Agricultural areas, forests and waters of the south-western part of the Silesian Voivodeship, near the border with the Czech Republic and the Opole Voivodeship - this is the Land of the Upper Oder. Apart from Jastrzębie, it includes the following poviats: Rybnik, Racibórz, Wodzisław, and Żory. The Oder River and its tributaries connect these places, delimiting the range of the Land.
From a historical point of view, it is the area of the former Duchy of Racibórz, and later the Rybnik State Country and the Wodzisław State Country.
Almost one third of the area of the Land of the Upper Oder is covered by forests, hence - rightly so - it is called “the lungs of Silesia”. Other picturesque areas include scenic parks, reserves, meanders of rivers, but also areas shaped by the human hand, such as the Jastrzębie Spa Park.
Almost the entire history of Upper Silesia and its cultural heritage, from the Middle Ages to the times of the most important political transformations of the 1980s, is concentrated in the Land of the Upper Oder. It is also a rich sacred heritage - not only sanctuaries in Jastrzębie-Zdrój, Ruda, Pszów and Turza Śląska, but also countless wooden churches and chapels.
There are also numerous cultural attractions and cyclical events. Some of them have centuries-old traditions, such as the annual Fire Procession in Żory or the mass on the water on the Rybnik Reservoir taking place on the last Sunday of June. Some of the events are only several or a dozen years old, but they have become permanent events in the region’s calendar: the ReFeNe Independent Film Festival in Rybnik, RYJEK - i.e. the Rybnik Cabaret Autumn, numerous music festivals (Jazztrzębie Festival, Pokłady Rocka, Silesian Jazz Meeting) and sports events: runs, cycling rallies, sailing regattas, canoeing trips and the unique “by just anything” rafting - from Racibórz to Kędzierzyn - or “Pływadła”.
The Land of the Upper Oder is an ideal place for recreation and active leisure. As the name suggests, it offers water attractions (sailing, canoeing, fishing) not only on the Oder and its tributaries, but also in resorts such as “Balaton” or “Olza”. It is also an ideal area for shorter and longer bicycle trips along well-maintained trails, such as the Iron Bicycle Trail.