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In Warmia it is quieter and calmer than in Masuria. There aren't that many hotels, and the area is just as lovely: lush meadows full of flowers, moraine forested hills, picturesque lakes and clean rivers where beavers live.
Historic land in the basin of Łyna and Pasłęka divides Masuria into two parts. In the north, it reaches Frombork on the Vistula Lagoon. It includes charming towns full of gothicmonuments- Reszel, Gietrzwałd, Orneta, Pieniężno, Biskupiec and of course Lidzbark Warmiński. The name comes from the Prussian tribe of Warmians who once lived here. It is beautiful here not only in spring and summer. In autumn, there are plenty of mushrooms, and in winter, in the clean air above the ice-boundlakes , it is almost absolutely silent.
Today, almost no tourists know whereWarmia , and where is Masuria. They used to be distinguished by religion, dialect and architecture. Now these differences have faded and the landscapes are similar. So how do you distinguish these lands? The best chapels were built in Catholic Warmia (over a thousand were inventoried). There are hardly any of them in Protestant Masuria. Apparently, Warmian bishop's castles were characterized by a gentler style than the strict Teutonic strongholds. And there is something to it, it is enough to compare the castles in Reszel in Warmia and in Kętrzyn in Masuria.
Warmia - here you will find peace and … storks
Warmia is an agricultural land, almost no industry. It was appreciated by the storks that massively settle in these areas. This is the place, next to Podlasie, where they can be found most often. In Żywkowo, near the border with Russia, known as the stork village, there are over 40 stork nests per eight farms, and in one farmyard there are as many as 12. During holiday trips, it is worth going there, especially since special observation posts have been set up here. August is a good time, when storks gather for regional councils before flying south.
Whoever decides to spend their vacation here will not regret it. There are not many holiday centers in Warmia. So the most convenient and the cheapest is to stay in one of the agritourist farms and rest in the bosom of unspoiled nature.
Pearls of Warmia
The capital of the region, Olsztyn, has two rivers, 11 lakes and a large forest within its borders. You can meet birds of many species here: swans,cranes, kingfishers, dippers and even a white-tailed eagle. Tourists are also attracted by the well-kept old town. Copernicus lived in the Gothic castle of the Warmian chapter on a hill in the Łyna bend , who managed the city and defended it against the Teutonic Knights. Members of the Olsztyn knights' brotherhoods walk around the courtyard. The local Museum of Warmia and Mazury has an interesting collection of icons confiscated from smugglers.
The bishop's castle in Lidzbark Warmiński is one of the best examples of medieval defensive architecture, called the Wawel of the North due to its beautiful cloisters. It repelled the attacks of the Teutonic Knights several times, later it was the residence of the last bishop of Warmia, the poet Ignacy Krasicki.
You also have to visit Reszel, a charming historic town with a perfectly preserved bishop's castle. Due to its architectural values, Reszel was entered on the international list of historical cities, including Zamość, Wrocław and Kraków.
Magic places in Warmia
In Gietrzwałd is said to be the second most powerful Polish chakra (after Wawel). In 1877, the Mother of God appeared to two girls, asking them to pray the rosary. She addressed them in Polish, which made Warmians feel part of the Polish nation, and the sanctuary, despite Prussian persecution, became a thriving center of Polishness.
In the stylish Karczma Warmińska you can try blood soup with jelly, garus (soup made of prunes with buttermilk), stews (soup made of sour milk with potatoes) or casseroles (potato pancakes). I recommend Dzyndzałki Warmińskie - small dumplings stuffed with pork and garlic.
In Orneta, after a stroll through the winding streets, we will visit the parish church, one of the most beautiful Polish basilicas. The baroque church in nearby Krosno is a copy of the sanctuary in Święta Lipka. In Pieniężno, which was completely destroyed by the Russians in 1945, the biggest attraction is the Missionary and Ethnographic Museum in the seminary of the Divine Word Fathers, with exotic exhibits from Southeast Asia and Africa.
The Cathedral Hill is surrounded by a moat and walls. Under the vault of the cathedral, the largest Gothic church in Warmia, the Baroque organ with moving figures sounds wonderfully. The Gothic sculpture of the Madonna with the Child, coming from the altar of the foundation of Bishop Łukasz Watzenrode, uncle of Nicolaus Copernicus, is delightful. History is mixed with today. To get to know it, you have to come back to Warmia regularly. I assure you, there is what.monthly "Zdrowie"