Poland is an eastern European country on the Baltic Sea known for its medieval architecture and Jewish heritage. The capital is Warsaw and the country has some excellent regal residences all of which can grace many events and occasions. No doubt Krakow, the Polish City of Kings has a reputation of its own but our recent discovery from the country’s Podkarpackie region nestled within the Carpathian Foothills and the Sandomierska Basin in South East Poland can give Krakow a run for its money.
It all starts with a flight from London Stansted to Rzeszow, the Podkarpackie’s capital. This is where some 200,000 inhabitants and a growing city with dynamic development and innovation live. However, Executive Traveller’s interest lies beyond the capital to other destinations such as Lancut and Krasicyn where the region’s historic palaces, castles and manor houses lie. Visitors to these destinations can also explore other big cities of the province such as Stalowa Wola, Przemysl, Mielec, krosno and Tarnobrzeg.
The whole region is richly endowed with multiple catholic and orthodox churches, synagogues, palaces, castles and mansions as well as historic houses. Amidst its beautiful nature and cultural diversity, we visited some delightful properties in the regions, enjoyed some good food and are very keen to share our experience.
As you travel through Podkarpackie, one is immediately attracted to its beautiful landscapes which makes you look forward to visiting all the historic houses available to visit. There is a lot to see and do in the region:
Our first stop was to the Folk Culture Museum and Ethographic Park in Kolbuszowa. This is where Poland takes you back in time through an open-air museum. You are launched into the times when Polish villages were built with wood, shake-thatched roofs and horse-drawn carriages were the only means of transport. The 30-acre open-air museum counts among its assets, the 19th century Church of St Mark the Evangelist home to unique paintings of saints. The museum is ideal for events if you want to take your delegates back into this time warp with its pre-war classroom and food.
From 15 April to 15 October, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays and feast days from 10am to 7pm.
Between 16 October to 14 April it is opened between 9am to 3pm.
The Castle and Park in Baranow Sandomierski
In regal style, we were welcomed with a royal scroll at the 16th century Castle in Baranów Sandomierski which lies on the east bank of the Vistula River. It is one of the most valuable and beautiful former Polish magnate residences with magnificent grounds. Since 1997 the property has been owned by the Warsaw-based Industrial Development Agency (Agencja Rozwoju Przemyslu S.A.). This impressive product of renaissance architecture is one of the most well-preserved objects in Europe.
The Castle was erected at the end of the 16th century in the place of a medieval fortified knightly Baranowski manor which belonged to the noble Baranowski family in the 15th century. At the turn of the 16th century the Górków family from Greater Poland became the owner of Baranów. In 1569 Stanislaw Górka sold the Baranowski property to Rafal Leszczynski. The current form of the Castle is an impressive testimony of the sophisticated style of the Leszczynski family. With its magnificent architecture, the Castle is called the “Little Wawel” in reference to the Royal Wawel Castle in Kraków.
The property offers over 80 period furnished and cozy sleeping accommodation, 46 of which are in the castle and the rest in the converted stable house which is now a three-star Castle Hotel. There are several meeting rooms and conference facilities in the historic parts of the castle.
The castle grounds are large and beautiful with a very well-equipped golf academy alongside other pursuits such as archery.
A golf lesson and archery can be a very hungry and thirsty deed; so, we head off to our next visit and lunch destination, the elegant Sokol Hotel and Spa. The Sokol gave us a very international welcome. It was very large, spacious, exceptionally clean and most of the staff spoke very good English an unusually welcome experience. Lunch was well presented and delicious. A great place to host events.
The Castle Museum in Lancut
The most fascinating thing about the Castle Museum in Lancut is the story behind its existence. No visit to the Podkarpackie region of Poland will be complete without a visit to the Castle Museum of Lancut. The story behind the Castle is so enchanting and felt throughout the tour. Lancut itself was founded as a town in 1349 under King Casmir the Great. Stanislaw Lubomirski, a Polish magnate of the 17th century (1629-1641) as a fortress. Then in the 18th century, it was transformed into a Palace-Park complex. The castle complex is surrounded by antique, picturesque park all arranged in English style.
