On one hand contemporary times provide extensive possibilities and are open to the world, and at the same time generate many threats and challenges. What is the task of people living in difficult times, among unusual challenges, in a beautiful nut not completely tamed land?
Na trasie (foto: P. Szechyński)
What objective should they pursue? What possiblities should they try to use?
With regard to exceptional natural values of this land, its flawless character, at the same time being aware of its situation on a major route connecting three different nations and cultures, we can see the necessity of preservation of the most precious things.
On one hand - flawless land, clean waters, rich and unique nature, on the other hand - cultural heritage of inhabitants whose lives were full of historical tribulations.
In the age when live becomes dependent on technology, economic activity is subordinated to the maximum profit criteria, and life is general becomes nondescript, I believe that all initiatives aiming at preservation of things crucial to man: health, cultural identity and awarenes of one's own value, are valuable. Generations coming into life must take over something they can build their future on, not only in terms of economy. Young inhabitants of our district are our hope and potential that allows us to be optimistic about the future.
It is not possible to succeed without cooperation of all inhabitants. Their good will, persistence and good ideas form the basis for succes.
Thus, we wish ourselves successful implementation of our plans, lots of luck to inhabitants of our district, and to all visitors to our district - satisfaction with the place, interesting impressions, and pleasurable contact with pure nature as well as rich culture.
Komańcza District Administrator
mgr inż. Stanisław Bielawka
The District of Komańcza is situated in the southern park of Podkarpackie province; it extends over the upper and central part of the Osława river basin, constituting a transitory zone between Low Beskid Mountains and the Bieszczady Mountains. The Osława river basign is regarded as the boundary between these geographical regions.
The district territory covers 45 518 ha (which ranks it as the third biggest district in Poland).
Pomnik A. Warhola - Medzilaborce (foto: P. Szechyński)
The seat of the district authorities is Komańcza. Komańcza, in accordance with the resolution of the District Council No.IV/22/90, is an ecological district and belongs to the Association of Healthy Polish Town and Cities, and since 12.04.1974 the village of Komańcza has had the status of a spa. The territory of Komańcza has rich mineral water resources; the curative materials are hydrogen - carbon - sodium - sulphide waters.
The District of Komańcza has favourable conditions for development of tourism, since it is situated in a little industrialized and urbanized region. As early as in the interwar period, Komańcza started to develop as a summer resort, which is evidenced by wooden guest-houses of which only two have been preserved: the Monastery of Nuns of the order of the Holy Family of Nazareth, and a hostel of the Polish Tourist Country-Lovers' Association (PTTK).
An additional advantage is that the District of Komańcza forms part of the Łemk culture ethnografic region. It impinges directly on the rich sacral and lay architecture of that region, peculiar cultural identity manifested in the history of the region, traditions, customs, legends and names of villages.
The border contacts of the inhabitants and self-governing authorities of the District of Komańcza with people and authorities of the District of Medzilaborce in Slovakia on one hand are said to have been traditional for ages, whereas on the other hand - they have been particulary increased along with opening of the new railway border crossing in Łupków and a pedestrian border crossing in Radoszyce in mid 1990s.
These activities were concluded in signature of a Partnership Agreement with the Town of Medzilaborce in 2000 that commenced wide cooperation with regard to culture, tourism, sport, as well as mutual meetings of the inhabitants and creation of specific projects favourable to our district and to the town Medzilaborce. The motto of the Partnership Agreement is: "Life in peace, unity and friendship connecting the Nations of Europe".
Owing to the initiative of two neighbouring and befriended districts: Komańcza and Medzilaborce in 2001 the Cross-Boundary Cycling Route was established.
Medzilaborce, Muzeum A. Warhola (foto: P. Szechyński)
The route could be opened due to cooperation with the Carpathian Euroregion Association.
Originally, the route was 40km long and started in the village of Wisłok Wielki. It passed through: Czystogarb, Komańcza, Radoszyce, where it crossed the boundary of Poland, and then, on the Slovak side, it continued through: Palota, Medzilaborce, Krasny Brod. This route became an interesting proposal to tourist, however, people using this section often asked about further part of the route heading to the Bieszczady Mountains and the Low Beskid Mountains with regard to the fact that the initial and final stage of the route clearly indicated the direction in which it should continue.
These remarks became valuable suggestions and, as a result, led to expansion of the original route. It became even more possible when in the Bieszczady Mountains territory in 2001 a cycling route "Zielony rower" was established. This route extends from the district of Komańcza practically to the boundary with Ukraine. Before, "Zielony rower" did not have a direct outlet to the Slovak side. It became possible owing to connection of the routes in Wola Michowa and Przełęcz Żebrak.
