Historic Żagań

In the footsteps of dukes and heroes

Visit Stalag Luft III where the the famous Great Escape took place

When coming to Iłowa, it is also worth visiting the capital of the poviat, Żagań, the former German city of Sagan. The Air Force Prisoner of War camps run by the Luftwaffe, called Stalag Luft (short for Stammlager Luft) or Permanent Camps for Airmen, were situated in Sagan, 100 miles south-east of Berlin. Here you will find the Museum of POW (Prisoner of War) Camps. In March 1944, 76 prisoners escaped from the with the Stalag Luft III, using an underground tunnel called “Harry” with a length of 110 m dug by them. But only three of the prisoners were successful. This was the story on which the American film “The Great Escape” (1963) with a star-studded cast was based. Every year, in March, subsequent anniversaries of the Great Escape are celebrated within the camp’s territory.

In the museum there are exhibitions of:

  • “Tunnel Dick”
  • “The Long March” – the evacuation of the Zagan prisoner-of-war camps
  • “The Wooden horse” escape
  • “The Great Escape”
  • “The French in Stalag VIII C”

Where Johannes Kepler lived and worked

In the library of the Augustinian monastery dating back to the 13th century, there is an abundant collection of old books and globes, constituting a keepsake after Johannes Kepler. This outstanding mathematician and astronomer and the follower of Copernicus’s theory discovered the elliptical shape of planetary orbits and developed planetary motion tables. The library is also famous for its excellent acoustics which it owes to its whispering gallery. The complex consists of a parish church, the old monastery and school as well as a monastic granary.

Ducal Palace with a beautiful landscape park

The Baroque Ducal Palace, located on the site of a medieval castle, dates back to the 17th century. Its unique layout combines elements of French Baroque palaces (a screen wing) and Italian Baroque (the courtyard turned in the direction of the park).  Take a walk along the river Bóbr in one of the biggest historical landscape parks in Poland.

From the brick tower of the post-Evangelical church in the centre of Żagań, crowned with a cast-iron openwork steeple, you can admire the panorama of the town. A permanent exhibition is devoted to the church of grace, the only remnant of which is the tower.

Location and contact information

Museum of POW Camps

Lotników Alianckich Street 6
68-100 Żagań

phone: +48 68 478 49 94


Tourist information

Szprotawska Street 4 (Ducal palace)
68-100 Żagań

phone: +48 68 477 10 01
e-mail: it@um.zagan.pl


Opening hours

Tuesday – Friday: 10:00-16:00
Saturday – Sunday: 10:00-17:00