The Palace which is famous for its excellent residential interiors is also complemented with a stable and coach house where one can admire the Poland’s collection of horse-drawn vehicles.
The castle is one of the most beautiful aristocratic residences in Poland. It has beautiful interiors and a very enchanting collection of prestigious horse-drawn carriages. Everything in the castle is beautiful and every room has a story to tell. The castle has a lot of Turkish and Italian and Chinese influences depending on who decorated what.
The stables and Coach houses are “to die for”. The collection is exquisite, impressive and housed in an impressive neo-baroque building with classicist elements. The stables contain the original part for mounting horses, grbuszowa plooming rooms and a hall with a comprehensive collection of carriages.
Apart from its beauty, the Castle’s well-appointed acoustics makes it a favourite place for hosting
This has been the home of the Sieniawski and Czartoryski families; one of the wealthiest and most influential families of the Polish-Lithuanian nations between the 17th and 18th century. The property is very traditionally polish. It has beautiful grounds. Brace yourself though to a visit to the tomb of the Czartoryski family in the parochial old Dominican Church. The crypt is home to tombs of Czartoryski dukes and the famous Izabela Czartoryska of the Fleming family. Those interested in Jewish culture may visit the Jewish cemetery at the end of the town with numerous tombstones.
Today, the Palace-Park complex is a hotel with 116 rooms with some 5 luxurious apartments.
The Castle and Park in Krasiczyn
At about 80km from the Rzeszow-Jasionka airport, 10km from Przemysl or 25km from the border of Ukraine in Medkya depending upon where you are travelling from, lies the magnificent Castle and Park Complex in Krasiczyn.
The 96-bed property surrounded by a majestic 14-acre park created by the Krasicki family is one of the most precious treasures of the renaissance architecture in Poland. The property has multi-functional conference rooms fully equipped with internet access. Three-star accommodation is provided in the beautifully refurbished Coach House and food is served in the Castle Restaurant in the historic interiors of the Castle. The grounds are spacious and offer great space for outdoor activities such as golf, fencing, archery and many other outdoor pursuits.
Thanks to its beautiful courtyard, the castle can host any event from large conferences to weddings for up to 2000 guests and also provides excursions for delegates.
We saved the best for the last when we visited Kombornia Manor Hotel & SPA. The property has been brought to life from an original manor built in the 16th century. Elegance and style may be the best words to describe this luxurious four-star accommodation with five-star dining experience.
Kombornia Manor Hotel & SPA is the ideal place for people who are looking to escape from a noisy reality. Apart from its obvious beauty, the manor which was refurbished and reopened in 2009 comes in two-folds of old time elegance and contemporary comforts.
The property is also equipped with a comprehensive wine cellar, a fully equipped spa which provides everything from the usual spa rituals to physiotherapy. Beauty is delivered naturally at the manor’s cosmetic institute.
Food and Drink at the Manor
Service at the Manor’s Magnolia Restaurant makes you look forward to dinner with enthusiasm. Attention to detail and good wine carefully selected from the Manor’ cellar complemented with the excellent food is exactly what every diner wishes to eat.
Several events such as weddings, banquets, receptions and conferences have enjoyed the good food alongside professional commentated wine tastings, chocolate workshops, dedicated wellness and spa programmes, integration indoor and outdoor games and expeditions.
Other places of interest
Bells and Tobacco Pipes Museum – Przemysl
Przemysl is a city surrounded by historic fortifications renowned for its Museums such as the Pipes and Bells. The museum of Bells and Pipes (www.muzeum.przemysl.pl) which was founded in September 2001 is the only pipe-making centre in Poland. The museum is located with the Old Town, in the Old Baroque Clock Tower which was erected as a bell tower for the Greek Catholic cathedral during 1775-1777. For 123 years, the tower was used by firemen as a watchtower and a vantage point.
