A Travellerspoint blog

Katowice, the Silesian Capital

Exceptional Atmosphere and Unforgettable Experience

semi-overcast 17 °C
View Our Poland Stay & The Enchanting Netherlands on Vic_IV's travel map.

At Rynek square in Katowice

At Rynek square in Katowice

My wife and I passed Katowice on the way to Emmen to see our friends Ali and Co in April. We arrived to the railway station, and from there took an airport bus.

Flying with LOT from and to KTW

Flying with LOT from and to KTW

The airport is about twenty miles away from the railway station. It took us about three quarters of an hour to get there. We flew by LOT to Warsaw since there was no direct flight to Amsterdam and then flew back to Katowice, which considerably shortened our traveling time. The airport’s full name is: International Wojciech Korfanty Katowice Airport in Pyrzowice. Later we were at the International Bus Terminal in Katowice to meet Ali and Co, who came to see us in June.

Railway station and its square, Katowice

Railway station and its square, Katowice


Upon our arrival to the railway station, we saw a photo exhibition in the station hall.
Silesia without a Mask exhibition,Katowice railway station

Silesia without a Mask exhibition,Katowice railway station


The modernized railway station is a huge glass-and-steel building of that blends perfectly with the city’s image. They say it is now fully equipped with all modern conveniences including over 50 new cafes, bars, restaurants and shops, plus a totally revamped booking-offices and schedule boards. The station also incorporates an enormous and modern shopping mall called Galeria Katowicka. There is a regional bus station under the railway station. Therefore, if you are travelling somewhere in Silesia beyond Katowice, or you are on your way to the airport, head down one of the escalators in the main train terminal to take a bus.

Enjoying our stay in Katowice

Enjoying our stay in Katowice

You might hear the chorus of locals and city guides telling you that you will not get bored in the Silesian capital. Katowice city center with its 200 pubs, clubs and restaurants welcomes you day and night. When you are in a good mood, take a look at Mariacka Street - the most popular pedestrian zone in Katowice. The street has been called "the Party Street of Katowice".

Mariacka Street, Katowice

Mariacka Street, Katowice

We walked along Młyńska Street from the railway station to reach Mariacka Street. On our way, we saw this tenement house at the corner of Młyńska Street and Pocztowa Street. They say this building belongs to one of the most beautiful buildings in Katowice. It was allegedly built around 1898 in a neo-baroque style with rich details, especially a noteworthy corner.

The beautiful building at the corner of Młyńska Street and Pocztowa Street, Katowice

The beautiful building at the corner of Młyńska Street and Pocztowa Street, Katowice

This corner is an interesting element that attracts attention with its roof in a shape reminiscent of a baroque roof, with a clock "on the forehead" and "ears. The corner of the tenement house is formed by a slightly protruding bay window with three balconies, which on the fourth floor seems to be supported by two columns with two sculptures depicting human figures on the heads.

At the entrance to Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception Church, Katowice

At the entrance to Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception Church, Katowice


Our Lady's Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Katowice

Our Lady's Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Katowice

9de49240-446d-11ed-9e40-17ac2a54db9f.JPG

Locals and visitors know the exactly length of Mariacka Street: it is 378m long. The street stretches three city blocks before terminating at Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception Church (Kościół Mariacki), from which the street's name hails. A successful renovation was carried out here, and the remodeling of this street is still being done, with some historical buildings that still look neglected. Mariacka Street is one of the most popular tourist streets in Katowice. It is often called the Silesian capital’s cultural oasis, a place where there is always something going on. On a weekend you would say the street is vibrant with life because of extraordinary music, original events, pubs and music clubs. You can come across a concert, an outdoor cinema show, a theatre performance, various attractions for children and street games, Hawaiian parties and many other events. Our local friends recommended this street to all people who were stressed and busy as a perfect place for a relaxing break in the rat race.
They say Mariacka Street in Katowice resembles you Pigneto in Rome. I have not been to Rome, therefore I cannot confirm.

Ryszard Riedl sculpture over Mariacka Street in Katowice, a balancing sculpture

Ryszard Riedl sculpture over Mariacka Street in Katowice, a balancing sculpture

On the way to the church, we saw the Bluesman sculpture over Mariacka Street in Katowice. It is a balancing sculpture, the work of Jerzy Kędziora, a sculptor from Poczesna near Częstochowa. It is dedicated to Ryszard Riedl, a famous musician from Tychy.

The clock hall of the Old Railway Station in Katowice (now a bank)

The clock hall of the Old Railway Station in Katowice (now a bank)

We were impressed by the building of PKO BP (Bank Polski) that occupies the clock hall of the Old Railway Station in Katowice after the renovation. The hall is the most beautiful segment of the historic station complex. After the renovation, the building looks amazing from the outside, and I am sure the interior is as beautiful as the exterior.

