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What benefits can be obtained by your commune if it becomes a partner commune to the Jan III Sobieski Trail (JIIIS)?
strona główna Conferences Seminars the opening conference background
English (United Kingdom)Polish (Poland)

Conference formula and objectives

The conference formula provides a space to exchange ideas on innovative approaches to the development of rural regions based on renewable energy sources, cultural and natural heritage, research and development – in the new programming perspective.

The objective of the conference is to present the Jan III Sobieski Trail to a wide range of stakeholders - as a developmental project (long-term, multisector and reaching beyond administrative boundaries), which based on a deep-rooted cultural and natural heritage follows the idea of ​​sustainable development in a creative and innovative way.

Since your active participation in the conference is one of our greatest concerns, in this section we would like to provide you with the basic information on regional development, renewable energy sources (RES), cultural heritage and tourism development on the Jan III Sobieski Trail.

Regional development of the JIIIS Trail

The Jan III Sobieski Trail is a concept which assumes the European dimension of cohesion, including at least the area between Olesko in Ukraine – the birthplace of the King, and Vienna in Austria – the place of the most famous battle of the 17th century.

At this stage the JIIIS Trail develops in three main ways, each of which involves seeking external partners. Therefore, determining the ways in which the European perspective is achieved as well as methods of managing this development is now a key activity.

Previous formulas for the development of the JIIIS Trail are:

Development based on the partnership of 6 communes on the Jan III Sobieski Trail (communes: Gorzków, Mełgiew, Piaski, Rybczewice, Spiczyn and Wólka, all situated in the Lubelskie Voivodship) which started in 2008 and assumed a direct impact on regional development in Lublin Region.

The formula is based on the partnership of communes and has so far resulted in obtaining of a strategic grant from the Swiss-Polish Co-operation Programme under the priority Development of peripheral and underdeveloped regions (project KIK 11 in the amount of 16 million PLN), an upgrade strategy for the development of 6 communes on the JIIIS Trail, writing and submission of joint project proposals, learning the strengths and weaknesses of 6 communes forming the partnership of communes on the JIIIS Trail and acquisition of partner communes in the direct vicinity (more details on this formula can be found in the “Outline of an integrated strategy for the development of the JIIIS Trail in the communes: Wólka, Spiczyn, Mełgiew, Piaski, Rybczewice, Gorzków” – the document is now the basis for the execution of the development strategy).

Development based on the co-operation of vital nodes on the Jan III Sobieski Trail started in 2009, which assumed the impact on regional development in Eastern Poland and Western Ukraine.

The formula is based on the partnership of vital nodes (also referred to as stops) of the JIIIS Trail located in Western Ukraine and Eastern Poland and so far has resulted in inter alias the implementation of the project “Sobieski’s heritage trail as a chance of cross-border co-operation between Eastern Poland and Western Ukraine”  financed by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism (Project NFM 0406), determining the location of the vital nodes in Eastern Poland and Western Ukraine, the implementation of the “The Sobieski Trail – the parent product of regional development of Eastern Poland” co-financed by the EU under the Operational Programme – Development of Eastern Poland, submitting grant proposals, including the proposal for PL-BY-UA Programme (more detailed information on this formula can be found here (link to Appendix 10 SIWZ to the development strategy of the JIIIS Trail based on the nodal points).

Development based on activities of individual and/or partner non-governmental organizations, companies and local administrative units, which started in 2008 and assumed the impact on different groups of recipients.

This formula is based on the implementation of projects co-financed from various sources. This includes the implementation of inter alia following projects: “Apparently, my grandfather was Sobieski?” co-financed by the S. Batory Foundation under the programme Memoria; the projects “Tourism on the Jan III Sobieski Trail”, “Entrepreneurship on the Jan III Sobieski Trail”, “Sobieski’s Shield”, “The activity on the Jan III Sobieski Trail” which are co-financed by the EU under the European Social Fund. More detailed information on this formula can be found on the web portal for NGOs on the JIIIS Trail.

RES development on the Jan III Sobieski Trail

The Jan III Sobieski Trail is a concept which assumes a natural connection with the idea of ​​increasing renewable energy sources in the overall energy balance of Europe, and more broadly speaking, the relationship between culture/ cultural heritage and environment’s renewable resources.

