Route 20: In the Raba Valley
Gdów, Liplas (4 km) Niegowić (7 km) Pierzchów (11 km) Chrostowa (17 km) Podolany (27 km) Stryszowa (31 km) Gdów (35 km)
35 km, 4h, difficulty: easy
Altitude profile of the route:
The route is mostly flat, with two slightly more difficult climbs. Perfect for a family trip. We set off from the centre of Gdów (1) along the main road towards Bochnia. Having passed the school, we turn left into ul. Cegielniana. We meet here the black bike trail, which we will lead us to Niegowić. We cross the beltway, pass the cemetery with the November Uprising mound (2), and behind the fish ponds we leave the asphalt road, turning right between the homesteads. Cycling on a dirt road, first to the east then to the north, we arrive at Liplas. Here we turn right and at the next intersection left – towards Niegowić. We pass the court and, after a while, we reach the church where John Paul II began his priestly service, which is commemorated by a monument (4). We turn right, then left behind the school. One kilometre further, on the curve, we leave the road cycling straight ahead. After 300 m we change the trail to red one and at the fork we choose the road going right. After the power line we turn right again, and after a while, on the asphalt road, we turn left. We then cross the road 967 and drive through Pierzchów. At the end of the village, there is a monument and mound dedicated to H. Dąbrowski (5). We turn right and follow the paths along the Raba River to reach the asphalt road where we leave the red trail. We pass Raba and, after the bridge, we continue along the blue bike trail (turning right after the bridge, we can shorten the route). We pass the manor house in Chrostowa, turn right onto asphalt path and ‘climb’ to the hamlet of Wierzchownia, from where we have a beautiful view of the Island Beskids. Sticking to the blue trail, we go first by the ridge along the forest, then down the gravel road through the forest. On the asphalt road curve, we choose the left spur and go down to Podolany. From here, following the yellow trail and after a long climb to Stryszowa, we go to the lookout point offering a beautiful panorama of the Raba Valley and a magnificent cross. We return to Gdów along the green bike trail.
ATTRACTIONS ON THE ROUTE:
- Church in Gdów (1) – erected at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. As a result of the subsequent transformations since the end of the 18th century, it lost its stylish features. It has rococo interior design of considerable artistic value. In the main altar, there is a painting of Our Lady of Gdów painted in the first half of the XVIII century, endowed with unflagging worship by the inhabitants of the villages and surrounding areas.
- Mound of insurgents in Gdów (2) – a mass grave of 154 Poles fallen on 26 February 1846 in a clash with Austrian troops during the Kraków Uprising. At the top of the mound there is an allegorical monument erected in 1906.
- Church in Niegowić (3) – consecrated in 1966 by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kraków, Karol Wojtyła. In the main altar, we can admire a baroque painting of the Assumed Virgin Mary famous for its favours. Wooden belfry from 1817 is a souvenir of the previous temple.
- Monument to Karol Wojtyła in Niegowić (4) – inaugurated on 4 November 1999. It presents the figure of the later Pope John Paul II, who in this town performed his first priesthood ministry, begun in 1948. Although he worked for only a year, he managed to initiate the construction of the present church.
- General Dąbrowski Mound in Pierzchów (5) – raised in honour of general Jan Henryk Dąbrowski, creator of the Polish legions in Italy, the hero of the Polish national anthem who was born and spent his childhood in Pierzchów.