The city where everyone walks around munching on pies topped with onion and poppy seeds, Lublin is nicknamed the "city of inspiration" - maybe the pies illuminate the brainwaves. Founded in the 9th Century when a settlement sprung up around a castle, Lublin has changed hands quite a few times. In 1795 it was a part of Austria, then in 1815 Russia took over. Lublin has even been the capital of Poland on 2 occasions - in 1918 and 1944 at the end of World War II - but each time it was only for the blink of an eye, as far as history is concerned.
A city awash in the frivolity of its student youth, think over 100,000 students all attending 1 of the 4 universities in the town, this equates to 30% of its population being exuberant giving the town a dynamic vibe. Once a leading center of Judaism (yes before World War II), the city sits in the southeastern part of Poland near the Ukrainian and Belarusian border. Located east of the Vistula River and 170 km from Warsaw, it was once a royal city of the Crown Kingdom of Poland. It is a hub of culture and higher learning along the lines of Krakow, Warsaw and Lviv.
Its historical old town has been preserved and it is one of Poland's official national Historic Monuments. It is a town made for walking through its rich culture and intriguing architecture. The Lublin Castle with its ornate white-fronted neo-gothic appearance deserves to be invaded for its weaponry exhibition alone, if you are into a bit of war mongering. The Romanesque 13th Century Chapel of Holy Trinity with its Byzantine wall paintings dating back to 1418 has to be seen to be appreciated. If you need a bit of heavenly inspiration, head to the Lublin Cathedral (16th Century) that was the house of worship for the Jesuits. Take a tour of the Skansen Museum and meander around the reconstruction of a traditional Polish village complete with a manor house, an Orthodox Church and a windmill.
If you are into a bit of "dark" tourism, visit the somber Majdanek museum that was one of several Nazi concentration camps in the region and feel man's inhumanity to man.
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