Sometimes to see the world you need to take off your helmet, motorcycle boots, jacket, and just walk. And that’s what I did today! Some foreign tourists call Lublin a Polish hidden gem. It’s not so popular city like Cracow, Wroclaw, or Gdansk but man I like its laid back atmosphere. I’ve been here a few years ago and I’m surprised how many Old Town’s buildings were restored during that time and how many restaurants with gardens were open.
So why it’s worth visiting Lublin?
Is has a castle! Which was made in the 14th century by the High Duke Casimir II. From the outside, it looks a little bit like some Moroccan palace? Don’t you think? Nowadays when we don’t have any more Kings and Queens in Poland maybe only some drama queens, there is Lublin’s Museum. Inside you can see the Chapel of the Holy Trinity with interior painted with Byzantine-style frescoes. There are lots of exhibitions but for me, the most interesting is the devil’s paw! Like any town with old history, Lublin has a lot of legends. There is one scary legend with the so-called devil’s paw imprint on the table of judicial Crown Tribunal in Lublin. Which is made on a wooden table and there are no traces of chopping. All happened while the process of a poor widow with a rich nobleman who barned her house when she didn’t want to sell it to him. Judge, made verdict in favor of the lord, unfairly sentenced the widow. Woman bitterly cried that if she was convicted of the devil, the sentence would be fairer. In a minute unfamiliar judges in scarlet robes appeared on the stairs. They ordered to open the meeting room and then sat around the table. This time the verdict was totally different, in favor of the widow. Signing the judgment one of the spooky looking judges accidentally touched the table and his hand burned the hole.
Is it only me or do you also see very long nails imprinted on that table?
Lublin Old Town has its own uniqueness and charm. You can find houses with different details and paintings on the walls but also black and white pictures in the windows. What’s their story? While renovation one of the building workers found almost 3 000 glass negatives hidden under the sill. They were made between 1914 – 1939 and they picture residents of Lublin. Now their faces look down on the visitors, creating an amazing bridge between the past and the present.
While walking around the Market you need to look under your feet because on one of the streets lies ‚stone of misery’. Do not touch him under any circumstances! You may laugh but its legend dates back to the 15th century. In the past executioner, was putting a tree stump on it but one day when there was an execution of the innocent woman the ax broke on it leaving hollow. From that moment every living soul who touched it faced misfortunes. One baker used it to build stove few days later he burn down in it. Three dogs who licked it died in a few seconds! During the II World War, most bombs fell in its area, destroying nearby buildings. These and many other misfortunes happened due to the stone of misery. So, maybe its really better to keep away from it.
OK, enough these grisly stories, it’s time to eat!! If you’re not too hungry you should try ‚Cebularz” which is onion cake which looks like little pizza and it’s a traditional delicacy in Lublin. You can buy it from the stands for less than the euro. For small bite, I recommend you ‚Ambaras‚ eatery with great soups (€ 2,5) and delicious cakes!
If you want to eat something bigger and you would like to taste Polish cuisine on the Market you have Magia Restaurant (2 Grodzka Street) or Sielsko Anielsko Restaurant (17 Rynek Street) both with very classic Polish dishes with delicious Żurek soup, slow roast duck in red wine sauce or knuckle of pork served in the accompanied by fried cabbage and famous Polish Pierogi (dumplings) – you won’t get out hungry from those places! I also recommend you U Szewca (18 Grodzka Street) which is an Irish pub with a Polish twist. I ate their delicious back ribs pickle in honey, they melted in the mouth.
If you have still energy climb up on the Trinitarian Tower to see the panorama of Lublin. After that go to see Centre for the Meeting of Cultures it’s modern building hides nice gardens.
Another place that is must-see near Lublin is Open Air Village Museum but about that place, I will write in the next post. 😉