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Royal free city Przemyśl
By Pogranicze Media
Published: 15.01.2011

The Greek-Catholic Archicathedral

 - in the old Baroque church of the Sacred Heart of Christ built for the Jesuit order in the 17th-c. In the 20th-c. it was a military church. In 1991 Pope John Paul II handed the church over to Greek Catholics, who adapted it for the purposes of the Eastern rite. When inside, do not fail to see the 17th-c. iconostasis from the church in Lubaczów. Next to the archicathedral there is a modern-day belfry.

A Baroque Carmelite Church and Monastery
    The 17th-c. Carmelite church and monastery tower over the Old Town. The Austrian authorities handed the Baroque church over to Greek Catholics, who turned it into their cathedral, changing its appearance and converting the adjacent monastery. In recent years the Carmelites restored the original look to the church and monastery. Also the grand interior were restored.

The Roman-Catholic Archicathedral
 - built in the Gothic style in the 15th and 16th centuries in place of the older Romanesque one, whose remnants have been preserved in the vaults. It was renovated in the 18th-c. in the Baroque style. Next to the cathedral there is the Bishop’s Palace and the late-Baroque 71-metre high belfry, a characteristic element of the Przemyśl panorama. In the upper part of the belfry, on the level of clock faces,  is a view point with a beautiful panorama of the city.

Stone Bridge
- in Przemyśl is a historical railway overpass which today serves as a walkway and a connection between the streets of Czarnieckiego and Jagiellońska.

The Franciscan Church
 - built in the 18th-c. in place of an old Gothic church combines elements of the late Baroque and the Classicism. The church has an impressive rococo interior with an abundance of sculptures and frescoes.

The Franciscan Friars Street
    It is one of Przemyśl’s oldest streets; it runs from the Rynek Square [Old Town Square] to the Lvov Gate (hence it used to be called Lvov Street).
   The present name of the street (FRANCISZKANSKA) appeared in the 18th c. and derives from the name of the located here church-monastery complex of Franciscan Friars.
   Till the 70’s of the 20th-c. the street was a part of the city corso leading from the Legions Square to the City Park.
   The street is worth noticing due to its historic houses built at the turn of the 19th-c. on the foundations of previous buildings.

The Clock Tower
- built in the 18th century in the late- Baroque style as the belfry of the planned but never erected new Greek Catholic cathedral. For 123 years the tower was used by freemen as a watchtower and a vantage point. It is worth seeing the Museum of Bells and Pipes housed inside it. From the observation deck there one gets a beautiful view of the Old Town.

Church of the Basilian monks Eastern Orthodox Church
    The history of the Basilian order in Przemyśl dates back to XIII century. In 1786, as a result of Josephina's Decrees, the monastery was destroyed. It was reactivated in 1913, when a group of monks bought a real estate close to the Salesian street. Bishop Konstantyn Czechowicz began a construction of a monastery with chapel, and in 1933 an orthodox church. In 1935 the temple was consecrated (dedicated to Mary, Mother of God).
   After the WW II the Basilian order had to leave the monastery which was along with the orthodox church taken by the Communist regime. The communists created a Regional National Archive inside of the church. On the 1st October 1991 the Basilian order had retaken the monastery and the orthodox church.
   The Basilian order had officially retaken the church and the monastery on 26 October 1996. Until 1999 the interior of the church was renovated, it received a new iconostasis, and new byzantine paintings covered the walls.
In may 2000 the temple was reconsecrated.

Kazimierza Wielkiego Street [KING CASIMIR THE GREAT STREET]
    One of the oldest streets of the town, it begins at the Rynek Square (Old Town Square).
   The street was named in the mid 19th in honors of Casimir III, nick-named Casimir the Great, the last Piast king of Poland, who in 1349 reincorporated to Poland the Halych Ruthenia Land together with Przemyśl and ordered that a castle be built on the town’s hill.
   The present street buildings, mainly dating back to the turn of the 19th-c., were erected on medieval buildings’ lots.

Stadium Czuwaj

The Railway Station building
 - built between 1859 and 1860 and renovated in 1895 is one of the grandest buildings on the rail line which links Cracow with Lvov. In 1872 Przemyśl obtained also a rail connection with Budapest.

The Przemyśl underground
   The history of the town house at Rynek 1dates back to the turn of the 15th and 16th century. Its walls contain parts of several buildings erected in various periods and rebuilt many times before being finally combined into one structure. Until the end of the 18th  century, when the western frontage of the Main Square began to be dismantled, the building had not been located in the main square of the city, as only one of its corners adjoined it. After the dismantling works, which enlarged the area of the Main Square, the town house was included in the northern frontage and assigned number 1. For several centuries, it belonged to many townsmen, or even noble families. In the 19th century, it was used as barracks and a courthouse. Since 1865, it has been the seat of city authorities.
   The interesting, two-storey underground floors of the building, which have an area of nearly 400 square meters, reach down to a level of about 10 meters below the ground level. The former owners, some of whom were merchants, stored their property and goods in cellars of various sizes  located at different depth. The cellars were used for storing, among other items, wine, mead and local resources of the Przemyśl Land, that is, salt, valued all over Europe. Salted meat, meat products, back fat, produce from the land and dairy products were also stored there. It was a place where merchants pursued direct trade with their clients who came to Przemyśl, as well as with the inhabitants of the city and surrounding areas. The underground floors were used not only for the purpose of storing goods and a place for trading, but also as inns and craftsmen's workshops. When needed, they were even used as temporary accommodation for servants.
   In recent years, the underground area has been restored to its original state, which involved great effort and significant funds. In 2014, the renovated, 100-meter long section of the  17th century sewerage running under Mostowa Street and the northern part of the Main Square with the exit at the building at Rynek 5 was made available to the public.
   The Przemyśl underground is a part of the original, medieval development of the city. At present, the two-storey cellars under the City Hall with the new section of the 17th century sewerage system are available for sightseeing. It is also planned to connect the sewerage system with the multi-storey cellars of the neighboring town houses to create a network of underground corridors.

