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Saffron conspiracies - a symbol of spring in the Polish mountains

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Saffron conspiracies (Crocus scepusiensis) (Polish: krokus spiski or szafran spiski) is a species in Family Iridaceae. The name of "Crocus" is derived from Greek word "kroke" (thread, floss). This beautiful violet-colored flower occurs in the Western Carpathians. In Poland crocus flower most often grows in the Tatra Mountains and also in the other mountains e.g. Żywiec Beskids (mountainsides of Pilsko and Wielka Racza), Gorce, Beskid Wyspowy, Small Beskid (Leskowiec). Sometimes we encounter white crocus - albino. Saffron conspiracies blooms usually around 2-3 weeks. It is strictly protected in Poland.






Modlin Fortress - the largest fortification complex in Europe

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Not more than 34 km north of Warsaw, on the territory of Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki, in the fork of the Vistula River, the Narew River and Wkra River, is located Modlin Fortress, one of the largest fortresses in Poland and all of Europe. The fortress is a monument of defensive architecture of international significance. In Europe, only Verdun can compete with it. 


History of Modlin Fortress The first fortifications around Modlin were built during the Swedish invasion in the 17th century, but the beginnings of the most impressing fortress in Europe falls in the first half of 19th century when Napoleon Bonaparte recognised the strategic importance of the area. In 1807 Emperor of the French ordered the construction of new fortifications. His military architects began to expand the fortress to both sides of the River Narew at the estuary into the Vistula to secure his leadership in Eastern Europe. 



In 1813, after French crushing defeat during the war with Russian Empire, Modlin became the Kingd…

Poenari Castle - stronghold of Dracula

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The true story of Vlad the Impaler called Dracula   There are several locations in Romania linked to the Dracula legend. Vlad III the Impaler, also known as Vlad Dracul or Vlad the Dragon was the legendary vampire, created by author Bram Stoker in his 1897 novel of the same name. Though Dracula is a purely fictional creation, Stoker named his infamous character after a real person. Vlad was the second of four brothers born into the noble family of Vlad II Dracul. His sobriquet Dracula (meaning “son of Dracul”) was derived from the Latin draco (“dragon”) after his father’s induction into the Order of the Dragon, created by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund for the defence of Christian Europe against the Ottoman Empire. 

Vlad Tepes was born in 1431 in Transylvania and was the Prince of Wallachia - a kingdom that now comprises the southern half of Romania. Vlad earned his name Impaler (in Romanian - Tepes) by impaling his enemies on stakes in the ground and leaving them to die. The Ottoman (T…

Viscri - picturesque Saxon village in Transylvania, Romania

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Fortified churches in Transylvania  Romania is a beautiful and very interesting country. You can admire there magnificent scenery and a lot of splendid architectural monuments. Very interesting and picturesque architectural objects are fortified churches in Transylvania region. There are more than 100 of well preserved fortified churches from the 13th to 16th centuries.


Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania are seven villages founded by the Transylvanian Saxons. They are characterised by the great variety of architectural styles. They are dominated by fortified churches and characterised by a specific settlement pattern that has been preserved since the late Middle Ages.

Fortified church in Viscri - UNESCO World Heritage Site One of the most interesting Saxon fortified churches is located in the village of Viscri. The village is located in the centre of Romania, close to Sighisoara (40km). The name of the village comes from the German …
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