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The Zamosc voivodship occupies the area of 6986 sq. km; there are about 500 000 inhabitants here 70% of whom live in the country. The voivodship consists of 47 communes (gmin) and ten towns: Zamosc, Tomaszow Lube/ski, Bitgoraj, Szczebrzeszyn, Hrubieszow, Zwierzyniec, Jozefow, Frampol, Tarnogrod and Krasnobrod. The voivodship is situated in south-eastern Poland and borders on Ukraine; the river Bug constitutes a big part of the border.
The voivodship comprises the south-eastern part of the Lubelska Upland, apart of the Zachodnio- Wolyhska Upland, a part of Western, Middle and Southern Roztocze and the northern part of the Sandomierska Valley. Apart from the Roztoczanski National Park, there are six landscape parks here: Szczebrzeszynski, Krasnobrodzki, Poludnioworoztoczahski, Puszczy Solskiej, Skierbieszowski andStrzelecki; twenty-one nature reserves and a hundred and sixty-nine peculiarities of nature. Sixteen interesting tourist routes have been marked out in the voivodship for tourists to walk along.
An international road leads across the Zamosc Land (Zamojszczyza) to Hrebenne border crossing to Ukraine. A large number of hotels, boarding houses, camping sites, hostels and well-developed agro-tourism constitute very favourable conditions for leisure and recreation. Such names as the Zamosc Land, Roztocze and Zamosc are well-known to tourists and sightseers both in Poland and abroad.
Those who have already had an opportunity to visit Zamosc, also called „ Padua of the North ", and those who have wandered about the valleys, hills and forests of Roztocze, usually come back here again. Those who are planning to visit the Zamosc Land in the future won't be disappointed with its architecture monuments, wooden Catholic and Orthodox churches, medieval castles, the sights of the Roztoczahski National Park, the curiosities of the Bug river region and the hospitality of its inhabitants who are very kind and friendly to tourists and visitors. If you haven't had a chance to learn about the customs and beauty of our region and about the tourist attractions of the Zamosc Land, you are welcome to get acquainted with one of the most interesting places on Polish tourist map. Zamosc - the capital oj the voivodship is situated by a very important international route leadingfrom Warsaw to Lviv.
Zamosc was founded by Jan Zamoyski, the great chancellor of the Crown andhetman (commander) of the Polish army, in 1580. Bernardo Morando, the leading Renaissance architect, designed and built the town. Almost four centuries have passed since Jan Zamoyski's ambitious urban plans were carried out but the structural perfection of the town has always been admired. The „ ideal town" was once not only an economic, cultural and religous center of the region but also a fortress town and the residence of the Zamoyski family estate in tail. The ruins of fortifications together with the remains of the old gates, huge bastions and the arsenal make it possible to imagine how massive the fortress used to be; in fact, it was besieged many times in the past but was never really taken. The Market Square, surrounded by arcaded Renaissance row houses and the slenderly proportioned Town Hall date back to the 17th century. If you take a walk across the Market Square which is one of the most impressive squares in European and Polish architecture, you can see the harmony of its construction. Despite the passage of time the Market Square still has the shape of an ancient forum or an Italian Renaissance piazza. Nowadays it is mostly used for public meetings; the celebrations that are important for the whole town also take place here. The beauty, splendour and power of old Zamosc are particularly evident when you admire other sights of the Old Town: the Cathedral with its tombs of the Zamoyski family, the Academy of Zamosc that dates from 1594 or other 17th century religious buildings: the Franciscan church, the Orthodox church and the synagougue with its invaluable wall-paintings and the aron-ha kodesz altar. Zamosc used to be famous for its religious tolerance and the representatives of many different nations such as Armenians, Jews, Greeks, Englishmen, Scotsmen, Hungarians and even Turks, to mention just a few, settled down here. Also today Zamosc always welcomes foreigners warmly; you can hear many East and West European languages almost everywhere: in the streets, squares, hotels, museums and shops...
When you get tired of walking you can take a rest in a cafe or sit down at a table in the Market Square and take a closer look at the timeless beauty of the place. Nowadays many cultural events take place in Zamosc: the performances of the Zamosc Summer Theater (Zamojskie Lato Teatralne) appeal to the imagination very much, Zamosc Music Days (Zamojskie Dni Muzyki), International Meetings of Jazz Vocalists (Mi^dzynarodowe Spotkania Wokalistow Jazzowych) and Jazz on the Borderland (Jazz na Kresach) make it possible for local people and visitors to listen to different kinds of music in the unique setting of the town. You can also enjoy and admire the lively notes of the oldest Polish Peasant Orchestra (Orkiestra Wloscianska) established by Karol Namyslowski in Old Zamosc (Stary Zamosc) more than a century ago. The architectural perfection of the buildings some of which represent an unparalleled mixture of different styles, and the unique atmosphere of Zamosc full of respect for the old times create a desire to learn more about the past of the town that was entered on the UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage List in 1992.
Roztocze area is several kilometers away from Zamosc. A virtual maze of loess valleys near Szczebrzeszyn encourages tourists to take a walk, whereas the steep slopes of numerous hills invite skiing. Very attractive tourist routes make it possible to get acquainted with the most interesting towns and sites of the region. Szczebrzeszyn, a very picturesque old town, is located in the western part of Roztocze, on the river Wieprz. The town is famous for many things, one of them being the saying that is very difficult to pronounce not only for foreigners but also for the Polish people: ,, W Szczebrze-szynie chrzajszcz brzmi w trzcinie ". It also prides itself on many valuable sacral buildings: an old Orthodox church built in 1560, Catholic churches, such as a monastery church and a parish church both of which come from the 17th century, not to mention the 17th century Renaissance synagogue. An old Jewish cemetery constitutes one of the biggest tombstone complexes in this part od Poland.
