In terms of tourism, the area around Słupsk is one of the most interesting regions in Poland. Both Słupsk – a seven-hundred-year-old town, and other fascinating sites, combined with the vicinity of the sea, make it an increasingly-common popular destination for tourists.

Słupsk lies a short distance from the sea, and the sit on which it was founded is a crossing of the Słupia with an ancient route going from west to east along the the Baltic Sea coast. The town, population one hundred thousand, nurtures its historic sites, and especially the local Castle of the Dukes. It also makes every effort to foster local culinary traditions, and to be a significant cultural hub. It hosts music and theatre festivals and artistes’ meetings, and it has its own fair and sporting events. Having at its disposal the largest collection of Witkacy’s work in the world, the oldest operating lift in Europe, and a leaning tower, the Capital of the Słupsk Land has a good reason to advertise itself with the slogan, “Słupsk – more than you think”.

The Capital is matched by the entire region. Its greatest attractions (besides the beautiful Baltic beaches) are the shifting sands near Łeba, called “the Pomeranian desert” and the Checkered-House Land – the area of characteristic rural architecture connected with the Slovincian culture, once inhabiting this place. No less great are the water courses and hydrotechnical monuments of the Słupsk Land. Cutting through stunning landscapes and areas of protected nature, the canoe trails deliver not only experience of invigorating contact with nature, but also to learning about many interesting solutions used in water management and ways to obtain renewable energy from the force of the flowing river waters.

The Słupsk land is a place of diversity, as well as activities, culture, and water tourism. Its untouched nature and well-preserved historic buildings, great beaches and wonderful local cuisine  make it the dream holiday destination .

The Checkered-House Land

The Checkered-House Land

     The name “the Checkered-House Land” (“Kraina w Kratę”) first appeared as the title of a photography exhibition organised in 1995 in Słupsk and presenting the beauty of the traditional architecture of Pomerania’s villages. The name turned out to be so apt and catchy that today, after nearly twenty years, it is used as an official term and a local tourist brand.

The Checkered-House Land is the area of timber-framed architecture, featuring beams pitched black and whitened spaces of fillings, giving the buildings a characteristic checkered look. The capital of the Checkered-House Land is considered to be Swołowo, a village near Słupsk, with about seventy buildings constructed in the traditional style. One of the historic cottages of Swałowo houses a branch of the Museum of Central Pomerania, which has organisational and scientific patronage over the Land. Its entire area features information boards, allowing not only the precise identification of the towns which feature the tokens of the Land's architectural traditions, but also the learning of the history of individual sites. The Land has more than a dozen thematic tourist routes, whose total length is nearly 400 km. The names of some of the routes sound very mysterious. Do names such as "The Dismantled Tracks Route", "Mikołajkowy" or "The Ring of the Griffins" not inspire you to go on a trip?

Besides the "checkered" form of the building façades, the Land is dominated by thed oval or circular layout of villages, which is characteristic of very old settlements. The typical "checkered" cottage also has a very characteristic form with a residential building in the background, outbuildings on both sides of a sizeable courtyard and an obligatory gate, as well as a gate building from the side of the road. Apart from "checkered" cottages, this style was also employed to construct churches, manors, and public-utility buildings. This type of building may be seen in Darłowo, Sławno, Ustka, Słupsk, and many other seaside villages and towns. An important centre of the "checkered house" is the open-air museum of the Slovincian country in Kluki, where an original farmstead was preserved, with additional buildings, previously in danger of collapse, later moved here from other locations.

The Checkered-House Land is a boundless area stretching along a 50-kilometre-wide seaside belt, whose length is 80 km. Strewn around the beautiful scenery, the traditional historical buildings, other than those known from central Poland, are definitely well worth recommending.