With its Old Town designated as a National Historic Monument, Lublin is a picturesque city to the south-east of Warsaw. It is the capital of Lublin Voivodeship, and a former royal city of the Crown Kingdom of Poland, with a distinct architecture developed as part of the “Lublin Renaissance” movement.
Lublin is often nicknamed “Little Krakow” and shares numerous Lesser Poland traditions in its architecture and ambience. Krakowskie Przedmieście is the main social hub, lined with coffee shops, restaurants and underground bars, together with the Semadeni Sweet shop which has been operating here for more than 160 years. This pedestrianised street leads from Łokietek Square and the classical-style New Town Hall to Litewski Square in the west with its early 20th century mansions and aristocratic palaces. Lublin’s rich history at the crossroads of Russia, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine is on display at the Historical Museum within the Lublin Castle, while the Skansen Museum details rural life in its reconstruction of a traditional Polish village. It features a striking manor house, Orthodox church and a windmill, together with beautifully carved wooden gates designed by Stanislaw Witkiewicz. Lublin’s pre-World War II cityscape included 38 synagogues, with the Jeszywas Chachmej Synagogue the sole that remains today, and the Majdanek concentration camp is a sombre reminder of the horrors that took place here under Nazi control.
Lublin is connected to both Warsaw and Krakow by multiple daily trains from Lublin Railway Station, as well as regular services to other major cities in Poland. There are also frequent bus services across the country and limited flight connections to European cities from Lublin Airport.
Archaeological sites on Lublin’s Czwartek Hill indicate that settlements emerged in the area during the 6th century AD. The town was subjected to attack from Mongols, Ruthenians and Lithuanians during the early 13th century, with Casimir III the Great building a castle encircled by defensive walls in the following century to aid Lublin’s defence.