Eco - Miechów Upland

Blue sky with a few clouds. The sun shines. Green and yellow fields on slight hills. A few trees in the fields. A dirt road runs between the fields.
Miechów Upland: A Mosaic of Fields and Flowery Steppe and immense boundless sky high above the gentle landscape like the most beautiful romantic paintings. The Miechów Upland (Wyżyna Miechowska) is a fairy-tale patchwork made of wheat, rye, oat, corn and cabbage fields. It is decorated with poppies, knapweeds and a million other wild flowers growing on the thermophilic protected meadows in the nature reserves and the Natura 2000 sites.

It is also the land of orchids. Interesting monuments have been preserved in this unique landscape: noblemen’s manor houses, ancient parks and trees, sites historically related to the Kościuszko Insurrection, including the Racławice Fields – a historical monument. The icon of the landscape of Miechów (the capital of the region) is the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre (Bazylika Grobu Bożego) whose history is connected with Jerusalem and the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and dates back to the 12th century. The town hosts a number of unique art events and recently the first bicycle route leading along the former narrow-gauge rail track was inaugurated here. Santo Gucci, a famous artist and architect from Italy who designed late-Renaissance and Mannerist buildings, including the ‘Mirów’ castle, was active in Książ Wielki. In Charsznica, you can try the best sauerkraut and pickles in the world while in Zarogów, you can take part in handicraft workshops and agro-therapy classes. Set off on a colourful cycling trip and stroll around fields of crops, vegetables and lavender, stretching far to the horizon.


1. Cycling among crops, poppies, knapweeds and lavender

Kamieńczyce (railway station) – Rzeżuśnia – Krępa – Czaple Małe – Czaple Wielkie – Przesławice – Kamieńczyce – Miechów Rynek – Miechów (railway station)

Our trip starts in Kamieńczyce, where we can conveniently travel from Kraków with Koleje Małopolskie (Małopolska Railways). Ahead of us are the fairy-tale like views of the Miechów Upland (Wyżyna Miechowska) with a checker-board of fields and meadows. We are going to cycle on roads with relatively low traffic intensity. The most picturesque is the section between Rzeżuśnia, Krępa and Czaple Małe: the fields of crops with knapweeds, poppies and other flowers are truly charming. In Krępa, we also cycle along lavender fields, beautifully set in the hilly landscape of the Miechów Region. For a moment, you feel as if you are in Provence. Lavender blossoms at the end of June/beginning of July. It is as if the Miechów fields were mirroring the sky.

In Czaple Wielkie, we turn left at the crossroads and follow a side road, which takes us around the Olimpia Stadium. Here, we can rest for a moment in a shelter. Cycling among fields and hamlets with some old wooden barns preserved here and there, we reach Przesławice. The local Church of the Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church (Kościół Najświętszej Marii Panny Matki Kościoła) is worth visiting. The church forms a part of the Trail of Wooden Architecture (Szlak Architektury Drewnianej) and was transferred here from neighbouring Gołcza and dates from the 18th century. The Baroque church with a log frame structure was built on a high wall base. We close the loop in Kamieńczyce. Now, you can return to Kraków or go to Miechów in order to see the local monuments located in the centre of the town –among them, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre (Bazylika Grobu Bożego) or the wooden ‘Zacisze’ Manor House.

2. Cycling Through the Central Section of the Miechów Upland and the Natura 2000 Sites

Several extended and steep uphill rides await us along the trail. However, we will be rewarded with the breath-taking views of the hills with a colourful mosaic of arable fields and flowery xerothermic grasslands protected as Natura 2000 sites. Two variants of the trip are proposed:

2A VARIANT: Miechów (Railway Station) – Zarogów – Pojałowice – SławiceSzlacheckie – Goleźnia – SławiceDuchowne – SławiceSzlacheckie – CelinyPojałowskie – Wymysłów – MiechówRynek – Miechów (Railway Station)

