Opolskie

Regional capital: Opole

The Region

Opole, Młynówka River, Ⓒ Andrzej Nowak, Opolskie Voivodship
Opole, Młynówka River, Ⓒ Andrzej Nowak, Opolskie Voivodship

Opolskie is located in the south-western part of Poland, in the Odra river basin on the Silesian Lowland. To the south-west, the region is enclosed by the foothills of the Sudetes. The Racibórz Valley lies at the south-western extremity and the Chełm mesoregion of the Silesian Upland is located in the centre of the region, which borders on Wielkopolska, Łódzkie, Silesia and Lower Silesia in Poland and, to the south, with the Czech Republic.

Landscape

Brzeg, Ⓒ Andrzej Nowak, Opolskie Voivodship
Brzeg, Ⓒ Andrzej Nowak, Opolskie Voivodship

A large part of the region is covered by forests, with the Bory Niemodlińskie (Niemodlin Coniferous Forest), Lasy Stobrawskie (Stobrawa Forest), Lasy Lublinieckie (Lubliniec Forest) and Lasy Raciborskie (Racibórz Forest) numbering amongst the largest. There are four landscapes parks, as well as numerous protected natural areas and biosphere reserves.

The region features the diverse landscapes of the Wyżyna Śląska (Silesian Upland), the Nizina Śląska (Silesian Lowland), a section of the Sudet Foothills and the Oder Valley.



Cities and Sites

Moszna Castle, Ⓒ POT
Moszna Castle, Ⓒ POT

Opolskie is rich in places of historical and archaeological interest, with ancient sites originating in a range of eras, from Gothic-style fortified castles and Baroque mansions to small, nineteenth-century manor houses. The castle in Moszna, the ruins of the nineteenth-century mansion in Kopice, the castle of the Silesian Piast Dynasty in Brzeg and the Late Baroque mansion in Kamień Śląski are just a few of the region’s abundance buildings of considerable artistic and architectural interest. Large fragments of medieval town fortifications have survived in many of Opolskie’s towns and cities, with Paczków and Byczyna having the best-preserved medieval fortification complexes in Poland.

Opolskie also boasts an exceptionally large number of rural wooden churches which have survived through the ages. There are around seventy in total, concentrated, in particular, in the northern districts of Kluczbork, Namysłów and Olesno, where they form an interesting trail of wooden sacral buildings.