It is already the middle of September and some time has passed, when we spent one of the first, August weekends, visiting the Subcarpathian region on a motorcycle. This is how it is when, suddenly it turns out that before the holidays you have to do thousands of things at work, and beyond, and you say to yourself that you will certainly find a moment to post an entry during one of the holiday evenings. No, in our case, this has not worked at all. We spent our holidays quite intensively, our route will be described soon and if we had some free evenings it was only because we were no longer able to force our legs to go anywhere. That’s why today’s entry will smell like summer, even though it’s raining and autumn in its full glory outside the window.
Subcarpathian region on a motorcycle – look at it differently than just through the prism of the Bieszczady Mountains!
Subcarpathians for motorcyclists are mainly the mountains, because we like cool corners and narrow roads, but Podkarpacie has much more to offer than just the Bieszczady mountains, which we love with all our hearts and we always come back to them with a smile on our faces. Numerous palaces, gardens, churches, interesting museums, beautiful villages, along which it is enough to drive, but above all wonderful people, friendly and open-minded. All this makes the Subcarpathian region a magical, unique and slightly nostalgic place. Old people die, they forget. Young people usually do not associate their future with the countryside, they flee to larger cities, where they have prospects and greater opportunities.
We ourselves are from a generation that remembers the real harvest when the whole family came together to help. Who remembers the smell of sowing and the fun of driving on the horse wagon. When the villages were full of life, happy, even though people were tired of hard work. Now they are beautiful, quiet and sad, waiting for days that will never come back.
What can you be enchanted by in the Subcarpathian region? Museum of Leżajsk Region!
When visiting the Subcarpathian region on a motorcycle, we recommend visiting Lezajsk. The town seems to be slightly overshadowed by the nearby Łańcut, but it is worth stopping there to see the Leżajsk Land Museum. Visiting it does not take more than an hour or two. Ideal for a short trip, when you do not have much free time or for a family trip, because you do not have time to bore the kids. The museum itself is tiny, but it is just the way each museum should look. Interactive and inviting to get to know the history of the region, traditions of local production, wooden toys and the process of brewing the local Leżajsk’s beer. Additionally, nice and helpful employees – bravo Leżajsk. There are also extra advantages – cold beer served to every adult visitor. On a hot day, it was a bull’s-eye. Of course, the driver did not drink, the backpack may or may not.
The museum is located in the old Manor House. The original wooden manor house consisted of the starost’s house, a separate house for servants, numerous farm buildings: a bakery, a brewery, a malt house, stables, cellars, as well as bathrooms and a prison. In 1609 Leżajsk and the Manor House were plundered by Stanisław Stadnicki, known as the Chain Devil. During the Swedish invasion, it was plundered and burnt, later Tatar invasions and marches of their army led the manor to ruin.
The road to home – a picturesque route through the Lesser Poland region
All that is good ends quickly, the weekend passed far too fast. Ridden in the surrounding villages, fields, visited, so with a pure heart, we could go home. We decided to go home on a slightly different route than usual. Most motorcyclists, including us, driving from the Subcarpathian region use comfortable, but recently also very busy A4 highway or picturesque road through Beskid, this time we decided to avoid roads in the south of A4 highway.
Polish Nile and Kolbuszowa
First stop in Kolbuszowa. A very nice market square in the heart of the city encourages you to stop for a break and rest in the shade of the city well. What is interesting, Kolbuszowa is the only city in Poland lying on the Nile! No, it’s not a joke, the Nile River really flows through the city, not the famous Nile, but anyway… It is also worth visiting the open-air museum exhibiting the construction of Rzeszowiaków and Lasowiaków. We, this time, it was not possible because of the rainy weather, which, to put it mildly, did not caress us, rushing us to continue driving.
We passed Niwiska with its beautiful 16th century church, Przecław with the castle built there by the Ligęzów family in the mid-15th century, and Dąbrowa Tarnowska, where you will find, among other things, a beautiful palace park once belonging to the Lubomirski family and we reached Zalipie.
Village as painted – Zalipie
Quite accidentally, we found on the Internet, a short photo report from Zalipie. Beautiful photos intrigued us so much that we didn’t forget about Zalipie and we always had at the back of our heads that we had to see them with our own eyes. Interestingly, Zalipie is better known outside Poland and is called the most beautiful Polish village. Are there any fans of The Witcher 3 here? Do you know the name of village? You know that the creators of the game, intentionally or not, decided to put Zalipie in the game? In it, you can take a task to perform a task “like a painted Witcher”. We don’t think it was done by mistake, so Zalipie landed on our “must-see” list.
A little story about Zalipie
The discoverer of Zalipie in Lesser Poland was Wladyslaw Hickel, who in 1905 saw over the servant’s bed two handmade tapestries painted on paper. Interested in the motifs, he decided to visit Powiśle Dąbrowskie, where the servant came from. However, it was not Władysław Hickel who contributed to Zalipie’s fame; it was only the talented Felicja Curyłowa – a talented painter and a great organizer, the then manager of Zalipie – who did it. It was on her initiative that the first editions of the “Painted Cottage” competition were organized after World War II. In the last years of her life, Curylova put a lot of effort into creating a House of Painters in Zalipie.
The painted house of Felicja Curyłowa was visited by many tourists during her lifetime. The farmstead has been preserved to this day in the authentic form in which it existed during the artist’s lifetime. Currently, the building is closed for conservation work, which may take a few more years.
Is it worth a trip? Yes, if you are near it. Is it worth going there on purpose? It seems to us that it is not. We looked at the beautiful, colorful photos and had a slightly different picture of the whole, which disappointed us a bit. If you are near, come to see the most beautiful village in Poland on your own.
By ferry across the Vistula to the Opatowiec
We moved on, towards Opatowiec. Here, the first surprise, the navigation led us through the ferry crossing. You have to remember to take five polish zloty with you, although the man at the ferry was so nice that he would probably bring us for free.
Opatowiec itself was another nice surprise for us, inconspicuous, but hiding a few interesting monuments. Once a city, it is now a village in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. The first mention of Opatowiec dates back to the 11th century. In 1085, Judith, wife of Władysław Herman, granted the village to the Benedictine Abbey of Tyniec. In 1271, Prince Bolesław V the Chaste granted the settlement town rights at the request of Abbot Modlibog. Opatowiec was located on the route from Silesia to Kyiv Rus and near the Vistula river crossing, which was conducive to the rapid development of trade. The city collapsed after the Swedish invasion. Destroyed by the Swedes in 1673, Opatowiec had only 241 inhabitants. In 1862, the town had only 67 houses and 459 inhabitants. In 1869 Opatowiec lost its municipal rights.
The last part of the road led us through Słomniki in the direction of Katowice. Even for a moment, we did not regret that we chose this route on that day. Not only the mountains are beautiful.