From the railway station in Miechów, we set off in the direction of Zarogów. After crossing busy road No. 7, we head to Wymysłów and after riding for 1 km, turn left and go to Zarogów alongside roads meandering among fields –first, the asphalt changes into gravel road and eventually into a bypath. We pedal among the crops and fields with cabbage and other vegetables and cycle through quite an outstretched village of Zarogów. The famous Cottage of Małgorzatka and Radek (Chatka u Małgorzatki i Radka) operates here; the cottage offers accommodation for the night and with prior arrangement you can take part in handicraft workshops. We pass by Pojałowice and reach Sławice Szlacheckie (here, a nice restaurant called Łysa Góra deserves a visit). From here, we make a loop around the Natura 2000 Sławice Duchowne Site. This is the most demanding leg of our trip, yet with fairy-tale landscapes. We will see the picture-perfect panoramas of the Miechów Upland with a checker-board of fields, woodlots and flowery steppes. After a steep ascent through Goleźnia, a great downhill ride will take us back to Sławice Duchowne. We return to Miechów following a shortcut through Celiny Pojałowskie and Wymysłów.

2b VARIANT: Miechów (Railway Station) – Natura 2000 Komorów Site – Poradów – Natura 2000 Poradów Site – Parkoszowice – Sławice Szlacheckie – Natura 2000 Site Sławice Duchowne – Pojałowice – Zarogów – Natura 2000  Kalina Mała Site – Miechów (railway station)

Our route starts at the railway station in Miechów. The railway station building was erected in 1934 in the modernist style and opened personally by the then-President Ignacy Mościcki. We head south toward Komorów. We cross Cichy Brook and turn left right behind it. The so-called Mount Komorowska (Góra Komorowska) appears in front of us with the southern slope of thermophilic grasslands. We cycle along an asphalt road which leads upwards. This is one of the hardest sections on the trail. At the top, on the left hand side, we can see fenced off allotments. Moving along the boundary strip along the fence, we reach the Natura 2000 Komorów Site.

Natura 2000 Komorów Site

4.9 hectares, 162 species of vascular plants, including seven plants considered rare or endangered; protected species: European Michaelmas daisy, stemless carline thistle, Siberian bellflower, spiny restharrow.

We return to the asphalt road. Heading east, we reach Piłsudskiego Street. We turn right and go to Spacerowa Street, cut across national road No. 7 and cycle to Poradów. At the crossroads, we go right. On the left hand side, we can see fragments of the Natura 2000 Poradów Site.

Natura 2000 Poradów Site

11.3 hectares, 180 species of vascular plants, including eleven plants considered rare or endangered: protected species: European Michaelmas daisy, stemless carline thistle, Siberian bellflower, golden flax, spring pheasant's eye, military orchids, spiny restharrow and snowdrop anemone.

We cycle towards the village of Parkoszowice. On the right hand side, we can turn right at the crossing; after several dozen metres, on the right hand side we will see remnants of a manor park, where a manor house stood until 1994. It was built at the turn of the 20th century by Kazimierz Saski. Stefan Żeromski, Polish writer and cousin of Maria Saska, visited it often and wrote his novel ‘The Faithful River’ (‘Wierna Rzeka’) there. Only the old-growth park with numerous monuments of nature has been left from the estate. We return to our route and cycle south up to a crossing with the building of the Primary School in Parkoszowice. Here, we turn left and head towards Sławice Szlacheckie. In Sławice, we take the right turn at the crossroads, heading to the church that looms in the distance. We cross Brook Piotrówka, which is the left-bank tributary of the Szreniawa. It has its source in Zarogów (Zagaje Zarogowskie). We turn right and after several dozen metres reach the Natura 2000 Sławice Duchowne Site.

Natura 2000 Sławice Duchowne Site

4.4 hectares, 171 species of vascular plants, including nine plants considered rare or endangered: protected species: European Michaelmas daisy, stemless carline thistle, Siberian bellflower, spring pheasant's eye, military orchid, spiny restharrow.

