It is a communal town of the district of Gryfino, located in the central part of the district. It adjoins other communes: the commune of Cedynia from the west, the communes of Banie and Widuchowa from the north, the commune of Trzcińsko-Zdrój from the east, and the commune of Mieszkowice from the south. Within the area of the town, there are numerous landscape and recreational attractions, owing to the presence of a lake, rivers, and lush forests. Chojna lies at the junction of two national roads: no 26 connecting Myślibórz with Krajnik Dolny and leading further to the border crossing with Germany and no 31 connecting Kostrzyn upon the Oder with Szczecin, leading also to the seat of the district in Gryfino. Due to its location, Chojna neighbours on many both small and large villages. The villages located nearby include Grabowo (9 km westwards), Krajnik Dolny and the border crossing with Germany (20 km to the west), Lisie Pole (8 km to the north), Widuchowa (21 km), Trzcińsko-Zdrój (14 km to the east), Młynary (9 km southwards), further Witnica (12 km) and Mieszkowice (22 km). Due to the location by two national roads, it is very easy to get from there to Szczecin located 65 km away or to Gorzów Wielkopolski, which is situated 75 km further. The town of Chojna is located in a place of a pretty landscape, on the Rurzyca River, surrounded by beautiful and lush forests.
Chojna is a large town. This communal town has an agricultural and resort character due to its location near a lake, rivers, and forests, among arable lands of significant area and near many farmsteads.
This is a town with a long history. Its beginnings can be dated back to the 10th-13th centuries, when there existed a settlement in the place of a current market square. Already after 1200, the town was granted a town rights’ charter. After 1267, a rapid development of the town occurred, due to the bishops of Brandenburg who exempted Chojna from paying taxes. For a short time, the town was a capital of the Neumark region. In 1282, the first church was erected. In the early 14th century, Chojna was still developing; its economic significance also increased. In 1320, the construction of a town hall was started. Due to the river, trade was also developing. In the 13th and the 14th centuries, city walls, three gates, and several tower were built. For some time, the town was under the influence of the Teutonic Order, but a temporary standstill in the development of the town was caused by the Hussite invasion in 1433. Another rapid growth occurred in the second half of the 15th century. The events connected with the Thirty Years’ War resulted in considerable damage, but after the war buildings were rebuilt. After 1700, there was another wave of growth lasting to the Seven Years’ War. In the years 1759-1766, Chojna once again was the seat of the Neumark’s government. In 1809, it became a capital of a district. In 1877, there was another leap in development of the town due to the construction of a railway connecting Szczecin with Kostrzyn, which led through Chojna. Trade, industry, and education system develop at that time. Such a situation lasted until the outbreak of the Second World War, during which a branch of a concentration camp were established in the town. The largest devastation affected Chojna on February 16th, 1945, when the Red Army troops burnt down 80% of buildings, including the entire town centre with a church and a town hall. Although, the Second World War ended many years ago, not every destroyed building was rebuilt.
The town has very well developed infrastructure. Thanks to the buildings located by the regional road and national roads, it is possible to move quickly and easily to other towns and to the further regions of Poland. Moreover, a well arranged bus and railway communication system enables people to move freely. In the town, there is a kindergarten, an elementary school, a gymnasium, a high school complex, and a special educational centre, which encompass a large part of the commune with their range. There is also a library with a reading room and a fire station. The health care system in Chojna is relatively well developed – the inhabitants and tourists can use several outpatient clinic, dentist clinics, and chemist’s shops. People can spend their leisure time taking advantage of many cultural and sports organizations. There is the Culture Centre, which is the initiator of many cultural events taking place in the region. The Centre organizes numerous cyclic classes, such as: fitness, aerobics, dance classes, singing classes, musical classes, or stained glass composition classes. Within the town of Chojna, there are many clubs, circles, and groups, including the “Retro” and the “Za Miedzą” music bands, a Nordic Walking club, the Golden Age club for senior citizens, a theatre and music group, a modeller’s circle, an arts interest group, as well as recreational and sports group, and a theatrical circle. Also, two culturally active societies operate in the town. The most important cultural event in the town is the Days of Chojna, which take place in June.
In the town, there are also well-developed sports centres that provide general and free access to recreational activities. The largest centre is the MKS Odra Chojna football club. Another clubs functioning in the town include a boxing club, a horseback riding club, a motor racing club, a volleyball club, and off-road club, and a paintball team. The tourist centres, boarding houses and a large number of shops and service points located in the town constitute a good base for people looking for a place to relax.
This unique town has many historic buildings dating back to the period of the Middle Ages. The area of the Old Town has been entered to the register of historic monuments. All historic buildings located in Chojna belong to the European Route of Brick Gothic. The most important historic building in the town is the Blessed Virgin Mary church built in the mid-15th century in the Gothic style. It was designed by Henryk Brunsberg and administered initially by the Knights Templar. The building was destroyed during the war and is in the process of reconstruction now. The most visible element of the church is a more-than-100-metre tall tower from the 19th century, where an observation deck is located. The church’s interior enraptures with a Gothic baptismal font and frescoes; unfortunately, most of the interior and the original furnishings of the church burnt down. The church is among the largest Gothic churches in Poland. It is a historic building of European importance. The next noteworthy building is the 13th-century Gothic town hall. It is the most important secular historic building in Poland. It was repeatedly reconstructed and rebuilt after war damages. The building impresses with the reconstructed front façade, which belongs to the richest Gothic implementations in Poland. There are beautiful rosettes in windows. The building used to be a seat of town authorities; currently, it is a seat of the Culture Centre. In front of the town hall, we can see a monument commemorating the people who died for consolidation of the Polishness of these lands.
Also other churches in the town are worth seeing. These include the post-Augustinian monastery from the 13th century and the Gothic-style Holy Trinity church from the 14th century separated from the monastery complex. Inside the church, there are mural paintings showing scenes from the life of St Francis of Assisi, a star-like vault, beautifully vaulted cloisters, and charming stained glass compositions in the church’s windows. At the outskirts of the town, there is the small St Mark church from the 15th century. An important element of the town is the system of defensive walls from the early 14th century. 50% of the walls have survived to the present day There are currently two gates and three towers in the walls: Brama Barnkowska [the Barnkowo Gate] from the 15th century with an open observational deck, Brama Świecka [the Lay Gate] from the 15th century with little corner towers, Baszta Piekarska [the Baker’s Tower], Więzienna [the Prison Tower], and Bociania [the Stork Tower]. The must-see of the tour are the ruins of the St Gertrude chapel from the 15th century located in the Soviet military cemetery. The building survived the Second World War and was supposed to be pulled down in 1953, but after the intervention of the heritage protection officer, the demolition of the chapel was stopped.
Chojna enraptures not only with the multitude of beautiful historic monuments. People looking for relaxation are going to find something for them as well. The town is located near a charming river, among beautiful lakes and lush forests. Marked and unmarked tourist trails lead through the town: the Nadodrzański Trail, the Knights Templar Trail, the Knights Hospitaller Trail, the Teutonic Knights Trail, and the Neumark Trail. Chojna is surrounded by wonderful nature. The town is located near the Cedynia Scenic park and within the town one can see many natural monuments, for example yews, poplars, oaks, horse chestnuts, and plane trees, from which the largest one is called “Olbrzym” [the Giant]. The amateurs of bathing, sunbathing, angling, and hunting will find something interesting there. This clean and unique place is located away of the hustle and bustle of large cities, where peace and quiet allow tourists to admire wonders of nature and to experience desired relaxation.