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The West Pomeranian Voivodeship

Send Print Download added: Krzysztof Kuciński | 2015-03-27 14:38:23
poland

About region

REGION

 

The voivodeship is situated in the north-west part of Poland, on the Baltic Sea coast. It borders with the Pomeranian Voivodeship on the east, with Greater Poland and Lubusz Voivodeships on the south and with Germany (Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) on the west.

The voivodeship was established in 1999 as a result of the administrative reform. It consists of former Szczecin and Koszalin voivodeships as well as parts of former Piła, Gorzów and Słupsk voivodeships.

The voivodeship capital is Szczecin.

 

The voivodeship area: 22892 km2. West Pomerania takes fifth place among all Polish voivodeships in size.

Maritime border length: 188.9 km.

Total population: 1,718 thousand (June 2014)

Population of Szczecin: 405.9 thousand (2010).

Average temperature in Koszalin in 2012: 8.4 deg. C, in Szczecin 9.1 deg. C. (Warsaw – 8.8 deg. C)

Total annual rainfall in Koszalin in the years 2001-2010: 778 mm, in 2012 – 832 mm; in Szczecin: 588 mm and 529 mm, respectively. In comparison, in Warsaw: 571 mm and 519 mm.

 

The voivodeship is decidedly lowland with strongly diversified climate due to conflicting coastal and inland climates. The region is characterized by considerable air humidity and the predominance of west and north-west winds.

Several tens of rivers flow through the voivodeship, including Odra (the Oder). The largest water reservoir is the Szczecin Lagoon. Between the Pomeranian Bay and the Szczecin Lagoon the largest Polish island – Wolin – is located. The voivodeship has many lakes, the largest of which are: Dąbie, Miedwie, Jamno and Drawsko. Forests cover 35.4 % of the voivodeship area, over 60 % of which are pine forests.

 

History

 

The voivodeship is situated between the historical region of Mecklenburg and Gdańsk Pomerania. In the past, the region had been part of Western Slavdom and then of the Griffins’ Duchy of Pomerania. It was under clashing influences of Swedes, German settlers, Danes.

West Pomerania had been conquered by the Piasts twice in the history. The second time was in 1121 when the Polish Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth brought here Otto of Bamberg – “the father of monks” – who Christianized Pomerania with a group of German clergy accompanied by a Polish armed contingent. The mass baptizing of Pomeranians started at Pyrzyce: according to the legend, 7 thousand people were baptized there during 20 days. Otto also baptized dwellers of, among others, Kamień Pomorski, Szczecin, Lubin and Wolin. After the Piasts, the region found itself under the influence of Danish kings and then of Germany. From 12th to 17th c., the Griffins’ dynasty was ruling over Pomerania (their lands stretched to Rostock on the west and to Sławno on the east). The last Duke of Pomerania and the last male successor of Griffins was Bogisław XIV, who died in 1637 in Szczecin. The coat of arms of the House of Griffins was the Pomeranian Griffin. When Bogisław XIV died, West Pomerania passed into the hands of Swedes and after 1720 – of Prussia which reigned there until the end of the Second World War.

 

Oldest historical monuments

 

The symbol of the most ancient history of West Pomerania is Wolin. In the early Middle Ages, it was an important port at the Baltic Sea where trade routes from all Europe were crossing, which is proven by excavations where archeologists discover coins and objects not only from the West but also from Ruthenia, Scandinavia or Arab countries. Wolin was regarded as a city open to travelers from all over the world, rich and tolerant. It had often been visited by Scandinavians of which the objects belonging to Vikings found in the delta of the Odra River as well as the Viking style of decorating objects of daily use which was adopted by local craftsmen testify. Another proof of the Scandinavian peoples’ presence in West Pomerania is, e.g., the stone graveyard of Goths in Grzybnica forest in the Manowo commune or the kurgan cemetery from the turn of the 9th and 10th century on Wzgórze Wisielców (Hangmen’ Hill) in Wolin. According to “The life of Anskar” recorded around the year 870, Wolin was one of the biggest cities in Europe. In 977, the Jewish merchant and traveler, Abraham Ben Jacob, wrote that the burgwall was magnificent and had twelve gates.

The city was incorporated into Poland by Mieszko I after defeating Wolinians in 967. Under the Polish rule, Wolin experienced its golden age and became an important trade center. Wolin was the first Baltic port in the Polish state. It was famed for the production of luxurious handicraft. At the peak of its heyday, it had about 8 thousand dwellers (today less than 5 thousand) who not only engaged in trade but were also corsairs (Slavic pirates were called “chąśnicy”), due to which Wolin was often attacked by Danes in retaliation.