We return the same way and reach the Church of St. Adalbert (Kościół św. Wojciecha) in Sławice, located on the Małopolska Trail of the Holy Sepulchre Order (Małopolski Szlak Bożogrobców). We return to the main road, turn right and head to Pojałowice. Before leaving Sławice, right behind the building of the fire brigade, we can turn right to a dirt road which will lead us to the monument of inanimate nature called Źródła in Sławice Szlacheckie. We return to the trail and head to Pojałowice. After reaching the crossroads, a late-Baroque chapel in Pojałowice becomes visible at a small distance on the right. Continue straight to Zarogów. From this moment on, we will be cycling along the ‘cart drivers’ high road to Warsaw’ built in the mid-18th century. Upon reaching the Primary School in Pojałowice, we pass by the former smithy on the left hand side. Cycling further, we enter the village of Zarogów. Right by the sign with the name of the village, we can get to the very source of Piotrówka Brook along a dirt road. We pass by the Fire Brigade station and on the right see a chestnut alley leading to the brick manor house in Zarogów from the end of the 18thor the beginning of the 19th century. In the 1980s, the ruin was bought by the Moździński family who, after many years of effort, managed to restore it to its former glory.

We continue cycling towards Kaliny-Rędziny. Along the way, we pass by the well-known agritourism farm ‘Chatka u Małgorzatki i Radka’ on the left. We reach a crossing with province road No. 783. Next to the figure of Blessed Virgin Mary, we turn right and soon afterwards to the left to Góry Miechowskie. After several dozen metres, we take a turn to the left and following the road downwards proceed along the ‘cart drivers’ high road to Warsaw’ to the valley of the Natura 2000 Kalina Mała Site.

Natura 2000 Kalina Mała Site

25.6 hectares, 303 species of vascular plants, including fourteen plants considered rare or endangered; protected species: common centaury, stemless carline thistle, Siberian bellflower, marsh helleborine, broad-leaved helleborine, gallium valdepilosum, spiny restharrow and snowdrop anemone. Attention should also be paid to the large population (over 1,000 specimens) of the military orchid, which is present here primarily in patches of grasslands overgrown with bushes in the north-western part of the site.

Cycling further down on the asphalt road, we reach Brook Kalinka, a tributary of the Nidzica River. Its source is located at a distance of several dozen metres to the left. At the crossing with the poviat road, we turn left and cycle straight for a few hundred metres. Upon reaching a sharp turn to the left, we turn slightly to the right to a back road which leads along the former line of the narrow-gauge railway up to the ring-road overpass. Behind the overpass, we turn right and follow the technical asphalt road among the mosaic of the Miechów Region fields up to the roundabout. On the roundabout, we head towards Kraków to the south (3rd exit) or walk with the bike across the pedestrian crossing. Further, following Warszawska Street, we pass by the Mound of Bartosz Głowacki on the left, currently overgrown with plants. We stay at Warszawska Street and at the next hill, the Kościuszko Mound becomes visible. It was made in 1830 during the construction of the Kraków-Warsaw road. During WWI, a decision was made to give it the name of Tadeusz Kościuszko. We reach a crossing with a bike trail that follows the old narrow-gauge railway. We turn right and follow the bike trail to Podmiejska Street. Here, we turn left, cross Sienkiewicza Street and along Krótka Street get to Kolejowa Street and the railway station.

3. Following the Trail of the Former Narrow-Gauge Railway

Miechów (beginning ˗ Wspólna Street, former station of the narrow-gauge railway) Chodówki Forest

Charsznica–Działoszyce Narrow Gauge Railway

The history of the railway dates back to WWI when in 1914 the Austro-Hungarian armies entering the Kielce Region (with the Polish Legions behind them) started the construction of multiple narrow-gauge rail lines that were initially going to supply the front. Later, they were also used for the export of agricultural products, wood and other natural resources. These were the-so called horse-drawn trams, as well as mechanical rail tracks with a width of 600 or700 mm, built of ‘patent’ tracts, where the ready-made spans of the tracks on steel railway sleepers could be assembled and dismantled rapidly and transferred to other locations, writes Bogdan Prokopiński on the website of the Association of Engineers and Communication Technicians of the Polish Republic, Kielce Branch (Stowarzyszenie Inżynierów i Techników Komunikacji RP). The Charsznica-Działoszyce narrow-gauge railway line was built in 1915. It was used for the transportation of goods and people. It continued to operate until the 1990s.

