Biecz is a village at the eastern edge of Małopolskie Province, 125 km east of Kraków (and not to be confused with Biecz near the German border). Like Kraków, its heyday was in medieval times, but it declined as the powerbase moved to Warsaw then Poland fell under foreign occupation. But several medieval buildings and parts of the old town walls have survived and are the main reason to visit.
The village is in the valley of the River Ropa, which flows out of the mountains on the border with Slovakia then down through Gorlice. It flows northeast across Małopolskie forming a natural transport route, and on into Podkarpackie Province eventually to join the Vistula. Biecz straggles along the historic route near the provincial boundary, with the modern highway 28 bypassing it on the other side of the valley.
You need your own car, as public transport is sparse. Buses run every hour or so from Gorlice, but getting there depends upon an occasional bus from Nowy Sącz. There is a direct bus service from Kraków's MDA Bus Station, stopping in Biecz on its way to the nearby town of Jasło. The drive from Krakow takes 2 hours and 40 minutes and cost between 24 and 37 zł, depending on the company.
The 1 Biecz Railway Station has a few regional connections, mostly to Nowy Sącz and Jasło. There are also a few connections to Kraków.
Walk, though the village straggles for 1-2 km.
- The original village centres on the market place (Rynek).
- 1 Town Hall (Ratusz). The main attraction of Biecz has a 16th C bell tower, with a dungeon etched by prisoners. As in Krakow, the hejnał trumpet call is played from the tower at noon; historically it was the dawn signal to re-open the town gates.
- 2 Corpus Christi Church (Kościół Bożego Ciała). A brick Gothic church dating to 14th C. The side chapels are 16th C and the richly carved stalls are 17th C. The Oratorium holds the relics of St Jadwiga.
- 3 Holy Spirit Hospital (Szpital Świętego Ducha). A two-story building from the 14th century
- 4 City Walls. Only a few sections remain, around Corpus Christi Church and the Hospital, and three towers: Kowalska or smith's tower, Rzeźnicka or bell tower, and Radziecka or commissioner’s tower. Likewise only a few foundation blocks remain of the castle.
- 5 Museum of the Biecz Region (Dom Kromera), ul. Kromera 3, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Closed on Monday. Museum in a former merchant house. 4 zł, reduced ticket 2 zł.
- 6 St. Michael's Church in Binarowa. A fine example of a wooden church, in the village of Binarowa two km northwest of Biecz. The church dates back to 1500.
- Hike in the hills
- Podkarpackie Province starts 5 km east of Biecz, further down the Ropa valley. Approaching the first town of Jasło, turn up the hill to the skansen (outdoor museum) of Trzcinica.