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Kobiór, a Forest Village

A Gem of Upper Silesia

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Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, Kobiór

Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, Kobiór

Kobiór is village, an independent commune, is the neighboring village located to the south of Tychy. Kobiór is one of the few Silesian communes free from mining damage. It became an attractive place for both residents and visitors of Kobiór. The place is located among forests densely crossed by forest paths, which is a great advantage of this town. The forest paths provide excellent conditions for hiking and cycling. The international R-4 cycle route connecting Northern Europe with Vienna runs through the commune.

Houses in Kobiór

Houses in Kobiór

The village has about 4,800 residents. It took part in the competition for the best village of Upper Silesia and won the second place. The village its own symbols: a coat of arms and the banner. Kobiór is also known for "Kobiór Days" celebrated annually on the occasion of the patron saint on May 25.

Exploring the village center, Kobiór

Exploring the village center, Kobiór

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The current coat-of-arms of the Kobiór Commune was established by the Commune Council on July 12, 1996. It represents the image of Pope Saint Urban I - a figure with a tiara on his head and a cross held on his left shoulder, placed against a royal blue background.
Pope Saint Urban I (175-230) became the patron saint of Kobiór Commune. He was a Roman, and became the 17th Pope in turn. His pontificate fell on the years 222-230. The Catholic Church celebrates his feast day on May 25. Saint Urban I converted many people through his teachings. Acting in the defense of the Church, he suffered a lot from persecutors, especially from the Roman emperor Alexander Severus. He was martyred by beheading.
You can also see another coat-of-arms in Kobiór: that of Pszczyna District, to which the Kobiór Commune belongs (on the picture to the right). We saw it during our hike to Three Ponds Valley. I wondered what it was and found out about the district composition.

Reading information boards in Kobiór

Reading information boards in Kobiór

Kobiór is the only place in Poland with such a name. Linguists dealing with the analysis of the origin of Silesian names, considers that the name Kobiór comes from Kobiór, a dialect term for coltsfoot (Tusilago farfara), growing on wet meadows by the Korzeńiec River.
The village has lively foreign cooperation with the Hungarian town of Sajószentpĕter, the Slovakian city of Dobšina and the Czech city if Šternberk.

Walking past farms in Kobiór

Walking past farms in Kobiór

Market Square
We found out about the history and the development of the village from the information board in Market Square. Until the mid-nineteenth century, Kobiór was a quiet Silesian settlement stretching along the Korzyniec valley to the east of the Wielki Staw (“Big Pond”). The buildings created in this area were referred to as "Zogrodniki" (now ul. Ołtuszewskiego) and “Chałupniki "(now these streets: Rodzinna, Błękitna, Wróblewskiego, and Hibnera). The "Wielki Staw" stretched from the dyke along which the muddy road from Pszczyna to Mikołów (now the "Starodroze" pedestrian and bicycle path), reaching the middle of the contemporary "Valley of the Three Ponds" at Lesników Street (“Foresters’ Street”).

Market Square information board, Kobiór

Market Square information board, Kobiór

The Kajzerowiec District was not established until the second half of the 19th century after the "Wielki Staw" was drained. At that time, the water mill powered by its waters through a tubular overflow under the Pszczyna road was closed. It stood in a natural valley above a small watershed, about six meters below the surface of the present car park.

Walking along the village streets, Kobior

Walking along the village streets, Kobior


Along Central Street, Kobior

Along Central Street, Kobior

In the years 1846-1848, the road to Mikołów was paved. In the period of 1862-1864, the trail leading northwards to the Tychy brewery and Murcek was paved. When the railway line with the station was put into service on June 22, 1870, the community entered a period of dynamic development, using its location on the main communication routes of the Pszczyna Land.

The railway station in Kobiór

Until the end of the 19th century, residential buildings, an inn, a smithy, commercial warehouses, a steam sawmill and a seed extraction plant were built around this place and along the Mikołów trail. The inhabitants of Kobiór proudly called the entire area of this road junction the market square.

