UNESCO World Heritage in Małopolska

What makes the sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List stand apart is their “outstanding universal value” and being part of the shared heritage of humanity. Additionally, they must meet at least one of the ten criteria, for example, “representing a masterpiece of human creative genius” or “exhibiting an important interchange of human values over a span of time”. The hurdle has been set really high…

The heritage sites, covered by six entries on this prestigious list, are scattered all over Małopolska – 14 locations in the region to be more precise – visiting all will certainly take a few days and may require travelling by car, which is why we suggest that you divide your route into six stages.

We begin in Kraków, capital of Małopolska, whose Historic Centre together with Wawel and Kazimierz was already acknowledged by an entry on the original World Heritage List in 1978. Days 2 and 3 will be devoted to the Royal Salt Mines complex, with the Wieliczka Mine together with its Saltworks Castle (home to the Museum of Kraków Saltworks in Wieliczka) coming first, and the mine in Bochnia, together with the nearby Lipnica Murowana boasting the beautiful wooden church of St Leonard, coming on the following day. Day 4 day will take us west of Kraków, to the Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940–45) being a legacy of the tragic years of the Second World War, and to the architecture and park complex of the sanctuary in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, melding together natural and cultural heritage. The aroma of wood, incense, and resin will accompany us on Day 5 while visiting the wooden Roman Catholic churches in Binarowa and Sękowa, and those Eastern rite churches (tserkvas) in Owczary, Kwiatoń, Powroźnik, and Brunary Wyżne. The final, sixth day of your visits to the treasures of Małopolska will take you far south to Podhale: to the wooden church in Dębno.

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