In my previous post, I’ve already shared my enthusiasm for Poland regarding the delightful hosts of Kwieci Guest House.
Today, I would like to draw your attention to another gem worth discovering in the former German Sudeten region of Poland – the Silesian Castles Trail. Ever heard about the castles and palaces of Lower Silesia? I haven’t. So it was with great interest that my dad and I discovered one magnificent castle after the other along this particular travel route.
Schildau & Lomnitz Castles: Magnificent palaces as witnesses to the unique history of Lower Silesia.
We spend the day with our local history guide, Gracjan Kielijański, very taken by his passion for the history of the so-called Hirschberg Valley (today’s Polish town of Jelenia Gora used to be called Hirschberg; in fact, the entire area was under German rule for several centuries).
Again and again, the name of the then Prussian King Wilhelm III is mentioned, who acquired noble palaces here for himself and his family. He was followed by a number of other families of high rank, so that quite a respectable collection of castles and palaces ensued.
Today you can not only visit them, but also spend the night there: Almost all the former Prussian castles are now run as castle hotels with spa, restaurant and conference facilities.
Around Jelenia Gora (“Hirschberg”): Paulinum Palace, Fischbach Palace, Spiz Palace & Stonsdorf Palace
We continue our explorations and visit a total of six different castles in Lower Silesia in a single day. All of them are conveniently located close to the town of Jelenia Gora.
In order to delve deeper into history, I can recommend you also visit several regional museums, such as those in Hirschberg or in the individual castles. Or, like us, you can book a “local history guide” for the day – a really charming way to experience history through stories!
Along the way: Myslakowice (“Zillerthal-Erdmannsdorf”) is one big surprise!
At the end of the day, Gracjan has this surprise for us: “I’m going to show you where you can find a piece of home from the Alps here in Poland – and something else too” he says with a wink.
So when we arrive in Myslakowice, we are surprised to learn that this tiny village is also known as “Zillerthal-Erdmannsdorf”! About one hundred and fifty years ago, religious refugees from Tyrol (Zillertal valley) arrived in the local mountain region and – in times of religious tolerance – founded a new home community for themselves and their families.
Hiking in the Izera Mountains: From Polana Jakuszycka to Stacja Turystyczna Orle.
After so much history, it is only right for us to spend a day exploring the nature of the mountain region along the Czech-Polish border. With high rocky peaks missing, the entire forest plateau is a place ideal for families and more leisurely walking terrain.
The forest area (and the hiking trails) of our two-hour round trip hiking tour reminds me a little of our own Austrian Alps, mainly the hiking region around the Teichalm in Styria. The gentle plateau makes it easy for us to reach the hikers’ hut in Stacja Turystyczna Orle from the car park in Polana Jakuszycka, even with baby Levin with us in the stroller (walking time in one direction about one – comfortable – hour).
Once at the hut, be sure to order pieroggi (Polish dumplings filled with bacon and cheese)! Every hiker definitely deserves the extra calories.
Come straight with me to Poland and check out my latest travel video!
Next up, I’ll also share with you my trip to the city of Wroclaw and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Peace Church Swiednica – a must see if you ever travel in this part of Poland.
Below is the picture gallery of my entire trip through Poland, including the castles of Lower Silesia as well as Wroclaw:
Disclaimer: I have been invited by the Polish Tourism Board on this trip to Poland. All opinions are my own.