Poland, located on the shores of the Baltic Sea in Eastern Europe. The small Świętokrzyskie Mountains, the Tatras and the Sudetes, the chain of unique Masurian Lakes, the Bialowieza Forest, and pristine national parks make up the country’s natural treasures. Every ancient city has churches, medieval castles and historical monuments, seamlessly juxtaposed with modern glass skyscrapers. One of these old-timers is Lublin, whose sights come from its happy but more tragic historical events.
History of Lublin
Lublin is the capital of a province in southeastern Poland bordering Ukraine and Belarus. The first settlement here was already in the 6th century, but written records date back only to 1198. The developing city was a center of trade, until in 1241 it was thoroughly ruined by the Mongol-Tatars. Not having had time to recover from the yoke, three years later it was attacked by Lithuanians, then the prince of Galicia subjugated the land of Lublin.
In 1317, Lublin received the Magdeburg Law, which gave independent management of the economy and socio-political life. Thanks to its fortunate location between Europe and the Black Sea, it is flourishing again. During the unification of Lithuania and Poland, the formation of the Rzeczpospolita in 1569, it was there that the union was signed. But a terrible fire in 1575, a plague epidemic in the 17th century, which killed most of the population, and the conquest in 1655 by the governor Peter Potemkin adversely affect the development of the city.
Lublin was conquered by Russian, Austrian troops and was part of the Russian Empire. Two world wars did not spare it, especially during World War II, when the Nazis exterminated the bulk of the Jewish population.
Having undergone during its centuries of prosperity and decline, it was able to preserve the historical monuments that convey the atmosphere of his country.
Lublin’s main attractions
It has long been a favorite destination for budget tourists from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, facilitated by cheap airfare, a new modern airport, located 10 km from the center, good roads, the proximity of the border.
In Lublin there is a possibility to see many monuments of ancient architecture (many of them are preserved, others are very well restored), to visit a large number of museums, botanical gardens, to wander through the Old Town or under Lublin underground passages.
All Sights of Lublin on the map
In the time of Casimir, in the 12th century, its construction began, at first it had only a defensive function. Gradually stone towers and a fortress wall with a powerful gate were completed. When the Chapel of the Holy Trinity was erected, there is no reliable information, but its painting was completed in 1418. The famous Old Russian Byzantine frescoes have survived to this day, it is one of the most valuable monuments of ancient art in Poland.
In 1520 the Polish King Sigismund, decided to ennoble the castle, rebuilding it in the Renaissance style, but as a result of the war it was destroyed and dismantled. On its site in 1826 was built prison (building in the neo-Gothic style) for political prisoners, which functioned for 128 years.
Now you can visit the museum, which collected ethnographic and military artifacts, amber objects and paintings. Climb the round defensive tower of the donjon to admire the panorama of the city. On the territory of Lublin Castle you can buy a free guide map of the Old Town.
Majdanek Memorial Museum
This terrible place, which left evidence of Nazi crimes during World War II, is not for the faint-hearted tourist. There are still barracks in which people were kept, watchtowers, gas chambers and a crematorium. On either side of the long corridor, the shoes of the dead prisoners were left in huge, jam-packed cells. The cramped torture chambers with dissecting tables horrify the imagination.
The second largest death camp of the Third Reich, where 43,000 of Lublin’s 50,000 Jews (60,000 in total) and 20,000 Soviet soldiers were officially murdered, occupied an area of 270 hectares. Initially, in 1941, it was created to exploit prisoners of war in 227 factory and production halls. Realizing that there would be no victory, the Nazis in 1943 began to mass murder prisoners, all the while there were two crematoria and seven ovens.
In the summer of 1944, Majdanek ceased to exist, but the Soviet soldiers managed to free only 2,500 people. These days, the former camp has shrunk to 90 hectares, tourists are not afraid to plunge into the macabre past, it will not be uninteresting.
In Lublin, as in all of Poland, the sights of architecture are concentrated in the old part of town. After seeing Lublin Castle, climbing up the cobblestone road and passing through the City Gate, you get into the Middle Ages. This part combined Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance traditions. Small colorful houses, some with stucco decorations, others with portraits of distinguished residents who once lived in them, surround Market Square.
It doesn’t take long to walk around, maximum 10 minutes and you end up at the Krakow Gate.
In times of Tatar raids, together with stone walls and a moat in front of it, served as a fortification. At the top of them is now the Historical Museum.
