When travelling to Poland, most people start off in Warsaw or Krakow and they then might go to Gdansk or Torun. But there are so many little, unique and beautiful places in Poland that you really must see when you come here. One of these places for me is the Ostromecko Palace.
A View of Baroque Poland
The small Polish village of Ostromecko is west of Toruń, along the backroads towards the city of Bydgoszcz. It’s a great small country road, and worth a trip on it’s own by bus or train. But my focus on this trip was the nature preserve and old palaces.
Although built in the 1700s in normal European aristocratic fashion, the palaces and adjoining gardens here are fairly unique in Poland. After so many centuries of occupation and war, there are very few places like left in Poland. So it’s a treat to be able to walk around and explore these once private estates of Polish aristocracy.
Palace Park (Pałacowy Park)
A main draw for many local Polish people is the park and trails around the palaces. It’s a rare reprieve from the busy cities and roadways. So I saw quite a few families and couples walking around the trails and resting on benches.
After a very short walk from the parking area, we found ourselves on this small trail, slightly over grown, with old lamp posts dotting the edges. It felt like a place lost in time, and I think it kind of is.
There is a sense of disrepair to the parks that add to it’s elegance. The main grounds are kept up, but just off of them you find yourself in a kind landscape out of Narnia.
It wasn’t too far into the park that we came across an old, unkempt mausoleum. The walls crumbling down, the iron gates rusting, and the former mosaic floor chipped away and covered in mud and leaves.
We first came in from the side, so we didn’t see the main gate right away. At first it seems like an interesting old garden building or some old structure that people would have used for entertaining.
But we found this sign on the wall, by the main gate of the mausoleum. It explains the history in some detail, but mainly it’s for the family Schonborn-Alvensleben, and was built in 1878.
And interestingly, and in very Polish fashion, there are candles placed and lit on the graves still today. You just just see the tops of the candle holders nestled in the thick ivy.
Outside the main gate of the mausoleum were small patches of beautiful mosaic tile. Stepping back to take in the scene, I could imagine it would have been a beautiful place for mourning. It still is, but it’s a shame that the years haven’t been kind.
The Palace Gardens
Behind the old palace, we stood on the old terrace and looked down a large set of steps that descended to the sprawling gardens and forests below.
It’s now that I thought I should come back at a little bit later time of year. As you can see, the gardens are still coming into bloom, so it will be a couple more weeks before you can really take in the full effect of the place.
We are here in late May, so that should give you a sense of a good time to visit. I would say anywhere between early June and late September would be the best times to visit. But truly anytime you are here you’ll be able to have a nice time exploring and viewing the palace and gardens.
There were a few flowering trees and bushes in bloom. But it will really be nice to see once all of the manicured gardens are in full bloom.
Village of Ostromecko
This is a bit of an aside, but worth seeing too. Just outside the grounds of the palace and gardens is the village of Ostromecko. It’s a small, more traditional village and worth having a look around too. A highlight is the old church, and it’s just outside the gates of the gardens, it’s hard to miss.
Obviously, the simplest way would be to rent a car and self-drive. You follow the main roads north-west from Warsaw, around the city of Toruń, and to Bydgoszcz.
I've put a Google map below with directions from Warsaw to Ostromecko. You'll want to be sure to have a GPS or smartphone without in your car.
But there are many great options in Poland for getting around. And the best way and my favourite way is by train.
You can catch the train from the central station in Warsaw (Warszawa Centralna) to the main station in Bydgoszcz. From there you could take a bus to the village of Ostromecko, or even hire a taxi as it wouldn’t be that far or expensive.
The park is just east of Bydgoszcz, across the Vistula river. Once you get to the village of Ostromecko, you’ll easily see the palaces and park which are beside the village.
I don’t have experience staying in Ostromecko, but I do know the palace and gardens are very popular places for weddings and large dinners. And in the village itself are a couple small hotels to stay at.
But I would recommend getting a hotel in Bydgoszcz itself and doing a day trip to the park.