Wolin ties with Denmark rise from a distant past. According to one of the legends, Wolin was founded by the Danish king, Harald Bluetooth. As a matter of fact, when wounded Harald had been banished from Denmark by his son, he fled to Jomsborg (which is how Wolin was called back then) where he soon died. This event is commemorated by a heavy boulder in the center of Wolin, bearing inscriptions in Polish and Danish saying “The Danish king Harald Bluetooth died in Wolin in 986.”

The contemporary embodiment of the most ancient history is the Slavs and Vikings’ settlement reconstruction on the Ostrów island near Wolin. The undertaking is managed by the Slavs and Vikings Centre association. The settlement consists of several huts, each, same as the gate with defensive walls and the stockade, built with the methods used centuries ago and with the same building materials and tools as were used back then. Their interiors are exact replica of Slavic hut furnishings. All huts are open to the public and inside representatives of different trades, all in period clothing, demonstrate, e.g., how to make clay pots, jewelry or arms. Visitors themselves can mint a denarius of Mieszko I or try on a medieval chainmail. In the settlement, there is also a children playground reconstructed on the basis of Old Slavic designs.

Every year in the settlement, the Slavs and Vikings festival takes place. Its idea refers to the Scandinavian legend from “de Jómsvikingasaga” about a fortified city of warriors. The festival takes place usually at the beginning of August. The first one was organized in 1993. After two years pause, it returned in 1996 and since then has been organized every year till this day. Apart from warriors and craftsmen, also historical reenactment groups and enthusiasts of the Slavic and Viking cultures from all European countries as well as from Canada or Australia arrive at Wolin for the festival.

The later history of West Pomerania is connected with the monuments of the Christian culture, many of which are very well preserved, stately and sumptuous because the cities where they are located used to belong to the Hanseatic League – the confederation of wealthy trade towns.

Passing through the area of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship is the European Route of Brick Gothic – the European tourist route connecting over 30 cities with the most interesting Brick Gothic monuments in seven Baltic states, including several in Poland. In West Pomerania, the route includes: Kołobrzeg, Koszalin, Szczecin, Stargard Szczeciński and Sławno.

Among Gothic churches, basilicas, town halls and towers, there are monuments unique not only in Poland, but also in Europe. The cathedral basilica of St. James the Apostle is the second highest religious edifice in Poland. Many Gothic monuments remain in Stargard Szczeciński called the Jewel of Pomerania. Those include several towers, three gates, of which the most beautiful is the Pyrzyce Gate, the town hall and churches, of which the Church of the Virgin Mary, Queen of the World, is considered the most beautiful Gothic church in Poland and the most precious Brick Gothic monument in Pomerania. Of the unique value are the Church of Our Lady and town gates in Sławno as well as the Basilica of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Lontowa Tower in Kołobrzeg.

Another route passing through West Pomerania is the Camino de Santiago. It is the international route, marked with the yellow shell on the blue background, which passes through the whole Europe leading to the Spanish town Santiago de Compostela – to the tomb of the apostle St. James the Great. The route is about 400-kilometers long and passes through almost 100 localities in West Pomerania.

Yet another route – the European Route of Cistercian Abbeys – has been created in the early 90s of the 20th century. It is on the list of European Cultural Routes and passes through Western Poland, including eleven localities in West Pomerania: Bierzwnik, Cedynia, Krzęcin, Marianowo, Pełczyce, Recz, Bukowo Morskie, Wolin, Kołbacz, Koszalin and Szczecin. In each of them, there used to be a Cistercian monastery which, during the Middle Ages, was a medical, cultural and research center. The traces of many of them remain only in historical accounts and archeological findings. The best preserved former monasteries in West Pomerania are in Marianowo and Bierzwnik. The Cistercian nuns monastery in Marianowo in the 16th century was transformed into the Noble Damsels’ Foundation where in the 17th century Sidonia von Borcke lived – she was accused of witchcraft by the sub-prioress and her roommate and burnt at the stake.

Also the monastery in Pełczyce is in good repair. In Cedynia, the monastery ruins were rebuilt and remodeled into a hotel with a restaurant. The remains of the monastery buildings in Koszalin were also considerably altered. The oldest of West Pomerania monastery complexes – in Kołbacz – is one of the most precious Gothic monuments of the region. The post-Cistercian buildings preserved there are the church with the western façade decorated with the historical rose window unique in the whole Europe, as well as the lay brothers’ and the abbot’s houses.

