Supporter Warmia Masuria Region

Member of the Polish National Network

Polish National Cittaslow Network. The idea of the establishment of Cittaslow towns in Poland was born in the year 2003 during a visit of the representatives of the Warmian-Masurian Province to Italy. The local government of the Province took the decision on commencement of actions aimed at the establishment of a network as soon as July 6th, 2004. Having complied with the relevant procedures, on April 13th, 2007, the Coordination Committee of International Cittaslow Network took the decision to approve the Polish National Cittaslow Network which consisted of the following cities: Reszel, Bisztynek, Biskupiec and Lidzbark Warmiński (and the provincial Local Government as a supporting member). Nowadays, the Polish network includes 10 cities – 9 from the Warmian-Masurian region and one from the Wielkopolska region (Murowana Goślina) and is still developing.

Warmian and Masurian Region

The Warmian and Masurian Region covers an area of 24,000 km². The average population density of 59 people per km² is almost half the national average. Over 29% of the area is covered by forests and 6% by water. The name Warmia has a centuries-old tradition and originates from the Prussian word "Wurmen" which means "red" (in reference to the red colour of soil). The name Masuria dates back from the first half of the 19th century. When the Mazovian land was annexed by Prussia after the third partition, the former Polish inhabitants of East Prussia were called Masurians as opposed to Mazovians.
The region of Warmia and Masuria is full of charm, magic and curiosity. The hills and fields dotted with hundreds of rocks and the vast forests with numerous lakes, rivers, streams and channels which, through various reciprocal connections, create an interesting water network, all constitute essential elements of the landscape. Among these post-glacial hills and forest complexes, there are charming towns which offer peace and quiet.

Within the borders of the province, there are about 1,800 water reservoirs with an area of over 1 ha. 60% of the province's area is protected in various ways. 8 landscape parks, 107 nature reserves, almost 2,000 natural monuments and 68 'Natura 2000' areas, including 16 bird protection areas and 42 special habitat protection areas are established. Here, you can see storks and swans, wolves and lynxes and European bison and deer. One can admire the landscape reserve of the Krutynia river and the mountainous landscape of the Pierwos reserve, the slender pines from Tabórz and the slushy marshes.

A battlefield in the year 1410, during which the united Polish-Lithuanian-Tatar forces defeated the armies of the Teutonic Order. Every year, on July 15th, a recreation of the battle is waged to commemorate the greatest battle of Medieval Europe. About 5000 knights and servants reside in two opposing battle camps, and about 1,500 infantry and mounted knights participate in the battle itself. The whole event is watched by 80,000 – 100,000 spectators. There is a monument and a museum located in the central part of the field.

The greatest astronomer of all times who "stopped the sun and moved the earth" was a canon of the Warmia Chapter for 46 years, and through his work entitled "De Revolutionibus", initiated the development of modern science and changed the perception of man's place in the universe. He had connections with such places as Lidzbark Warmiński, Frombork and Olsztyn. He was born in 1473 in Torun, died in 1543 and was buried in the Frombork Cathedral.

In the year 1243, the Warmia diocese was established in the area which was partly inhabited by the Prussian tribe – the Warmians. The inhabitants of the Masuria region were mostly protestants. After the reformation movement had reached the region of Warmia and Masuria, creed became a crucial factor for the identification of the population living on the territory of Prussia. This centuries-old configuration of the two lands was changed in 1947 when several dozen people of Ukrainian origin – Greek Catholics - were resettled. Therefore, in the Warmia and Masuria region, It is not unusual to come across buildings which throughout ages served as places of worship for different creeds.

An architectural style characteristic for the region of Warmia and Masuria. It is visible mainly in the architecture of the castles and churches. The castles can be divided into the bishops' castles and chapter castles, which are popular in the Warmia Diocese, though Szymbark belonged to the Pomezanian Chapter and Kurzętnik to the Chełm Chapter. There are also Teutonic castles located mainly in the Masurian region. In more recent times they have fulfilled various functions, i.e. as museums, hotels and cultural centres. The Gothic churches are the domain of the Holy Warmia. The Masurian ones and the ones of Protestant origin are simpler in construction and come from later periods.

The largest fortress from the 19th century in the region is the Boyen Fortress in Giżycko. During World War I, in the territory of East Prussia, a network of fortifications extended to about 500 bunkers during the inter-war period as the Giżycko Field Position. The location of Hitler's Headquarter in Gierłoż in 1940 contributed to the appearance of other facilities in the vicinity (Wilamowo airport, the headquarters of the German land forces in Mamerki, the seat of Hitler's chancellor in Radzieje, Himmler's headquarters in Pozezdrze and the Luftwaffe Command Headquarters in Gołdap).

Situated between Węgorzewo and Pisz, they stretch to an area of about 1,700 The largest of them include: Śniardwy (the largest lake in Poland – 109.7 km²), Mamry (the largest fresh-water reservoir in Poland – 102.4 km²) and Niegocin (26 km²). An important element of the water network of the Masuria Region are the channels and floodgates, their construction caused the sailing routes to cover a distance of over 220 kilometres. The white fleet connects the largest towns located within the area of the Great Masurian Lakes, thus, facilitating water tourism to those who do not practice sailing.


The Warmian-Masurian region is the first Polish region to join the European Cultural Heritage Network. Its aim is to promote food articles manufactured on the basis of traditional recipes and local products, as well as to help the inhabitants and tourists in finding the relevant regional food. The culinary heritage is a product or service with which the inhabitants of the region identify themselves, manufactured or provided in a non-industrial, environmentally-friendly manner, from resources available in our region. Nowadays, the network has already been joined by 140 members. There are catering companies, breeding establishments, food product manufacturing companies, farmers, resource manufacturers, agrotouristic farms and hotels among them.

List of cities and representative: