3 days in Tarnow

We have created the following plan for visitors staying in Tarnów just for a few days. If interested, please verify opening hours either in the given attraction or in Tarnów Tourist Centre +48 14 688 90 90, mail: centrum@it.tarnow.pl, web: www.it.tarnow.pl


Day one – afternoon:

A visit to the Tarnów Ethnographic Museum – an exhibition on Gypsy history and culture.

In a former suburban inn Tarnów Ethnographic Museum is located. It is famous for the first permanent exhibition on Gypsy history and culture in Europe. In the backyard of the Museum a collection of original Gypsy caravans is located. Enthusiasts can also make an appointment for a camp-fire and Gypsy dances.

Each year in July “Tabor Pamięci” (Caravan of Remembrance) takes place. This several-day-long journey, which starts at the gates of the Museum and runs through Tarnów region, attracts tourists from all over the world. Everyone who wants to experience habits and everyday life of Gypsy wanderers is welcome to take part in this event.

Ethnographic Museum (closed on Mondays), ul. Krakowska 10, 33-100 Tarnów, PL

Tel.: +48 14 622 06 25, www.muzeum.tarnow.pl


Day one – evening:

A walk around Tarnów’s Old Town. Evening in pubs and cafes.

One can visit Tarnów and learn about it in daylight. However, experiencing and understanding the city comes with the moonlight. A walk around Old Town, through the streets lighten up with lamps and lanterns, illuminated several-century-old buildings, amongst the voices of people involved in various talks inside and outside omnipresent pubs and cafes, allows you to taste the unique climate of the city. The one of a kind spirit of Tarnów is a mixture of original Renaissance architecture and the atmosphere of 19th century Austro-Hungarian Galicia. The Old-Town is virtually an entertainment centre of the city. Social and cultural life of Tarnów’s citizens is concentrated here. It includes both high culture – with art exhibitions, poetry readings and classical music concerts – and popular culture focused on teenagers – with music concerts, discos and happenings. An evening and night spent in the Old Town will prepare you for the next day in Tarnów.

An up-to-date cultural entertainment calendar is available at www.it.tarnow.pl


Day two – morning:

A visit to the Cathedral Basilica and Diocesan Museum, then a short walk to the Przedmieście Wielkie and visit to “Na Burku” wooden church and to the Old Cemetery. Lunch at one of the restaurants.
Complete list of restaurants in Tarnów at www.it.tarnow.pl

Basilica Minor is the most important temple of the city as well as whole Tarnów diocese. Two sculptured tombs of Tarnowski and Ostrogski families, standing behind the main altar, are dominant monuments inside the Cathedral. Over 13 metres high are considered to be amongst the highest tombs of this kind in Europe. Another tombstone, located in the south nave, is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture, considered to be the most beautiful sculpture of a Renaissance woman in Europe. It is a tomb of Barbara of Tęczyński Tarnowska, Hetman Jan Tarnowski’s first wife. Outside the Cathedral stands the world’s first (created in 1981) monument of Polish pope John Paul II.

Behind the Cathedral “Dom Mikołajowski” (Mikołajowski House) from 15 is located. It is the seat of Muzeum Diecezjalne (Tarnów Diocesan Museum) – the oldest diocesan museum in Poland. Exhibition includes a rich collection of sacred art dated back to the Middle Ages, Gothic paintings and sculpture, church vestments and documents. In the folk art department there is a collection of paintings on the glass. Especially worth seeing are paintings “Opłakiwanie z Chomranic” (from the middle of the 15th c.) – the masterpiece of the so-called Kraków painting school; “Misericordia Domini” from Zbylitowska Góra (1450); “Pieta z Biecza” (1380-1400); “Opłakiwanie z Czarnego Potoka” (1450) and a triptych – original altar from the UNESCO listed ST. Leonard church in Lipnica Murowana.

After leaving the Museum we cross plac Katedralny (Cathedral square) then head down Katedralna street to plac Sobieskiego (Sobieski square). From here down to the left to Przedmieście Wielkie (Greater Suburbs). We approach “Burek” – the most popular market place in Tarnów. The actual name of the square is plac Generała Józefa Bema (general Józef Bem’s square). In 1794 one of the greatest of Tarnów citizens, “the Hero of two Nations” – general Bem was born here, in one of the houses. Passing the florists stands and we walk down Najświętszej Marii Panny street, to see the first of the three Gothic wooden churches in the city. Kościół Matki Bożej Szkaplerznej (Church of the Mother of God of the Scapular), also known as “by the Burek church”, originally stood in the place of today’s Basilica Minor. It was moved down on the banks of Wątok stream, when an erection of the new brick church begun (before year 1400). Inside the sanctuary there is a 16th c. famous painting on wood of the Mother of God of the Scapular. The church also serves as a cemetery church for the “Stary Cmentarz” (Old Cemetery) which is located right across busy Narutowicza street. This cemetery is one of the oldest (1787) and most picturesque cemeteries in Małopolska region. Victims of the 1863 uprising, Rufin Piotrowski and “Polish Edison” Jan Szczepanik are just a few of those who were buried there.

Tarnów Diocese Museum (closed on Mondays), pl. Katedralny 6, 33-100 Tarnów, PL, tel.: +48 14 621 99 93, www.muzeum.diecezja.tarnow.pl

Tarnów Basilica Minor, Pl. Katedralny, 33-100 Tarnów, PL. Sundays and holidays service hours: 6.00, 7.30, 9.00, 10.30, 12.00, 15.00, 16.30 (baptism/christening), 18.30 (Latin), 20.00; working days service hours: 6.00, 7.00, 8.00, 9.00, 12.00, 18.00; open to the public for a whole day, www.katedra.tarnow.opoka.org.pl

Matki Bożej Szkaplerznej church, ul. Najświętszej Marii Panny 1, 33-100 Tarnów, PL, Sundays and holidays service hours: 6.30, 8.30, 10.30, 18.30; weekdays service hours: 6.00, 6.30, 7.30, 18.30; access to the church after services on arrangement, tel.: +48 14 621 31 75


Day two – afternoon:

A walk to Strzelecki Park and Jewish Cemetery (a key to the gate is available at Tarnów Regional Museum, Rynek 20-21, and in TCI, Rynek 7 – both located in the Town Square), then First Transportation to KL Auschwitz monument and Goldhammera street.

