During the winter holidays, it is worth visiting the Kashubian region and getting to know the local culture and unique tourist attractions. Kashubia is a land of lakes, rivers, green forests, but in addition to the attractive natural values of Kashubia, they have a wealth of castles, open-air museums, fortifications, sacred monuments and museums, which are available to be visited all year round. There are two gothic castles in Kashubia, in Człuchów and Bytów, included in the tourist route ‘The Trail of Gothic Castles’. This trail is a picturesque car tourist route leading to sixteen Gothic castles in Kashubia, Masuria and Warmia.
The vivid Kashubian language can be heard, among others on the streets of Chojnice and Bytowa. Chojnice, which is one of the largest Kashubian cities, in addition to its attractive location in the vicinity of Bory Tucholskie, the national park and lakes, can boast a beautiful old town. The neo-gothic Town Hall with the characteristic motifs of owls and bees, symbolizing wisdom and diligence, or 18th and 19th century tenement houses, decorated with floral ornaments and angels, are two important points on the route of visiting the city.
There are also two churches in the old town. A stately church in the style of the Pomeranian Gothic Beheadings of St. John the Baptist is the oldest sacred building in Chojnice, and inside it, through a glass floor, you can see several medieval burials. One of the most valuable monuments in Chojnice is the baroque Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a beautifully decorated altar. The Historical and Ethnographic Museum presents its most valuable collections on five levels of the Człuchowska Gate in the form of thematic exhibitions covering the oldest history of the region, art and the history of the city. In order to popularize the Kashubian culture, apart from permanent and temporary exhibitions, the museum organizes workshops, lectures and educational programs for children and youth.
On the Gothic Castles Trail
One of the last castles built by the Teutonic Knights is located in Bytów, a former Pomeranian stronghold. In the Bytów Castle, included in the “50 Wonders of Pomerania”, there is the West-Kashubian Museum. Numerous workshops, concerts and exhibitions help recreate the atmosphere of medieval chivalry. Within the castle there is a restaurant, a billiard club and a hotel situated in the former residence of West Pomeranian dukes. There are also numerous historic eighteenth and nineteenth-century tenement houses and churches eagerly visited by tourists in Bytów.
Being in this part of Poland, it is impossible not to go to Malbork (although it is not located in Kashubia, it is close), where one of the greatest tourist attractions of Poland is located, the Teutonic Castle in Malbork – a site entered on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list. This huge stronghold was once the seat of the Teutonic Order and then the Residence of the Polish Kings. Currently, the building is almost completely restored and tourists can visit most of it and take advantage of permanent exhibitions, including armor, weapons, archaeological finds. It is also worth visiting the Old Town in Malbork, which in historical times was a fortress integrated with the castle. From this period, the defensive walls, the town hall and the church of St. John.