Elk is a lovely Masurian town that combines forests with lakes to create fantastic opportunities to indulge in different sports, like paddling down a river by canoe, horse-riding and cycling, to name just a few. One of the most favoured tourist attractions of Elk is the possibility of travelling by narrow gauge railway to the town of Turow (the total route length is 48 km). That said, visitors to Elk more than anything else value the peace and quiet that the town provides.
There are many fine examples of interesting architecture in Elk. The Art Nouveau tenements at Armia Krajowa and Kosciuszki Streets are particularly impressive sights, without doubt but you should also see the water tower and the neo-gothic St. Adalbert’s Church. Close to the lake shore you can find the remains of an imposing fortified castle of the Teutonic Knights, dating from the 14th century. You should also consider combining a ride on the narrow-gauge railway with a visit to the Railway Museum, home to a vast collection of historic locomotives and engines that have been stored here since 1918.
Covering a total area of 395 ha and with a population of nearly 60,000, Elk is the third largest town of Warmia and Mazuria, a region in the north-eastern part of the country. The town is located in the eastern part of the Warmian-Masurian Voivodship.
Elk began with the building of a castle in 1396-1400, supervised by Ulrich von Jungingen, later to become a Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights. Many settlers from Masovia came to live in the vicinity of the castle, which was located on an island on Lake Elckie. In 1425 the Grand Master of Teutonic Order, Paul von Russdorf, founded a village south of the castle and bestowed the Chelm law on it. Ten years later Elk received the privilege to organise an annual market.