The tour of the Museum, included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978, comprises both parts of the former concentration camp - Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau - and a documentary film presenting the first moments after the camp was liberated. The Auschwitz camp has become a symbol of terror, genocide and the Holocaust. It was established by the Nazis in 1940 in the suburbs of the city of Auschwitz, which was integrated into the Third Reich. The direct reason for the establishment of the camp was the growing number of mass arrests of Poles and overcrowding of the existing prisons. Initially, it was supposed to be another concentration camp created by the Nazis from the beginning of the 1930s. That was the function of Auschwitz for the entire period of its existence, even when, from 1942, it became one of the centers for"Endlösung der Judenfrage" ("the final solution of the Jewish issue") at the same time - the Nazi plan to murder the Jews living in the territories occupied by the Third Reich. The Auschwitz camp, until the end of its existence, was first and foremost a place of extermination. Even if from 1943 mortality was reduced in other camps to conserve manpower, in Auschwitz, to which continually new shipments were coming - mostly of Jews - to supply the camp labour, human life never meant too much.Historians estimate that in less than five years of the camp's existence 1-1.5 million people were killed in Auschwitz, most of them - approximately 1-1.35 million - were Jews. The second most numerous group were Poles (approx. 70,000-75,000), the third - Gypsies (approx. 20,000). Approximately 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war and 10,000-15,000 prisoners of other nationalities (including Czechs, Belarusians, Yugoslavs, French, Germans and Austrians) were also killed in the camp. Due to the role that Auschwitz played in the implementation of the Nazi extermination plans, it has become a world-famous symbol of the Nazi genocide, in particular the destruction of the Jews. In the Auschwitz I camp the Nazis established the first camp for men and women; it was the place where the first experiments of killing using Zyklon B took place, the first mass transports of Jews were being murdered, the first criminal experiments on prisoners were conducted, and the majority of executions by shooting were performed. It was there, in block 11, where the central detention camp for prisoners from all parts of the camp was housed, as well as the main camp commandant office and most other SS offices. The camp authorities supervised further expansion of the camp from there.
This, undoubtedly one of the Poland's prime tourist attractions, gives you a chance to admire some of the most amazing scenery in the Polish highlands. Usually referred to as "the raft trip down the Dunajec river", this is in fact a rather leisurely drift in large wooden punts. Highly experienced guides make sure you have a smooth ride and keep you informed about the sights you see and the history of the trips, which goes back to 1840s . The voyage down the winding Dunajec offers breathtaking views of mighty limestone cliffs plunging into the water as well as stunning native vegetation both protected by the second oldest international national park in the world. Also, while sailing down the river you can spot some rare bird species including the Black Stork. Another attraction of the tour is a visit to Niedzica Castle which was originally built in the 14th century by the Hungarians to protect an important trade through the Dunajec valley. Nowadays the castle towers over a large water reservoir and an impressive dam built in mid 90s. While visiting the castle you can admire the delightful view over the artificial lake and learn an amazing story of Inca refugees that found shelter there. Our trip begins at Niedzica Castle, then continues to the wharf in Sromowce Niżne and ends 15 km later in Szczawnica. The voyage lasts two to three hours, depending on the water level of the river. It is advisable to bring rainwear or a sun hat depending on the weather.
In the 19th century Zakopane was a sleepy village inhabited by the Polish highlanders who - living for years in isolation - created their own unique culture. The special atmosphere and natural beauty of the place was discovered by Tytus Chałubiński. In a short time, artists and creme de la creme of the society declared Zakopane their favourite place in Poland, where they rested, created works of art and had affairs... Currently, the town is visited by thousands of tourists who, desiring to get to know its tradition, often complain about the "cheesiness" of 21st-century Zakopane. That is why we decided to show the face of "the winter capital of Poland" and its surrounding area which still reflects the charm of the past and the beauty of nature.