What else is there to see?
A little away from the Old Town, you can see the remains of the Church of St. Michael the Archangel (13th-14th century), these are the foundation, tiles, steps and a model of the cathedral. It was dismantled by decree of the head back in the 19th century, to avoid collapse.
There are two town halls in Lublin, one in the heart of the Old Town on Market Square. The building was rebuilt twice in the 16th and 17th centuries. Previously the Crown Court was located here, now it’s the registry office. The second was erected in place of the burnt-out monastery in 1828, it is now the city’s administrative center.
Also worth seeing in Lublin: an open-air museum, be sure to visit the Botanical Garden from Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, visit the many cathedrals and churches.
How to get to Lublin and where to stay?
From Russia you can get to Lublin by plane, car, train or bus.
- Anyone who values their time is advised to use the airline, the ticket will cost from 235-333, and the journey will take from 4 hours 30 minutes to 8 hours depending on the flight and company. From the airport to the city, paying a little more than 1 euro, you can take a train in 15 minutes.
- Going on your own car, there is an opportunity to admire the beautiful nature of Belarus and Poland. It will take 16 hours, the distance from the capital is 1200 km, the cost of gasoline is within 125 euros.
- The train ride and convenient and not as expensive as the plane, the road for 7-8 hours will not tire, 74 euros is not such a large amount. Go to the station Bialo Podlaska and take a comfortable train, and after three hours you will be in Lublin. And if you get to Warsaw, you can buy a bus ticket for 2-7 euros and in a few hours you will be at your destination.
A flight between Moscow and Warsaw is very popular among tourists, and is used much more often than by plane or train. There are direct routes, there is through Riga at a price of 4500-5000 rubles. Leaving at 9:30 pm, at 19:00 the next day you will reach the capital of Poland, how to get to Lublin wrote above.
Right in the city center you can find cheap hostels or lodging from 5-29 euros per night, which is desirable to book in advance. For more demanding tourists, suit Hotel Europa, IBB Grand Hotel Lublinianka, Forum Fitness Spa & Wellness, the price ranges 47-59 euros.
Go on a trip to Lublin to see the sights is best in spring or summer. During this time there are many exhibitions, the Jagiellonian Fair, the national student theater festival Kontestacje, the Carnival of Magicians, the International Meting of Stales graffiti festival. For lovers of gastronomic tourism, it is worth visiting the city in early September, when the annual Festival of Taste is in full swing, where you can learn more about the culture and history of the country and try a lot of national dishes.
In winter, you can skate at the artificial skating rink, near the Globe Sports Arena, there are two ski elevators, the smaller of which is suitable for beginners skiers. Sports equipment can be rented at the point, right there.
Food in Lublin
As in any Polish city in Lublin there are many cozy cafes and restaurants. They are scattered all over the city, but most of them are concentrated in the center of the old town. Near Krakow Gate, you can visit the steakhouse Stol i Bol, which has large meat portions, many kinds of beer, and a very interesting interior. There are discounted food hours daily.
- Bistro Cafe MARI, where you can try an unusual breakfast, scrambled eggs with avocado croutons and green peas, delicious cakes and well-brewed coffee. Here love to spend time not only visitors, but also the local population.
- The Mandragora restaurant on Market Square is notable for its Jewish cuisine. The menu with a twist, so you can characterize it, the prices are quite high, the portions are small.
- Sexy Dusk, an Italian restaurant with good portions, delicious pizza, fresh seafood and reasonable prices. It has the advantage of a children’s playroom, in which the kids have something to do.
In the inexpensive cafes, with which the city is simply dotted, you can try the local dish zebulyazh, which is a kind of attraction of Lublin. It is a flatbread made of wheat flour with baked onions and poppy seeds, this onion pie was brought by the Jews. Everywhere in the city in the streets there are stands with ceviche for sale. In winter, it will be good to warm up with ganz, a beer with spices that has an unusual taste. In terms of food, Poland is not an expensive country, just a couple of euros and a full stomach is provided.
At any time of the year, visiting Lublin can admire its ancient and modern architecture. Another famous city coat of arms is the image of a goat eating grapevine. There are pictures or statues of this cute animal everywhere, in a small square even benches are made in its shape, fountain with goat, on the spire of the town hall he is also present.
Come to Lublin, discover this amazing city.