Via the Witch Cycling Track through the Czech-Polish border areas - Guide
The Tower of Wrocław Gate
Built in 1351, heightened and rebuilt in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. In 1550 it was plastered and got new ornaments in the form of cut triangular peaks and spiral turrets in the corners. The entrance from Kolejowa St. decorated with the gantry from one of the tenement houses near the main square. Three coats of arms are the coping (the middle one of Bishop John Sitsch, the founder of the City Weight House).
The first defensive devices were wooden and earthen (1259 or 1261). It was only in the time of Bishop Przecław from Pogorzela, when stone and brick walls were built. There were seven gates: Ziębicka, Wrocław, Bracka and Celna – Nowe Miasto (New Town), and Bialska, Mikołajska i Zbójnicka in Stare Miasto (Old Town). To this day, two of them remained – Wrocław and Ziębicka. Preserved fragments of defensive walls are at: Bishop's Manor, monastery and the Church of Guardians of the Holy Sepulchre, arm of the river Biała, tower of Wrocław Gate, near the south tower of the Bishop's Castle, and in the garden of Jesuit collegium.
A Baroque masterpiece of blacksmith art, made in 1686 by William Helleweg, founded by the then mayor, Kasper Naas. The well became famous in Silesia thanks to its wonderful, iron, ornamentally decorated grate.
The pearl of Nysa baroque, made of Sławniowice marble in the years 1700-1701, in imitation of located in Rome, Bernini's fountain – Fontanna del Tritone in the Plazza del Tritone. In reference to the Roman tradition of placing on the front of many buildings the inscription S.P.Q.R. – "Senatus Populusque Romanus", that is "the senate and people of Rome", the residents of Nysa carved on the fountain the inscription S.P.Q.N. - "Senatus Populusque Nissiensis" - "the senate and people of Nysa".
The construction of this magnificent mansion of Wrocław bishops, was started by Bishop Charles Habsburg in 1620, and it was finished in 1729, during the reign of Bishop Francis Louis Neuburg. On the walls of the courtyard are old sundials, and in the courtyard you can see cannonballs, fragments of non-existent today town hall and two border posts of the Duchy of Nysa. Today, it houses a museum, and in it, among others: the exhibition on the history of witch trials in the Nysa and Jesenik border area. Next to the palace is a former seat of the bishops – the so-called bishop's manor.
City Weight House
It was built in the years 1602-1604, in the style of Northern Renaissance. It symbolizes the once flourishing trade in the city, it was the seat of the chamber of measures and weights. Destroyed during the Napoleonic Wars in 1807. Rebuilt after several decades. In memory of Napoleonic era, a stone cannonball was embedded in the southern façade of the building. In 1945, destroyed again and reconstructed in 1947. Today, there is a City and District Public Library.
Nysa fortificationsA turning point for the fortifications of Nysa was a reign of King Frederick II of Prussia, who decided to make Nysa a fortress. Architectural solutions of fortifications were decades ahead of its time and made Nysa one of the strongest and most advanced fortress in Europe at that time. To this day, at least half of the eighteenth-century buildings has preserved. In 2007 part of the buildings was revitalized, including Bastion of St. Hedwig and Water Fort. Visiting Nysa in the holiday season, at the turn of June and August, it is worth to see a remarkable staging of the Battle of Nysa Fortress. On the outskirts of the city, next to the railroad line, there is Hexenberg (Witch Mountain), where, according to the legend, Sabbaths on witches of Nysa took place. There is a permanent exhibition documenting the history of witch trails in the Nysa County, taking place in a small dungeon, in the courtyard and in one of the rooms of the former Bishop's Palace (now the Museum). The exhibition is divided into three parts: the courtroom, the chamber of herbalist and the prison. One can see there the replica of the seventeenth-century instruments of torture, among others: iron maiden, witches' throne, Spanish boots, heretic's forks, and many more. The exhibition is open during Museum business hours (www.muzeume.nysa.pl).
Konradowa - the Filial Church of St. Conrad, built in 1940 on the initiative of the parishioners. It is the only church with such dedication in this part of Europe. St. Conrad of Parzham (actually John Birndorfer) was born in Bavaria, called the Brother prayer, almost all his life he spent on the ministry the pilgrims, the poor and beggars, beatified in 1930 by Pope Pius XI, canonized in 1934.
Wyszków Śląski – Neo-Gothic chapel of St. George, built in the years 1822-1824, nineteenth-century granaries.
