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Miejsce startu: Rybnik (railway station)
Miejsce końcowe: Rybnik (railway station)
Dystans: 45.0 km
Czas: 7.0 h
Ora et Labora - "pray and work." These three words can describe the rules of life in a Cistercian monastery. Its rule in fact assumes that apart from contemplation, a day of every monk should be filled with work. And its scope was huge - the Cistercians were involved in, among others: forestry, crafts, industry and education. So they were often invited by local monarchs to set up new monasteries. Cistercians had a positive impact on the Order in Rudy, and in 1993 they formed a landscape park "the Cistercian Landscape Compositions of Rudy Wielkie". Its name refers to the tradition of the Order.
I would like to invite you on a cycling trip to explore its main attractions.
The route runs from Rybnik to Raciborz through Rudy and Nedza. On the way we visit Pearls of the Natural Park: monastery – palace complex in Rudy, Lezczok reservoir, Arboretum of Morawska Gate. The overwhelming part of the route leads through the beautiful, valuable, natural forests and along the western shore of the Rybnik Reservoir. We start at the railway station in Rybnik, and the end of the tour is also at the main railway station, but in Raciborz.
You can go back to Rybnik by train, on that route, fortunately, trains run frequently. The length of the route is 45 km, and to ride the route (with stops) 7 hours should be enough.
The area is not demanding, without steep gradients.
A long straight avenue that we see on the right after exiting the train station in Rybnik is a representative street of Kosciuszko. Along the street, runs a very well marked, black bike trail. We cross the road and ride it until we arrive to the Basilica - an architectural symbol of Rybnik. The bike path circles the Basilica from the left, through the intersection and continues in a northerly direction.
This section requires large attention - signs often guide through road crossings. After a lap around the Basilica the black bike trail leads through the residential streets and quiet suburbs, and after about 20 minutes we reach Gliwicka street, running along the buildings of the Hospital for Mentally ill. We ride along the street, and after a few minutes on the right we pass the stadium of MOSIR, playgrounds and swimming pools, then we get to a roundabout. We pass through the first crossing - we're already at the intersection of bicycle routes. Our route leads further along the blue trail in the direction of the Centre "Kotwica" and Stodola district. We ride through the another crossing, turn right and before the bridge we go onto the shaft running along the slow flowing river Ruda.
We ride along the shaft of the slowly flowing Ruda. This river is the main watercourse supplying Rybnicki reservoir, its course is regulated by a simple channel enclosed with shafts. Our route (blue) is also combined with the yellow one, after 15 - 20 minutes it leads us to the bridge, which we cross on the left bank of Ruda. For a short time we enter an asphalt road and after a few meters, we turn left towards the next bridge. Before the bridge we turn right. Between the fences around a small rectangular tank there is a bike path lined with a light gravel. We follow it straight ahead until the road bridge at the mouth of the River Ruda flowing into the reservoir.
In front of us appears the view of the tank’s surface and Rybnik Power Station on the right side. And for its purposes the riverbed was dammed nearly 40 years ago. The dam reservoir, which we have in front of us, is called "The Sea of Rybnik." Among many interesting facts about the reservoir one will particularly absorb anglers – thanks to the fact that these waters are the receiver of warm water from power plants, they are characterized by a temperature not falling below 15 degrees. Such conditions favor the growth of fish living in this place. It has been reported, that specimen of fish with a length of two meters can be found here.
We go over the bridge, behind which the blue cycle route starts leading us along the shore of reservoir. We pass through another dikes separating adjacent tanks from the main basin. Then we pass the Kotwica Yachting Center, where you can take a sailing course and get all sorts of patents. Later we enter the center "Under sails" Here we turn sharply to the left to the dam of reservoir.
In the meantime, our blue route joins the black one. Here we see the beginning of the further course of Ruda, but also the another river - Nacyna. There is an interesting story related with Nacyna - the river once flowed into the Ruda over the today tank. However, it was too salty because of the water drained from the mine. That is why designers could not allow the water to flow into the Ruda above the reservoir and built the pipeline, where Nacyna gets to the reservoir, and reaches Ruda below the dam. This pipeline runs along our route, and the water tank.
