Copernicus Hiking Route (red)
“He stopped the Sun and moved the Earth, the Polish nation gave him birth” – in such a way Jan Nepomucen Kamiński wrote about Nicolaus Copernicus. Without going into the subject of nationality of Copernicus (1473-1543), undoubtedly, it can be said that he chose Warmia for his country. He spent here more than 40 years of his life and for several he resided in Olsztyn.
Warmian region, associated with the life and work of the great astronomer, is connected by this hiking route which starts in Olsztyn. It leads to the city of Elbląg, then to Powiśle – a part of pomorskie region (for instance cities of Malbork and Kwidzyn) through kujawsko-pomorskie region (cities such as Grudziądz and Chełmno) up to Toruń, the city where Copernicus was born.
This route is precisely for persistent hikers as only within Warmia and Mazury region it measures about 236 km. After adding all the sections from other regions (118 km and 98 km) it reaches a total of almost 452 km. There is nothing, however, that prevents from hiking through only selected parts of the trail (for instance the ones connecting larger places), or taking longer routes by bike.
On the route in Olsztyn and its surrounding area
Depending on the physical abilities, in one day you can get from Olsztyn to the following places: Brąswałd (11.5 km), Bukwałd (16 km) or Cerkiewnik (23 km), and even Głotowo (32 km) or Dobre Miato (37 km).
Marked red, the trail starts at the High Gate in Olsztyn’s Old Town. It passes near Warmia Chapter Castle, in which Copernicus resided in the years 1516-1519 and 1520-1521 and where his memorabilia such as astronomical table is placed.
After passing through Podzamcze Park, the trail delves into Town Forest, where along the river, it reaches the hydroelectric power station “Łyna”. The next step leads to the hydroelectric power station in Brąswałd. This village is one of many that Copernicus resided while performing his duties of the administrator of the Chapter in Olsztyn. Other villages you can come across on the route are Barkweda, Bukwałd and Cerkiewnik.
Impressive monuments of Warmia
The trail runs through many Warmian locations rich in monuments. The first is the village of Głotowo with a baroque church and the Calvary of Warmia which was based on the Jerusalem calvary. The town of Dobre Miasto is dominated by a Gothic collegiate church. There is also Baszta Bociania which is a part of the remains of a fortification and in Smolajny a baroque bishop’s palace is presered to this day. Lidzbark Warmiński is the town where Copernicus spent seven years serving a position of a bishop’s secretary and doctor while living in the local castle. Other Gothic monuments are the church of St. Peter and Paul and the High Gate.
In Pieniężno are the remains of the castle which Copernicus frequented in 1517 and 1519. He also visited Braniewo, where only the castle tower is preserved near the Gothic church. The city of Frombork became the home of the astronomer in the years 1510-1543. He officiated here at Cathedral Hill, where in addition to the Gothic cathedral survived: Copernicus Tower, Radziejowski Tower and the former bishops palace, where there is a museum dedicated to Copernicus.
The route leads through Tolkmicko and Kadyny up to the city of Elbląg, and it leaves the region in the village Kępki.
The main points of the route overlap with the part of the Copernicus Route which leads to Elbląg and which is marked with the astrolabe symbol.