It is a communal town and the seat of the district of Gryfino located in the western part of Zachodniopomorskie [West Pomerania] Province. The town is located in the central-western part of the commune of Gryfino and borders the communes of Banie and Widuchowo from the south, the district of Police from the north, the Oder from the west, and the district of Pyrzyce from the east. There is a number of landscape and recreational attractions due to the presence of lakes, the Oder and lush forests.
The national road No. 31, connecting Szczecin and Kostrzyn by the Oder, and the local road No. 120, connecting the border crossing point with the village of Stare Czarnowo, runs through the town. Due to its location, the town is adjacent to a number of both smaller and larger villages. The nearby towns are, among others, Czepino (4.5 km to the north), next Radziszewo (8.6 km), Wełtyń (6.4 km to the east) and then Gardno (9.6 km), Żórawki (4.1 km to the south). It is only 17 km southwards to the seat of the neighbouring commune of Widuchowo, the seat of the commune of Banie is also nearby - 23 km to the south-east.
It is very easy to get to Gryfino, because it lies by the road No. 31 and less than 11 km from the national E65 road. You can get to Szczecin by both routes: 26.5 km by the road No.31, and 36 km by the road E65. It is easy to get to neighbouring Germany, as the border crossing is just 3.1 km away.
The town is located in a picturesque spot, the Oder flows right next to the town. Lower Oder Valley Landscape Park is also there. Gryfino is surrounded by beautiful and lush forests.
Gryfino is a very large town. This communal town has gained an agricultural-holiday nature because of its location close to lakes, the Oder, forests and a large area of farmland and many farms.
The beginning of the town dates back to the early Middle Ages, when it was a Slavic settlement. Two settlements, one of which was a fishing village called Dąbrowa, were in place of the contemporary town in the twelfth century. The town was founded in 1254 by Duke Barnim I. It was developing at a rapid pace and received more privileges such as the right to establish crafts and trade guilds granted in 1271. It began to be increasingly dependent on Szczecin in the second half of the fourteenth century, thereby losing its importance. A fire broke out in the town in 1530, which did a lot of damage. Gryfino was a part of the Duchy of Pomerania until 1648, but as a result of the Thirty Years' War it came under Swedish rule, and so it was until 1679 when the Swedes left the town destroying walls and bridges, which led to losing commercial importance by the town. A further economic decline was a consequence of the Seven Years' War, when Russian troops sacked the town in 1760, and of the enormous flood that took place in 1780. At that time, agriculture became a source of income for the residents. Only in the second half of the nineteenth century did economic recovery begin, when a lot of new facilities were built and a railway connection with Szczecin was created. The town was occupied by the Soviet Army during World War II, the consequence of which was great destruction of more than 70% of the buildings. The town was incorporated into Poland after the war, and Polish citizens populated it.
The town has a well-developed infrastructure. The national road, local roads and the nearby motorway make it easier and more quickly to get to other towns and to further regions of Poland. Additionally, well-planned bus and train communication allows for people moving freely. In the town there are kindergartens, elementary schools, middle schools, secondary schools and a special school, which are education institutions for a large part of the commune, but also libraries, reading rooms, a fire station and a police station. Healthcare System is well-developed there, residents and tourists can benefit from the services of a hospital, many clinics, dental clinics and many pharmacies. A provincial ambulance service station is also available in the town.