Also the history of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ, that is the Templars, is linked with West Pomerania. The remains of two best preserved commanderies in the region, in Chwarszczany and Czaplinek, attract enthusiasts of the medieval history and treasure hunters. The commandery of Templars in Chwarszczany in the Myślibórz poviat was founded in 1232. It was one of the most important commanderies in Poland and the most eminent one in Pomerania. The order arrived here due to the donations of the Duke of Greater Poland, Władysław Odonic, and quickly started to expand its possessions through the land grants from the Duke of Szczecin, Barnim I. From the Templars’ abode only a Gothic chapel remains which was restored at the end of the 19th century. Every year in Chwarszczany, a historical fair and a knight tournament take place. Czaplinek, formerly called Tempelburg, is located in the Drawsko poviat. Templars built there a castle which in 1345 fell into the hands of the Knights of St. John. Several tens of years later, the castle was destroyed and till this day it has not been found where the Templars resided. In the nearby Stare Drawsko, in the ruins of the Drahim castle of the Knights of St. John, historical events are organized.

 

Modern history

 

Last several tens of years of West Pomerania are strongly linked with the military history. The unique location of Szczecin, Kołobrzeg or Świnoujście enticed the armies stationing in this area to create important military structures. The voivodeship currently uses them primarily for tourism and educational purposes. The military vehicles rallies are one of the biggest and most popular events in the voivodeship and ones of the main events promoting the region.

Every year in Borne Sulinowo, which twenty years ago ceased to be a Soviet army military base, a militaria fair is organized. During the Military Vehicle Rally, battle scenes prepared by reenactment groups are presented. Another one, the International Rally of Historical Military Vehicles is organized in Darłowo. It is the oldest such event in the region. The rally is international and attracts militaria enthusiasts, collectors and history fans. Also, there is the Military Vehicles and Motorcycles Rally taking place in Lipiany in Góry Skrzynkowskie hills.

A special place is the Museum of Polish Arms in Kołobrzeg, offering the rich collection from the early Middle Ages to modern times. One can find there the unique in Poland examples of Polish uniforms and weaponry as well as monuments of military technology. The museum has three divisions, each dedicated to a different historical epoch. One of its major attractions is the Open Air Maritime Museum of Kołobrzeg displaying the ORP Fala and ORP Władysławowo ships.

Another important spot on the historical map of the West Pomeranian voivodeship is Świnoujście with the Gerhard’s, Angel’s and Western Artillery Forts, the 19th century Prussian fortifications where many historical and cultural events take place.

 

Cities and regions

 

Szczecin. The seat of voivodeship government and the city rich with historical monuments. The most famous attractions of Szczecin are: the Ducal Castle, Wały Chrobrego (Chrobry Ramparts), the Jasne Błonia lawn, the Kasprowicz Park and the Old Town, as well as the wild Beech Forest (Puszcza Bukowa) and the Arkonia forest with lakes and bicycle routes. It was in Szczecin that in 1729 Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg, i.e. tsarina Catherine II– responsible for the Partitions of Poland - was born, same as her later daughter-in-law, Maria Fyodorovna, whose former house in Szczecin is occupied today by the Art Academy.

Among the biggest Szczecin events are the yearly Days of the Sea and the Pyromagic International Fireworks Festival, but the biggest and the most glamorous one are Tall Ships’ Races finals hosted by Szczecin twice – in 2007 and 2013. The city will host them for the third time in 2017. Sailing races and yacht rallies have been organized in Europe for tens of years, every year in a different city. In 2007, 96 vessels arrived in Szczecin, in 2013 - over 100, while about 2.5 mln tourists visited the city.

A place of special character is Szczecin’s Venice, i.e. the complex of factories along the Odra river, now abandoned, with buildings submerged in water. In Szczecin the oldest still working cinema in the world operates – the Pionier Cinema (formerly Helios) established in 1909.

