Discover the attractions of new cities in the Cittaslow network
Warmia and Masuria is a region whose inhabitants care for good quality of life according to the principles of the slow movement. They also appreciate hospitality and gladly share their specialties with tourists. This is particularly characteristic of the inhabitants of the cities belonging to the international Cittaslow network. Guided by its ideas, they focus on the development of culture, protection of regional heritage as well as pro-social and pro-ecological activities, such as promoting local crafts and cuisine.
In 2020, three more cities from our region joined the group of cities united under the sign of the orange snail, namely: Olecko, Morąg and Szczytno. Each of them successfully passed the certification procedure, documenting, among others, their activities aimed at the introduction of new solutions friendly to the natural and cultural environment, inhabitants and tourists. Visiting these cities is a great idea, giving you a chance to experience their unique atmosphere and discover their most interesting attractions.
Olecko – the capital of Mazury Garbate
Olecko is located in the part of Mazury region whose landscape resembles foothills, by the Oleckie Wielkie Lake and the Lega River, which lies on a popular kayaking trail. The city is close to the backwoods of the Borecka Forest, a home to many various species of animals, and one of few places where you can meet wild bison.
Olecko can boast of having the largest market square in Poland (and one of the largest in Europe, its longest side is 255 meters). It is now arranged with green areas and holds summer outdoor events. The second showcase of the city is its beach on Lake Oleckie Wielkie. There you can use a historic wooden pier with two small towers and a mini springboard (the object was built in 1930).
Morąg – Herder’s hometown
Morąg is one of the main cities of Western Masuria, formerly known as Upper Prussia. The city is adjacent to the so-called Rozlewisko Morąskie, a marshy land which is a refuge for waterfowl (about 150 species of birds nest there). Not far from Morąg, there is the picturesque Narie Lake with numerous recreation centres offering various forms of recreation by the water and on the water.
The most interesting monument in the city is the Gothic town hall built in 1444. In front of it there are placed two cannons, which were the spoils of the Franco-Prussian war. The former Dohna Palace (from the second half of the 16th century) houses the Museum of J.G. Herder, which is a branch of the Museum of Warmia and Masuria. Herder, an eighteenth-century German philosopher of history, was born in Morąg and remains the most outstanding figure associated with this city.
Szczytno – the Southern Gate of Masuria
Love for bigbit (Krzysztof Klenczon was associated with the city), the hospitality of its inhabitants, medieval heritage sites and a picturesque location among lakes and forests – you can find all of this in Szczytno. The city is situated on Lake Długie (also known as Domowe Duże) and Domowe Małe Lake, which creates excellent conditions for water recreation. The regional Olsztyn-Mazury Airport operates in Szymany, 7 km away from the city.
Located in the center of Szczytno are the ruins of the Teutonic Castle, which – after the ongoing revitalization – will gain a new, attractive form. In the vicinity of the ruins there is the town hall with a 46-meter high tower. One of the wings of the building houses the Muzeum Mazurskie (Masurian Museum), a branch of the Museum of Warmia and Mazury. The facility presents natural, historical and ethnographic collections related to the region.
If you are looking for an alternative to your hectic pace of life – fast food, short rest, quick interactions with others – visiting cities belonging to the Cittaslow network is a great idea.