Legnica, Poland came as very pleasant surprise to us. We recently attended a wedding in a small village called Słup, Poland. The only lodging we could find online was in the nearby city of Legnica about thirty minutes away (pronounced like Leg-neetz-ah), so we booked the Qubus Hotel Legnica. After a quick check online I found very little tourist information about the city in English and decided it would probably just serve as a bed for the night and nothing more. Was I ever wrong! We spent a very nice day exploring & enjoying Legnica after attending the wedding, which leads me to believe that Legnica is a bit of a hidden treasure, being only about an hour’s drive from Görlitz.
Our hotel was very centrally located and had a view of a cathedral from our windows. It was a nice hotel but I feel certain that one could find more affordable lodging in the city. Although we saw some other tourists, mostly Germans, it seemed like this was probably just a stop on their way somewhere else as we didn’t encounter many tourists outside of the hotel. Armed with some brochures from the hotel lobby we headed out to explore and find a meal.
Our first stop was the church we had seen from our windows, the Church of the Virgin Mary in Legnica (Kościół Marii Panny w Legnicy). I later found out online that it is one of the oldest churches in Silesia and was previously Catholic but is now Lutheran. The church is built of red brick, as are many of the buildings in Legnica. The most remarkable thing about the interior of the church were the moorish style pillars. We paid 6 Zloty (about $1.60) to go to the top of the tower. Now, I have climbed to the top of several cathedrals for the view, but this was a lot of stairs. No, really: the stairs took you all the way to the top of the tower where you could then stand on an external platform looking over Legnica. Afterwards my thighs were screaming but the view was unmissable.
Also near the Qubus Hotel was a pretty large shopping center called Galeria Piastow. Another great reason to visit: unlike in Germany, the shopping centers are open on Sunday! We walked through and had some ice cream before continuing to the main square of the old town, which was very beautiful. There were a few older people sitting on benches and some children playing in water but otherwise the old town was pretty quiet for a Sunday afternoon. Legnica has a population of 100,000 so it makes me think that most people are probably living in suburbs. The building that stands out the most in the main square is the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, another beautiful red brick church. If you stop in front of the entrance you will probably notice coins in the grate. This is from the weddings that are held here – after the couple is married, they exit the church and the guests throw coins at them instead of rice. For dinner we ate at Restauracja Kopcza, which seemed to have a goose theme. We were both feeling pretty boring after the wedding festivities the night before so we didn’t try any of the goose dishes, instead we both had the schnitzel which was delicious, but the portions were huge!
In summary, I think Legnica is worth another look. The old town was really gorgeous and there was so much more there that we didn’t get to see in one afternoon. We will definitely be visiting again since it’s so close to Görlitz, so look for a follow-up post in the future!