The possibility of interdisciplinary collaboration as well as the compilation of various energy sources has become the basis for the development of the concept of Sobiescianum Scutum Renewable Energy Zone (ScS).

At this stage of development the ScS Zone concept is carried out by two slightly different approaches. One of them clearly emphasizes the possibility of compiling various energy sources and application of hybrid solutions, the second focuses on the identification of one or more renewable energy sources which will be the driving force behind the ScS Zone.

In view of the above, the discussion on “hybrid or homogeneous RES?” has a direct impact on the strategic and operational decision making process on the JIIIS Trail. We also believe that it concerns rural regions as such, since Europe 2020 strategy makes the development of renewable energy sources one of EU five main targets.

The concept of Sobiescianum Scutum Renewable Energy Zone (ScS) was established after analysing the endogenous potentials of renewable energy sources in the region of 6 communes on the JIIIS Trail (some of the best helioenergetic resources in Poland, favourable wind conditions, good water and geothermal energy resources – water with temperature above 150°C, favourable conditions for agricultural energy crops, facilities for the production of biomass and biogas). These favourable conditions have been more and more increasingly recognised by entrepreneurs. As a result, in the region of 6 communes on the JIIIS Trail wind farms and biogas plants are build (e.g. methane-driven biopower plant in Piaski which is one of the first in South-Eastern Poland). One of the important characteristics of the ScS concept is the emphasis not only on the energy efficiency but also on the overall impression, i.e. the relation of the RES installations with natural and cultural landscape. Supporting the development of renewable energy use, together with the pilot Scutum Sobiescianum Renewable Energy Zone, was included in the “Environment Protection Programme in the Lubelskie Voivodship for the years 2012-2015 with a view to 2019” adopted on July 30, 2012 by the Regional Council of the Lubelskie Voivodship.

Cultural heritage

The basis of establishing the Jan III Sobieski Trail is knights’ heritage associated with the Sobieskis family, in particular with Jan III Sobieski himself, including both tangible heritage (e.g. palaces, parks, places of residence, places of battles) and intangible heritage (e.g. legends, tales, recipes, the memory of distinguished persons who lived here). The JIIIS Trail is a natural consequence of the discovery that Sobieski’s heritage has been preserved on many sites in Europe and that these sites can be connected.

Upon planning the development of the JIIIS Trail we face a number of problems relating to determining: (i) what is actually Sobieski’s heritage, (ii) what factors will determine the membership of a product or entity to the JIIIS Trail and its brand, and finally (iii) in what ways and which methods shall we use to revitalize this heritage.

Under the programme “A local brand as a guarantee of entrepreneurship development on the Knights’ Trail in Lublin Region” we adopted the principle of inspiration by Sobieski’s heritage as the most optimal form of preserving Sobieski’s heritage, which allows for creativity, supporting services a la Sobieski and adapting cultural heritage to the needs of modern humans. At the same time, in the subregion of 6 communes on the JIIIS Trail the need to reconstruct the knights’ and royal heritage associated with the Sobieski’s family as well as the care for faithful reproduction of places and times of Jan III Sobieski are more and more strongly emphasized.

The Palace and Park Complex in Zawieprzyce which is the venue of this conference is an excellent example of combining these two trends, which already at present is expressed in the shape and appearance of the palace and park space. Detailed information on the Palace and Park Complex may be found here.

Based on the preliminary analysis carried out in 2010 by an international think-tank team it can be stated that in the subregion of 6 communes on the JIIIS Trail the remains, trails and souvenirs relating to the presence of the King and his family survived at least in:

Pilaszkowice (remains of the palace built for Queen Marysieńka which burned down during the Kościuszko Uprising, dozens of letters by Jan III Sobieski that were sent from here, the place of a secret wedding, palace basements – probably for wine),

Bazar (village founded by the Turkish settlement),

Częstoborowice (the painting of Our Lady Victorious which the King took with him on all the major battles, including the battle of Vienna in 1683),

Sobieska Wola (family hunting estates),

Piaski (where Sobieski stayed in the private estates of the Suchodolskis family),