Exploring the streets of Katowice

Exploring the streets of Katowice


Monuments of Katowice

Monuments of Katowice


We thought visiting Mariacka Street was the best choice to start a city tour. Located less than ten minutes away from Market Square (Rynek in Polish) and the railway station, Mariacka Street is the city’s main street. This street is named after the church, Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception Church, which is also known as Koscioł Mariacki. Since it was early morning, we headed for the church, where the quiet street led us. You can take really nice photos while approaching the church.

Since we wanted to see as much as possible in one day, we decided not to stay for a liturgy and proceeded with our walk. We crossed the university campus and arrived to a huge memorial complex who image I had seen before as a city symbol.

Resurrection of the Lord Evagelite-Augsburg Church, Katowice

Resurrection of the Lord Evagelite-Augsburg Church, Katowice

A short walk took us to Warszawska Street, where we saw Resurrection of the Lord Evagelite-Augsburg Church at the corner with Szkolna Street - the first religious building in Katowice that was built in the years 1856-1858. It was expanded in the years 1899-1902 and has survived unchanged to this day.

Silesian University campus, Katowice

Silesian University campus, Katowice


Maria Goeppert-Meyer mural on the wall of the University of Silesia's rector's office, Katowice

Maria Goeppert-Meyer mural on the wall of the University of Silesia's rector's office, Katowice

Walking through the university campus, we saw the mural on the wall of the University of Silesia's rector's office is a tribute to Maria Goeppert-Meyer. It was unveiled in 2014. Maria Goeppert-Mayer, who was born in 1906 in this city, became a Nobel Prize winner. The mural is called "Dancing with atoms".

Silesian Insurgents Memorial, Katowice

Silesian Insurgents Memorial, Katowice

We reached the Silesian Insurgents' Monument (Pomnik Powstancow Slaskich – in Polish), one of the interesting places in Katowice. This great monument of separate towering wing-like structures commemorates the Polish insurgents of the three Silesian Rebellions: in 1919, in 1920 and in 1920. These years are inscribed at the foot of the monument. You can also see the author’s signature at the foot of the monument - Gustaw Zemła - and the year of creation – 1966. The monument weighing 61 tons belongs to the most recognizable symbols of Katowice and is the biggest monument made of bronze in Poland. The wings should remind us of the heroic Polish cavalry during the 16th - 18th century. That cavalry is still known as the winged cavalry and as a symbol of best ages of Poland.

a9131ec0-446d-11ed-bbb9-21f0b0b3f385.JPGa8db45e0-446d-11ed-a919-99681a28652b.JPG

9db40c60-446d-11ed-bbb9-21f0b0b3f385.JPG

The memorial complex stands across the road from the Spodek Concert Venue which is very impressive as well. There is also a monument to Jerzy Ziętek (1901-1985), the head of the Silesian Province, who did a lot for the development of the city and the province.
The Silesian Insurgents' Monument is massive and very impressive to walk round. There is no information board, but we saw a memorial plaque at the outer wall below the memorial mould with the monument. This is where you can see the names of towns and cities, where the uprisings took place. The memorial plaque reads,
"To you, Poland
Silesian Uprisings Memorial

During the national celebrations of the 100th anniversary of recovering the independence o the Republic of Poland, to commemorate the heroic participants of three independence uprisings, who fought in 1919, 1920, 1921 and secured the belonging of Upper Silesia to the renewed independent Poland.
President of the Republic of Poland - Andrzej Duda, May 2, 2021."

The monument was unveiled in 1967. The monument still triggers different emotions among local people in mass media. Some call it a relic of the Communist era; others are not impressed by its sheer brutalism. Some locals think the memorial complex is a collection of almost macabre black blocks of material that express no vibes of optimism, but rather those of sorrow, even though you can see the dynamic wings of eagles. Well, this is how the Communist-times artists expressed the people’s commemoration of the revolutionary insurgents of the three Silesian uprisings.

Silesian Insurgents Park in Katowice

Silesian Insurgents Park in Katowice

The Silesian Insurgents Park in Katowice around the memorial complex has flower beds, a lot of grass and benches to sit on. There is also a statue of general Ziętek in the central point of the park.

Admiring the KTW office complex, Katowice

Admiring the KTW office complex, Katowice

The skyscraper of the KTW office complex looks impressive indeed with its form of shifted blocks.

Silesian Park, Katowice

Silesian Park, Katowice

Silesian park alleys and the amphitheater, Katowice

Silesian park alleys and the amphitheater, Katowice

We thought that a big park would be a perfect place to spend a leisure afternoon. Therefore, we came up to the tram station at Rondo, where, after admiring the nice fountain, we studied the tram timetable and discovered the next tram to the park. There are four tram and bus stops along the course of the park:

  • “Park Śląski Wesołe Miasteczko” (the amusement park);
  • “Park Śląski Ogród Zoologiczny” (the zoo);
  • “Chorzów Stadion Śląski” (the Silesian Stadium).
  • “Park Śląski Wejście Główne” (the park’s main entrance).

We have a Silesian card, and it was easy for us to use it in Tram 11. We got off at the park’s main entrance (“Park Śląski Wejście Główne”).