Behind the dam we go straight, following the signs of the black route. After about 100 meters we reach the bridge over Ruda, where our trail ends. Before the bridge, behind a paddock with obstacles, a yellow bike trail turns right, which we choose to continue our journey.
The yellow bike trail takes us for a while through Stodoly district, later it turns left and enters a forest. After a few minutes of riding through the forest we reach the crossing of cycle routes. Here we go straight on the black route which will lead us to Rudy. We ride about 5 km along a wide, comfortable forest road, crossing the tracks several times, until we reach the forest junction. Here we turn left. Currently the place is unmarked, I hope that the lack of sign will soon be completed. After 10 minutes we enter an asphalt road full of holes, which leads to Rudy.
Along the way we pass the historic narrow railway station. It is worth stopping here for a while - it is the largest railway station on the route, which to 1991 linked Gliwice with Raciborz serving many small stations lost in the woods. The history of the station dates back to 1901, most of the buildings has been preserved to this day. One of the biggest attractions is the restored operating steam locomotive Las-49, you can also admire a large number of historic items of rolling stock and station equipment. You can take a ride on the train to the nearby station Stanica or Paproc. Currently, the works of restoring the circulation of this historic long-distance cable are being conducted. The object was included in the Industrial Monuments Route of Silesian Province.
From the historic station we are guided by the black bike trail into the town, we turn right in front of the church located on a small hill, after a few minutes we ride through the main road and we enter the woods and a bicycle path. We are already in the English postcistercian park surrounding the monastery - palace complex in Rudy.
The local monastery was founded in the Middle Ages, in 1258. Today's architectural form is the result of the complex’ reconstruction, which was made in the years 1680 - 1790, during which the Abbot palace was built. The church has, of course, relics, and what is interesting - these are the relics of St. Valentine, perhaps well known by all in love. Since 1781 there was the only philosophical - theological college of Upper Silesia, there was also a high-school.
Cistercians did not only contributed to spread the spiritual culture – but also contributed to the material development of local areas. The order lived according to the law which was included in a simple but very important motto "Ora et labora" - "pray and work". The local soils are not suitable for agriculture, but the greatest wealth has always been around forests. Cistercians developed honey production, logging and fetal undergrowth, herbalism, hunting, fish farming, forging and metallurgy. They built breeding ponds, lodge, manor hunting houses, land irrigation channels, they established and planned forest paths and roads.
Particularly valuable is the natural English park surrounding the complex. Rudzki Forest Inspectorate formed here an educational path, which allows a closer look at the rich, diverse environment of the park. Within the monastery – palace complex, 2 km from the center of Rudy starts an educational biking trail with a length of 16 km.
Today, Cistercians are seen as precursors of sustainable development – they conducted economy, with respect for nature, in such way to preserve the natural wealth for future generations. An example would be the glassworks and the potash plant established by the order, which were soon closed by the Cistercians. Even though it brought a large revenue, they realized that steelworks is harmful for the environment and the health of citizens. In 1810 the monastery was closed by the Prussian authorities, and the property passed into the possession of Landgraf, who began to exploit its natural resources in a more intensive manner. Soon the number of animals strongly decreased, and initiated changes in the management of forests has led to environmental pollution and to their partial degradation.
To continue the rest of the trip, we reach the center of Rudy, which will not be difficult. When we stand in front of the church included in the monastery - palace complex and look to the left, we notice a big crossroads. It is located at the building of forest district office, and at the bookstore, in which we can acquire guides describing interesting places in Raciborz or Rybnik. Standing in front of the building we will see the intersection and the sign indicating Raciborz (road No. 919) we go that way.
The road is rather narrow. After a few minutes on the right we pass Dr. Roger's hospital, which is the headquarter of the Landscape Park. The hospital was built in the mid-nineteenth century on the initiative of Dr. Julius Roger, to treat the local population thanks to the money raised from donors. On the left side an outpost of the former post office is visible, and just before the end of the buildings an attraction for children - "Magic Cottage" - a gallery of legendary figures from the Silesian tales.
