The town of Zwierzyniec (zvyeh-zhi-nyets) is 32km southwest of Zamość; like Zamość, it was created by Jan Zamoyski, but on a more modest scale. In the 16th century the Polish nobleman built a summer palace and residential complex here, and tossed in an enormous game reserve for his recreational enjoyment. While the family’s once-grand summer palace was pulled down in the 19th century (all that’s left is a tiny chapel), the game reserve survives to this day and forms the core of the modern-day Roztocze National Park.
Zwierzyniec itself is no great shakes. It’s little more than a forlorn-looking square surrounded by a few shops selling cheap clothing. Still, it’s the gateway to an enchanting national park, with hundreds of kilometres of unspoiled hiking and biking trails.