Niwnica – the village established in the thirteenth century. In 1297, there was a Church of the Feast of the Cross mentioned in the village, the current one is from the fifteenth century, rebuilt many times, Gothic, with almost completely blurred style features. There is a brick belfry next to the church, built in the years 1609-10. Other monuments include the shrine from the first half of the nineteenth century with the Baroque sculpture of St. John of Nepomuk and the former Renaissance mansion, built in 1618, rebuilt in 1868.
Domaszkowice – the village mentioned in 1136 as Rucherswalde, since 1838 Ritterswalde. There is a Church of St. George in the village, built in the thirteenth century, rebuilt in 1694, inside the church a wall polychromy from the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Around the church, fragments of the medieval wall, at which is a massive penitential cross associated by tradition with the assassination of a priest during the invasion of the Hussites in the fifteenth century. In the village there is also a Baroque statue of St. John of Nepomuk with a bas-relief scene of throwing the saint to Vltava River on the stone plinth. In the forest, near the village, the Chapel of St. Anne with shrines with the Stations of the Cross from 1877.
Wierzbięcice – old village, which roots dates back to the thirteenth century. Located in the village St. Nicholas' Church is from the mid-thirteenth century. In the sixteenth century, it received a Renaissance tower crowned with the attic. There are two penitential crosses by the road connecting Nysa and Prudnik. One of them has a blurred inscription (1623/DEN27/MARZ).
Kępnica – one of the oldest villages in the Duchy of Nysa, mentioned in the thirteenth century. Mentioned in the 1286 Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Rebuilt in the eighteenth century, renovated in 1883 and 1958, late Romanesque, with almost completely blurred style features. There is a penitential cross embedded n the outer fragment of the wall surrounding the church.
Old Forest – the village mentioned in 1249 as Waldow, Antiquum Waldow. There is a Neo-Baroque Church of St. Martin, built in the early fourteenth century. Parallel to the sign marking the end of the village are the remains of medieval settlement of the thirteenth century. In 1945, the death march route, that is the route of evacuation of Auschwitz concentration camp prisoners, was here.
New Forest – the village mentioned in 1249 as Silva Nostra. The oldest building in the village is the Church of St. Hedwig (originally of Blessed Virgin Mary). The current, rebuilt in the years 1819-1823, partially burnt in 1945 and rebuilt in 1949, late classical.
Charbielin – the village mentioned in 1263 as Villa of Lidvig, and in 1268 as Ludwigsdorf. In 1302 a church was mentioned here, currently the Church of St. John the Baptist, built in 1780, Baroque and Classical with blurred style features outside. In January, 1945, the so-called death march route ran through the village.
Jarnołtówek - the village mentioned in 1248 as Arnoltowicz. As a summer resort, Jarnołtówek has been known since the interwar period, when many magnificent boarding houses were built. Today, there are numerous holiday centres, farmhouses. Through Jarnołtówek runs the red trail, from Głuchołazy to Biskupia Kopa, and the trails (blue and yellow) from Pokrzywna. Noteworthy in the village is the manor complex from the mid-nineteenth century, former water mill (paper), anti-flood dam built by the Italians in the early twentieth century, and the Church of St. Bartholomew the Apostol from 1907. At the cementery, there is a restored obelisk commemorating the visit (19.07.1903) of the Empress Augusta Vicotria in the flood-devastated village. Numerous shrines and roadside crosses has preserved in the village. In the mid-nineteenth century, a "witch armchair" – made around 1650 instrument of torture - was found in the attic. It was a tripod stool of beech block, fitted with iron straps and bristling with nails.
A mountain pass at Castle Mountain (Zamkowa Góra) with the "Grave of the Witch" - it lies on the Polish – Czech border, at an altitude of 580m above sea level. East of the pass is a quartzite boulder called the "Grave of the Witch". According to the local legend, in 1614, was to be buried here the wife of the village administrator of Janovo, suspected of witchcraft and therefore executed. Another legend says that some woman from Jarnołtówek, who was also suspected of witchcraft, and who committed suicide, was buried here.
Skowronków – the village founded in 1786, until 1958, it was located on the territory of Czechoslovakia. As a result of the adjustment of Polish – Czechoslovak border, it was incorporated in Głuchołazy municipality. There is a red trail, leading to Biskupia Kopa, running through Skowronków.
Konradów – the village mentioned in 1263 as Villa Conradi. There is a Church of Christ the King from 1937 and numerous brick chapels and roadside crosses.