There is a variety of cultural and sports organisations for citizens to take part in in their spare time. The Community Centre of Gryfino, which is the initiator and animator of many cultural events in the region, is located in two buildings. In the community centre people can benefit from art, music, theatre, dance, film classes; a tourist club and folk band also operate there. Film fans can watch one of the films that the Gryf Cinema has in its repertoire. Besides the community centre, the town has also many bands and associations such as a parish choir, a vocal association, a theatre group and a dance theatre group, children's groups. Gryfino is a popular town because of interesting events organised several times a year, including the Gryfino Festival of Places and Travel "Włóczykij" ['Gadabout'], the Festival of Intimate Artistic Forms "FIFART" , the Gryfino Bike Rallies, the contemporary dance performance, Days of Gryfino, the International Chess Meetings, the International Festival of Mini Football, the Clash of Arts and Cultures "Sztukowanie"['Arting']. There are lots of sports clubs in the town. In addition to the largest and most popular sports club "Energetyk" Gryfino with the sections of several sports, there are also such clubs as an interschool sports club, student sports clubs, a shooting club, a swimming club, a canine sports club and the association of physical culture "Gryf", which organises activities and sports events for people with disabilities. There are also: the Laguna Aquatic Centre and the Centre of Sport and Recreation, which is an ideal sports and accommodation facility. The town's tourist resorts, guesthouses, hotels, beds and a large number of shops, services and tourism outlets are the ideal base for those looking for a place to relax.
This unique town has many monuments dating back to the Middle Ages, many of which are legally protected. The most important of them is the late-Romanesque-Gothic Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The construction of the church was begun in 1278 and took place in three stages, which lasted for many years (1300, 1325 and 15th century). The building was built of stones and bricks. The interior of the building impresses You with its Renaissance pulpit from 1605 carved in sandstone, the sixteenth-century Renaissance stalls, nineteenth-century altar with a painting of the Polish states doing homage to Our Lady Queen of Poland, church organ from the nineteenth century, but above all it is worth paying attention to the uniqueness and the variety of ornaments that can be found in the church. The walls, the ceiling, the windows and the door deserve the greatest attention.
The cobblestone walls from the 14th-15th centuries are an important feature of the town. Today, the height of the walls is approx. 4 m, but it used to be 6 metres. The best preserved section is the fragment of the walls in the southeastern part of the town, where they are 70 m high and 1.5 m thick. While sightseeing the walls, You cannot miss the more-than-15-metre- high stone Bańska Gate built in the fourteenth century. The gate was modernised several times. You cannot miss it because its dimensions are impressive: 15.3 metres in height, the outer dimensions of 8m x 8.5 m, 1.65-metre-thick walls.
Another important monument is the nineteenth-century Pod Lwami Palace, which was built on the site of the medieval moat, which was destroyed in the eighteenth century. The entrance to the palace is guarded by two lions, which are a remnant of the bridge over the moat. It is adjacent to a park with yews and conifers. The park is limited by town walls in the south. On the palace square You can see the remains of a statue, and of a fountain, which even before World War II had been its embellishment.
The post office building along with farm buildings from 1883, and the complex of buildings from the early nineteenth century, which used to house the slaughterhouse, are also worth seeing. These buildings were built of ceramic bricks and surrounded by a high brick wall.
In addition to the legally protected monuments, You can admire other structures of historical significance. One of them is a municipal cemetery from the early twentieth century, where a neo-Gothic chapel is. You will find many interesting species of trees at the cemetery. Another important sight is a cemetery from 1946, where more than seven thousand soldiers, both known and unknown, are buried. You should also see a lapidary of former German inhabitants of the town. It was created at the end of 1994/beginning of 1995 and its expansion is still in progress. It contains the tombstones of former inhabitants of Gryfino and of surrounding areas.
In the town there is a grave-monument to the commemorate the Poles who did not return from Siberia, were murdered in the Soviet Union and the Polish Army soldiers who died during World War II. The monument was unveiled on 11th November 1995 on the occasion of Independence Day.
Gryfino is impressive not only because of a multitude of beautiful sights. Those looking for relaxation will also find a place for themselves. The town is surrounded by beautiful lakes, the charming Oder, lush forests and a landscape park. The town has hiking and bike trails: the Nadodrzański [By the Oder] Trail, the Woj Żelisław Trail, the 'Green Oder' Trail, the 2R Wełtyń-Tywa Trail, the 3R Forest Trail, the 4R Steklinko Trail. In the town everyone is impressed by the surrounding nature, the flora and fauna of the surrounding areas. Fans of water and sun baths, fishing, hunting or bird-watching will find something for themselves. It's a clean and unique place in a unique area, where peace and tranquillity allow You to enjoy the wonders of nature and to rest.