Last month, the Live Group team was in Poland with the Department for International Trade. In this blog, Project Manager Victoria Hinkins explores five things to do in Kielce, an economic and cultural hub, which is a popular location for trade fairs and other events.
Five things for delegates to discover in the Polish city of Kielce
Kielce may not be as well-known as Warsaw and Krakow but it’s equally as accessible and just as worthy of exploration.
Dramatic landscapes, fascinating history and an easy-to-follow tourist trail make Kielce a great choice for a corporate event where delegates can play as hard as they work. Sitting on the main bus and train lines between Warsaw and Krakow, Kielce is popular city for events, with lots for delegates to discover in their downtime.
(Images used are copyright of the individual venues.)
1. Follow the Trail
Kielce’s City Trail is a marked tourist route which takes in 32 of the most popular attractions, nature reserves and historic buildings in this beautiful city.
Many of these can be found around Sienkiewicza Street, the spacious promenade that runs for almost 2km from the train station to Moniuszko Square. Lined with shops and restaurants, the street displays a wonderful combination of traditional tenement buildings and modern architecture as well as one of the city’s most popular photo stops: the Karski Bench. This was erected in honour of Jan Karski, the famous underground courier for the Polish government-in-exile during World War II.
2. Admire the Baroque style
Built in the 17th Century as a summer house for the bishops, the ornately-decorated Palace of the Krakow Bishops stands on Castle Hill and houses a branch of the national museum.
The upper floors are filled with original interiors and opulent decorations including furniture, tapestries, paintings and armoury whilst a permanent exhibition gives visitors an insight into life in the 17th and 18th centuries. Outside, the ornamental Italian garden has been restored and features a central garden surrounded by an apple orchard.
3. Discover the geological features
There are five nature reserves in Kielce which together showcase the most diverse range of rock formations found in any European city.
The former quartzite sandstone quarry in the Biesak-Bialogon Reserve is home to the oldest rocks in the mountain range and in the Slichowice Geological Reserve visitors can see folded limestone rock excavations. On Wietrznia Hill, in the Wietrznia Reserve, the Geo-Educational Centre looks back at what happened on Earth 350 million years ago with help from ‘the card’, an incredible rock formation measuring 800 metres long.
The intimate Kadzielnia Nature Reserve covers just 1.5 acres and is one of the most famous cave areas in the Swietokrzyskie Mountains. A former quarry, three of its 25 caves form part of a 140-metre-long underground tourist route with fossils including coral, bat, sponge and shell on display. In the south of the reserve, the Kadzielnia Ampitheatre is regarded as the biggest stage in Poland and regularly hosts concerts and cultural events. Along with Karczówka Hill, in the Karczówka Landscape Reserve, Kadzielnia Hill provides some of the best views of the city and the surrounding mountains.
4. Get back to nature
The Stanislaw Staszic City Park was established in the 1830s and is one of Poland’s oldest and most beautiful parklands.
Famed for its collection of rare species of trees and shrubs and located right in the heart of the city, its 17 acres are very well-kept and include Baroque sculptures, stone vases, a large pond and an attractive Art Nouveau garden house.
5. Revisit Your childhood
The Museum of Toys and Play is home to an impressive collection of thousands of toys and games from around the world.
From dolls and stuffed animals to model trains and cars, the historical influences on toys from different countries can be clearly seen. Some of the most precious items include a German wax doll from the 18th century and lead soldiers from the 19th century and there are more modern exhibits too