From Brzozów it takes less than half an hour to reach Sanok, where a Gothic castle was built during the reign of King Casimir the Great. In the years 1523-1548, at the behest of Bona Sforza, it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style. In the place of the remains of the medieval tower, the castle gained an observation deck, from which there is a lovely panorama of the surrounding area and the San flowing underneath the castle. Now, this building is the seat of the Historical Museum of Sanok.
Zdzisław Beksiński Gallery
This world-class artist was born in Sanok, worked in the local bus factory AUTOSAN (its co-founder was Mateusz Beksiński, Zdzisław’s great-grandfather), and had lived here until he moved to Warsaw. You will see the largest collection of Beksiński’s works in the world in a specially rebuilt wing of the castle. There are several thousand works here, including photographs, drawings, graphics, and films. Being there you can take a fascinating journey into the dark areas of the painter’s imagination.
Collection of icons
When visiting the Royal Castle in Sanok, pay attention to the permanent exhibition devoted to Eastern Orthodox art. The collection consists of about 700 unique icons, church crosses, banners, and books. Icons were treated as a link between the earthly and heavenly worlds. They survived the destroyed churches. They depict saints, episodes from their lives, and biblical scenes. Unreal figures float in the air. You will appreciate the elaboration of details and symbolism of these works.
Museum of Folk Architecture in Sanok is picturesquely situated at the foot of Biała Góra. It’s a time machine. You will go back several centuries and discover the cultural richness of the region and its complex history. Around the Galician Market Square, there are houses and workshops of former craftsmen. If you are lucky, you will talk to the watchmaker and see how he cares about the mechanisms of the old clocks. The smell of baked bread will lure you to the bakery. The open-air museum has sectors that resemble settlements inhabited by various ethnographic groups of the foothills and the eastern part of the Polish Carpathians.
The hill fort in Trepcza
Brzozów is a 25-minute drive away from Trepcza. There, after crossing the Sanok valley narrowed at this point, you can see traces of a stronghold on the hill. It is one of the most famous archaeological discoveries from the beginning of the 21st century. There were found remains of a wooden, early medieval church surrounded by a cemetery. It is also a huge defensive structure situated 150 m above the river’s surface, protected by an earth embankment with a box structure.
Glass from a loom
Do you want to learn the art of creating glass? Drive to the Glass Heritage Center in Krosno (it’s about 23 km from Brzozów). This place presents the process of creating glass in a modern way. It is actually a small workshop, producing its own products in the basement hidden under the historic Old Town. Here you will not only be able to touch the exhibits, but also make something yourself. The Glass Heritage Center hosts meetings of people of culture, conferences, wine tasting sessions and the famous “At the stove” concerts. The attraction is a unique painting in 3D technique showing the work of steelworkers. It is also a multimedia museum where you will enjoy the tradition and history of this industry in a pleasant way.
Tenement house of Portius
When visiting Krosno, go to the Bureau of Art Exhibitions, where you can interact with contemporary and folk art. The facility is located in a tastefully designed tenement house at ul. Portiusa 4. In addition to seeing the exhibitions that change frequently here, you can take part in art workshops organized for different age groups. They are led by excellent instructors in concept art, comics, storyboard, photography, film, animation, art, and art with elements of sensory art.
It is the oldest active temple in the Podkarpackie Province. The beginnings of the church date back to the fourteenth century and are related to the arrival of Franciscans to Krosno, who were brought here by the Przemyśl bishop, Eryk of Winsen. The three-nave temple and the adjacent monastery buildings gained their current form in the 15th century. The church has survived almost unchanged to our times. And although it has been touched by numerous cataclysms (including fires), it still hides treasures inside. They include outstanding works of Renaissance tombstone sculpture, thanks to which this church is mentioned in world studies on the art of the Renaissance. The place is also connected with the heart-touching love story between siblings.
Bird’s eye view
Would you like to fly and see Krosno from a bird’s eye view? The city has its own small airport, built in the 1930s. The Aero Club of the Subcarpathian Aviation School operates here, running such sections as: airplane, glider, parachute, modeling and amateur constructors. It is one of the largest aviation clubs in Poland. Over 300 people fly or parachute in Krosno. During the year, they perform almost 1,500 parachute jumps and approx. flights. You too can learn to fly!
The town is situated on road 991 leading from Krosno to Rzeszów. In winter you can ski here. The floodlit slope in Czarnorzeki – 460 m long, with a level difference of 73 m – is typically recreational. There is a 400 m long T-bar lift. At any time of the year, you can see the small Prządki Rock Reserve, which is located within the Czarnorzecko-Strzyżowski Landscape Park. It includes a group of rock outliers with the surrounding forest. You will see unusual rocks made of coarse-grained sandstone. Hence, it is very close to the picturesque ruins of the castle. This Gothic structure was erected on a rock at an altitude of 452 meters above sea level. This is where the story told in Aleksander Fredro’s comedy “Zemsta” is happening. From here it is close to Sucha Góra – the highest hill of the Dynów Foothills (approx. 585 m above sea level), with a TV tower (141 m high).
In less than an hour, you can reach Solińskie Lake. It was built in the 1960s as a result of the construction of a dam on the San river. The dam in Solina is almost 82 m high and is the highest such a structure in Poland. A walk at its peak is a great opportunity to admire the San valley on the one hand, and a huge lake on the other, with many recreational and leisure centers. In Polańczyk, it is worth visiting the Boyko Culture Museum devoted to highlanders living in the Eastern Carpathians. In winter, ski lifts operate in Polańczyk.
Do you want to watch the Bieszczady Mountains from a train car, feeling the wind in your hair? Take a ride on one of the most charming narrow-gauge tracks in Poland. The Bieszczady Forest Railway runs through the mountain valleys from Majdan near Cisna towards the meadows, to Przysłup and to the west along the Slovak border up to Balnica. Today it serves tourists, but over 100 years ago it was used to transport goods and raw materials, mainly wood.
Hiking in the mountains
It is worth venturing into the Bieszczady Mountains, especially the area of the Bieszczady National Park and its buffer zone. Here the ridges of the mountains run parallel to each other from the southeast to the northwest. Their height increases towards the east, reaching 1,346 m above sea level. in the Tarnica massif. The trip to these mountains you will remember for a long time.
On horseback in the valleys
Horse tourism is developing in the Bieszczady National Park based on the Conservative Hucul Horse Breeding in Wołosat and the Horse Tourism Center in Tarnawa Niżna. In these centers, you can learn horse riding (there is an indoor riding arena in Wołosate). There are approx. 65 km of horse trails in the Park. Horse cart rides are a nice and non-exhaustive form of sightseeing. During the tourist season, the Bieszczady National Park provides tourists with their own horses and carriages. In addition, there are private studs here.
Returning from the Bieszczady Mountains to Brzozów, it is worth going to Komańcza, where the Monastery of the Sisters of Nazareth is located. The building itself is characterized by unusual architecture, but the place is known for the fact that Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński was imprisoned here in the 1950s by the communists. Apart from Mondays, the nuns show visitors around the monastery and tell the story of the stay of the “Primate of the Millennium”.