We will follow the former narrow-gauge railway to the west from Miechów to the Chodówki Forest. From the Narrow-Gauge Railway Station in Miechów, we head west along a paved street that harkens back to the times of the Austrian partition. We pass by a small grey house with a garden suffused with the scent of diverse flowers in summertime ˗ this is the first station of the railway. We go across Warszawska Street and stroll along Kopernika Street towards the forest. On the left hand side is the majestic Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre (Bazylika Grobu Bożego) together with the post-monastery buildings and the General's House. After reaching the first crossing on Kopernika Street, we go straight, passing by Ms. Elwira's picturesque garden on the left. We reach another crossing. The route of the former railway goes straight, the road to the so-called ‘valley of wild ducks’, as children call this place, turns right. Both routes converge once again on a bridge over Cicha Brook. After crossing the bridge, we enter the pedestrian and bicycle route which will take us to the forest. On the right hand side is a flowery meadow, a natural pasture for a small flock of cows. On the slope of Stawna Góra, which ends by Cicha Brook, you can see grazing goats and sheep. On the left, the present-day railway track between Kraków and Warszawa is located on the embankment. Fields of small farms stretch on the right side of the path. The view of crops and vegetables is quite charming. At the turn of the path, a picturesque birch grove with rushes welcomes us. Here, we leave the Cicha Valley behind us and after walking across the railway overpass and crossing Podmiejska Street, we enter the hilly landscape painted with ‘diverse grain types’, where we can listen to the songs of birds. In this scenery we reach another overpass on the highway. After crossing under the overpass, the beautiful Chodówki Forest will stretch right before our eyes. Initially, the bike trail and the pedestrian trail are convergent. At the vantage point offering a view to the town’s panorama, the paths separate. The cycling route leads along the former narrow-gauge railway track, while the pedestrian route follows a forest road. We admire forest views, clean our lungs with forest air, look at the wealthy tree stand and listen to the voices of birds and forest animals. We return to the start point of the trip along the same way.

Charsznica: The Cabbage Village

The famous narrow-gauge railway started in Charsznica ˗ today, the village is the famous ‘cabbage capital of Poland’. The entire commune is well known in the country and abroad primarily for its production of vegetables, as well as farming and processing of cabbage in line with recipes passed down from generation to generation. The Charsznica sauerkraut was entered in the list of Traditional Products by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2006.

The honorary rulers of the cabbage land are the king and queen of cabbage: they are elected every year on the second weekend of September during the Cabbage Days among the leading producers and exporters of cabbage. The Cabbage Museum, the only such museum in the world, operates in Charsznica. Who has not yet tried the Charsznica sauerkraut and pickles?

4. Na Dosłońce – In Search of the Racławice Panorama

Miechów – Bukowska Wola – Dosłońce – Janowiczki – Nasiechowice – Szczepanowice – Jaksice – Komorów – Miechów

Bike Route Along the Narrow-Gauge Rail Track

At the section of 9.1 km of the former route of the narrow-gauge Chodówki Forest –Bukowska Wola railway, we will cycle along the comfortable rail-to-rail bike path. At the beginning of the route, a service centre for cyclists has been organised with information boards about the history of the railway and a locomotive modelled on the original steam engine.

We suggest a longer version of the trip with the aim of exploring the Miechów Upland (Wyżyna Miechowska), which hides numerous secrets among the omnipresent arable fields ˗ and the best way is to discover them when cycling! The must-see is definitely the new cycling route following the course of the old narrow-gauge railway, the massive windmills on tops of the Miechowskie Mountains (Góry Miechowskie) which are mountains not only by their name (there is even a ski lift here!), which you will definitely feel in your legs, especially when riding towards the lookout tower in a village called Dosłońce. The tower’s terraces will remind you about the Racławice Panorama and let you feel the vibe of history and the fighting that took place here. The route will lead us to the main symbols, i.e., the monument of Bartosz Głowacki and the Kościuszko Mound. Before you go there, you can also make a detour to the near SPA hotel and have a cup of coffee or lunch. Our route leads next to the ‘Wały’ Nature Reserve, located between the Dosłońce and Dale villages. The reserve is located on a steep slope of a hill made of late-Cretaceous limestone and marl sediments. This floral site is distinguished by a cluster of slender-leaved elecampane and a stand of carlina acanthifolia.

