The Fortified City of Carcassonne is nowadays a symbol. We believe that in every European country is a town, which people call “our Carcassonne”. Today we would like to show you two little towns which are the “Polish Carcassonne”.
Szydłów is a small town in central Poland, exactly – in The Świętokrzyskie Mountains, some of the oldest mountains in Europe. History of Szydłów began in 1191 – this is the date of first text source speaking about this little settlement.
Szydłów is a town form 1329, whe Polish king, Władysław I the Elbow-high, gave town privileges to Szydłów. By the way, Władysław I the Elbow-high (or The Short) was a very interneting man – but about him we will tell you another time. His ancestor, Casimir III The Great (this one was incredible king!), built in Szydłów castle with fortifications in 14th century.
In the Szydłów’s system of the fortification belongs: Gate of Kraków (on the street to Kraków), defensive walls and also kings castle firm 14th century. And what’s important – these fortifications standed the test of time: survived both World Wars and 50 years of communism. Today we can admire it almost in unchanged shape. In country like Poland – it is something amazing! The name of “Polish Carcassonne” Szydłów owes actually to not to destroyed its biggest historic buildings.
The second town, which people called “Polish Carcassonne”, is Paczków. Paczków is not impressive as Szydłów but still very nice. It is bigger but not as popular as Szydłów.
Paczków lies in Lower Silesia, near Nysa Lake. Paczków was founded in 1254, and in 13th local prince built himself a castle – but this castle was destroyed probably in 15th century and now we don’t know where it could stand. In 14th and 15th century silesien rulers founded the fortifications because Paczków lied on the border of Duchy of Nysa. And like Szydłów: Paczków’s fortifications survived a lot of wars in Lower Silesia, both World Wars and even Polish communism. In 2012 Paczków was founded as a “Historic Monuments” of Poland.
What is a different between French Carcassonne and Paczków? The fortifications in Carcassonne are the 19th century reconstruction, and fortification in Paczków are authentic Middle-Ages buildings. So don’t wait, plan your travel to that “Polish Carcassonne”!
In both of the towns you can also find another wonderful places. Polish nature, landscapes and historic buildings are completely adorable. Really, we felt in love in Świętokrzyskie Mountains and also in Lower Silesia. But our friend, who lived in Poland, says that it is only a snip of Polish beauty. And probably they are right, we are planning our next travel to Poland in three weeks.