"Lublin ~ Eastern Poland surprise" Top 5 Page for this destination Lublin by gosiaPL
Lublin Travel Guide: 185 reviews and 450 photos
When I went to Lublin on a business trip, I did not expect to see much of the town and, frankly, I was not quite sure what to expect in case I managed to see more than just my hotel and a nearby restaurant. It just didn't seem to be a place I would choose to visit.
Lublin is the largest town in mid-eastern Poland, with numerous monuments of architecture, of which some are breathtaking, and some can be fun that you don't expect to have in a historic building of huge importance! :-) The town's origin goes back to early 7th c. but it was granted civil rights "only" in 1317 when it became an important centre along the trading route from Poland into Ruthenia and Lithuania. This is something to keep in mind when you visit Lublin, it must have been a pretty busy place in those days...
Nowadays Lublin appears somewhat quiet and relaxed but it is still one of the most important centres for education, science and culture in Poland. I was surprised to see so many young people in the streets but then I realised I was in a place that had five different universities! - one of them being the Catholic University of Lublin, always independent, a real thorn in the side of the former communist authority...
So here I am in Lublin, the day is sunny and warm, and I follow Krakowskie Przedmiescie St. towards the Old Town... The street suddenly closes off for traffic and becomes the famous Deptak which is a lovely walkway with benches, coffee shops and restaurants with tables outside. Traffic noise gradually gives way to the sounds of conversations, laughter and music played by street performers. I sit down for an espresso... Aaah, now I can relax...
Suddenly I realise that I am smiling all the time...
Is it the coffee?...
Or is it the overall atmosphere of this place that is doing this to me...?
I visited Lublin again two months later...
I still missed some places so I'll be coming back! :-)
It was in Lublin where the union treaty between Poland and Lithuania was signed by the two countries' parliaments in 1569. From now on the countries were one state called the Republic of Two Nations , with one king that was elected [ so don't preach us about democracy, OK? ;-)], one parliament, and common foreign policy. Everything else was kept separate.
It wasn't our first step to unify. We stepped on the road to unification in 1385 in order to protect each other against the much hated Teutonic knights. Then came the threat from the Moscow Empire... All in all, we could say the Polish-Lithuanian Union started in the 14th c. and ended in the 18th c., when the Republic was partitioned by our three neighbours: Prussia, Russia and Austria.
But the Lublin Treaty in 1569 was evidently the greatest event in the Union's history and certainly one of the peak moments in Poland's history. It is perpetuated in the painting by Jan Matejko, one of our most renowned painters.
To see it in full screen size, click here.
To see it in natural size (2.89x5.12m / 9x16 ft) visit the Museum at the Lublin castle :-))
I won't bore you with details... I'll just say that in July 1944 the Lublin area was already "liberated" by the Soviet Army, and that a 'Mickey Mouse' government-type organisation called PKWN was established - supposedly to gain freedom and independence to the Polish nation.
In fact, this organisation and its manifesto was created in Moscow, and was only announced to Poles two days later in Chelm near Lublin. That was when we got under the Big Red Soviet Shoe that the Jalta Conference happily accepted.
The poster in the picture comes from that era, and it says "Polish-Soviet friendship brings peace, sovereignty, and happy future to our homeland"...
I guess I better stop here.
- Pros:Lovely, historic, surprising...
- Cons:Must wait a couple of years to see its full splendor
- In a nutshell:Challenging a common view of Eastern Poland!
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