Olsztyn is the administrative center of the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, a picturesque region rich in lakes (there are 11 of them) and forests. The first mention of the city dates back to 1334. For tourists in the city and its immediate vicinity, the doors of several dozen hotels and campsites, many cafes and restaurants are open.
How to get there
The city has an excellent bus connection with such major cities as Warsaw, Krakow, Sopot, Gdansk. Flights are operated by the state bus company PKS. Under its own flag, flights follow the routes Vilnius – Olsztyn and Lviv – Olsztyn. See ANDYEDUCATION.COM for education and training in Poland.
Eurolines Polska provides international bus service from Olsztyn to London, Brussels, Oslo, Gothenburg, Stockholm and other major European cities. The aerodrome of the flying club serves not only for sports purposes, small passenger planes of local airlines land here, taking up to 20 people on board.
During its history, Olsztyn was repeatedly destroyed, devastated, passed from ruler to ruler. This greatly hindered its growth and development. And only after 1818 did it go beyond its original limits. The 19th century became a century of prosperity for Olsztyn: a hospital was built, very well equipped at that time, the Torun-Königsberg railway passed through the city and a station was built, a newspaper began to be published, the publication of which did not stop until 1939. Gasification, electrification and installation of telephones in the city began. This century was marked by population growth: in 1895 Olsztyn had 25,000 inhabitants against 6,000 in 1846.
The end of the 19th century and the 20th century brought new remarkable buildings from the point of view of architecture and development of the urban environment to the city: the New Renaissance-style Town Hall, the neo-Gothic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the neo-Romanesque Church of St. Joseph. In the 20th century, the city grew and became prettier before our eyes, until the Second World War happened, at the end of which many buildings burned down in a terrible fire. But the inhabitants of Olsztyn lovingly restored everything that could be restored and enriched the city with new wonderful buildings.
Entertainment and attractions in Olsztyn
Today in the city you can see the castle of the Warmia Chapter. This is not just a grandiose example of medieval Gothic, but also a place associated with the name of the great Pole – Nicholas Copernicus, who in 1516-1521 was the administrator of the castle. Now it houses the most interesting Museum of Warmia and Mazury. His collection was collected literally bit by bit and now gives a complete picture of the life of the region.
One of the most valuable exhibits is the wall, on which the working astronomical table of Nicolaus Copernicus is applied.
The Old Town Hall, from which only one building remained, was restored after a fire in 1945 and given over to the gallery. It hosts a series of exhibitions, author’s meetings, popular science events. The offices of the city authorities are located in the premises of the New Town Hall.
The Cathedral of St. James almost did not retain the interior decoration, but its architecture (Gothic style, 14th century) is very interesting. The most valuable surviving element of the interior decoration is the altar in the right nave.
The city still has a medieval layout, and some of the houses are built on the foundations of destroyed medieval buildings. Although Olsztyn is rather eclectic in terms of architecture, a walk around the city will be a delight for lovers of old architecture. Narrow streets breathe history, red-tiled roofs make the city look like a fairy-tale scenery, all this contrasts with the fairly standard and unified modern buildings.
Rest on the lakes
Olsztyn is interesting not only for lovers of architecture and history. Eleven lakes and forests in the vicinity of the city attract lovers of natural beauty and hiking, which is developing at an unprecedented pace in Europe. Ukel Lake is home to urban recreation areas with a well-equipped beach, swimming areas, boat docks and water sports equipment rentals.
There are several stadiums, tennis courts with various types of coverage, and e-sports centers in the city and its environs. The Warmia and Mazury Aeroclub is also located here, so gliders and multi-colored parachute domes are constantly flashing in the sky. Those who wish can make an air tour over the city and its environs.
The Lyna River flowing through the territory, the bed of which whimsically meanders, is conducive to yachting and kayaking in the summer, and in winter – boating. In summer, pleasure boats scurry along the river, from which the city looks especially charming. It cannot be said that Olsztyn is one of the most popular ski centers in Poland. A lot of people come here during the season from all over the country, although in Europe this resort is not very popular.