We arrived at the north-eastern edge of Poland. We drove to the Stańczyki village to explore the historic Stanczyki bridges also called aqueducts of Rominta Forest.
Before coming to Stanczyki we passed the village Kiepojcie. There is a much smaller and less famous bridge, but also worth seeing. Under the bridge is dirt road and on the bridge used to ride a train, and now there is no longer even tracks. Admission to the bridge is prohibited, you can only climb the slope of the embankment to see the bridge at the top.
The main attraction, namely Stanczyki, are twin 5 span bridges. They have a length of 180m and a height of up to 36m. Błędzianka river flows under those bridges. These bridges were created between 1912 – 1914 (northern part) and 1923-1926 (southern part) as part of a non-existent today railway line Goldap – Żytkiejmy. These are the highest bridges in Poland.
Puzzling is the location of these bridges. If railway could go a few hundred meters further south it would enable bypass such difficult crossings (the area there is a lot flatter). The probable intention was to show the strength of German engineering and design it seems to be specially chose the most difficult area to beat.
Bridges acted as railway bridges. This was the main point of communication with Lithuania. Ran here both freight trains transporting wood from nearby forests and the trains that transported tourists. In the 40’s stones were transported this way from Lithuania to build Hitler’s headquarters – Wolf’s Lair, which we have seen the previous day.
The railway was dismantled in 1945 by the Red Army.
Today, bridges are a tourist attraction and are used by extreme sports enthusiasts like bungee jumping. The land is privately owned and we need to pay admission fee.
Walking a whole tour takes about 30 minutes. You can go to the bridges, then go down the stairs and walk under the bridge. Although there are signs indicating the danger you can see that it is quite a popular sightseeing route. Well worth the climb to the top and see the view down. Wind blows there pretty hard, and the construction of the bridge is impressive.
We noticed first time the construction process of new bike trail which is to be routed along the eastern border. This route has the name Green Velo. While we were driving to the Stanczyki we saw it near Gołdap, the new road cycling along the existing street. Great initiative!