 

Świnoujście. The city lies on three islands: Uznam (Usedom) – the bigger part of which belongs to Germany, Karsibór (Kaseburg) – formerly a peninsula which at the end of the 19th century got separated from Uznam with a canal, and Wolin – the largest Polish island. The beaches of Świnoujście stretch as a 10-kilometer long belt across two of the islands, Uznam and Wolin. They are the widest beaches of the Baltic Sea Coast – in some places their width reaches up to 200 m, and the sea which retreats more and more every year gradually makes them even wider. Within the boundaries of the Wolin National Park lies the Świna River Reverse Delta – a cluster of 41 small islets at where the Świna River flows out of the Szczecin Lagoon (because of such a large amount of isles Świnoujście and its surroundings are called the Land of 44 islands). In the city, the Days of the Sea: Sail Świnoujście and the FAMA student festival, where such artists as the singer Marek Grechuta, the Raz Dwa Trzy band and the Kabaret Moralnego Niepokoju cabaret had their debut, are regularly held. In the Warszów district of Świnoujście, a liquid gas terminal is being constructed by the Polskie LNG company. It will be the biggest LNG terminal in this part of Europe, drastically improving the gas security of Poland and other Baltic states. When the construction finishes, the terminal shall be another tourist attraction of Świnoujście – since at its jetty some of the biggest and state-of-the-art liquid gas ship carriers, Q-flexes, shall dock. Polskie LNG conducts in Świnoujście an unique in Poland program of cooperation with the local community – the company provides equipment for schools and cultural centers, support educational and cultural activities in the entire region, supplies with the modern equipment the forces responsible for the city safety.

The beach in Świnoujście is well known for its tidiness, having received many times the international award of Blue Flag. It is the shallowest Polish seashore bathing site and the waters of the Baltic Sea are the warmest there in the summer. In Świnoujście, there is the tallest – 68 m high – lighthouse on the Polish sea coast, dating from 1858. Świnoujście is also a health resort well known in the entire Europe, where respiratory, cardiovascular and dermatological diseases, obesity, locomotor ailments and cardiac problems are treated.

 

Międzyzdroje. Located on the Wolin island, it is one of the most popular health resorts of West Pomerania. Międzyzdroje are called the Pearl of the Baltic Sea. On the east, the town is surrounded with high hills with cliffs, on the south – with the Turquoise Lake (Jezioro Turkusowe) which is counted among the most beautiful lakes of the Wolin National Park.

It is in Międzyzdroje that one of the events best known in Poland takes place – the Stars Festival. It is accompanied by film screenings, theatre performances, painting and photography exhibitions, literary meetings, recitals and concerts. Currently, the city’s Walk of Fame counts over 100 imprints. In the Frederic Chopin Spa Park, at the feet of the coastal cliff, the only Wax Figures Museum in Poland is situated displaying figures of Polish cinema stars in their most popular roles, e.g. of Beata Tyszkiewicz as Izabela Łęcka from the screen version of the novel „The Doll” by Bolesław Prus, of Bogusław Linda as Franz Mauer from the „Psy” (Pigs) thriller or of Daniel Olbrychski as Kmicic from the screen version of “The Deluge” by Henryk Sienkiewicz.

 

Pobierowo, Pustkowo, Trzęsacz, Rewal, Śliwin, Niechorze, Pogorzelica. These seven seacoast towns compose together in the central part of the coast a leisure and recreation center. The main attraction are steep cliffs eroded by the waves. One of the most remarkable monuments in West Pomerania are ruins of the church in Trzęsacz, which five centuries ago was located at 2 km from the sea and at present only the ruins of the last wall remain due to sea waves taking away the land.

 

Kołobrzeg. Situated at the Parsęta River’s mouth, it is surrounded by the sea and forests. Its history dates back to the 8th century. Kołobrzeg was one of most important salt production centers affiliated with the Hanseatic League. During the First World War, it was a sea fortress and a huge military hospital. Since then, it has become one of the most attractive health resorts in Poland. Among the most interesting events organized here are: the Interfolk International Folklore Festival, the Sunrise Festival, the „Na fali” Shanty Festival, the Poetic Song Festival, the „Srebrny Dzwon” (Silver Bell) Prize Regatta or the International Marriage Race (Międzynarodowy Bieg Zaślubin) commemorating the end of fights for Kołobrzeg. It is in Kołobrzeg that, still during the war, in March 1945, the ceremony of wedding Poland with the sea took place, as commemorated by the monument on the seaside promenade.