The route will mainly take us along asphalt roads, but there will also be a section of a dirt road, chosen deliberately. This is due to two reasons: first of all, there are not too many forests here, so it is sometimes a good idea to go among the trees when there is an opportunity to do so, and secondly, the so-called Kościuszko Trail (Szlak Kościuszkowski) leads along a forest road and at the Nasiechowice section, it is also used for this trip. However, do not panic: you can complete this section with practically any type of bike, and cyclists using narrow tyres can go round this bit next to the ski lift in Sławice.

There will also be a treat for the fans of construction investments in Szczepanowice: a ride across the construction site of the future S7 express road, which will definitely change the landscape in this area, but will also concentrate the motor vehicle traffic in one place. After reaching the bridge on the Szreniawa River, we will head north –towards Miechów again, using the pleasant narrow roads in the valley of the river and the railway track running parallel to it. After returning to Miechów, seeing the town is recommended; if you feel up for it, you can check out the entire new bike route (at the present moment, it ends in the Chodówki Forest). The most determined cyclists can also try the new bike and service routes which were set up along the city's ring road and which allow you to make another loop (the map is available here:

5. A Stroll In Racławice Fields

Janowiczki (parking site) – Kościuszko Mound – manor house in Janowiczki – WalerySławek’s Villa – Bartosz Głowacki’s Monument – Parking Site

The trip leads to the site of the historical battle of Racławice, which took place on 4 April 1794 between the insurgents under the command of Tadeusz Kościuszko and the Russian army of General Alexander Tomasov.

We set off from a parking site located at the foot of the Kościuszko Mound in Janowiczki in the Racławice Commune. We cross Racławka Brook on a pedestrian bridge. Turning right along the brook, we reach a mini-park, where you can spend some time with children and family very nicely: make a bonfire or cook something on the grill; if the weather is bad, you can always hide in a gazebo. From here, we go to Mount Zamczysko where the local people and the army built the Kościuszko Mound between 1926 and 1934 with a height of 13.80 m. We walk several dozen metres further south to the remnants of the stronghold. The defence residence on Mount Zamczysko in Janowiczki was built, according to archaeologists, in the first half of the 14th century. Today, only a dry moat and legends, e.g., about the underground corridor linking it with the church in Wrocimowice or Racławice nearby, have survived. A picturesque panorama of Racławice is visible from the hill.

From Mount Zamczysko, listening to the music of Racławka Brook, we return to the bridge and enter the health path with an obstacle course for children. At the end of the path, we turn left and follow the asphalt road to the Janowiczki Manor House located in a park. Its style references a provincial landed gentry’s house from the end of the 18th/ beginning of the 19th century. In the park, there are also tombs of peasant-soldiers and a shrine.

After leaving the park, we cross the poviat road and head to the Villa of Walery Sławek located nearby; Sławek was a statesman, an MP and a prime minister during the inter-war period. From here, we will take a stroll to the monument of Bartosz Głowacki, a peasant hero from Racławice. An annual event called Peasant of the Year is held here in April.

The trip can be extended to the tombs of peasant-soldiers, located in Dziemięrzyce, and the crucifix visible in the Panorama of Racławice, which stands at the crossroads on Wzgórek Dziemięrzycki. In neighbouring Wrocimowice, the Church of St. Andrew (Kościół św. Andrzeja) and its historical bell tower deserves as does the hill that used to be the stronghold of Marcin of Wrocimowice, the Standard-Bearer of the Territory of Kraków from the Battle of Grunwald. In Racławice, the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul (Kościół św. Apostołów Piotra i Pawła) is worth visiting ˗ the church bell, cast in 1776, was used to sound the alarm when the Russian armies were approaching.

Other interesting pedestrian trails:

Książ Wielki: blue trail, circular: 14.4 km, 4 hours, starts and ends in the centre of the village. Along the way, we’ll go right by the famous ‘Mirów’ Castle designed by Santi Gucci, and will have a chance to visit it.

Tunel – Antolka – Książ Wielki: blue trail, 20.2 km, 6 hours. The village of Tunel has a railway tunnel that’s 764 m in length, the longest in Poland, that was built in 1885. It comprises two parallel, single-track corridors: the western ‘August’ tunnel and the eastern ‘Włodzimierz’ tunnel. Along the route, we will also see the Strzyganiec forest –a place of torture, where the Nazi occupiers executed approx. 100 Poles, Jews and Roma people – and the village of Antolka, which has an inn from 1836 (the name of the village is the name of the innkeeper's wife).