The River Korzeniec in Kobiór

Before 1921, the development of the community took place under the German. From 1852, most of economic ventures in Pszczyna District were initiated and administered by the ruling Hochberg family, and Prince John Henry XI was given the honorary title "von Pless" by the German Emperor.

Admiring the sights of Kobior

Admiring the sights of Kobior

In the years 1930-1932, the road to Murcek (today's Kobiórska Street) was paved with concrete slabs according to the technology used in Germany in its strategic highway construction program. Its section, not covered with asphalt concrete, preserved to our times, is a monument of the interwar road technology in Upper Silesia. Below, a concrete sample from a road slab, cut with a diamond drilling machine in 2007, during the reconstruction of the entrance from the half-way side is displayed.

Exploring Kobiór

Exploring Kobiór

We saw numerous praying station on our way. These stations are called chapels here. They can be in the form of a cross or the icon of Our Lady can simply be attached to a roadside tree.

Chapels on our way in Kobior

Chapels on our way in Kobior

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Kobiór's has several tourist attractions that include:

  • the historic Hunting Palace in Promnice;
  • the church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, where a replica of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes was built;
  • the Regional Museum located in the historic Smolarnia building;
  • Church of the Assumption of Our Lady;
  • A roadside cross located at 97 Rodzinna Street, the largest religious structures of this type in Upper Silesia;
  • the Papal Oak at 11 Rodzinna Street (next to them church);
  • the "Babczyna Dolina" ("Granny's Valley") nature reserve - a unique place of a marsh habitat, on the riverside of the Korzeniec River backwaters;
  • "Three Ponds Valley" water reservoirs located at the end of Leśników Street (Foresters Street);
  • Love Tree at the end of Foresters Street near Three Ponds Valle;
  • the old village well in Central Street;
  • The Tatra Inn with The Beskids Restaurant conveniently located at Highway No.1, at 5 Beskidska Street, a large Highlander style restaurant with Polish highlanders’ cuisine and nice wooden highlanders’ sculptures.

Walking along Rodzinna Street, Kobiór

Walking along Rodzinna Street, Kobiór

The Hunting Castle in Promnice stands on the shore of Lake Paprocany. Administratively it belongs to the Kobiór Commune, although it stands on the shore of Lake Paprocany very close to Tychy. It is lovingly called by locals Zamecek Promnice (“Promnice Castle”). The former castle has housed a hotel from the beginning of the 20th century.

The Hunting Castle in Promnice, Kobiór

The Hunting Castle in Promnice, Kobiór

It is one of the few places in Silesia where you can spend your time away from the hustle and bustle. The place has retained its original form given to it in 1868. The wooden ceilings, the wooden stairs and floors are almost intact. In Promnice Castle you will be able to feel the solemn atmosphere of the 19th century. The rooms of the hunting castle are decorated with hunting trophies.

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The roadside marker to Promnice Castle

The rooms on the first and on the second floor of the Castle, once occupied by the princely family and their guests, were adapted to the needs of the hotel. The hotel is called Noma Residence Hotel. It is a four-star facility. You can choose to stay in the Prince's Suite located in an octagonal tower, where you will undoubtedly feel the spirit of that era. The castle has a concert/theater hall, which is a favorite meeting place of many actors, singers and politicians.

Princess Daisy about the Promnice Castle, Kobiór

Princess Daisy about the Promnice Castle, Kobiór

This is what Princess Daisy (1873 – 1943), the wife of Jan Henryk XV, prince of Pless/Pszczyna, wrote in her memoirs.