 

Koszalin. The second city in size of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. It lies 11 km away from the Baltic Sea. Its monuments date from as early as Middle Ages. The Chełmska mountain is one of the Holy Mountains of Pomerania (an ancient cemetery is situated there as well as an important pilgrimage destination, the Covenant Sanctuary) and among its historical monuments are, among others, the city walls, the 15th century “Domek Kata”(Hangman’s house) where currently the Theatre of Proposals “Dialogue” (Teatr Propozycji „Dialog”) is located, and the 14th century Gothic cathedral. Koszalin hosts such events as: the International Pipe Organ Festival, the “Generacja”(Generation) Rock Festival, the Hanza Jazz Festival, the European Film Festival “Integration You and Me”, and the Cabaret Festival (Kabareton). The most popular cultural event is the “Młodzi i Film” (“Young and Cinema”) Festival of Film Debuts, organized in Koszalin for over 30 years. It is here that such filmmakers as Krzysztof Zanussi, Agnieszka Holland or Krzysztof Kieślowski started their careers.

 

Mielno. Two neighboring localities, Mielno and Unieście, compose together a leisure and recreation resort on the West Pomeranian coast. They are situated on a very narrow, only 10-kilometer wide spit between the Baltic Sea and the coastal Jamno lake, owing to which the dwellers have access both to coastal and inland bathing sites at the same time.

 

Darłowo. Here, in the Darłowo castle, the Duke of Pomerania Eric – the last Viking of the Baltic Sea, the king of Norway, Denmark and Sweden – was born in 1382. Darłowo was once a trade seaport important for the Hanseatic League. Germany during the 2nd World War located here a strictly guarded firing test range (where two biggest in the world cannons were tested). Today, Darłowo is primarily a cozy seaside resort rich in monuments, a port and the location of the Historical Military Vehicles Rally, the Dance Festival, the Street Theatre Festival and of the Darłowo Scandinavian Film Festival. The duke Eric is evoked in the sports event – Bieg Eryka (Eric’s race).

 

Połczyn Zdrój. It is situated in the area of the Drawa Lake District, by the Wogra River. In Połczyn Zdrój, the vines were cultivated, the normal and stained glass was produced and later the beer was brewed here too. When in the 19th century a source of healing water and deposits of therapeutic mud were discovered, the town started to develop as a health resort. Neurological, orthopedic, rheumatoid and gynecological diseases can be treated here.

 

Kamień Pomorski. A small town situated by the Kamień Lagoon lies at a distance of several kilometers from the sea. One of the first Polish bishoprics in West Pomerania was located here. The most interesting monuments are: the Romanesque-Gothic basilica of St. John the Baptist, the bishop’s palace, the presbytery, the dean’s house and the cathedral patio with valuable tree species. Kamień Pomorski is also a seaside health resort rich in therapeutic muds’ deposits and saline sources, which combined with the coastal climate create perfect conditions for treating rheumatoid, locomotor, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, as well as for orthopedic or cardiac rehabilitation.

 

Dąbki. The youngest of health resorts of the West Pomeranian voivodeship. On the one side, it has a sandy beach surrounded with a belt of dunes covered with forest, on the other – the Bukowo lake. The climate and iodine are beneficial for the respiratory tract, the immune system and soothe allergies.

 

Tourism

 

West Pomerania is an ideal place for yachtsmen. There is the West Pomeranian Sailing Route being created, leading from the situated deeply inland Gryfino through the Dąbie lake, the Szczecin Lagoon and along the entire coast up to Darłowo. The investment consists of upgrading existing marinas as well as constructing new ones. First modern marinas were already put into service, next ones are still being constructed. Some marinas have qualified training staff and regularly organize courses for various levels of proficiency.

The voivodeship has also a network of inland water routes. The maritime sailing route at certain points connects with the region’s network of rivers, which in turn connect with the biggest lakes in the voivodeship. Inland marinas are located, among others, in Choszczno, Szczecinek, Drawsko Pomorskie, Czaplinek, Myślibórz.

Canoeists find especially attractive the Drawa National Park, partly situated in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship, and the area of the Parsęta River basin. The routes of different type can be found around Wałcz, where a 45-kilometer one was created on six interconnected lakes, on the Międzyodrze marshes in the Lower Oder Valley or in Międzywodzie. A great spot for water skiing is Szczecinek where one can slide on the Trzesiecko lake using the longest in Europe water ski lift. The 1100 m long rope stretched between five masts and the powerful motor permit to dash with the velocity of up to 60 km/h. This modern lift plays an important role during the Polish and European Championships in water skiing.

