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Little more than an intersection in the road, the village itself has been designated as a national park. The bucolic setting, home to several restored Polish houses set on exquisite expanses of rolling hills, makes this a fashionable weekend getaway for residents of Istanbul or foreigners with a bit of spare time.

The origins of Polonezköy go back to the mid-19th century, when the Polish exile Adam Czartoriski lobbied Sultan Abdülmecid for the creation of a colony for Polish refugees, many of whom were fleeing from the invading Russians. The sultan granted these exiles permission to build a village in a forested area on the outskirts of Istanbul. The original settlement -- called Adampol after Czartoriski -- had only 12 residents. Today, the settlement remains ethnically Polish.

The distinctive character of the town has attracted some foreigners with impressive credentials: Franz Liszt, Gustave Flaubert, and Lech Walesa all slept here, and even Pope John Paul II stopped in for a visit in 1994.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.