The 17th-c. Reformed Franciscan Church
was once surrounded with a defense wall with embrasures and, along with the monastery, acted as a barbican for the non-existent now Brama Lwowska (the Lvov Gate). After pulling down the town walls and fling in the moat the ground level was raised so high that at present the church seems to be sunken in the ground below the street level. In 1877, a monument to commemorate the heroic monk Father Krystyn Szykowski was erected in a breach in the wall.

Lubomirski Mansion in Bakończyce.

Zniesienie and Tatar's Barrow
    The hill towering over the town, the name of which commemorates the defeat of the Tartars in this very place. The most famous point of Zniesienie is the mysterious Tartar’s Barrow (352 m above sea level). As legend says, it was built by the Tartars as a mound of the Khan who was killed in battle here. For many centuries, and maybe even millenniums, the Barrow has served as an important observation post in the defense system of the whole Przemyśl Land.
   A vast panorama of the Sandomierz Basin and San and Dniestr Plateau, as well as the Sanocko-Turczańskie Mountains and Przemyśl Foothills in the Carpathians can be observed from here. St Leonard’s Chapel has been standing on the Burrow since as early as the 16th century, at least.
   In the second half of the 19th century the Austrians erected some buildings on Zniesienie, as part of the internal circle of the Przemyśl Fortress. Battery XVI b “The Tartar’s Burrow” can be seen near to the Barrow, but the biggest object is fort XVI “Zniesienie”. It is formed by three entrenchments, connected together into one object that enabled a circular defense. The moats and earth embankments with intersections hiding emergency shelters and the ruins of a concrete bunker, blown up shortly before the surrender of the Fortress to the Russians in 1915 have been preserved here, among other things.

The San River
    Przemyśl, situated upon the clear San, has a lot to offer lovers of water tourism.
   The San River is one of the most beautiful rivers in Poland. In its upper reaches down to Przemyśl, the San is a mountain river, becoming a lowland river beneath Przemyśl. The “Blue San” Water Route was marked out on this main river in Podkarpacie. It can be divided into two sections.

   The first section runs from Zwierzyń to Przemyśl and is 158 km long; you can see there, among others, picturesque gorges of the longest river in the region, marking a natural border between Przemyśl and Dynów Foothills. The second section runs from Przemyśl up to the mouth of the Vistula River; it is 173 km long.
   Apart from the uncontaminated nature and lovely views, you can also see interesting monuments along the whole length of the “Blue San” Water Route. You can stay at campsites and riverside hotels. Tourists can safely swim in the San in the very centre of Przemyśl during summer.

The wooden Greek Catholic church
- from 1630 on Kruhel Wielki. Partially reconstructed a few years ago. It is one of the oldest monuments of this type in Poland.

Casmir Castle
    The Castle erected after 1340 by King Casmir's the Great on the hill towering over the city in the place of an older settlement. In its yard one can find the remnants of the old rotunda and palatium from the time of King.
   Bolesław I the Brave. The castle, thoroughly renovated in the 16th century in the Renaissance style now houses among others an auditorium of the Alexander Fredro Amateur Drama Company, the oldest in Poland amateur drama group. In the vicinity of the castle, the beautifully situated Castle Park, which dates back to the year 1842, is worth seeing.

The Fortress of Przemyśl
   THE RING was, at the beginning of the 20th century, one of Europe’s largest fortresses. During World War I it became an arena of farce  combat. The soldiers who fought here included Austrians, Hungarians, Russians, Germans, Czechs, Poles and Italians. At that time, the place was compared to the Verdun fortress and Przemysl was often referred to as the Verdun of the eastern front. Now the fortress stands out as a monument of the 1914-1915 Battle of Nations, picturesquely located on the gorgeously wooded hills of the Carpathian Uplands. The forts, purposefully destroyed while the fortress was being surrendered on 22 March 1915, have survived as eye-catching ruins that prompt their visitors to engage in meditation.
   The Ring Fortress is a heritage site, not only for the inhabitants of the city, but also for all the European nations. The structures of the fortress reveal the whole spectrum of  the Austrian defensive military art: starting with the trenches of the 1854-55 fortified camp through the artillery-equipped forts dating from the 1870’s and 80’s and the armored forts built at the end of the 19th century, down to the fled fortifications from 1914 and 1915. Particularly worth mentioning is the fact that most of the forts, which have not yet been absorbed into the cityscape, still exist within the original terrain features of the then battlefield. One can still discern the traces of masker tree screens, strategic highways, viewing connections between forts and numerous trenches fling the spaces between them. Now the ruins of the forts appear to be perceived in the way similar to the 19th century Romantic fascination with medieval castles. The forts, sitting useless and often embedded in thick woods, quiet, imposing and mysterious, have become sources of numerous tales and legends. As you visit the dark interiors, you may chance to see, in your mind’s eye, the vague silhouettes of the soldiers fighting here almost a century ago and as you walk, your echoing footsteps make you feel that there is someone approaching to face you.
   The Ring Fortress of Przemysl can be visited on foot, by bicycle or on horseback (in wintertime, you can use your cross-country skis). Since the present day condition varies from fort to fort and they may be more or less overgrown with bushes, the enclosed table illustrates the degrees of attractiveness of particular forts of the Outer Ring. What remains is the hope that in the years to come, the relevant institutions and organizations will intensify their efforts to enhance the tourist value of the forts.

Tourism... photo...


Bohdan Zhukiewicz

Roztoczański National Park in Zwierzyniec