Winds blowing from the sea encourage paragliding, windsurfing and kitesurfing. The most popular in this aspect is the Szczecin Lagoon – especially coastal waters of Wolin or Czarnocin. Świnoujście and Międzyzdroje also have something interesting to offer since the windsurfing championships take place there. Świnoujście is also becoming a Mecca of kitesurfing. The beaches there – near the windmill and in the Warszów district – are spots often visited by kitesurfers and the most popular places of their meetings. From Świnoujście, which is bordering with Germany, it is very close to the spots at the western neighbor – e.g. in the small villages such as Kamminke, Pudagla or Ückeritz. In the West Pomeranian Voivodeship there are several schools, most often combined with equipment rentals and shops, offering kitesurfing courses. Paragliders like the most to visit the coastal cliffs in Trzęsacz, while diving enthusiasts choose mainly the longest and deepest lake of West Pomerania, Drawsko, but also find attractive the Siecino lake where a special underwater obstacle course has been created and the Resko lake on the Trzebiatów Coast, on the bottom of which is supposedly resting the Amber Chamber sunk during the 2nd World War.

Horse riding trips are the specialty of several stud farms, located, for instance, in Białym Bór, Łobezy or Nowielice.

Barlinek is not just famous because the World Chess Champion, Emanuel Lasker , was born there. This commune situated in the south of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship is the seat of the first in Poland Nordic Walking Center (Centrum Nordic Walking). Barlinek is surrounded by three lakes: Barlineckie, Chmielowe and Uklejno, by the Młynówka River and the Barlinek Forest dissected with ravines and gorges. In the Barlinek municipality, there are seven Nordic walking routes, each of different degree of difficulty. Together they are 54 km long.

There are four golf courses in West Pomerania – in Choszczno, Binów, Kołczewo and Grębowo, all from the top of the list of the most attractive golf courses of Poland. The golfers consider them as among the most difficult too. The “Modry Las” Golf Club in Choszczno was included among 100 best golf courses in Europe. It was designed by the legendary world-famous golfer, Gary Player. The Amber Baltic Golf Club in Kołczewo on the Wolin island, not far from Międzyzdroje, belongs to the oldest courses in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship.

The Binowo Park Golf Club is the best developed and equipped golf course in the region. It is located near Szczecin, has a vast service area, offers a conference room, a restaurant and saunas. It has been organizing and hosting the Polish edition of the World Golfers Championship for years.

The Kamień Country Club in Grębowo is the youngest of the four. Its main asset is the localization – it is barely a few kilometers away from the historic town of Kamień Pomorski, 50 km from the health resort of Świnoujście, 100 km from Szczecin and 230 km from Berlin.

 

Nature

 

West Pomerania is not lacking in specially protected environmental areas. The most famous is the Wolin National Park within the boundaries of which one can find the most beautiful Baltic beaches, protected dunes, plants and animals. The symbol of the park is the white-tailed eagle.

Another protected area – the Drawa National Park – of over 11 thousand ha stretches over three voivodeships: West Pomeranian, Lubusz and Greater Poland. The Drawa National Park is special mainly because of its diversity. There are about 20 lakes, pine and beech forests inhabited by over 200 species of animals, and one can find there trees over 100 years old with even some three- and four hundred years old specimens.

Another interesting place for nature enthusiasts is the Dendrological Garden in Przelewice. Established at the beginning of the 19th century, the park was often changing its administrators and with them also the foundations and the form. One part for a long time was dedicated to orchards and vegetable plantations. The idea to transform the park into a dendrological garden has emerged less than one hundred years ago. At present, the Dendrological Garden in Przelewice covers the area of 30 hectares. It is here that, e.g., a specimen of one of the oldest of still surviving tree species in the world, ginkgo, is growing as well as a specimen of Davidia involucrata enlisted in the global Red Data Book of threatened and endangered plants, which has also been added to the Przelewice coat of arms.

Another natural highlight of West Pomerania is the Hortulus themed gardens complex in Dobrzyca. It encompasses 28 gardens on the area of over 4 ha. Apart from classical gardens such as: Japanese, French, Mediterranean, it also contains gardens referring to the elements: stone, rock and water. The complex offers also as attraction the path made of boulders and nature lessons – excursions with a guide talking about plants. There is also an ornamental plants nursery with about 23 thousands of species of flowers, shrubs, perennials, herbs, climbing plants and trees.

Another botanic garden dedicated to trees and shrubs is located in Glinna, on the edge of the Beech Forest (Puszcza Bukowa). Over 5 ha, about 600 of different varieties of plants are growing and the garden offers not only leisure but also field for research and education. The place has been founded less than 200 years ago and the oldest trees are barely over 130 years old.




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