A trail begins in the city centre and leads to the surrounding summits (Kamienna Laworta, Gromadzyń, Orlik) and along the main street to the cemetery in Jasień and to Brzegi Dolne.
Route through Fortifications and Memorials of the Past is the first part of the great project carried out by Ustrzyki Dolne Municipal. It consists of trenches dug during the First and the Second World Wars, buit on four surrounding Ustrzyki Dolne hills: Kamienna Laworta, Mały Król, Gromadzyń, Orlik. Information boards are placed on naturally occurring stones near some trenches, so as not to interfere in the natural environment. From those boards we can learn about the battles which took place during the First and the Second World Wars in the Bieszczady Mountains. To get to trenches and information boards you should follow the signs fixed to the wooden poles.
Trailhead begins at the main square. Near the bottom of the Orlik mountain (on the blue trail) you can find “Dragon’s Teeth” which are triangular anti-tank fortifications made of reinforced concrete. One of the information board is place there too. Then, following the signs on wooden poles you may cross the city passing by: The Memorial of the Murdered by Nazi, (Eagle in the Rock), the Monument of the Victims of Ukrainian Insurgent Army (in front of the Primary School no 1), the Monument to Siberians (in the city park), the War Memorial to Soldiers on the Fronts of World War II (in the city park) and the Monument near the Church in Jasień. This walking trail is managed by the Regional Chamber of Bieszczady Centre of Tourism and Promotion in Ustrzyki Dolne,
Our mountains are one of the lowest among the Carpathians mountains. Close to our city, in the neighbouring Beskind Niski we have the lowest summit of the Carpathians with its high of 500 m a.s.l. at the Dukielska Pass. This is the place where the mountains “begin to grow” to reach their highest peaks in the Tatry Mountains on the west and in the Czarnohora on the east. The Carpathians is the narrowest in this area, so it’s the best way to get from the north to the vast and rich Panońska Valley. Therefore, it’s not a surprise, that through Passes in the Bieszczady and in the Beskid many human migration trails, commercial routes, soldier trails have crossed from time immemorial, marking them with war cemeteries built on the battlefield.
There was no different in the twentieth century, the time of the greatest, bloodiest and cruellest wars in the history of mankind. During The Great War, the Tsarist Army tried repeatedly seized the critical Passes: Dukielska, Łupkowska, Użocka, Werecka, and they succeeded several times. Those Passes were later recaptured with difficulty by Austro-Hungarian and German armies. In the winter of 1914/1915, thousands of human beings were killed in the Carpathians – they were victims of fighting, frost and disease.
When the Great War ended, the fierce struggles of the Carpathian nations for independence and the shape of future borders flared up. Poles and Ukrainians fought for this in our area. One of the most strategically important points in this region was Ustrzyki Dolne. Both sides tried to take this city. There were spectacular successes and severe defeats here. The legendary man, General Stanisław Maczek, began his service in the reviving Polish Army. A new war quickly fell on the young Republic of Poland. Although the Firs one was considered the most terrible in history, the Second one quickly took away her priority palm. September 1939, despite the heroic attitude of Polish soldiers, plunged the Bieszczady into the darkness of the Soviet and German occupation.
In 1941, after breaking the unfinished Soviet fortification „Molotov Line” by the Germans and Slovaks, began the largest in the history of mankind war on the ground. Polish, Ukrainian and Soviet Partisans operated in the mountains and on the foothills, often fighting the Germans and against each other. The Polish-Ukrainian relations became more radicalized. All nations began to disappear from the Bieszczady: Jews, Roma, and finally also former German colonists.
In the summer and autumn of 1944, the front rolled again through Ustrzyki Dolne and this region. Despite the fierce defence of the Germans and Hungarians growing day by day in strength the Red Army and especially the 1st Ukrainian Front pushed the enemy behind the Carpathians winning the Hungarian Arpad Line and the German fortifications in the mountains.
The end of the war for Europe did not bring the end of the drama of the inhabitants of these mountains. The national and ideological conflict flared up with a great fire, and destroyed the centuries-old cultural heritage, leaving traumatic experiences between people and nations. After these terrible nightmares of the 20th century, we can only believe that present generations will not let history repeat itself.