• Bieszczadzki National Park stretches over an area of 29,200 acres and is rich with wildlife
• Magurski National Park with low and easy mountains and the area stretches over 19,300 acres; great place for horse riding
Other things to do and see in the region
Festivals in Rzeszow
• Every three years, there is a festival of World Folklore Groups of Polish Immigrants
• The International Festival of Organ and Chamber Music
• Horse riding tourism (https://wwwpodkarpackizwiazekjezdziecki.co..pl)
• Skiing the winter slopes of the Bieszczady mountains and Beskid NIski
• There are five flying clubs in Rzeszow, Bieszczady, Mielec and Stalowa Wola available to visitors for power plane, glider and powered glider training courses
• Canoeing on the San River
Travelling to Rzeczow:
There are regular direct flights to and from:
• London Stansted
• New York
Things you need to know when organising an event
What is a Contract? It is an agreement that is enforceable by law.
What is an Agreement? An agreement is a promise or set of promises.
When is a contract considered to be valid? A Contract is considered to be valid when:
1. The agreement has been made between two or more parties who are legally competent and authorized to enter into a contract. For e.g. you can not enter into a contract with a minor.
2. The agreement has been made on the free will of the parties. Free will means, the agreement has been made:
– Without giving threats or use of physical force.
– Without any undue influence i.e. party in the dominating position didn’t take advantage of its position or authority to get consent from the other party.
– Without fraud. Fraud means deceiving or misleading someone intentionally.
– Without misrepresentation of facts.
– Not by mistake. You can declare a contract as Null and Void if you are able to prove in the court of law that the agreement has not been made on the free will or the other party is not authorized or legally competent to enter into a contract.
3. The contract contains consideration (i.e. benefits and detriments). A contract without detriments (i.e. damages and harms) is legally insignificant. For e.g. if your contract doesn’t contain the penalty/compensation if a certain clause is violated, then it has no significance whatsoever.
4. The objects and consideration in the contract are not lawful either wholly or in parts.
Important points to remember while contracting Event Venue
1 Whatever you negotiate, whatever that is offered to/by you or mutually agreed upon (including venue services, fees, items’ cost, rules and restrictions), should be specified in a written format duly signed by the parties who are entering into the contract and who are legally competent and authorized to enter into a contract.
Never negotiate anything verbally. If the other party refuses to accept your proposal or there own promises in a written format, then don’t do business with them.
2 Decide the compensation in case your event is forced to shut down or cancelled because of: noise ordinance, venue staff strike, change in the management staff, change in the ownership of the venue, buy outs, bankruptcies or other guests housed by the venue who are not associated with your event.
3 Make sure that the contract guarantees:
– The booked dates, time, venue space, return of deposits.
– Exact, itemized list of all the services promised and the fees associated with those promised services including maximum cost (i.e. the cost will not go over this amount)
– Promises and commitments discussed and agreed upon.
4. Never sign a contract immediately after the venue inspection. Take a copy of the contract agreement home/office. Read it thoroughly several times and discuss it with your team members and/or a lawyer. Compare the contract with contracts of other venues and then accept/reject it.
5. Always take legal advice to review the contract for you and make sure that the contract protects your interests against forceful shutdown of the event, venue staff’s strike/shortage, and change in the management staff or ownership of the venue, buy outs, bankruptcies or violation of any agreement or clause.
During contracting with the venue manager make sure that your contract contains the following clauses:
1. There should be no construction/repair work of the venue building or any of its parts without prior approval on the day of the event. (Decide the compensation with the venue manager if this clause is violated.)
2. No other event can take place in the selected venue on the day of my event. (If this is not possible then make sure that the other event doesn’t affect the services provided to you by the venue like shortage of staff or parking space. It should not produce any party noise, music or announcement that affects your event’s programs. Decide the compensation with the venue manager if this clause is violated.)
3. This contract is all inclusive and no other oral or written contract exists between the two parties stated in this agreement.