Kalna lies in between Biała and Żywiec, in the municipality of Buczkowice. On the map you will find it due south of Katowice. The region borders on the Czech Republic in the west and on Slovakia in the south.
Until 1918 the area fell under Austrian rule, traces of which can be detected in Bielsko Biała and Żywiec. This was the border between Austria and Germany. The castle in Żywiec, once owned by the Habsburgers, even today, radiates a certain glory in spite of the very poor state it is in. The towns of Cieszyn/Tesin lie on either side of the border, but are still considered as one. As a remnant from World War II many townspeople still own German passports, enabling them to find jobs in Western Europe. A visit to the museum in Auschwitz seems to be favoured by almost all of our guests. Auschwitz also has remnants of it’s own dating back to World War II in the form of a museum.
Bielsko Biała is the largest city featuring a beautifully restored train station, town hall (left) and a museum castle. A small river divides the city into two as is the case in Buda and Pest (Hungary). Żywiec ois well known in the area for it’s beer brewery and is fast becoming a favourite tourist spot. The “pearl of Silesia” can be found in this region as well: Pszczyna with it’s castle and surrounding park, market square and baroque churches. (right) Throughout the area typical wooden churches can be found, for example in: Łodygowice, Lachowice, Gilowice, Mikuszowice and Szczyrk. Restaurants in the same type of architecture are there to be admired as well.
Each year, in the last week of July, the region is host to the Beskid Culture Week. International folk singing- and dancing groups entertain the public. This all takes place simultaneously in five different towns. Bielsko has many music festivals: ancient music, Bach, Góreczki (a Bielsko resident and internationally renowned for his 3rd symphony on Auschwitz), jazz and pop music. Also famous on an international scale is the puppet theatre festival. Bielsko’s very own puppet theatre Banialuka performs almost daily. The Polish Theater performs plays, operettas and operas. Bielsko also has a fairly large chamber orchestra and a music hall with a new concert organ. The region can be called an Evangelical “enclave” within a prominent Catholic country. Several places of pilgrimage throughout the region are well worth a visit. And not too far from our home town lies Wadowice where Pope John Paul II was born and grew up. Szczyrk is home to a new sports complex housing a sports hall, indoor swimming pool, soccer stadium, athletic track and tennis courts. For those vacation goers wanting to give their vacation an active twist it might be worthwhile looking into the following activities: Hang gliding (Bielsko, Mięzybrodzie), parasailing (Skrzyczne, Mięzybrodzie), tennis, indoor carting (Bielsko), bowling (Żywiec), horseback riding (Łodygowice, Bierna), mountain biking, skiing (downhill and cross country) and ski jumping (world champion Adam Małesz lives in the region).
The town of Kalna lies in the “Kotlina Żywieczka’, the valley basin of Żywiec, with a lake in the middle. This valley is encircled by three mountain ranges: Little Beskids to the north, the Żywiecer Beskids to the east and the Silesian Beskids to the west. These Beskids are a hiker’s paradise but there are also routes set out for mountain bikers. Żywiec Lake has ample opportunities for those wanting to participate in water sports. As for winter sports, the Silesian Beskids are the place to be! Szczyrk is one of the best-known winter sports centres.
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