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Paczków, Poland

Paczków (Patschkau) is a town located in the Opole region, not far away from Nysa (Neisse). The town preserved medieval urban layout and the walls with 19 towers and three gate towers. For this reason it is called the "Polish Carcassonne".

Parking in Paczków

We arrived to the town at around 9 AM on Saturday. We were a little surprised with the bustle on the streets - we were expecting a sleepy town, where you can easily park. Well, the reality was different, and we had to drive around a few times to finally find a free parking place. We think the local residents came to the Saturday market and hence the lack of parking places. Probably in Sunday the parkings are more empty. Anyways, we parked in the north-west part of the market square (P; GPS: 50.464585, 17.006338).

The Market Square

A characteristic building on the market square is the Town Hall with an octagonal tower and three bells (A; GPS: 50.464023, 17.005799). The Town Hall was built in the sixteenth century, and now it houses the local government. The building is indeed impressive - it is nicely restored and we found interesting bas-reliefs on it. Other houses on the market are also interesting because they were built in different styles, from Gothic to classical. Most of them are also renovated.

The fortified church

Another interesting monument in the town is located nearby the market square. It is a church of St. John the Evangelist (B; GPS: 50.462997, 17.006445). It is a fortified church, characterized by a high tower and an interesting endings of the roof. These churches were built to defend against threats also in other parts of Europe (for example, we saw similar church in the town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in Provence). In this case, in the sixteenth century the town was feared of the attacks of Tatars and therefore the church has been properly fortified.

Walls and towers

Gate towers and the walls are very well preserved. We pass the church and exit the town walls walking toward the Nysa Gate (C; GPS: 50.463560, 17.008641). You can climb for free the renovated portion of the walls (children under 15 years of age may enter only if accompanied by parents). You can also walk to other towers such as the Tower of Wroclaw (D; GPS: 50.465166, 17.009138), Kłodzko Gate Tower (E; GPS: 50.462644, 17.004251) and Ząbkowice Gate Tower (F; GPS: 50.465014, 17.004942). You can climb the Wrocław Tower to enjoy the beautiful panorama of the town.

The house of the hangman

On the Polish Army street (behind the Nysa Gate Tower), outside the town walls, you can find characteristic half-timbered building (G; GPS: 50.462872, 17.009467), which one was a residence of local hangman. The sentences were not carried inside the city walls, because the citizens would lynch the hangman - hence the house is located in some distance from the walls. Currently the building houses the Tourist Information Centre. There is also a museum and so-called "Chamber of the hangman".

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