The nursing home, Promnicka Street, Kobiór

The nursing home, Promnicka Street, Kobiór

The entire complex of residential and administrative buildings was created in Promnicka Street in 2009-2017 as the Branch of the Metropolitan Curia of the Katowice Archdiocese in Kobiór. It was the first building we saw during our hike. The complex includes a number of offices, conference rooms with back-up facilities, and living quarters, as well as a chapel. The entire complex covers an area of six hectares, and the usable area of the complex exceeds 10,000 square meters. The total area of the complex is 31,169 sq.m. In September 2017, an agreement between the Archdiocese of Katowice and the Municipality of the City of Tychy was signed on the purchase of the real estate located in Kobiór. Dom Pomocy Społecznej "Dobre Miejsce" (a nursing home) will operate on the property located in Kobiór and will be administered from Tychy. The nursing home in Kobiór will be an inter-communal center. The inter-communal association is called "Międzygminny Dom Pomocy Społecznej".

We are on the way, Kobiór

We are on the way, Kobiór

The Regional Museum of Smolarnia is at 36 Zmienna Street. The museum is open on Mondays from 4 p.m. until 7p.m. On other days, you can try making an appointment by phone at: +48 514 930 345, +48 693 020 699, +48 794 506 500, +48 607 233 160. There is no admission fee, only free donation for the maintenance of the museum.

Smoliarnia Regional Museum, Kobior

Smoliarnia Regional Museum, Kobior

Smoliarnia Regional Museum was established in 2003 on the initiative of members of the Kobiór Circle of the Upper Silesian Union. The building where the museum is located was erected at the end of the 19th century. It was built of wood on a foundation.
According to the museum information board, the tar factory operated in this building from 1850 until 1916. The factory produced resin, tar and turpentine. The best raw material was conifer, especially the one that had been lying in the ground for several years. The pyrolysis (dry distillation) process lasted several days. Then turpentine was collected, after which the tar was oozing, followed by grease. On the second day, tar bile appeared, followed by wood oil. Full-value tar was starting to drip into barrels - It was mainly used to lubricate wheel hubs. Tar was irreplaceable in the treatment of leather and also in the treatment of skin diseases in humans. It was also used as a preparation for treating the hooves of animals and horse hooves.

We passed Pond Pilok on our way to Three Ponds Valley from the museum.

The museum building has a high historical and architectural value in the scale of the commune and region. It looks attractive with its formwork adorned by decorative carved ornaments. The veranda has a panel decoration and was made in the form of stylized lilies. The entrance door contains the remains of decorative cobalt glazing and glass etched with floral ornaments.
The museum has many valuable exhibits in its collection, the oldest of which dates back to the second half of the 19th century. All the museum exhibits are the gifts of the village residents.
Visitors can see two thematic exhibitions: "Our beloved and unforgettable home" and "From grain to a loaf".
The museum is also a cultural hub. It holds different community events.

Visiting the church of the Assumption of Our Lady, Kobiór

Visiting the church of the Assumption of Our Lady, Kobiór

The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady was built in the years 1911-1912. It was consecrated on September 23, 1912. Its address is 11 Rozinna Street (“Family Street”).

Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, Kobiór

Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, Kobiór

The main altar was built in the temple in 1912, and side altars were added in 1916. The church was decorated with figures of St. Louis and St. Barbara. There is a painting of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in the main altar. The presbytery and stained glass windows were designed by a visual artist - Wiktor Ostrzołek.

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The replica of Lourdes Cave in the church courtyard.
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The inscription on the memorial plaque at the replica of Lourdes Cave.

There is a replica of the Heavenly Cave in the church courtyard. It was built after the pilgrimage of parish member to Lourdes in 1996. The parishioners decided to build a replica of that cave in their church courtyard. The inscription on the memorial plaque reads,
Mother Mary, help us with your heavenly mantle as the bells ring for the Lord's Angel. To you, Virgin, we raise our hands, we pray for peace in the world and for health. We, your servants, wish to spread this faith, hope and love. This is the only thing we need on earth: to eat a piece of bread in peace and quiet.
During our visit to Kobiór, we approached the church again and heard an angel singing. It was a wedding ceremony. I could not help entering the church and secretly taking a video of the ceremony, hoping that the guests would not mind.

What I called an angel's song during a wedding ceremony, which we witnessed on Saturday
Visiting Kobior again

Visiting Kobior again


We saw this veteran car at the entrance to the church and understood there was a wedding ceremony there.
There was a plaque "Newlyweds" instead of the license plate on this 1980 VW.