City park in Tarnów, known as Park Strzelecki (Strzelecki Park) was established in 1866. In the middle of a water reservoir in the north section, general Józef Bem’s (“the Hero of Two Nations”) Mausoleum, is located. The structure, erected in 1929, consists of a sarcophagus placed on the top of six high lonic pillars. We leave Strzelecki Park through the gate on Piłsudskiego street and along R. Sitko and then Słoneczna streets we head east for Cmentarz Żydowski (Jewish Cemetery). It is one of the most interesting and oldest Jewish cemeteries in southern Poland, established in the 16th century. Among several-thousand tombs some are over 300 years old, dated back to the end of the 17th century. During the World War II Germans tried to demolish the cemetery and made it a place of mass executions of Tarnów’s Jews. After the WWII, on a mass grave, a broken column from the destroyed Jubilee (Jubileuszowa) Synagogue in Tarnów was placed there to commemorate all the murdered. Hebrew inscription on the column says: “And the sun shone and was not ashamed…”. It is the quotation from a poem of Nahman Bialik. Since 1991, the original iron gate from the cemetery is exposed in the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D. C. Now we head back towards the Old Town. First along R. Sitko street, then to the left, into Goldhammera street. Dr Eliasz Goldhammer’s (vice-mayor of Tarnów) contribution to the development of Tarnów was awarded by giving his name to one of the most important Jewish streets in the city. Such a privilege, given to the Jewish citizen, was a precedent decision in Poland at that time. On both sides of the street there are houses once belonging to the elite of Tarnów’s Jews.

In the hall of house number 5, which was occupied by Tarnów Credit Union, there are two plaques commemorate Tarnów’s great citizens – Eliasz Goldhammer and Herman Merz. The last Jewish prayer house (closed in 1993) was located in the house number 1. The most prestigious of Tarnów hotels, Herman Soldinger’s Hotel, was located in the house number 3. On the opposite side of the street – on the facade of the house number 6 – one can still see fragment of restaurant’s menu in both Yiddis and Polish language.

We approach Wałowa street where the statue of Roman Brandstaetter is located – his life-sized figure stands against the corner house, smokes pipe and observes by-passers. Then, through Plac Bohaterów Getta (Ghetto Heroes’ square) and Dębowa street we reach “Pomnik Pierwszego Transportu do KL Auschwitz” (First Transportation to the KL Auschwitz monument) on plac Więźniów Oświęcimia (Oświęcim Prisoners’ square). On June 14th, 1940, a group of 728 Polish prisoners from Tarnów and region, were taken from this place to the KL Auschwitz. They were the first prisoners of that German death camp.

A dinner at one of the restaurants, which offer variety of cuisines from all over the world.

Complete database of Tarnów restaurants at www.it.tarnow.pl


Day two – evening:

Night at Tarnów’s pubs and clubs.
Complete database is available at www.it.tarnow.pl


Day three – morning:

Shopping, a walk up Góra św. Marcina (St. Martin’s Hill), about two kilometres from the Town Square. It is the northernmost hill of the Carpathians. A visit to św. Marcina (St. Martin’s) wooden church and to the ruins of Zamek Tarnowskich (Tarnowskich Castle) – scenic overlook. Relax and lunch at a restaurant.

Before you hit the road we encourage you to purchase some of our local products. From all available products at stores we especially recommend those of Tarnów’s origin – glass, crystals and bread. Pay a visit to one of the souvenir stores, which are listed at www.it.tarnow.pl. And remember to equip yourself in one of the tarnina (blackthorn) products. Tarnina is a herb Tarnów was given name after. There are two versions of Tarninówka: the soft one, which is a tea for the whole family (very rich in vitamin C) and the alcoholic one for adults which is equally healthy. Before the trip to St. Martin’s Hill you should also pay a visit to the King Władysław Łokietek’s (who had permitted the location of Tarnów) monument. It is believed that touching his boot with right hand brings luck and fulfilment of the dreams.

On the top of Góra św. Marcina (st. Martin’s Hill) once stood a castle which belonged to Spycimir, the founder of the city, as well as to his successors and city owners – the Tarnowscy family. Today only the ruins remain. The castle was turned into the Renaissance residence when hetman Jan Tarnowski ruled and owned Tarnów and castle itself. Great library, known in the whole Renaissance Poland, was there at that time. The greatest Polish humanists: Jan Kochanowski, Mikołaj Rej and Marcin Kromer visited Jan Tarnowski at his castle, which proves his importance and unique intellectual abilities. In 1528, Tarnowski allowed Hungarian king, Jan Zapolya, to use the castle as his temporary residence. Zapolya was preparing himself to regain Hungarian crown there. The king felt so comfortable at the castle that he issued his own coins during his stay. Today’s ruins provide the most beautiful panorama of Tarnów. From the ruins we head east for the TV and radio transmitter and on the left side we find the last stop on our tour around Tarnów – the 15th century św. Marcina (St. Martin’s) wooden church. Many legends tell the story of this Gothic temple. One of them says that it was brought to this place with high waters of the Dunajec river.

Finally, tired but happy and astonished, we head down the hill to a restaurant located right below the ruins of the castle.