It's a double treat to visit this museum which was an old mansion built in 1416. First because of the age of the building...rare to find a house of this date. Secondly..because of the charming collections held by the Diocese, which currently owns and operates the little museum. The highlight for Gosia was to see Queen Jadwiga's gloves which are...more
This is fun. You can go on a 45 minutes' guided tour in the maze of brick-laid narrow tunnels, of which some are 12 m (38 ft) below the ground level. The route is 470 m long and easy, you will be going up and down the stairs several times though. It is a system of corridors that connect the old basements and tradesmen's cellars. Along the way you...more
Antoni Rzasa's exhibit was a temporary exhibit at the House of Dlugosz museum operated by the Diocese. The artist's work is unique and, as the curator priest pointed out, he seemed to be making some point in his symbolism. His creations are made of one piece of wood and sculpted with an axe. The intricacy of some of the work is astounding,...more
These historic towns are made for walking the cobblestoned streets, and resting a while in a cafe to take in the ambiance of the place. There are stories connected to nearly all of the buidings here. As I mentioned, the town dates to 800 but the buildings here are restored or rebuilt from the 1300's to 1700's. Their gothic town hall dates to...more
The banner spanning the quaint little street was to announce the Sea Chanty Festival taking place on the weekend. There was a play on words there....as Sandomierz was altered for the sake of sea chanties to sound like SHant omierz. The Polish pronunciation for SZ would be SH. cute. At any rate, everyone was busy with preparations and excitement...more
You might shrug off seeing another late Gothic church, but how many Gothic houses have you seen in which people actually lived? Founded by Jan Dlugosz, this brick house is a fine example of Polish secular Gothic architecture. It changed with the epochs that came but in the 1930's it was stripped of all non-Gothic features and restored to its...more
You might be surprised at the grandeur of the Cathedral in this small town but, again, it was a royal city once. It dates back to the 12th century and always benefited from the generosity of Polish kings. One of its most precious features are the Byzanthene-Ruthenian frescoes funded by king Jagiello in 1420. The Cathedral is also known for its...more
This huge palace-like mansion in a park is one of the oldest secondary schools in Poland, one of its wings dates back to 1602! It was an ecclesial school run by the Jesuits, but it was secularised in 1773. Now it's one of the best schools too!The Latin name Gostomianum takes from the name of one of the most notable figures in Sandomierz, Heronim...more
I never reached the Dominican Priory but I did reach the Dominican gate into the Old Town :-) Enlarge the picture for a full view of the Needle's Eye, that's what it's commonly called! This is the only survivor of the 9 "ordinary" gates that the Old Sandomierz had (in addition to the 4 fortified tower gates, of which only the Opatowska survived)....more
The church is the reason why I will go to Sandomierz again some day (didn't manage to visit it in my half-day trip). This is the oldest church in town, dates back to the 13th century and is famous for many reasons. I particularly want to see the the Heaven's Gate double portal with its unique ornaments of brick formed into floral shapes. I also...more
There are quite a few restaurants in the Market Sq. I tried the TRZYDZIESTKA (meaning "No 30") for coffee on one day, and then the STAROMIEJSKA for lunch on another day. I had this lunch on a Sunday, and many local people came for a meal, which was a good sign of the food quality :-) I can't remember what I had but everything was yummy and at...more
There was a certain time of the afternoon...we all know about this... when suddenly everyone wants an ice cream at the same time. Happens frequently...in many countries. Such was the case here in front of the oldest restaurant mentioned earlier. Of course Gosia and I followed suit. Who could resist?more
The most amazing thing about this restaurant is discovered at their front door. Look up to see the date of the establishment. 1563 !!!! Astounding for someone from the US who thinks that the 1700's is really old. We sat on a sunny patio with umbrellas to shade that blazing sun. We arrived in Sandomierz on one of the hottest days of the summer. I...more
The Market Sq. is a frequent venue for live music. When we were there, preparations were made for shanties singing! I thought it was funny with Sandomierz being located in Southern Poland and away from the sea. The even was called "Shantomierz" which was a cute word play on the name of the city. I wish we had time to stay well into late afternoon and evening to listen to live singing, but we had to go on our way...