Jadwisin (where the King has hunted  at least three times – according to the legend, to commemorate the events from1654, 1659 and 1663 a mound was build and planted with oaks which were later inscribed with commemorating dates),

Zawieprzyce (property built by Atanazy Miączyński, there is also a linden tree planted to commemorate the arrival of the King to Zawieprzyce – a side branch of the tree has grown to this day),

Kijany (founded indirectly thanks to Jan III Sobieski – when Atanazy Miączyński was setting off for the battle of Vienna led by Sobieski he promised that if God allowed him to come back safely he would build a stone church in Kijany and in the end he kept his word),

Turka (camping place of Turkish soldiers before the battle with the Polish army led by Jan III Sobieski),

Sobianowice Kolonia (according to legend Jan III Sobieski funded the statue of St. Jan Nepomucen as a vote of thanks for winning the battle against the Turks fought on the river Bystrzyca),

Krzesimów (presently non-existent court that was a witness of  the meeting between Teodor Suchodolski and Sobieski),

Gardzienice (mansion built in part by Stefan Snopkowski – Jakub Sobieski’s brother-in-law – and in part probably by Michał Balin; mansion outbuilding built probably according to the concept by Tylman from Gameren – Jan III Sobieski’s court architect),

Gorzków (which thanks to Jakub Sobieski’s stepmother came in 1644 to the property of the Sobieskis family and which in 1689 received from the King the city rights),

Jakubowice (Sobieski’s palace, place of residence of Jakub Sobieski, King’s son).

A brief description of the results of the initial inventory of the Sobieskis’ heritage in Eastern Poland and Western Ukraine includes nearly 250 towns and villages in the Voivodships: Lubelskie, Małopolskie, Podkarpackie, as well as in the Oblasts (Provinces): Khmelnytskyi, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Ternopil, and is described in the publication “On the Knights’ Trail of the Sobieskis family”. Further information on Sobieski’s tracks in Podkarpacki Region as well as in Lviv and Zhovkva Regions can be found at
The inventory results of Sobieski’s heritage in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodship can be found here.

It should also be noted that there exist credible sources informing about Sobieski’s relationships with some places situated in Silesia, but also in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria.


For a new perspective of EU funding no separate policy in the field of tourism has been developed. Therefore, entities that are involved in tourism development require at least some hints showing the prospects of tourism development in the period 2014-2020 (read more ...).

In the Communication of the European Commission from June 2010 “Europe – the most popular tourist destination in the world” one can read that the European Commission may contribute to the diversification of tourist offer supporting flows in Europe through uprating thematic tourist products at the European level, e.g. St. James Trail (Santiago de Compostela) – European cultural trail.

Discussion on different types of tourism and different needs of the customers encapsulated in the question: “Exclusive or mass tourism?” increases the chance to decide what type/types of tourism should be supported in the coming years on the Jan III Sobieski Trail.

The idea to include the JIIIS Trail on the list of European cultural trails in the category “People” has a significant chance of success.

According to Piero Soave from the Department of Structural and Cohesion Policy in the European Parliament, the EU has the resources at its disposal that could be used for financing tourism: ERDF for financing sustainable tourism development, Interreg, the Cohesion Fund for financing environmental and transport infrastructure, the ESF for employment in the field of tourism, Leonardo da Vinci for mobility in the sector, the European Fisheries Fund for the restructuring of fisheries through eco-tourism, the Framework Programme for innovation and competitiveness which can be used by SMEs operating in the tourism industry, the 7th Framework Programme for Research (more info here).

The Polish approach to the problem will be presented in the document of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Poland entitled: “The place of tourism in the new EU financial perspective 2014-2020” (the document is in progress).

The development of Santiago de Compostela in the last 30 years has been an inspiration for the implementation of the JIIIS Trail. Since the 1980s, when the work to reconstruct St. James Trail commenced, to this day the number of pilgrims visiting the trail has grown from about 100 people a year to several millions. According to the statements by Carmen Furelos of the European Centre for Information and Development Mobilization in Galicia, between 1982 and 1986 all the relics of the Southern trail of St. James Trail were rebuilt, works of art were also restored, including the complete restoration of churches on St. James Trail. Also the routes in Northern Spain – from France to Santiago de Compostela were rebuild.

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