Dunes, palaces and amazing nature. We visit the Lebork Land.

A bit of history, lots of monuments and lots of nature. Lebork Land located between Wejherowo and Slupsk is an area where it is worth staying for longer. There is a lot of medieval history in Lebork, and Leba is an invitation to a unique meeting with the nature of the Slowinski National Park and a real seaside phenomenon - moving dunes.

Lebork Land, as the name suggests, first invites you to its largest city,  Lebork. The history of the village situated along the Pomorskie Way of St. James, takes us back to medieval times and is associated with the activities of the Teutonic Order. When visiting Lebork, it is impossible not to pay attention to the fourteenth-century defensive walls and towers. These are the remains of old, over 1200-meter-long fortifications. In the area you will also find the remains of the former Teutonic castle with towers and the 14th-century complex, which was once the seat of the Teutonic mayor.
The most important monument in the city is the Sanctuary of St. James, whose construction was completed in 1345, and till today impresses with, among others 18th century ivory tabernacle. The Gothic brick church is the seat of the Franciscan monastery and is located on the pilgrimage route to the Spanish Santiago de Compostela. Leaving Lebork, it is worth going North, towards the Baltic Sea and the enchanted world of the Slowinski National Park.
 

Palaces and nature reserves
Before we reach Leba, we pass through the "palace" village of Wicko. The palace in Poraj, over 100 years old, inscribed on the list of monuments, the palace in Charbrow from 1660 or the 16th century palace in Nowecin are examples of magnificent, dignified architecture from years ago. But Wicko and its surroundings are also very green areas. Along the Slowinski Coast you can admire Lebsko, the third largest lake in Poland and the Leba Spit, which separates it from the sea through a thin land line. There are nature reserves here, led by the Sarbska Mierzeka separating the Sarbsko Lake from the Baltic Sea.
You can find moving dunes here, the height of which can reach even 24 m above the sea level.

Walking down the dunes
The northern part of the Lebork Land is primarily the Slowinski National Park. A paradise for nature lovers, lakes, peat bogs, forests, meadows, flora and fauna. A paradise for those who want peace and quiet, want to breathe fresh sea air, feel the breeze from the Baltic Sea. The Slowinski National Park consists of moving dunes and many interesting facts that you can explore on your own or with a guide. One of the curiosities is the fact that until the dunes cover themselves with vegetation, they move in accordance with the rhythm of the blowing wind. Walking on the dunes (only on the routes marked by the employees of the Slowinski National Park!) Sometimes resembles a trip around the desert. The fact that we are at the seaside and not on hot sands reminds us of the wind, which constantly comes from the Baltic Sea.

The best starting point for walks on the dunes and the Slowinski National Park is Leba. It's a small coastal town with great infrastructure. You will find hotels, guesthouses, apartments, restaurants, cafes here. Leba enchants with its location: from the north it opens to the Baltic Sea, from the east it borders with the Sarbsko Lake, and from the west it envelops the Lebsko Lake and the Slowinski National Park.

Although today Leba is primarily a destination for tourists and nature lovers, one should not forget that it is also an old port, fishing centre and marina. In spring and summer, Leba offers a number of attractions for children and adults. In Leba You find a sand dune, a park, but also a beautiful, wide beach, on which we lounger until sunset.

St. Jacob in Lębork Land

St. Jacob in Lębork Land

     St Jacob the Elder, apostle and brother of John the Evangelist and one of the first Christian martyrs, is an important figure in Christian spirituality and mythology circles, one of the fundaments of European culture. His cult, very popular in the whole of Europe in the Middle Ages, revived since the end of the 20th Century, after ages of oblivion, has its significant centre in  Lębork and its vicinity.
St Jacob the Elder, especially his patronage of pilgrimage , including the most important sanctuary in Santiago de Compostella, for hundreds of years constituted an axis that concentrated phenomena important in shaping European Christianity's culture. Aside from the religious aspect in all of its manifestations, the pilgrimage to St. Jacob's tomb in Spain constituted a very important integrating factor for the members of various ethnic groups that formed the cultural mosaic of the European Middle Ages. Hundreds of kilometres of pilgrim routes, wandering through foreign countries, meeting people of different languages and customs but sharing a common concept, created the feeling of human values and civilisational community. The tales, both authentic and slightly embellished, carried over by the pilgrims into their homelands, regardless of whether they really reached Compostella, or got stuck somewhere on the road, were a source of knowledge about the world, satisfying the age-old human thirst for knowledge. Despite the fact, that nowadays, uniting Europe does not even mention St. John among its patrons, ages ago, the influence of his cult on European integration was so significant that one could, without a doubt, think of him as the patron of this process, throughout the whole tempestuous period of the continent's history.


The Lębork Land, located thousands of kilometres from Santiago de Compostella, but situated on an important route leading to this sanctuary, was a centre of pilgrimage and Jacob's cult as early as in the Middle Ages. Lębork and its closest vicinity also have their part in the renaissance of pilgrimage, called for in 1982 by the pilgrim of the 20th Century, Pope John Paul II.


The most significant among the various Lębork contexts referring to Jacob is the 14th Century Parish of St. Jacob the Apostle , together with its historic gothic church. Since the mid 1990s, referring to the medieval tradition, Lębork has organized the St. Jacob's Church Fair, a town-wide event. Also, since the mid 1990s, St. Jacob the Apostle has been the town's official patron. The Local-Government officials have also made sure that the cultural route named "the Pomeranian Way of St. Jacob" ("Pomorska Droga św. Jakuba"), is marked out, recently part of a large project, the partners of which are, apart from the Communes of the Lębork District, organisations and institutions from Lithuania and Germany.


In the figure of St. Jacob and all other phenomena that surround his former and current cult, Lębork and Lębork Land find values which not only contribute to the region's development and promotion, but also support establishing supraregional cooperation and contact ties.