Introduction

If you’re staying in Nysa or Kłodzko, sleepy Paczków (patch-koof) makes a good day trip. It may be small, but the town has one of the most complete sets of medieval fortifications in Poland.

The oval ring of Paczków’s defensive walls was built around 1350 and was surrounded by a moat. Remarkably, these walls remained in place over the centuries and, as the town escaped major destruction during WWII, they still encircle the historic quarter. They were initially about 9m high for the whole of their 1200m length and had a wooden gallery for sentries below the top.

Four gateways were built, complete with towers (all of which still stand) and drawbridges, and there were two dozen semicircular towers built into the walls themselves (19 have survived, though most are incomplete). The most interesting is the round Kłodzko Gate Tower, with its irregular loopholes; the oldest is the 14th-century Wrocław Gate Tower, which can be climbed. Ask for the key at the nearby 'Ruch' kiosk on ul Armii Krajowej.

There are six daily buses to Paczków from Nysa (10zł, 30 minutes) and five from Kłodzko (12zł, 40 minutes).

If there’s time to kill before your return service, duck into the surprisingly interesting Gas Industry Museum, a short walk north of the Rynek in an old red-brick gasworks that operated from 1902 to 1977. Among its varied gas-related exhibits, it contains an extensive collection of gas meters.