The ‘Chrusty’ Nature and Forest Path (Ścieżka Przyrodniczo-Leśna ‘Chrusty’) in the Książ Wielki Commune: 2 km, 30 minutes, with information boards that allow the tourists to learn about the environment in the area.


Nature of the Miechów Upland and Its Conservation

The mild elevations of the Miechów Upland sprawl towards broad, sometimes muddy valleys of rivers and brooks; the main ones are the valleys of the Dłubnia, the Szreniawa and the Nidzica. The presence of multiple springs is quite a characteristic phenomenon. The most valuable elements of the plant cover are the rich xerothermic grasslands across the agricultural landscape which develop on steep sunlit slopes of small hills and elevations. The special character of the soil, the unique micro-climate and the evolution of its plants produce great diversity of the plant life. At the present moment, the agriculture dominates the landscape here, with patches of forest and woodlots scattered about. The plant cover has the features of a forest steppe.

Xerothermic Grasslands

Steppe vegetation in the form of thermophilic grasslands used to occupy large portions of the Miechów Upland. The oldest one, which has been present here since the end of the Ice Age, is the site of stipa capillata. Xerothermic grasslands are some of the most valuable floral clusters in Poland. The plants came here from warmer regions of Europe.

Steppe xerothermic grasslands develop on soils rich in calcium carbonate in sunny locations ˗ as we can read in the ‘Przewodnik przyrodniczo-turystyczny - WyżynaMiechowska’ published by the Regional Directorate of Environmental Protection in Kraków, which also includes an atlas for distinguishing plant species, including the famous orchids that are the object of floral trips from late spring to late summer. The Miechów Upland is known as the orchid land. It is a good idea to set off with a camera to search for numerous species of Orchidaceae, such as: lady’s slipper orchid, white helleborine, fly orchid, bird’s nest orchid, fragrant orchid, marsh helleborine, small-leaved helleborine, broad-leaved helleborine, eggleaf twayblade, lesser butterfly orchid and military orchid. Download a guidebook with a plant species lexicon and set off on your journey!

Almost the entire area of the Miechów Upland forms a part of the Protected Landscape Area of the Miechów Upland (Obszar Chroniony Krajobrazu Wyżyny Miechowskiej). The landscape of arable fields with crops, vegetables, herbs and dispersed agricultural structure makes up a characteristic mosaic not encountered anywhere else in Poland. Eight nature reserves have been set up here that protect the remnants of original nature ˗ stands of steppe plants and precious tree stands with multiple species, along with the ‘Kościuszko Mound’ historical and landscape reserve in Janowiczki.

Twenty-one Natura 2000 Protected Sites were set up within the premises of the Miechów Upland. The goal of this system is to protect the biological diversity of the European continent and to preserve the natural habitats and species of plants and animals that are important in the scale of Europe. The best way to protect the xerothermic grasslands is to graze the Olkusz sheep and goats in the Natura 2000 sites.

Miechów: Capital of the Region and Its Gems 

When approaching Miechów, we see the majestic bell tower of the local church, which has always attracted the attention of residents, guests and pilgrims. This is one of the oldest Polish towns, also called the ‘Polish Jerusalem’. Miechów otulił się górami i ze swoją wspaniałą kolegiatą nie rad zza nich wyglądać, tylko kiedy niekiedy wielka bania z krzyżem podwójnym, niby głowa olbrzyma ukaże się i skryje zza wzgórek jak latarnia morska, która jest jedynym przewodnikiem podróżnego – wrote Józef Mikołaj Wiślicki in the ‘Description of the Kingdom of Poland’ (‘Opis Królestwa Polskiego’) of 1853. The aforementioned lighthouse (the ‘latarnia morska’ in the passage above) is the Lesser Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, the town’s and the region’s highlight, famous for the unique copy of the Holy Sepulchre from Jerusalem, dated at 1530.

