Route 9: Towards the Vistula Valley
Chrzanów, Zalew Chechło (5 km) Piła Kościelecka (6 km) Płaza (11 km) Wygiełzów (16 km) Pogorzyce (21 km) Chrzanów (28,4 km)
28,4 km, 3 h, difficulty – easy
Altitude profile of the route:
Easy route, with lots of attractions and nice views. We start the trip from the car park at pl. Tysiąclecia in the centre of Chrzanów. We set off along the green bike trail towards Kusocińskiego Street, then, at the roundabout, we turn left and take Zielona Street to roundabout Rondo Ofiar Faszyzmu. Here we turn right, and cycle along Sikorskiego Street (north-east bypass), passing another roundabout, we reach the forest. Here we turn left. Keeping to the green trail we reach by dirt roads the Chechło Lagoon. Here we meet the red bike trail, which will lead us to Płaza Górna. Once there, we leave the trail, turn right onto the main road and go to the centre of Płaza. We pass the church and palace on the left (currently the seat of the Nursing Home). Behind the church we turn left and, by an asphalt road, we climb to the ridge of Płaska Hill, from where there is a beautiful view of the Vistula Valley and further on the Beskids. We turn right, and at the third parallel road right again. We reach the forest and after 1 km, at the bifurcation, we leave the bike trails. We turn right and follow the yellow hiking trail towards Lipowiec Castle. We go around the castle because the entrance is on the opposite, western side. Following quite a steep, paved road we go down to Wygiełzów. An open-air museum – the Vistula Ethnographic Park – emerges on the right. We then enter road No 781 and turn left onto the blue bike trail. We leave the asphalt road and take a shortcut to Piłsudskiego Street. It goes to Zagórze, from where Podgórska Street will lead us towards Pogorzyce. Cycling the main road (Szymanowskiego Street), we go down towards Chrzanów to os. Stella. We turn left and continue along the black bike trail to the footbridge on the Chechło River. After the bridge, we turn right and along the paths parallel to the river we return to the centre of Chrzanów.
ATTRACTIONS ON THE ROUTE:
1. St Nicolas church in Chrzanów – built on the turn of the 13th and 14th century, it gained its present shape in 1912 after a thorough renovation. Opposite the church, there is a presbytery from 1844, representing an interesting example of historicizing architecture.
2. Jewish cemetery in Chrzanów – founded in the middle of the 18th century. It occupies an area of 1.71 ha and has over 3,000 matzevot. Visiting is possible after prior agreement with the Museum in Chrzanów (see below).
3. Manor lumber-room from the 16th century in Chrzanów – originally a part of the manor complex. The building has retained some features of Renaissance architecture. Currently it is the seat of the Museum in Chrzanów. Information: 13 Mickiewicza Street, tel. 32 623 51 73, www.muzeum.chrzanow.pl.
4. The House of Urbańczyk in Chrzanów – built at the end of the 19th century. It represents a type of villa construction with clear regional features. Currently, it houses the Department of Temporary Exhibitions of the Museum in Chrzanów.
5. Chechło Lagoon – the largest recreational reservoir in the vicinity of Chrzanów. It was created in the 1960s in a former sand pit. A popular summer destination for residents of nearby towns. The lagoon offers a clean sandy beach with water equipment rentals and two holiday resorts.
6. Lipowiec Castle – a Gothic castle erected in the 13th century belonged to the bishops of Kraków. In the Romanesque tower that has been preserved to this day, there used to be a prison for inadvertent priests. In 1657, the castle was burned by the Swedes and then rebuilt. From the 1840s it has been falling into ruin. Currently, a small museum with the history of the castle has been arranged on one of the floors of the castle. Information: www.zamek-lipowiec.republika.pl
7. Vistula Ethnographic Park in Wygiełzów – established in 1968. More than 20 wooden buildings of Western Cracovians are gathered here. The most interesting are: a church from the 16th century moved from Ryczów, an inn from the 19th century and a granary from 1798.