Szczyrzyc is a small village in the south of Poland, located in the Beskid Wyspowy Moutains, which belongs to the second longest mountain range in Europe – the Carpathian Mountains. The village lies in the valley of Stradomka River in Limanowa County (Jodłownik district) in the region called “Lesser Poland” (Małopolska).
The village is surrounded by delightful mountains; towards the west you can see the mountain peaks of Ciecień, Książeca Góra and Grodzisko. The Szczyrzyckie Mountains are to the east and to the south you will catch a sight of the Beskid Wyspowy Mountains, with the mountain peaks of Wierzbanowska, Dzielec, Śnieżnica, Łopień, Kostrzeń peaking over the horizon.
The mountain topography in Szczyrzyc is home to a diverse climate.
The area around Szczyrzyc is marked by a wide variety of plant life. The valley of the Stradomka River is covered with farmland, orchards and gardens. Fir and beech forests appear mainly in lower parts of the mountains while linden, hornbeam and spruce forests predominate in the higher parts.
- martagon lily
- drosera rotundifolia
- autumn colchicum (crocus)
There are many tourist trails that lead from Szczyrzyc to the wonders of the Beskid Mountains, including picturesque villages, mountain peaks and heritage sites. All the trails run through a breathtaking landscape:
- from Szczyrzyc to the mountain ridge that joins Ciecień and Grodzisko mountains
- from Szczyrzyc to Stróża village
- from Szczyrzyc to the top of the Ciecień mountain
Places you must visit
Cistercian Abbey (Opactwo Cystersów), founded in 1234. Nowadays it continues to function as a monastery and is one of the Polish Shrines to the Virgin Mary. The 17th century church is one of the most precious elements of the abbey. In the church you can admire the worshiped Miraculous Painting of the Virgin Mary. The church, covered with whitewash on the outside was built on the plan of Latin-cross. It has a steel roof and brick pinnacles which are distinctive features of Gothic architecture. Many elements have survived from the primeval Gothic temple, including ogival arched portals and a quadrilateral patio.
The monastery museum is located in a 15th century granary. Among many interesting exhibits, the museum has the 13th century world map. The collection also contains religious art, weapons, books, manuscripts, documents. The most valuable treasures of the monastery are the 15th century crucifix and the 16th century stone stoup.
Szczyrzyc’s Cistercian Brewery, located near the abbey, established by a group of monks who became famous, amongst other things, for their exceptional brew recipes.
The Devil’s Rock (Diabli Kamień)a natural feature of historic importance. The legend says that a long time ago the devil wanted to destroy the Cistercian abbey by throwing this huge rock on it, but thanks to the monks’ prayers and Virgin’s Mary intercession the devil lost its power and dropped the rock beneath the forest where it lays to this day.
Military cemetery dating back to the World War I
Native American Village, a beautiful small village in Szczyrzyc where you can become acquainted with elements of North American Indians’ culture.