of the Polish inteligentsia,...more
Beautifully situated on the high bank of the Vistula, Czerwinsk got its municipal rights as early as 1373 only to lose them five centuries later. The most important building in or rather above the village is the 12th-century stone basilica with its two high stone towers, a beautiful Romanesque portal dating back to 1150, paintings in the Chapel of...more
Situated in pine forest, like the whole resort of Konstancin, this patisserie offers a wide choice of wonderful cakes. All freshly baked, they delight both the eye and the palate. The only problem is which ones to choose. You can have them on the spot in their cafe or the garden outside with coffee or tea, or take them home with you. Last time we were there we did both, in spite of our determination to go on a diet. But who could resist the temptation?
You can visit the place on your way back from exploring the Vistula near Konstancin as we did or come there specially but expect traffic jams on the way.
Favorite Dish: I don't remember what we had before - we had been there a number of times - but last time we had 'torcik owocowy' (in the bottom left hand corner of the picture) - a cake with a few kinds of fruit and fresh whipped cream, which was excellent and we took 2 napoleonkas (Napoleon's cakes) home with us. The punch cake you can see at the front is very good too, and many people's favourite is the so-called 'wuzetka' (pronounced voozetka), a large dark brown cake with chocolate on top and whipped cream, really yummy!
The Chojnow Forest (Lasy Chojnowskie) near Piaseczno is a great place for walks, picnics, riding a bike and it's easily accessible by car. The forest is criss-crossed with a network of paths and there are some marked educational nature trails too. On one of the boards marking the trail we found information on the time of day the various birds start...more
Konstancin is a resort just south of Warsaw with many interesting old and new villas and a few sanatoriums, all in a pine forest. You are sure to hear more about it when I have taken some pictures. Here I just want to show you a place east of it on the Vistula where you can go for walks or ride your bike, enjoying the view of the river and the...more
One of the nicest forests near Warsaw is the Sekocin Forest. It's a nice place to visit after for example a visit to the IKEA at Janki. Just drive on as you come from Warsaw in the direction of Nadarzyn and turn left towards Magdalenka and Piaseczno, there are two car parks by road 725, the first one is bigger and I think nicer. It's in a kind of...more
If you have ever watched and envied a monkey jumping from tree to tree, hanging from branches or walking along them on all fours, here is your chance to test your own strength, agility and coordination. In the Chojnow forest near Piaseczno you will find an aerial assault course consisting of a number of platforms fixed to trees and connected by all kinds of rope ladders, hanging boards and the like. Click on the pictures to see them more clearly. As some of the platforms are placed really high, up to 10 metres, I wouldn't recommend it to people who are afraid of heights or are not perfectly fit and agile. To prevent accidents, the organisers provide some security measures, like a climbing harness or steel ropes, to protect you. Yet, you also have to sign written consent in which you take full responsibility for what might happen. Unfortunately, that is, if you mind it, you will probably have to put up with a number of onlookers as the forest is very popular with walkers and bikers. To use the course, check the organisers' website first, which is in Polish only.