Ten must-see places in Stary Sącz!

Why not start your visit in Stary Sącz in the market square, paved with granite cobblestones carried here by the Dunajec directly from the Tatra mountains!  Walking over the cobblestones you can reach the centre of the market square, where there used to be a town hall (whose replica can now be found in… the Galician Town, by the Ethnographic Park in Nowy Sącz).


Granite cobblestones have a unique charm, but are not very comfortable to walk on, therefore we wouldn’t recommend running there wearing high heels! From the market square you get a clear view of multi-coloured houses and characteristic roofs with arcades, highly appreciated in the rain, of numerous shops and various facilities with elegant signboards, all of them equally tempting… our recommendation would be to go to a stately building known as ‘Dom na Dołkach’ (‘House on the Pits’), housing a museum that will provide you with a valuable insight into the town’s history.


If visiting the museum leaves you feeling a bit tired, take a moment to relax on a viewing terrace (unless , of course, it is winter time…) of the Marysieńka Restaurant, from where you can view the market square and towers of the Monastery of Poor Clares, our main destination. Once you get some tasty sweet buns at the ‘U Jeziorka’ confectionery  and a supply of waffle cream-filled bears, a specialty of the ‘Miś’ delicatessen, you are ready to continue your walk towards Daszyńskiego Street and the area by the Monastery entry.


However, there is no need to hurry – take time to have a look at the beautiful, wooden Szeklerska Gate (Hungary’s gift to celebrate the canonisation of St. Kinga in 1999)  and an old building on 3 Daszyńskiego Street, with a plague commemorating a meeting of King Jan III Sobieski with his beloved wife Maria (known as Marysieńka). On the wall surrounding the Monastery, just by the Szeklerska Gate, there is a huge painting, most probably representing a coat of arms eagle of the Austro-Hungary Empire. Part of it is blurred and has a rusty hue. The legend has it that a furious Mongol warrior crashed at this spot after he rode his horse with great speed right into the defensive wall of the Monastery. Having visited parts of the Monastery that are accessible to the general public (Church of Poor Clares, churchyard and a beautiful entry gate), you might want to go to a famous miraculous spring, which is located in a different spot than the one described in the old literature as St. Kinga’s spring, but is nonetheless fed by the same aquifer.

Brama Szeklerska

A thirty-minute walk will take you from there to the wooden Papal Altar, commemorating the important events that took place in Nowy Sącz in 1999. During the Mass celebrated at this altar Pope John Paul II canonised the then blessed Kinga who, as a founder and patron of Stary Sącz, has a special place in the history and present life of the town.

Ołtarz papieski

Once you get back to the market square, take an opportunity to walk along Kazimierza Wielkiego Street, a pedestrian street lined with beautiful greenery, leading to a parish church which since 1975 has been holding concerts of the Early Music Festival organised in Stary Sącz. Having seen the church, take a stroll around the building along the path shaded by old trees.


At the corner of the street you will find stalls with fruit and all kinds of local produce. In June and July you can buy there berries from Carpathian mountain pastures, in autumn you will be greeted with the sight of baskets brimming with mushrooms. It’s never a bad time for a tasty saffron milk cap mushroom, after all. But there is more… as you leave Sobieskiego Street, you come across St. Roch’s Chapel, which protects the remains of a 10th century  Romanesque rotunda, a representative cultural centre by the name of ‘Sokół’, with its cinema and exhibitions, architectural traces of the Jewish community living here for over a hundred years, the woody Góra Miejska Mountain with a view of the meeting of two rivers – the Dunajec and the Poprad…just 10 must-see places is not nearly enough to do Stary Sącz justice!


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