Saturday, 16 August 2014


I have decided that we need some new type of adventure on this blog. So today I will take you on what they call a city game - a series of riddles that will allow us to visit the most interesting spots in Olsztyn.

Olsztyn is the most important city in the Warmia and Mazury region. In early sixteenth century it was the residence of the most famous Polish astronomer - Mikołaj Kopernik (aka Nicolaus Copernicus). Therefore, the game proposed by the Tourist Information in Olsztyn is called "Chasing Copernicus".

* * *

First we need to enter the Old Town via the High Gate. You can easily guess where its name comes from.

To answer question number one we need to turn back and see the picture of Our Lady. What colour is the background of the picture?

Yes, it is gold. We have the first answer! Now we need to follow the Staromiejska Street (meaning "the Old Town Street").

It is surrounded by nice residential buildings.

Now we have to turn left and walk towards the Saint Jacob church. Yes, you guessed it right, it is one of the spots of the Polish Route to Santiago de Compostela.

The church was built in fourteenth century in the gothic style.

The gothic influence can be easily recognised on the ceiling, similar to the one that I have shown you recently in Barczewo.

The altar is also typical for this period. The most famous altar of this type is in Kraków. I definitely need to take you there soon.

Here we have another question. A legend says that during a hunting party a deer run into the church in order to seek refuge. As a memory of it, one of the chandeliers is decorated with ...

Yes! With deer antlers. We have another clue! We can then leave the Saint Jacob church and look for the Old Town Market Square. The building in the middle is of course the Old Town Hall.

Now we need to find a sundial. Here it is - let's check the time.

I am afraid it is a bit too cloudy for this. But it should be somewhere after 9AM. The next riddle directs us to a mock-up of the Old Town that should stand somewhere on the Market Square.

Here it is! We need to check what is the number given on the mock-up to the High Tower that we have seen as the first object in Olsztyn.

Number one. Another riddle solved. Now we need to define an axe based on the sundial again and note the name of a little street that will be on the left hand side. It is called "Jana z Łajs" and is thus honoring the first mayor of Olsztyn who was serving there in fourteenth century. We need to go up the street to see the city open air theathre.

And just behind stands the biggest pride of Olsztyn - the castle. It was built by Teutonic Knights but they did not enjoy it too long. In one of the peace treaties signed in middle fifteenth century it was assigned to Poland.

Next to the main entry gate we can meet the one we have been chasing - Copernicus himself. He was administering the castle and the region from 1516 to 1521.

I have been told we need to touch his nose as it brings luck.

Let's enter the courtyard of the castle.

Our last riddle relates to the black statue standing there.

Well, it is called a Prussian old lady. Though in fact it represents a man. It has something to do with the old pagan rites of the region.

Now let's move all the right letters into the right cases to check the password. Yes, I am sure you guessed it already. It is Copernicus. As a reward we can now enter the castle to visit the museum.

The long hall on the first floor will lead us to a special feature of the castle.

On the wall you can admire the experimental table of Copernicus. It allowed graphic presentation of the spring equinox date, which allowed then to determine the dates of movable church holidays. Ultimately, it made possible the reform of the calendar

Through these windows, the sunlight was faling on the table and thus drawing the lines that Copernicus used in his analysis.

On the second floor, the museum exhibits the traditional crafts of the region, a bit like what we have seen in Bytów recently. Here come the table clothes ...

... and a typical bedroom.

Through the windows of the third floor it is possible to admire some nice views of Olsztyn, with its residential buildings ...

... and the protestant church close to the castle.

I hope that you have enjoyed this city game and our trip to Olsztyn. For all those who wish to complain I have reserved a special place where they can rethink their attitude.


  1. Mieszkam niedaleko, bywam rzadko, ale zawsze chętnie tam wracam :)