en > What to see > Outside the Town > Nysa

Nysa used to be called the “Silesian Rome” or “Silesian Athens”. It was one of the best-known and the most important Polish towns. Its name appears in Hartmann Schedl's “World Chronicles” just after those of Krakow and Wroclaw. For almost 500 years of its history Nysa was the capital of the bishop's principality, due to which it flourished economically and culturally, despite diverse historical adversities such as invasions and fires.

Under the Prussian rule, the town was converted into a stronghold, which hindered its further growth for nearly 200 years. Yet, the worst disaster occurred during WW2, when almost 80 percent of the town was virtually destroyed. Its inhabitants put continuous effort into the meticulous reconstruction and renovation of the remaining fragments of the town's former glory. The unique character of the town is revealed both in historical buildings full of various treasures and in old parks and fortifications, as well. The adjacent Nyskie Lake and the vicinity of the Opawskie Mountains help make it into the most attractive tourist area in the Opolskie Province and one of the best-known such areas in Poland. Despite suffering massive destruction during World War II, Nysa retains a number of interesting buildings. The town centre is dominated by the Gothic Church of Saints James and Agnieszka, with a separate belfry dating from the early 16th century. The well beside it, covered with unusual wrought ironwork, is known as the Beautiful Well and dates from 1686. Of Nysa's many churches, the finest are the Church of Saints Peter and Paul and the Jesuit Church of the Assumption. Also of interest are the bishop's palace and manor, which sand beside a group of Jesuit buildings. The palace houses a local history museum.

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