Jurassic feeling – from Kraków to Częstochowa
Where to go during Juromania? You can pick one destination or let curiosity be your guide and wander from place to place. After all, there will be dozens of locations to choose from, and each one will tempt you with its own 'atmosphere’. On top of all this, we will be constantly accompanied by the fantastic landscapes of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland and the 'climatic' strongholds perched on limestone monadnocks that make up the Trail of the Eagles' Nests.
We can, for instance, start our peregrinations from Kraków and its heart, Wawel Castle. Not only is it one of the most important fortresses on the route, it served as the seat of princes and kings for centuries. Here you will find the unique atmosphere of court life, small and big secrets, colourful stories and spies. It is a treasure, full of individual works of art and with numberless secrets concealed within its recesses. There is no doubt about it – this is a place with an atmosphere like no other.
Not only Ociec, but also Dorotka – the mysteries of Małopolska castles
If we venture beyond the royal city of Kraków, we will surely include charming Korzkiew and its signature stronghold on our route. We will also have a look at the picturesque Prądnik Valley, as it was on the limestone rocks surrounding it that the Ojców Castle (built in the times of Casimir the Great and then graced with the beautiful name Ociec or Oczecz) and the magnificent residence in Pieskowa Skała were established. Here, incredible stories, rich collections, ideal places for walks and the settings for the movies in which the Castle starred, all await our discovery.
The Juromania 2023 trail will surely lead us to the picturesque ruins of Rabsztyn and Bydlin Castles. If you go a little bit off the main trail, you will reach Lipowiec, a solid stronghold of the Kraków bishops, which was, among other things, a place of seclusion for the more recalcitrant clergy. We will also not miss the Tenczyn Castle in Rudno – not only is it 'haunted' by the moans and screams of the walled-up Dorothy. It also tempts with treasures hidden in the deepest dungeons that were dug deep into the summit of a volcanic cone.
So there is no shortage of cool and quirky places in the Małopolska part of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. What can we find in its Silesian part?
Silesia – impressive fortresses and a wealth of attractions
The Silesian part of the Trail of the Eagles' Nests is equally beautiful and no less attractive. You will find here not only small watchtowers, such as those in Przewodziszowice or Smoleń, but also mighty fortresses, e.g., in Pilica, Podzamcze (Ogrodzieniec Castle – the largest stronghold on the Trail of the Eagles' Nests) or Morsk (Bąkowiec Castle).
It is also a colourful tale of the robber life of Andrzej, known as the Hungarian, the owner of Bobolice, and the extraordinary fate of nearby Mirów. Nevertheless, our curiosity won’t be satisfied if we don’t let ourselves see what remains of the once impressive Olsztyn (tools made by Neanderthals were discovered in the larder here) or reach Jasna Góra, one of the most famous places of worship in the world – a sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and as solid a fortress as ever could be.
Juromania, which has already become a permanent fixture on the tourist calendar, is a project which came into being thanks to the involvement of, among others, the Małopolska and Silesian Voivodeships, the Union of Jurassic Communities and the hosts of several dozen sites. The programme was designed to guarantee three full days full of fun, fact, and fascination – for young, old, and everybody in between.
Active hikers on a limestone trail
Juromania is not only about discovering beautiful, picture-worthy castles. It is also about plenty of other activities, mainly those outdoor, in the fresh air. This year's Juromania will also be an opportunity to delve into the secrets of ancient masters, watch spectacular historical re-enactments and listen to concerts. There will be cooking workshops, tastings, graceful court dances, lively folk dances and a special fire show.
It makes it an excellent time for any kind of recreation – unhurried walks, Nordic walking, hiking, bicycling trips, cross-country running, field games, guided tours, and even relaxing on the grass, playing chess – or checkers – or even just watching the clouds float by. There will also be those who want to try rock climbing, cave exploration, or delving into the mysteries hidden in dark dungeons. There will also be competitions with prizes.
Importantly, it is only during Juromania that places are opened up to tourists which are not usually accessible to the public. From Friday, 15 September, it will be possible to discover the unique atmosphere of dozens of places in Jura. Indeed, everyone, regardless of age and interests, will find something for themselves here. This incredible region will surely be an experience for all our senses.