In 2003, the Cross-Boundary Cycling Route was extended by 120km. In total it is 160km long, including 100km on the Polish side and 60km on the Slovak side.
The route incorporates numerous amenities such as: 17th, 18th and 19th century Orthodox churches, historic sites, view points. Accommodation and catering facilities were also taken into acount.
The new, extended cycling route incorporates the already existing Icons' Route in the Osława Valley connected with the Icons'Route in the San Valley. Both routes form part of the Wooden Architecture Route passing through the territories of Podkarpackie and Małopolskie province.
The route is marked out along the Route of Wooden Churches extending from Medzilaborce to Swidnik.
Tourist cycling route "Laborecka wędrówka"
The whole project is located at the boundary between Poland and Slovakia, extending over the northern part of Slovakia - the Preszov Land.
Medzilaborce, cerkiew (foto: P. Szechyński)
All the connected sections are open, which enables their extension and addition of other routes in different directions. An advantage of a cycling route designed this way on the Slovak side is the fact that every successive section of the same take us closer to the boundary with Ukraine and Hungary, depending on the direction of the route.
On 21st October 2003, we celebrated the opening of the Cross-Boundary Cycling Route Komańcza - Medzilaborce marked out under the cross-boundary cooperation project, financed from the funds of Phare CBC and the Carphatian Foundation in Poland.
The cycling route enters the Slovak side from the direction of Radoszyce through the newly established border crossing in Palota and leads through the beautiful landscape of the Low Beskid Mountains and the East Carpathians Landscape Park. The route leads through the territory of the district of Medzilaborce, from 300 to 700m above sea level, through cross-boundary territories with virgin nature and clean air.
Individual cycling routes are divided into a few sections:
State border in Palota - Palota - Łupkowski Tunnel - Palotske Jedliny - Pod Lozovatą centre - Palota - 13,5km.
On the route there are organised resting sites: under the tunnel, in the Forest Company centre and by the main road to Palota. There are also information boards in these places.
Palota - Vydrań - Kalinov - Danova - Vydrań - 19,5km.
From Medzilaborec Vydrań we continue the tour to Kalinov, then, along a forest path to the centre in Danova and back to Vydrań. At the well on the crossroads to Danova there is another resting site.
Vydrań - the town of Medzilaborce - 6,5km.
This Laborec route starts in Vydrań. Before the railway junction, 250m on the right, you can visit a Jewish cemetery in the woods and then, in Medzilaborcach there are many historic monuments (churches, monuments, memorials) and an exceptional exhibition in the Andy Warhol Modern Art Museum. Information boards are placed near the Czech legionaries' memorial at a small railway station. On the right, behind the Laborec river, there is a forest park Kamjana - a place for walks with a beautiful view on the local territory.
Medzilaborce - Habura - border crossing in Certiźne - Jaśliska (PR) - Medzilaborce - 26km.
On this route there are 3 nature reserves: the Habura Moor, Pod Demjatou (Habura) and Mokre Łąki near Certiźne. There is peatland, rare and endangered species of animal and birds.
From Certiźne the Carpathian Cycling route leads to Medzilaborce, Vyrava and Snina. Near Snina there are wooden Orthodox churches.
Medzilaborce - Monastyr - Krasny Brod - Rokytovce - Svidnik - Vysny Komarnik - 11km (in the county of Medzilaborce).
Ruins of the monastery form part of the history of the entire Laborec region. It is situated south of Krasny Brod. In the chapel of Our Lady, reconstructed in 1759 and preserved until this day, there is a miraculos icon of the Holiest Mother of God in Baroque, silver frames. This is a location of the information board of our route. From Krasny Brod the route leads to Kamjana to the Devil's Rock. In villages of the District of Swidnik there are also wooden Orthodox churches forming an interesting tourist route.
Medzilaborce - Radvań nad Laborcom - Olka - Humenne - 22km (in the county of Medzilaborce).
In individual villages we can visit Greek Catholic Orthodox churches dating back to 1790 - 1922. The local woods are abundant with game and crops, particularly mushrooms. The Cycling Route leads by 2nd category roads.
Urząd Gminy w Komańczy (District office in Komańcza):
38-543 Komańcza 166
tel/fax: (013) 467-70-35
Centrum Promocji i Informacji Turystycznej (Tourist Information District Office):
tel/fax: (013) 467-70-76
068 01 Medzilaborce
tel. (0042) 157 732 1206 - sekretariat UM Medzilaborce
(0042) 157 732 1660 - Informacja turystyczna.
(podane telefony dotyczą rejony Polski).