After leaving the town, the road no. 919 turns gently to the left, and we turn gently to the right, into a gravel road. Now we enter the red pedestrian trail (two horizontal white stripes, and between them the red one). This is the Polish Hussars Trail, formed on the occasion of the anniversary of the siege of Vienna. It runs along a beautiful avenue among high oaks.
After about 15 - 30 minutes after leaving Rudy we reach Wildek a forester’s lodge. You will recognize it by the original element – a timbered tower which was built at the lodge. The history of the lodge is connected with the dark legend of Elijah the forester - a cruel guard of nearby forests. Supposedly, he imprisoned, or killed every uninvited guest who appeared in his lodge.
Behind the lodge, our trail turns left, running along the high-voltage lines. Riding on a wide forest road, we reach the next lodge in Krasiejow. It is an example of a well-preserved Prussian wall with visible wooden elements in walls. Next to the lodge begins a red bike trail leading to Nedza - it will guide us through the rest of the trip. After 40 - 60 minutes after leaving Rudy we reach Nedza.
Certainly many of you will wonder where the name of the town comes from, though it is not poor, (Nedza- misery). This is the answer to this question – the legend states that the Prince of Raciborz, who got lost while hunting in the surrounding woods came to a poor fisherman's hut, which could accommodate him with only bread and water. The Prince sighed, "Oh misery, misery .." and so it was the beginning of the name.
In the center of the village, the red trail turns right into road no. 421 (direction to Ciechowice), which leads us to the viaduct over the railway. If you do not want to continue the tour, you can take the train that will take you back to Rybnik.
After the exit of the viaduct there is the intersection of cycling routes, where we turn into the green trail that leads straight along the railway, several yards of paved road, and then on a narrow path. After about 15 - 20 minutes we reach the first water tanks- we are at the "Lezczok" reservoir - natural pearl of Landscape Park - Cistercian Landscape Compositions. The reservoir includes a complex of ponds formed in the thirteenth century on the initiative of the Cistercians, and preserved surrounding forest habitat. About 30 protected plants were found on its territory, several of which are endemics – they grow only in this place. The nature reserve also serves as an important bird mainstay of water and marsh habitats, and the home of bats. Over 200 species of birds were observed here. During the flight migration their number rises up to 10 thousand. So remember to move only on designated routes and not to frighten the birds. The trail leads along the avenue among ponds, in the middle of the reserve there is a former Cistercian hunting manor house, now unfortunately ruined.
The green bike route ends sharply at the roadside of the road no. 919. We will have to ride this road about 1 km to Markowice. We turn left, after a few minutes we go through the railway crossing and the center of Markowice, before the church we turn right – following the signs of the black and yellow bicycle routes. After a few minutes we turn into Klonowa Street, and after a while we go along the railway tracks. The route leads us towards the wooded slope. We come to the forest, where a new botanical garden was recently established. It forms a part of the Arboretum of Morawska Gate. Currently the garden is not opened to the public. A few hundred meters further a mini - zoo was established. We follow our yellow path, which after 10 - 15 minutes leads us to the Arboretum of Morawska Gate.
The forest, where the arboretum is located is called a barn. The most credible origin of this name is associated with the meaning of the word ‘barn’ in Czech - in ancient times it was a grove located between the fields, used for logging and to bury the dead. This version was confirmed by discovery of the complex of tombs. Obory Forest has always been under the strict protection, which allowed to preserve its natural character.
With the support of the Polish Academy of Sciences it was transformed into a botanical garden, among others, many valuable species of plants were planted here. The Obora Forest was also the place of uprising troops stationing, after which we can see trenches today. The tour around Arboretum should be led by the designated educational path.
In the vicinity of the Arboretum you can find a swimming pool and a campsite.
The yellow bike trail leads over the bridge on the Ulga channel, then after about 500 meters it turns left on a bike path running along two-lane street. The street turns and after about one kilometer it reaches the bridge over Oder River. We go straight towards the railway station. We turn right and stand in front of a deserted train station from which we return to Rybnik. The ticket office and the information desk can be found at the first platform.