Photos and touristic information about West Poland

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From the Odra river along the northern edge of the Neumark (May / June 2007)

Even on "our" ("the german" the redaction) bank of the Odra river the typical german summer weather once again at his best. Cool, windy, cloudy, with a few rain drops in between. Will you take photos, the houses look dark before the gray heaven background, which could dazzle too.
The starting point is at the northern end of the Odra valley, in Alt Cüstrinchen (Stary Kostrzynek) on the Neumark side. If the valley of the Oder will just leave now, remain simple at the end of the war restored church and also the Odra-Valley- half-timbered houses in the lowlands back.
Alt Cüstrinchen (Stary Kostrzynek): At the Neumark eastern edge of the Odra Valley
Alt Cüstrinchen (Stary Kostrzynek):
At the Neumark eastern edge
of the Odra Valley
Shortly before Zehden (php (Cedynia ) remarkable for the north heights right of the road. The Zehden Heath is a small nature reserve. So steep rise and dry here the glacial sand mounds, that today's rain quickly evaporate or seep and steppe vegetation on the slopes, where the pines do not could find support, to spread out more.
The Zehden Heath near Zehden (Cedynia)
The Zehden Heath near Zehden (Cedynia)

Already in Zehden rises the ground now finally, and soon reaches a gently up and down of the Coast plateau, which travelers often accompanied in the Neumark. Included in the first stubble and plowed sandy fields are small ponds with reed-bordered water hole in it.

Between them runs the asphalt road to the couple of villages Groß- and Kleinmantel, which parts are connected together by an old cobblestone road with summer way, among the slowly rustling crownes of old lime trees.
In the western Neumark near Wrechow
In the western Neumark near Wrechow

Far away you feel here from the noisy, restless city. The church of Groß Mantel made of granite blocks comes from the early Gothic time; Klein Mantel has an stone chapel, built in the late Medieval.
At the edge of an field near Mantel
At the edge of an field near
Mantel (Mętno)

Now the road leads over a mountain top into Königsberg (Chojna). The name of Königsberg is more common, so that the local Königsberg had adding "in the Neumark", to not being confused with the former capital of East Prussia (now Kaliningrad). Königsberg / Nm. is for today the last city, which shows, as almost everywhere in the wider region left or right of the Oder river, the follows of the bad fights in the last weeks of the war.
Old cobbled street between Groß- and Klein Mantel
Old cobbled street between Groß
and Klein Mantel (Mętno)

Like an wonder the other villages between Neudamm Dębno, Arnswalde (Choszczno) und Pyritz (Pryzyce; Pommern) - but the last ones itself not - was not destroyed. Too Königsberg was not destroyed in the war, but burned down after the capture by the Red Army.
Königsberg/Nm. (Chojna):<br>Marienkirche made by Hinrich Brunsberg
Königsberg/Nm. (Chojna):
Marienkirche made by Hinrich Brunsberg

In the east of the provincial town you can find some remarkable mansions and public buildings, but in the center you are escorted by stocky newly built houses or simply emptyness, because the usual markian half-timbered houses were victims of the flames. Normally you cannot see from the market different city gates at the same time.
Königsberg (Chojna): 'Deads door' at the St. Marys church
Königsberg (Chojna): "Deads door"
at the St. Marys church

At the entrance into the city threw the Schwedt gate I am passing the ruine of the hospitals chapel. Such institutions was in the Medievel ever outside of the town walls. The wall here, at the other side is the Bernickow gate, is good conserved and equipped with wall houses.
In Königsberg the late Gothic Brick Master Hinrich Bruns, which, born in the country at the Weichsel, worked between Posen (Poznan), Baltic Sea and the Elbe, left two of his work testimonies. This is in addition to Tangermünde the second example of a town hall of Brunsberg. The gables seated with crabs, form stone friezes and the delicate roses on the brick gables, the delicate part pillars bear his signature.
Königsberg/Nm. (Chojna): Gables of the town hall
Königsberg/Nm. (Chojna): Gables
of the town hall

Adjacent is the towering St. Mary's Church, the outer decoration, quite Brunsberg-typical, the viewer seems familiar, if that already has seen the St. Catherine's Church in Brandenburg / Havel or St. Mary's Church in the not too far situated Stargard i. Pom. (Stargard Szczecinski). Both works of art, church and city Hall,reestablished after 1945 by Polish restorers and also with German participation effort offers high quality as been. Just off, down the slope, is still the charming complex of Augustinian monastery at the wall, beyond which the Wall Gardens of the moist and fertile floodplain of the river Röhrike (Rurzyca) joined.
Königsberg/Nm. (Chojna): View into the Klosterstraße
Königsberg/Nm. (Chojna):
View into the Klosterstraße
I have not leaved Konigsberg even now is the amalgamated Village Bernickow (Barnkowo) achieved. Even the Church has a East gable of brick, perhaps, under the influence of the buildings in the nearby city, through considerable hides is divided.
The landscape, once the north-east of Brandenburg, now goes along the old provincial border into the pomeranian area.
Steinwehr (Kamienny Jaz): Once Pomeranias deep south
Steinwehr (Kamienny Jaz):
Once Pomeranias deep south