Zwierzyniec, situated in the center of Roztocze, used to be a seat of the Zamoyski family estate management. Now it is a habitat of many wild animals. Tourists like Zwierzyniec because it is a small and cosy place, unpolluted, with a beneficial micro-climate; it provides an excellent opportunity to practise active forms of tourism all the year round. There is a lovely tiny church on a small island, founded by Maria Kazimiera, Jan Sobieski's wife, who for some time was the Queen of Poland. The slopes of Beech Mountain (Bukowa Gora) are covered with old beeches and magnificent 50 meter high fir trees. The severe climate andsubalpine trees constitute an oddity in an upland area so no wonder tourists and botanists admire and like it so much. Close to other nice villages and towns of Middle Roztocze such as Gorecko Stare, Jozefow and Susiec, there are many picturesque small waterfalls (the so-called „ szumy ") where the crystal clear water of local streams and small rivers makes a very characteristic murmuring sound. If you are lucky, you can glimpse a glittering trout. The southern part ofRoztocze comprises a number of splendid geological, peat, forest and faunistical nature reserves. Such interesting small towns as Narol, Lubycza Krolewska or Hrebenne, which is located very close to the border and boasts a valuable wooden 17th century Orthodox church, add to the attractiveness of this part of Roztocze.
Tomaszow Lubelski is a contemporary name of a town that used to be called Jelitowo; it was founded by chancellor Jan Zamoyski in 1590. In 1595 the name of the town was changed to Tomaszow to honour Jan Zamoyski's son, Tomasz.
Bernardo Morando designed Tomaszow Lubelski and that is why its structure is so well-defined and clear. There is an Orthodox church here and a small larch church built in the 18th century, which shows how skilful! the local carpenters were in those days.
On the way back to Zamosc you should have a look at a very interesting small town called Krasnobrod which is both a holiday resort and a religious center sometimes referred to as „small Częstochowa". Krasnobrod is famous for many wayside shrines, wonder-working springs, a small baroque church, a monastery and also magnificent sacral wooden sculptures that depict the stations of the Cross. It attracts thousands of religious people from the whole region. The clear, unpolluted air, water and forests that surround Krasnobrod have, to a great extent, preserved their healing properties. When you visit the eastern part of the Zamosc Land you will get a totally different picture of the region. While travelling along the river Bug which constitutes a big part of the Polish-Ukraine border, you can take a closer look at this unique river. Unlike most West European rivers of this size, the river Bug has remained wild and largely in its natural state, winding into spatious meadows close to villages where old, traditional wooden buildings are separated by country roads. The most interesting route leading here from Zamosc crosses Komarow near which the last victorious battle was fought by the Polish cavalry against the army of'Budionny in August 1920. The captivating history of the Bug river region is still alive in Krylow. This village is situtatedon an island surrounded by the waters of the Bug river. There is a medieval castle here and the ruins of another castle which date back to the 15th century. Grodek, one of the mysterious Grody Czerwienskie which flourished on the Polish-Russian border in feudal times, also has a nice big castle worth seeing.
The archeological sensation which stirred the world of science was caused by the excavations in the Hrubieszowska Valley. The excavations provided a lot of new information about the culture of the Goths who lived here about a thousand years ago. This region is also noteworthy for the steppe mould soil owing to which it belongs to the most fertile areas in Europe. No wonder that it was in Hrubieszow that the first Agricultural Society (Towarzystwo Rolnicze) was set up in 1816; the exhibits in the local museum show how it worked. The Zamosc Land has many beautiful sites worth seeing. Those who like sacral wooden architecture can admire the well-preserved Orthodox churches in Budynin, Chlopiatyn and Dluzniow.
The area of Dziafy Grabowieckie, north of Zamosc, shows the wonderful landscape of the Lubelska Upland: numerous hills that look like islands amid the winding loess valleys and ravines all covered with trees, bushes and grass. The low-lying Sandomierska Valley is covered mostly with the primaeval forests of Puszcza Solska which abound with game and undergrowth. On its edge there lies a town called Bilgoraj, which is interesting for cultural and etnographic reasons. You can see the Museum of Peasant Crafts here (Muzeum Rzemiosl Ludowych) which contains an original sieve farm; old customs and traditions are still cherished in this region. The Nobel Prize winner - Icchak Bashevis Singer, the author of a popular novel The Magician of Lublin and many other works that deal with the exotic heritage of Polish Jews, spent his childhood in Bilgoraj. The Zamosc Land is a region of many different natural, historical and cultural attractions; it is getting more and more beautiful all the time. It always welcomes visitors, lovers of nature, those who love walking, architecture, relics of the past but also skiiers, hunters and fishermen. You can come here alone, with your family or with your friends; the Zamosc region has a lot to offer to people of all ages.

Text - Stanisław Turski

Published for voivodschip office in Zamość



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