Sandomierz lies about 200km south of Warsaw, and 165km NW of Krakow. The fastest way to get there is by car: just over 3 h from Warsaw (route 77 or 79) and 2.5 h from Krakow (route 79).
The town is rather off the main railroads and bus routes so using public transport will be a bit of a hassle: not too many rides or, in the case of railroad, you may have to change trains if you want to travel at a more convenient time.
If you'd still rather go by train, prepare for a longer journey: over 5 hours from Warsaw (look only for the direct connections). From Krakow it looks like you will have to change trains, and it will also take over 5 hours. Bear in mind that Sandomierz train station is quite far from the Old Town, on the other side of the Vistula, but buses to the centre go every 20 minutes.
Another option is by bus but it seems there are more rides from Warsaw (4.5 hours) than from Krakow.
There are many gift stores, local craft stores, cards kiosks and antique shops in the Market Sq. and the little streets around it, particularly in the Opatowska street that connects the mediaeval Opatowska Gate with the Market Sq. Just walk around, check the window dislpays and peek into the ones you like.
If it's stamps you're after, the Post Office is right in the Market Sq. on your right as you enter from Opatowska street.
There is something special about lace curtains moving in the breeze by an open window. Especially if the window itself is architecturally interesting. Such is the case all around the main square in Sandomierz. I find this one of the very charming things about European apartments...seeing it often throughout a number of countries. I particularly...more
This guy didn't seem to have any particular purpose..but to simply walk thru the square in his long skirt and strange hat. Several other costumed young people would appear from time to time as well. Gosia was intrigued with the bagpipers who appeared in their kilts to do a bit of marching and piping. Must have been connected to the students from...more
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Visiting Sandomierz involves a lot of walking but it's not gonna be strainful, even if you venture towards the gorges. Still, make sure you have comfy shoes on! The hills that some of the greatest attractions are located on are not high, and the roads that lead to them are paved - you won't need any serious hiking shoes :-)
If you have time, go to the nearby village of Baranow Sandomierski [just 30 km SW of Sandomierz] to see the castle from the 16/17th century. This magnate residence looks more like a fine palace, but it really was a fortified castle - you can see the remains of the original moat in what now seems to be just a rectangular pond. The castle is one of...more
The Pepper Hills sit about 2.5 km north of the town. Named after the brown colour of the Cambrian rocks, they are a great geological reserve, a unique outcrop of this kind in Europe. They are also a natural reserve, famous for the 15 kinds of wild roses, hawthorne, and other steppe plants, as well as many species of birds which made this place...more
About an hour south of Sandomierz is the Zamek Baranow Sandomierski. The name castle is a bit of a misnomer as this 16th century Renaissance building is more of a palace. Lavish decorated rooms are open to the public as is the somewhat bizarrely located sulphur industry museum in the basement!There is also the opportunity of staying (at a price!)...more
The first Jewish community in Sandomierz was established as early as in the 14th century. Before WWII about 40% of the town's population was Jewish. The synagogue that was arrected in 1768 still stands (along with the Kahal building) but now it houses the town's archives.more
I always like to walk in little old cobbled streets. They may not be the major tourist attraction but they add to the feel of the place. In Sandomierz you walk a lot if you want to get to the major antiquities located on hills so you're bound to see some of them. Picture yourself as if walking there a few centuries ago :-)more
Sandomierz boasts its history of a royal city but it is also famous for a few prominent figures in Polish history and culture. It may be difficult to grasp for a foreigner, but for a Pole, touring Sandomierz feels like visiting a large open-air museum of Polish heritage.Jan Dlugosz (1415-1480), the chronicler who founded the Gothic house [see my...more