An detour off the road to the north leads us to pavements between woods and fields, soon to Steinwehr (Kamienny Jaz). Very silent it is here, and nothing suggests that the sleepy village used to be was the most southern of the whole Pomerania. Nearby is Rörchen (Rurka), where a granite Templar chapel is on the edge of the village.
Wildenbruch (Swobnica), on the village road
Wildenbruch (Swobnica),
On the village road

In german times disfigured as a distillery, now progressing the correction of the disfiguement of the little church. The small street goes on to Jädersdorf (Strzelczyn) Thänsdorf (Grzybno) and threw a lush deciduous forest to Wildenbruch (Swobnica). It formerly belonged to the municipality Greifenhagen (Gryfino); near Potsdam there is a another Wildenbruch.
Wildenbruch The castle tower is to see
Wildenbruch (Swobnica):
The castle tower is to see

At a fork of the road is a crooked sign made by an chipboard "Do Zamku" with means "The castle". But you will need a lot of local knowledge or persistence, to go to the wild, overgrown and crumbling walls. Between the tree-tops peeps out the brick keep, in the long past time part of the castle of the Templars and then the St. John knights. These two orders left their marks in several places right of the Oder.
In the fields near Wildenbruch
In the fields near Wildenbruch

Again and again the quiet street, by Stresow (Strzeszów) and now back to the old Brandenburg, from small grain fields and enchanted by bush-accompanied ponds.
Bad Schönfließ At the Soldin gate
Bad Schönfließ (Trzcińsko-Zdrój):
At the Soldin gate

In this far away situated edge of two provinces the small town of Bad Schönfließ (Trzcińsko Zdrój) dreams away. Conserved are the most original markian streets, the city hall, the church as well and the Soldin and Königsberg gate.

Bad Schönfließ: Town hall at the market place
Bad Schönfließ (Trzcińsko-Zdrój):
Town hall at the market place

There is not much going on around here, but if you know how many nearby towns and villages were destroyed during the war, you appreciate every unharmed row of houses and every intact view of a place that lets us look into the past.
Bad Schönfließ: City church
Bad Schönfließ (Trzcińsko-Zdrój):
city church

One piece is still to go threw the unhurried, sometimes of a lake enriched neumarkian landscape , then the former municipality town Soldin (Myślibórz) is in front of me. Even here, though of course with some strong patina, the eye is spared of wastelands, vacant lots, and traces of the loss. Three Gothic Chapels, one of them almost more a shrine, has Soldin.
Bad Schönfließ: In the old town
Bad Schönfließ (Trzcińsko-Zdrój):
In the old town

The church served in the Medieval as a residence of a bishop, so sometimes was spoken from the church as the "dome".
At the market at the town hall still shows now the clear language of the Rococo in Brandenburg, in addition, other roughcast buildings or neo-Gothic authoritie buildings, often with the original white-painted window crosses. Soldin was a markian town.
Soldin: Market place with town hall
Soldin (Myślibórz):
Market place with town hall

Herr walls includes the Powder Tower, the Neuenburg and Pyritz gates. Neat is the small-scale pavement on many roads. You can count the cars, which you outside of the cities met since you leaved the Oder, sometimes on an hands fingers. A short piece it goes now to the busy Highway 3, which links Lower Silesia with the Baltic Sea, in big steps to Pomerania and Stettin (Szczecin).

The last goal on this trip is already Lippehne (Lipiany), where you roll-in after leaving the main road in the landscape rich of meadows and water. Before the street bypass shortened the way, the Soldin gate still stands curiously in the northeast of Lippehne, although opposed Soldin found in the southwest, is. As long as there was no shortcut, people on the way to Soldin had to take this eastern detour, where it was the easiest to cross the boggy valley. While the Soldin gate, normally in the area of the Mark Brandenburg, building with common construction aperture between a gable roof is, stands at the other end, beyond of church, a small market and town hall, the Pyritz gate, with some copies in Bad Schönfließ and Konigsberg in common a different design: Square floor plan, pinnacled battlement, octagonal brick helmet. Perhaps even corner towers. Had those goals related in southern Germany? Similar to me already in Ingolstadt, Upper Bavaria, met. Why not really - even some strong influence from northern Italy can be in the former and current northern Germany brick area.

Think to the monastries Jerichow near Magdeburg or Kolbatz (Kolbasz) near Stargard. How exotic must this be for the peoples in the Medieval, for which of them may feels the route, we made today was a longtime trip. The Centuries with all its troubles are on this quiet spot on northern edge of the Neumark, already almost in the Pomeranian, trudged along. It has remained quiet here. And once may be seen these summer days have, where the cool wind Clouds to the east with further and takes in the Willows on the Water rushes.
Albrecht Neumann, 2007

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