There would be no Kazimierz Dolny, a delightful Polish town, such as we can see it, if not for the two illustrious kings of Casimir. The first of them is Casimir the Fair, who at the end of the 12th century gave the Norbert nuns the right to settle in the small mountain village of Vetrna Gora (windy mountain). The second - Casimir the Great, in the 14th century awarded the rapidly growing village with city law and built two royal castles. Now it’s hard to say in whose honor the newly-made city was named from the kings. Historians convince us that Casimir the Great became the identifier nevertheless, who, because of his hypertrophied pride, really loved to leave reminders about himself for posterity. And the appendage “Dolny” (lower) carries out a very practical function - it allows us not to confuse Kazimierz with another Kazimierz located near Krakow.
Kazimierz Dolny - This is the real pearl of the Commonwealth. Conveniently sprawling among the picturesque Pulawski hills in the lower Vistula, it attracts many visitors like a magnet who are not indifferent to the history of the European Middle Ages. This is one of the most famous Polish cities that boasts an interesting history, mystical traditions, delightful authentic architecture and the proud title of “Oasis of Bohemia”.
Over its nearly thousand-year history, Kazimierz Dolny has done a lot for Poland. In the XV century, it was he who gained the glory of the European center for the transportation of grain. The convenient location of the city made it possible to send barges with crops from southern Poland to all cities located on both banks of the Vistula to the Baltic Sea. In the city there were huge warehouses - spichlezhi, which contained grain, salt, resin, wood and other goods. Petty bourgeoisie were rich before our eyes, which could not but affect the appearance of Kazimierz Dolny. After a terrible fire, which completely destroyed the city in 1561, the inhabitants of Kazimierz began to build houses from limestone, which was mined in local mines. The city flourished. But in the XVII century the Swedes came, who plundered Kazimierz Dolny, destroying the royal castle and most of the city buildings. Another blow for the city of two Casimirs was the Cossack uprising and a terrifying fire in 1663. From the rich and prosperous Kazimierz Dolny there are only three dozen stone houses (houses) left.
It would seem that the story of Kazimierz Dolny should end there. But it was not there. The city was saved from degradation and forgotten by its picturesque location. Since 1869, Kazimierz Dolny began to attract tourists. The first hotels, boarding houses and cafeterias began to be actively built in the city. For tourists came artists and artists. At the beginning of the 20th century, many people of art left huge cities behind them and went to quiet, calm places, in search of inspiration. Provence became such a place in France, and Kazimierz Dolny with its outskirts in Poland. And it remains to this day. Even both world wars could not destroy this beautiful and unique Polish city. He stands in the same place and cannot complain of oblivion and unpopularity.
Although Kazimierz Dolny is not a big city, it boasts a huge number of attractions. Traditionally, we start a walk around the city from the main market square. The market square in Kazimierz is a unique phenomenon for ancient cities. Since it is located at the foot of the hill, it has an irregular, slightly flared shape (very uncharacteristic of medieval cities, the main squares of which had clear quadrangular shapes). The main attraction of the square is an old well in its very center - an unofficial symbol of Kazimierz Dolny.
Walking along Lyubelskaya street from the main square, you will find yourself in the Small Market. On the right side near the steps is the building of the old synagogue. In addition to several dozen Jewish tombstones erected on a small hill near the city, this is the only reminder of the Jewish history of Kazimierz Dolny. In the XVII century, after the Polish-Swedish war, the King of Poland Vladislav Jagiello called Jews to Kazmezh, hoping that the enterprising sons of Sinai could revive the economy of the ruined city. However, they succeeded. But during the years of World War II, the entire Jewish population was destroyed along with its architectural heritage.
Climbing along Zamkova Street you will see the ruins of a royal castle. It was built by Casimir the Great. Rumor has it - in order to secretly meet with his mistress Esther. In fact, King Casimir was known as a great builder and was clearly aware of the reliable fortification of his kingdom. Kazimierz Castle was destroyed during the flood of Sweden. Over the past few years, restoration work has been carried out in it and in early October 2013 it was solemnly open to visitors.
Not far from the castle rises a 19-meter tower. Built at the turn of the XIII-XIV centuries, this tower served as an observation point. The building impresses with its massive walls, carved from the flask - a local variety of limestone. In the lower part, the wall thickness reaches 4 meters, and in the upper - 3. There is an observation platform on the tower, from which, in good weather, you can even see the ентwiętokrzyski Mountains.
An excellent viewing platform is also the Three Crosses Mountain, which you can climb along the path leading from the royal castle. Before huge crosses were erected here, this place was the center of a pagan cult, as evidenced by archaeological research and excavations of the mound. The origin of the crosses and the name of the hill is most likely related to one of the Tatar-Mongol invasions, during which the Norbertine nuns were killed. From this highest Kazimierz hill, you can go down to the Vistula River and explore the unique warehouses and granaries that have remained since the Middle Ages.
Around Kazimierz Dolny there are many gorges, each of which has an interesting story. Border guard, Plebanka, Kozhenevy Dul (root bottom), Lesov. Of course, we will not describe all their charms, but if you have to visit Kazimierz Dolny, do not deprive them of your attention. Believe us, they are worth it.
Kazimierz Dolny and the surrounding villages have an amazing infrastructure. Here you will find many hotels and pensions, luxurious dispensaries and a zone of green tourism, restaurants and pizzerias, thermal baths and cafes with traditional cuisine of this region of Poland.
To Europe by car. Kazimierz Dolny - Krakow.
We wake up already in Europe. We study the town of Kazimierz Dolny, located under the ruins of the Royal Castle. Walk around the medieval city. A long and sometimes tiring trip to Krakow. On the way we discuss how Poland gets up off its knees and we call in a supermarket in search of Polish stew. For the first time in our life in Krakow, we stay at a hostel. Local Kazimierz does not sleep until late at night. We walked to the Market Square. All this and more - in this video. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to follow the release of new episodes! And also subscribe to Instagram - all the latest there!