Atmospheric alleys, perfectly preserved unique monuments, traces of the multicultural past of the city, mysterious stories, exquisite regional cuisine, aromatic scent of the cebularz, and many, many more await you in Lublin. There are many ways to spend the weekend in Lublin and... each of them will be great! Here is one example.
For centuries Lublin was inhabited by representatives of various nationalities and religions. The Jews constituted a large group of the citizens. Lublin used to be called the Jerusalem of the Polish Kingdom. It's also associated with Jasza Mazur, the protagonist of the "The Magician of Lublin", a novel by the Nobel Prize winner I. B. Singer. Friday, just before the Sabbath, is a perfect time to visit a couple of places related to the history of the Lublin Jews.
The building of the former Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin houses the Ilan Hotel****, a synagogue, and the Museum of the Academy of Sages of Lublin, devoted to the most prestigeous rabbinical school in the world before the II Warld War. In the hotel reception one can obtain the keys to the gates of two Jewish cemetaries that are located nearby.
Is it time for a snack and a cup of coffee? There are many interesting restaurants and cafes in the Old Town. Make sure to try the Lublin cebularz, that used to be baked by the Lublin Jews. To learn about its history, visit the Regional Museum of Cebularz (remember to make a prior reservation).
An important stop on the sightseeing list is the State Museum at Majdanek. Former German concentration camp that operated from October 1941 until July 1944. The admission to the Museum is free of charge.
In the Grodzka Gate, that used to be known as the Jewish Gate, you can see an interesting exhibition "Lublin. Memory of the Place", devoted to the pre-war Lublin. The place is run by the Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre (to find out if the Grodzka Gate is currently available please contact the institution directly).
Why is Lublin associated with the goat? According to the legend, when Lublin obtained the city charter in 1317, a goat was put in the city coat of arms. Why? Allegedly, this animal had helped to save the people of Lublin during a Tatar invasion.
Perfectly preserved Old Town will delight you with its location and the layout of the medieval streets. Start with the viewing terrace at the top of the XIII century castle tower. From here you can admire a beautiful view at the Old Town. Use the great photo opportunity because now it's time to stand face to face with art and history in the National Museum in Lublin. The exhibition were refreshed after a long renovation. The Holy Trinity Chapel at the Castle Hill is one of the most valuable monuments of middle ages art in Poland and in Europe.
While climbing up the Grodzka street you will come across the ruins of the old parish church. The tower of this temple was over 60 meters high! The temple was demolished in the middle of XIX century. The church and monastery complex of the Dominican Friars is just a stone's throw away. Did you know that for centuries one of the biggest fragments of the Relics of True Cross were being kept here? What is their history and what happened to them? You will find out during your visit in the church.
The Lublin Archcathedral will delight you with XVI century illusoric polychromes, a magnificent baroque high altar, and the accoustic vestry - you must test its accoustic qualities with your own... ears.
Let's go back to the Old Town through the gate in the Trinitarian Tower. Inside there's the Archdiocesan Museum of Religious Art. The last level is the observation deck from where you can admire the panoramic view of the city. To get there you have to climb up mere 207 stairs. On the top of the tower there's a cockerell which will crow when a woman faithful to her husband (or the other way round) will go through the gate in the tower. Or maybe it's just a legend? Speaking of the legends, just next to the tower lies the stone of misfortune that it's better not to be touched. You will find it easily as it's been meticulously branded.
New York has it's Statue of Liberty, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Berlin - the Brandenburg Gate. And Lublin? Lublin has the Cracow Gate. The architectural landmark of Lublin is truly impressive. It houses the Museum of the History of Lublin (to find out if the Cracow Gate is currently available please contact the institution directly).
It's time to have a look below the city. In the historic Perła Brewery Underground you will learn about history, traditions, and secrects of production of the Lublin golden beverage.
A walk along the Krakowskie Przedmieście street, a popular boulevard, will lead you to the Litewski square, where the Lithuanian deputies camped during the session of the Seym in 1569, that was concluded with signing the Union of Lublin. Historical objects in Lublin that were connected with this vital event have been distinguished with the European Heritage Label. These include the Holy Trinity Chapel, the Dominican Friars church, and the memorial to the Union of Lublin.
Finish your Saturday in the Centre for the Meeting of Cultures, where you will see interesting art exhibitions, visit the municipal apiary, and stroll through the glass corridors on the top of the building. A photo from this place will be envied by all your Facebook friends!
On Sunday have some rest from the city noise. Start with a visit in the Open-Air Village Museum in Lublin. It's one of the most beautiful open-air museums in Poland, located among the green loess hills, with a pond powered by a meandring river. Village buildings, a manor house, and a part of a reconstructed pre-war provincial town will take you back in time. The museum was a movie plan of many Polish films.
Located nearby the Botanical Garden of the University of Marie Curie Skłodowska is another place perfect for family walks among beautiful nature. Due to special microclimate establishing a health resort in this location was being contemplated in the past. On the grounds of the Garden there's also a manor house that used to belong to Tadeusz Kościuszko's family.
Finish with a trip to... the Lublin sea. That's how the locals call the Zemborzycki Reservoir located in the southern part of the city. It's a place commonly chosen by the hikers, cyclists, and couples - also those from Lublin!
*Start your visit in the Lublin Tourist and Cultural Information Centre at Krakowskie Przedmieście 6. You will receive information about the city and the region, a free map of Lublin, and buy a souvenir from your trip. You can also use the bike rental, luggage storage, and rent an audioguide in five linguistic version. You're welcome every day from 9.00 till 19.00 from April till September, or from 9.00 till 17.00 from October till March.