South of Wrocław near Sobótka is the Ślęża mountain situated. It reaches a height of 718 m above sea level. Because of the low altitude of the whole Ślęża Massif, the mountain itslef is visible from afar and makes an impressive appearance.
Ślęża is a holy mountain of the region's ancestors. It is a place where mysterious marks and stone sculptures are located. They are dated to circa 400 b.c. and are suggested to be of Celtic influence. Tourists walking up to the peak of the mountain can admire the signs all along the way, including the stone bear, mushroom and monk. One of them is connected to a legend, mainly a girl with a fish. The story tells that a girl wanted to catch a fish for the bear and lost her life in the attempt. The Ślęża mountain is considered to be a spot of energy. Another interesting fact connected with the mountain is also that there are nearly 400 spider species here.
Ślęża belongs to the Crown of Polish Mountains and lays in the Ślężański National Park. The first recorded historical name of the mountain is from a 1017 chronicle and it states it as "Silensi". The Slavic name of the place from the tribes Ślężanie and later Silesia. It was considered to be the holy place of the gods and ceremonies connected to the beliefs took place here. Nowadays a small church stays atop.
Ślęża is made of rocks that are a remnant of the prehistoric ocean. The history of it can be learned at the Museum of Ślęża in Sobótka.
In the historic town of Brzeg, visitors can see the Reneissance gate from the 16th century. This arc has also statutes of the region's ruler. Above it, tourists visit the galleries that are at heir disposal, one is connected to the 12 Silesian Piasts and the second is about the rulers of Poland from the country's legendary beginnings. The top of the building is framed with the Jagiellonian coat of arms.
Historically, Brzeg lies in the Silesian Lowland with the Odra River flowing through it. It is a smaller town with ca. 36 thousand inhabitants.
Despite this fact, Brzeg has the largest cemetary of the Piasts in Poland. 43 representatives of this dynasty lay here buried.
The town has also an interesting monument which portraits a dog. This was a memento of the once ruling Piast Prince. Here are also a market square and a lovely Renaissance town hall to be seen.
The Milickie Ponds are located right above Wrocław . Ponds are a large group of fish ponds, easily accessed from Milicz. They are one of Europe's largest bird habitats.
There are over 280 ponds covering the area of nearly 77 square km. Milickie Ponds are situated in the valley of Barycza River, giving a picturesque view.
The maximum depth is ca. 2.5 meters. The Milickie Ponds are mostly man made dating back to the Middle Ages with also in-built canals. "Stawy Milickie" nature reserve was established in this area in 1960s. As such, the complex is a unique technical monument for fish breeding. It is also a nature reserve for 250 bird species, which is a great tourist attraction. Greylag Goose, Lesser Spotted Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Red Kite and other are to be sighted here.
Since 1996, the reservoir is also protected under the Ramsar Convention. Ponds are listed on Living Lakes List as well.
In Milicz tourists can also see the palace and park of the trown and a church from the 18th century.
Wrocław Region is packed with beautiful nature and historic sights. The close area of Wrocław is a standout not just because of the modernity but also the plenty of acitivities to be done and sightseeing places to visit.
Author: Magdalena Gniot