Miechów would not have existed without Count Jaksa of the Gryf coat of arms who in the 12th century brought the first Knights of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre from Jerusalem, later called the Miechów Monks (Miechowici) here. In the place where the soil brought from Christ's Tomb was scattered, the monks built a monastery and a church, consecrated in 1170. The Knights of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre for over eight centuries influenced the growth of Miechów, which functioned as a link between Christian Europe and the Holy Land (until the cassation of order by the tsarist authorities in 1819).

The collegiate Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre is a Gothic church with preserved Romanesque elements, rebuilt in the late-Baroque style in the second half of the 18th century. The characteristic tower ends with a spherical helmet with the figure of Resurrected Chris. Twelve altars were made by the well-known artist Wojciech Rojkowski, Polish sculptor and Rococo woodcarver in the second half of the 18th century. The buildings preserved after the Order of the Holy Sepulchre include the arcades and the General's House, which houses the Miechów Region Museum (Muzeum Ziemi Miechowskiej).

An important monument in Miechów is the 17th century larch wood ‘Zacisze’ Manor House located on the Trail of Wooden Architecture in the Municipal Park. Inside is a mini-copy of the panorama of the Battle of Racławice, and the garden is filled with sculptures of well-known artists. The log-frame structure building is covered with a mansard roof with shingles, supported on ceiling joists that protrude beyond the façade of the building. The manor house is in the care of Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych ‘U Jaksy’, which organises a number of art events here, primarily workshops and open air sessions. BWA runs the famous ‘U Jaksy’ Art Gallery, where exhibitions, concerts and theatre performances are held. It also manages the Gallery of Stefan Żechowski (Galeria Twórczości Stefana Żechowskiego), a famous artist of the inter-war period.

Racławice Fields (Pola Racławice): Historical Monument

The venue of the historical Battle of Racławice has been a monument of history since 2004. The Battle of Racławice took place on 4 April 1794 and was the first victory of the Kościuszko Insurrection. The insurgents under the command of Tadeusz Kościuszko fought the Russian army under General Alexander Tomasov.

Several unique historical facilities are located in the area of the Racławice Fields. The highlight of the place is the Kościuszko Mound built on Mount Zamczysko in 1934, in the strategically important location of the battle. Traces of the former medieval stronghold have also been preserved.

Former Hill Fort

A brick castle with a wooden tower was located here in the past. It was founded by Dziersław Karwacjan and owned by his offspring. The stronghold started to fall into ruin in the mid-15th century, probably as a result of structural defects. In the ruins, the archaeologists found many pieces of treasure, among others silver denar of King Ladislaus the Short. On the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Racławice, linden trees commemorating the generals fighting in the 1794 insurrection were planted: Kościuszko, Madaliński, Małachowski, Zajączek and Wodzicki.

At the foot of the hill, we can see a Classicist manor house in Janowiczki in a style typical for the residence of the provincial landed gentry from the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. A 300 year-old linden tree grows by the manor house ˗ a monument of nature. According to legend, Kościuszko rested in its shade after the battle and talked to peasants.

In the area of the Racławice Fields, the well-known Villa of Walery Sławek in Janowiczki has been preserved. It was built between 1934 and 1935 in a modernist style by the lieutenant's friends. The structure of the villa is representative of the architecture of Polish noblemen’s manor houses. It is distinguished by the frontal porch with four columns supporting the balcony at the attic. The villa was a summer residence of Lieutenant Walery Sławek (1879-1939), an outstanding politician of the inter-war period. At the present moment it serves as the seat of the Racławice Region Association (Towarzystwo Ziemi Racławickiej).

Near the villa is a monument of Bartosz Głowacki holding a hat and a scythe, standing on a Russian cannon; it is a cast made in bronze with a height of 10.5 m, located on a small mound. It was unveiled in 1994 on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Racławice. It commemorates a well-known scythe-bearer –a peasant and a soldier of the Kościuszko Insurrection, who manifested great courage during the famous battle. The monument was designed by Professor Marian Konieczny, a sculptor and former dean of the faculty of sculpture at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts.

Książ Wielki 

Książ Wielki, formerly known as Xans Magna, was one of the oldest settlements in the Kraków region. Other monuments with a high artistic level also testify to former grandeur. Apart from the castle, these are the Church of St. Adalbert (Kościół św. Wojciecha) and the post-Augustine Church of the Holy Spirit (Kościół św. Ducha) with beginnings in the 14th century.

