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.
The nearest mainline railway station is Nowy Sącz, which has trains from Tarnow. Trains along the branch line to Biecz have been axed, leaving a token once-a-day replacement bus service between Stróże and Zagórz.
Walk, though the village straggles for 1-2 km.
- The original village centres on the market place. The 1 Town Hall 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.
- Corpus Christi Church (Kościół Bożego Ciała) is 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.
- Holy Spirit Hospital is a two-story building from the 14th C.
- City Walls: only a few sections remain, around Corpus Christi Church and the Hospital, and three towers: Kowalska or smith's tower, Rzeźnick or bell tower, and Radziecka or commissioner’s tower. Likewise only a few foundation blocks remain of the castle.
- Museum: Dom Kromera is in a former merchant house.
- St Michael’s is a fine example of a wooden church, in Binarowa two km northwest of Biecz.
- Hike in the hills
- U Becza in the marketplace is for a leisurely filling meal, it's not for quick bite. Open daily 10:00-22:00.
- The pizzeria in the marketplace is open M-Sa 10:00-22:00, Su 13:00-22:00.
- Also in the marketplace are a Doner King kebab shop, a coffee shop and an ice-cream shop.
- And see "Sleep" listing for Hotel Grodzka.
- Villa Historia [dead link] (formerly Hotel Centennial) is a simple hotel near the marketplace at ul Węgierska 13.
- Hotel Grodzka is on main drag at Kazimierza Wielkiego 35. Fairly basic hotel and restaurant, it's Art Nouveau style but nowadays lacking the nouveau. Their pizzeria does takeaway.
- Others on ul Parkowej
- Podkarpackie Province starts 5 km east of Biecz, further down the Ropa valley. Approaching the first town of Jaslo, turn up the hill to the skansen (outdoor museum) of Trzcinica.