Tour Guide to Bory Tucholskie

The main area to visit in the forest would be the Tuchola Natural Reserve, which covers a large part of the forest area. It is a quiet woodland, cut from the bustle and noise of civilization. You can cover 30 km. of the forest trail without meeting another human being. It is mostly a vast stretch of pine forest, but in the protected area of the reserve you can get to see some rare trees from the postglacial period like the dwarf-birch, service tree, yew, oak, beech or hornbeam.

In the Wierzchlas Forestry Inspectorate, is the yew tree reserve, an important feature of the Tuchola Forest. Here you find 37ha. of the primeval yew forest with around 4000 specimens. You must see the "Chrobry" - the oldest yew. The 'Leon Wyczolkowskie" commemorates the great painter who found inspiration in this corner of the Bory.

The forest is home to many animals though the larger animals like the aurochs, bear and wolf are no longer found there. Still there are plenty of wild boar, fox, deer, red deer fitchew and wood grouse to catch your interest. The beautiful Heron and Black Stork are visible in the more accessible areas of the forest.

The Czerk Meadows between the Wda and Brda rivers harbors some important hydro- energy projects. Five water systems provide water for irrigation here. You must visit the Wda and Brda dams. At Zur the river Wda becomes a fast flowing stream and the cascading river forms 'white coal" by its substantial descent. This provides energy for the hydro-power stations at Zur, Grodek and Koronowo.

Brusy is a hamlet on the railway line between Chojnice and Kocierzyna. It has a factory that produces preserves from bilberries, rowanberries, blackthorn, raspberries, cranberries, and mushrooms. It would be interesting to visit this as also the pearling mill at Klosnowo where pine seeds are obtained.

The Swiece castle at Swiece, stands as evidence of history in this huge forest area. Located at the Vistula Holm, this is the oldest fortified settlement in Pomerania. The Swiece castle was the capital for the ruling princes in the 12th century. It was shifted to the Holm in the 16th century for better defense purposes. The town also shifted to the base of the castle. The castle was captured by the Teutonic Knights in1460 but restored to Poland after the Polish storm by the Torun townspeople in 1461. Subsequently; the town suffered in the hands of the Swedes and the armies of Napoleon and was devastated by floods.

At the end of the 19thcentury, the town again shifted back to the hills. At the Vistula Holm, you can see parts of the Celms Gate, which was once a part of the town wall. You will also find ruins of the Parish church and the castle with its thick walls and round towers. From this vantage point, you get a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside.

As you cross the Brda at Rudzki Most, you reach the town of Tuchola itself. The river looks beautiful from Rudzki Most where it enters the Piekielko range over a number of rapids. The 700-year-old town of Tuchola is a historically famous place. It was the birthplace of Bartlomiez Nowodorski, the Maltese Knight who bequeathed a large part of his fortune to the Krakow Academy. Jan Sobieski, the starost who played an important role in history also held office here.
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