Two nature reserves were established north of the town: the ‘Linden Pit’ (‘Lipny Dół’), which protects fragments of a multi-species natural deciduous forest (oak, linden, hornbeam and maple) with rich plant cover and a high share of xerothermic and protected species, and the ‘Kwiatówka’ reserve, which protects a 100-year old mixed forest with the features of a thermophilous oak forest and a sub-continental hornbeam-oak forest with rich herbaceous vegetation and numerous species of xerothermic plants.


Many monuments of history, culture and nature are located in the area of the Miechów Upland.

  • the oldest monuments include archaeological sites from the Stone Age. The so-called Małopolska burial mounds (kurhany małpolskie) derive from the linear pottery culture from the area of Miechów, Moczydła, Rzędowice and Kalina Wielka, as well as remnants of strongholds in Siedliska and Książ Wielki;
  • in Kozłów, a medieval stronghold has been preserved which in the 14th and 15th century was the residence of the Lis family;
  • in Ulina Wielka on the Trail of Wooden Architecture, it is worth dropping by the Church of St. Catherine (Kościół św. Katarzyny), which was built in 1655 in a log-frame structure. Inside are late-Baroque altars, a Gothic sculpture of the Virgin Mary Enthroned with Baby Jesus and other treasures of sacral art;
  • on the Małopolska Trail of the Holy Sepulchre Order (Małopolski Szlak Bożogrobców) there are several interesting churches in the region, among them, for example: the Church of the Holy Cross (Kościół św. Krzyża) in Siedliska from the end of the 15th/ beginning of the 16th century with a characteristic wooden tower; the Church of St. Adalbert (Kościół św. Wojciecha) in Sławice Szlacheckie from the mid-17th century with a Rococo main altar, the Church of St. Vit (Kościół św. Wita) in Uniejów from the mid-15th century with late-Baroque fittings, and the Church of the Birth of John the Baptist (Kościół Narodzeniaśw. Jana Chrzciciela) in Chodów from the 1930s with beautiful stained glass windows with figures of saints and a forged cross of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre;
  • the Miechów Upland is characterised by numerous seepage spring areas in the basin of the Niedzica, the Szreniawa and the Dłubnia Rivers. Where there are rivers, there are also water mills. In Miechów, there are two mills, including a three-storey wooden water mill on Cicha Brook ˗ built at the end of the 19th century. There is also a mill in Przybysławice on the Szreniawa and another one of the Szreniawa Mill Route. There are mills in Wielkanoc and Gołcza on Gołczanka Brook, the right-bank tributary of the Szreniawa; there is also a wooden water mill in Kamieńczyce from the end of the 19th century set up on the brook and springs from Komorów and remnants of a turbine mill of the Szyc manor house from the beginning of the 20th century in Rzeżuśnia. Definitely go see the enchanted Garden Full of Lavender (Ogród Pełen Lawendy) in the neighbourhood of the Miechów Upland on the Proszowice Plateau (Płaskowyż Proszowicki).


  • Overview of Nativity Plays and Caroller Groups (Przegląd Widowisk Jasełkowych i Grup Kolędniczych)
  • Easter Triduum (Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre)
  • Miechów Days
  • International Małopolska FolkloreMeetings (Międzynarodowe Małopolskie Spotkania z Folklorem)
  • Days of Jerusalem, Miechów (Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre), September ˗ every two years
  • Cabbage Days
  • Independence Race, Strzyganiec Forest
  • Christmas Fair


  • Charsznica sauerkraut and pickles from Charsznica;
  • Strzeżów pierogi in the Siedlisko Inn;
  • honey from the Kordecki and Wnukowie apiaries in Kalina Wielka;
  • wine from the Vineyard of St. Ursula in Kalina Wielka;
  • Miechów bread and confectionery products from PSS Społem in Miechów (a bakery and a store on Targowa Street);
  • rape seed oil and dairy products from OSM Miechów–Charsznica (available also in the ‘Twarożek’ network stores in Miechów on Mickiewicza Street and in other stores);
  • Miechów borsch (available in local stores).


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