DISCOVER POLAND

Klodzko: Hillside Charm

Klodzko: Hillside Charm

Kłodzko is one of the oldest towns in Poland’s Silesia region: it’s estimated to be about 1,000 years old. In that long time, it – like most towns and cities in this most south-western part of the country – has seen much. It changed ownership every 100 years or so, getting grabbed by Bohemia, Austria and Prussia; it was largely due to Kłodzko’s strategic geographical position that its neighbours were constantly tustling amongst themselves for control of it. Additionally, its river location made it an ideal town for trade, commerce and the importation of wealth via water. The town’s fortuned waxed and waned and finally, ownership of it came down firmly on the Polish side of the border, after the Second World War.

Imposing Fortress

The majestic Kłodzko Fortress is not beautiful, but it is impressive: it sits at the top of a hill, overlooking the entire town. Squat, solid, and witness to a siege by Napolean in 1807, it is the dominant feature of this lovely town, and its most recognisable landmark. Well worth a visit, it is open daily in the summer months between 9:00 and 18:00. Set aside an entire morning if you decide to go: the fortress is truly massive. How massive is it? Well, the Austrian rulers started to build it in 1662 - and the Prussians finally completed it 200 years later. It is sprawled over 17 hectares, the lower walls are 11 meters thick, the ‘thin’ upper walls are a mere four meters. In one of its courtyards, you can take abseiling lessons. It is, in fact, the largest fortress of its kind in the entire country – and in a country that had to fortify and protect itself against invaders every few deacdes, this is really saying something.
As impressive as the fortress itself is, what most visitors come for are the defensive tunnels, an extensive network deep below the fortress itself. Dating back to the Prussian era –which started in the early 18th century – the tunnels were excavated by prisoners of war. Today, there are guided 40-minute tours of the labyrinthine depths which take visitors on a 1 kilometer circuit. Claustrophobics take note: there are some places so low that you need to bend double or even crawl; note also that although there are torches and lights, much of the tour is conducted in semi-darkness. Despite the slight discomfort, the tunnel tours are a big hit with kids – and with most everyone else, really.

 

 

A Bit of Beauty

If your soul earns for a bit of beauty after all that ponderous stonework and crawling around in the dirt, then a stop at the Church of Our Lady is a must. Long-loved and -revered by church tourists, its external Gothic decor hides an ornate – some might even say glamorous – Baroque interior. Dazzling, overwhelming and a bit dizzying, visitors often need to sit down in order to truly appreciate all the ornamentation. Bursting with bright paint, marble and real gold, it is a sight to behold. Try to visit on a sunny day, when the light plays on the vivid colours and sets the gold on fire.
Half-way between the fortress and the church lies the Old Town Square (known formally as Plac Bolesława Chrobego Rynek). The Rynek is the bustling, beating heart of the town – at least as far as tourists are concerned – and is where a wide variety of restaurants and beer gardens can be found. There is no better place to sit sipping a beer: the fortress hangs overhead, and the Rynek offers an ideal vantage point.

Cultural Highspot

The Regional Museum in Kłodzko highlights the history of the town, which is quite fascinating. But even those not remotely interested in matters historical may find a visit to the museum a worthwhile way to spend an hour. It has some lovely exhibitions, with two especially worth mentioning. The first is the large display of contemporary glass by local artists: Silesia is renowned for its beautiful and original glasswares and production. The second is an absolutely amazing collection of over 400 clocks, ranging from grandfather clocks to cuckoo clocks; from dainty porcelain clocks to ancient astronomical devices. All are handdesigned, -crafted and -painted. Perhaps the most stunning room of all has its entire ceiling made of glass: the upside down reflection it offers visitors is absolutely priceless.
For a sneak peek at the town, turn to the next page, where we are very proud to show you a photo spread of a few of Kłodzko’s most beautiful spots and unmissable attractions.

Michelle Smith

Chcesz na bieżąco czytać o wydarzeniach w UK? Pobierz aplikację Polish Express News na Androida i iOS.
Materiał chroniony prawem autorskim. Kopiowanie i publikowanie wyłącznie za zgodą wydawcy.


Podobne artykuły

Polish Amber Ablaze

Polish Amber Ablaze

Amber, the precious fossilised tree resin known as ‘Baltic Gold’ or ‘Gold of the North’, has played a vital role in Poland’s history: from the country’s economic trade...

Poland’s exports up 2069% in 25 years

Poland’s exports up 2069% in 25 years

A new report published by Grant Thornton reveals that since 1989, Poland’s exports have risen by 2069 percent. The figure is based on exports in US dollars and takes inflation into account, with the report...

Poland braced for EU Commission opinion amid row

Poland braced for EU Commission opinion amid row

The European Commission is on Monday expected to issue an opinion critical of the state of democracy and the rule of law in Poland under the country’s Law and Justice (PiS) government. The commission,...

Polish girl from Gloucester receives coursebook with map of Europe without Poland

Polish girl from Gloucester receives coursebook with map of Europe without Poland

Polish girl who attends secondary school in Gloucester receives recently a coursebook with very specific map of European Union. On a map each country has it's own flag, but polish girl quickly realized...

Liberal maverick Palikot announces presidential bid

Liberal maverick Palikot announces presidential bid

Leader of the liberal “Your Movement” party, Janusz Palikot announced on Sunday that he will be running for the presidential seat in next year’s elections in Poland. “I have decided to become a presidential...

Women's Davos 2016 in Warsaw

Women's Davos 2016 in Warsaw

"Women's Davos," otherwise known as the Women's World Summit, will be held in Warsaw in 2016. The initiator and organiser of the summit, Irene Natividad, stressed the significant role of women in Polish...

Ambassador claims Poland not threatened by Russia

Ambassador claims Poland not threatened by Russia

Russia's ambassador in Warsaw has claimed that Polish fears of his country are unfounded and that such anxieties have been caused by the media. Asked in an interview with Polish Radio whether he had noticed...

US Ambassador: FBI Director comments not govt stance

US Ambassador: FBI Director comments not govt stance

The United States Ambassador to Poland, Stephen Mull, has said that the comments by FBI director James Comey that Poles contributed to the Holocaust do not reflect the stance of the US government. Mull...

Ewa Mielnicka crowned new Miss Poland

Ewa Mielnicka crowned new Miss Poland

Twenty-two-year-old model Ewa Mielnicka has been voted Miss Poland in a competition to find the most beautiful woman in the country. Nine ladies competed in the final, but the jury decided to award the...

Pole triumphs at Eurovision Dance Competition

Pole triumphs at Eurovision Dance Competition

Eighteen year-old Viktoria Nowak from Poland has won the 14th edition of the Eurovision Young Dancers Competition in Pilsen, the Czech Republic. Nowak came ahead of nine other contestants, having won the...