A series that popularized Sandomierz
No one expected that with the appearance of the Polish TV series Ojciec Mateusz (Father Matthew), Sandomierz will become a new tourist destination among Poles (and not only). I also don’t hide that I’ve discovered this city through the series. Although the show doesn’t fit into my taste, I must admit that I watched a few episodes. Thanks to that, I had the opportunity to fall in love with Sandomierz! Many scenes take place on the beautiful sandomierz market, which in summer is increasingly crowded. However, the market is not everything that offers beautifully located Sandomierz. I would stay here longer, though I was only here for a few hours. One day in August, my dad was going to Sandomierz in some bussiness. He asked to come with him so he will drop me in the city. He didn’t have to convince me much! 🙂
Sandomierz – a town on 7 hills
Located on a small hill at first glance seems to be a completely different world. In fact, it is a small, charming town with a rich history. Already in the 11th century, the city was a prince’s residence, and even one of the most important cities of the Kingdom of Poland next to Kraków and Wrocław. In the 13th century the town received the land rights, which greatly accelerated its development, but by the way it became a nuisance to the present inhabitants. And what exactly happened in this period, I will tell you in later! 🙂 Let’s start the tour of Sandomierz!
I started my visit in Sandomierz from Opatowska Gate. It is a gothic gate that is considered to be a symbol of the city. I don’t remember how much precisely the entrance costs, but it is worth to spend a few coins. Sandomierz and its immediate surroundings are beautiful from this perspective!
After the conquest of the Opatowska Gate, I headed to the Town Hall. Along the way I passed a lot of souvenir shops, which, apart from the symbols of the city, they offer also many different things related to Father Matthew. So if you are a real fan of the show – the city is prepared and the shops adequately equipped. 😀
The market in Sandomierz is a real gem. Each cottage is beautifully maintained and restored. In the summer season all houses are carefully decorated with flowers. There are also noisy restaurants or cozy cafés. 🙂
The main gem is a town hall, which was built in 1349. Originally built in Gothic style, however, the subsequent expansion in the sixteenth century added also a renaissance style. In the 17th century a tower was added. On the wall of the southern town hall is a sgraffito sundial. This method was based on the application of subsequent colored plaster or colored clay layers and scraping off the surface layers before they dry.
Underground Tourist Trail
I recommend to come here early because the tickets are selling out very quickly. I had to wait over an hour for my entrance.
The Underground Tourist Route is a complex of old town cellars and warehouses located exactly under the city. I mentioned in the beginning that giving the city the right to land has its negative effects in the present day. It is time to explain this mystery: Granting the right privileges has improved and accelerated the trade in the city. Not all the issues in this area were foreseen, however, as it turned out that the granaries and cellars were being excavated wherever they fit. Hence, we now have an Underground Tourist Trail, which depicts the scale of this phenomenon. Big amount of granaries and cellars caused at one point that Sandomierz began to sneeze. In the 1960s, a man wanted to buy a newspaper in a newsstand. But before he pulled the money out of his wallet, the ground fsll to a depth of 3 meters. Of course, this is a serious problem that the authorities are aware of. All observations and appropriate work are being done to secure Sandomierz. Our guide in the basement said that the land near Sandomierz looks like Swiss cheese. Well, hopefully Sandomierz will survive!
As for the trail itself, I will not say that it was somehow very interesting. I was only happy with some valuable history information that our guide told us.
Cathedral Basilica of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary
It is a Gothic church erected around 1360. Beautifully situated, although barely visible in the midst of densely growing trees. Its baroque façades date back to the 17th century. Unfortunately, I couldn’t admire them closely because the church was closed. I was only able to look through the bars. 🙂
Royal Castle in Sandomierz
Sandomierz, like the royal city, has also a beautiful Castle. Kazimierz Wielki built this castle in the 14th century. The castle was expanded in the 16th century, hence its architectural style can be found in Gothic, but also Baroque or Classical style. At present there is a regional museum, but the castle also has commercial functions. Not only can you hire conference rooms, but you can also sleep in its walls! 🙂 For details click here!
Sandomierz is a real treasure!
That’s all what I’ve seen during this few hours. I hoped you enjoyed and you will also visit soon this beautiful city. However, it’s good to stay here longer then 1 day. Sandomierz offers much more then this! 🙂
In any case, it is worth to go to the nearby Pepper Mountains, which, despite their small size, create spectacular landscapes.
In addition to the Pepper Mountains, the Sandomierz area offers another, unparalleled attraction, namely the St. Queen Jadwiga gorge. Rinsed by the loess water, reveals the mighty roots of the trees, which creates a spectacular image! 🙂
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