The Silesian Park is one of Europe's largest urban parks, located on the border of Chorzów, Katowice and Siemianowice Śląskie. It occupies about 620 ha of woodland that became a great recreational area attracting walkers, cyclists and inline skaters. Silesian Planetarium, Legendia, the modernized Silesian Stadium and the Silesian Zoological Garden belong to the area of the Silesia Park.

General Ziętek memorial plaque at the entrance to the Silesian Park, Katowice

General Ziętek memorial plaque at the entrance to the Silesian Park, Katowice

You can see a memorial plaque commemorating the park creator Jerzy Ziętek, a “great son of the Silesian land”. He was an important Silesian insurrectionist, who became a politician. He headed the most ambitious and pioneering environmental renewal projects in 1950 – the project that resulted in the creation of Silesia Park. The park was known first as the Provincial Park of Culture and Recreation (“Wojewódzki Park Kultury i Wypoczynku” in Polish, or WPKiW).

During our stroll in the Silesian Park, Katowice

During our stroll in the Silesian Park, Katowice


Happy dancers at the amphitheter, Silesian Park, Katowice

Happy dancers at the amphitheter, Silesian Park, Katowice


Sculpture Park at the Silesian Park, Katowice

Sculpture Park at the Silesian Park, Katowice


The coalminer's monument in the Silesian Park, Katowice

The coalminer's monument in the Silesian Park, Katowice


There is a monument to a coalminer in the park. You can see a plaque stating that the coalminer’s statue is a national monument protected by law. It was created by Stanisław Marcinow in 1954 in socialist realism style.

Market Square, Katowice

Market Square, Katowice

Silesian Scouts monument, Market Square, Katowice

Silesian Scouts monument, Market Square, Katowice

When we came to Market Square, we saw the Silesian Scouts monument. Designed by Michał Brachmański, the bronze sculpture is 4.5 meters by 4.1 meters. It depicts four scouts stepping out of a broken wall with the inscription, “All that is ours to give, we shall give to Poland.”In early September 1939, the out-numbered, ill-equipped and inexperienced scouts repelled the advancing Germans for two days in a suicidal effort to protect the city. The monument commemorates their martyrdom.
We admired the square and the buildings surrounding it, as well as several houses in Mickiewicz Street.

Silesian Theater, Katowice

Silesian Theater, Katowice


d0c19e20-446c-11ed-9d56-d5bca304863a.JPGd05fa800-446c-11ed-9d56-d5bca304863a.JPG
Adam Mickiewicz Lyceum No.3, Mickiewicz Street, Katowice.
c79c2810-446c-11ed-a3e6-47a0ba25aa69.JPGc89be4d0-446c-11ed-a3e6-47a0ba25aa69.JPGcb4ef6e0-446c-11ed-a3e6-47a0ba25aa69.JPGa962c560-446d-11ed-bbb9-21f0b0b3f385.JPGInscription at At 20 Mickiewicz Street, Katowice

Inscription at At 20 Mickiewicz Street, Katowice

The inscription reads, "I build as I want".

Silesian Uprisings Park, Katowice

Silesian Uprisings Park, Katowice

The Zone of Culture has four pillars: a museum, a concert hall, a congress centre, and a sports-and-leisure arena. The Silesian Museum acquired a new building and most of the exhibitions were transferred underground. You can enjoy the fantastic acoustics of the hall of the Polish Radio’s National Symphonic Orchestra.

Modern architecture in Katowice

Modern architecture in Katowice

The International Congress Centre, a multifunctional facility, being the venue of many training courses, congresses, fairs, or conferences, look great as well.

Spodek Arena, Katowice

Spodek Arena, Katowice

This unique quartet is complemented by ‘Spodek’ - a legendary arena, which after modernization remains one of the most important sports-and-leisure facilities in Poland that people appreciate for its exceptional atmosphere and unforgettable experience.

c166cd10-446c-11ed-8943-9b5b64109f86.JPGc26a3350-446c-11ed-9d56-d5bca304863a.JPGAt the bank of the Rawa, Katowice

At the bank of the Rawa, Katowice


Katowice surprised us with Green Walls in different places. We admired one at Mercure Hotel.
The Green Wall at Mercure Hotel, Katowice

The Green Wall at Mercure Hotel, Katowice

A green wall in Katowice

A green wall in Katowice


You will not get lost in Katowice since there are many street signs.
Numerous street signs in Katowice

Numerous street signs in Katowice


At I Love Katowice sign, Market Square

At I Love Katowice sign, Market Square


divider_42.JPGdivider_42.JPGdivider_42.JPG

Posted by Vic_IV 08:32 Archived in Poland Tagged upper silesia; tychy; monuments; memorials;

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

I don't always like modern architecture but the KTW Office Centre is a very interesting and attractive building. The park also looks well worth a visit.

by irenevt

Irene, I agree with you here. This city is good at moderate combining the ultra-modern and the old styles...

by Vic_IV

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Login