Oświęcim is charming and very green town lying in the Oświęcim Valley. The rich history of the former capital of the Duchy of Oświęcim joins here with modern cultural and economic center. This place is worth seeing not only for the State Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum . The town offers much more! About its climate and character decide the preserved monuments and vestiges of the past reaching the twelfth century. Oświęcim castle , mystery churches, charming tenements houses or alleys shrouded in legend deserve for paying attention. Lovers of history at almost every step will face her footsteps, and interested in coexistence of Polish and Jewish culture will know their five -hundred years of history.
For visitors are waiting: beautiful Plants on the Soła River inviting for walk and relaxation, numerous sports facilities and tourism objects.
We invite for the tourists routes running through the town and surroundings.
The blue trial – The monuments of Old Town - Length: 2,3 km
The route leads along the following streets:
Tadeusza Kościuszki sqr. – Sienkiewicza str.– Mickiewicza str. – Piastowska str.
– Mikołajska str. – Jagiełły str. – St. Jana Bosko str. – Joselewicza str.
– Dąbrowskiego str. – Zamkowa str. – Ks. Skarbka sqr. – Kościelna str.–
Mayzla str. – Main Market Square – Mickiewicza str. – Sienkiewicza str. – Tadeusza
Tour begins at the Kosciuszko Square, formerly known as New Market. There is situated the Tomb of an Unknown Soldier, with Order of Virtutti Militari. Nowadays, it is a place of patriotic celebrations. Being in this place the neo-Gothic church of Our Lady of Sorrow is worth seeing, inside of which are pictures of St. Francesco of Assissi and St. Anthonio of Padova and also Pieta’s sculpture from the beginning of the 20th century.
Then we advise you to go through the Small Market Square in the direction of the Municipal Building, next to which there is a suburban villa, initially belonging to dr. A. Ślosarczyk but now functioning as the Wedding Palace.
On the other side of the street there is The Salesian Church where in its courtyard you can admire St. Jack’s Chapel - the only preserved element from the Dominican monastery complex, dating from the first half of 14th century. In the crypt there are 100-year-old remains of the dukes, castellans and benefactors of the Dominican monastery in Oświęcim. This facility is opened to the public after phone consultation with a priest pastor.
Going out from the Salesian Society, turn left going along the Soła river. At this point, till the Second World War, there were buildings of the Jewish quarter including The Great Synagogue, hospital and school.
Now, even from afar, you can see the hill, where is situated the Oświęcim Castle with its view tower from XVIII th century. This is one of the oldest building from brick in Małopolska and the highest preserved Gothic wall in the south of Poland. Nowadays in the castle there are historical and ethnographic collections relating to the history of more than 800-year-old city on the Soła River.
After descending the hill go up the stairs to the ks. Skarbka Square, where recently stands renovated The Lomdei Misznajot Synagogue and the Jewish Centre. Nowadays, Jewish Centre serves religious and educational function by organization exhibitions and conferences.
In front of the Jewish Centre there is Parish Church. The present church stands in this place instead of the wooden one, which had existed in XIIth century in Oświęcim. In this church, we can see XVIIth century crucifix with a very expressive magnificient statue of Jesus Christ. Also pay attention to the life-sized figures of St. Peter and St. Paul located at the main altar.
Then go across the street toward the main square, which shows the urban layout
of Oświęcim at the turn of the XIVth and XVth century, with many tenements. The greatest
is Ślebarskis’ house which is currently a seat of the Local Court of Law in Oświęcim. There
is also worth to pay attention on the pharmacy building with characteristic arcades in which during the Second World War was located Hotel Hertz. Józef Piłsudski stayed at this hotel on Feb. 7, 1915.