The Papal Oak in Kobiór

The Papal Oak in Kobiór

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"Dąb papieski" – the Papal Oak at 11 Rodzinna Street
We read the information board that stands next to the oak and found out a lot about this place. The oak that later became the Papal Oak grew at the forest nursery in the Rudy Raciborskie Forest District under No.66. Acorns were collected in the fall of 2003 from the Chrobry oak tree - the oldest tree of this species in Poland, which grows in the village of Szprotawa in Lublin region. The estimated age of this natural monument - Chrobry Oak - is 740 years.
The oak tree No.66 was one of 500 seedlings consecrated on April 28, 2004 by Pope John Paul II during the audience for forester pilgrims to Rome on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the State Forests. The young tree was brought to Kobiór on April 12, 2006 by the driver of the local Forest District, Robert Szromek.
The Kobiór Forest District was one of the first in 2006 to organize a ceremonial planting of a unique tree. The oak tree No. 66 was planted in the village soil by priest Jozef Piesiur - the parish priest, Józef Tetla - the Head of Pszczyna District, Lucyna Kasztura - a resident of the commune, Stefan Ryt - local commune administration clerk and Piotr Tetla - chief forester. The planting took place in the square next to the church parking lot on April 23, 2006, after a solemn Holy Mass celebrated for the foresters in the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady in Kobiór.
Thanks to this location, the tree is perfectly exposed, grows in the vicinity of the church in the busy center of the town and is freely available for viewing.

The roadside cross at 97 Rodzinna Street, Kobiór

The roadside cross at 97 Rodzinna Street, Kobiór

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Krzyż przydrożny at 97 Rodzinna Street : the roadside cross located at 97 Rodzinna Street, was carved out of solid sandstone. It looks very impressive with its dimensions. According to the opinion of the conservation services, it is one of the largest religious structures of this type in Upper Silesia. The cross realistically depicts the figure of Jesus Christ. It was built in 1890 and funded by Grzegorz and Zofia Rygułów. According to records, the construction of a church in Kobiór had been originally planned here. However, the construction was moved to the busy center of the town later. The parish chronicle reads, "It was from under this cross that on September 17, 1911, the cornerstone was solemnly moved in a procession to the construction site of a new church, and after the act of consecration was made embedded ".
The information boards that stands next to the roadside cross contains a roadside cross prayer which reads, “I stand under your cross, Lord, as a sinner who does not know what he is doing and still insists that he is right. I hear your words which are a declaration of love for your enemies. You commend them to your Father's care, you absolve, you justify. Say these words over me. Speak to the Father: forgive me for I do not know what I have done. Teach me to forgive. Help me to never pay back bad for evil, so that I never thoughtlessly say that I forgive my debtors.”
We were horrified to know that Christ's left shoulder was shot by a Red Army soldier in January 1945. The bullet hole has been preserved to this day (it can be seen on the picture below).

Roadside cross at 97 Rodzinna Street, Kobior

Roadside cross at 97 Rodzinna Street, Kobior

The inscription on the roadside cross pedestal reads, O crux, ave spes uncia (in Latin) - Hail, oh cross, our only hope!
Baranec Boży, który gladzi grzechy świata (in Polish) - The Lamb of God who settles the sins of the world
Anno Domini 1890
The information board that stands next to the cross contains the story by Janusz Mazur from Smoliarnia Regional Museum. The story reads, “In 1890 Kobiór had about 1,200 inhabitants (now 4,800), and Rodzinna street was called “Bieruńska Road", which led through the forests of Świerczyrića and Bojszów to Bieruń Stary (“Old Bieruń”). At that time, this place was the center of the commune. At a distance of about 150 m to the north, our ancestors built the first elementary school in 1842 (a wooden hut with one classroom); this building was demolished in 1985. In 1864, a much larger building was built with three classrooms and attic spaces for the manager and two auxiliary teachers, which is now used as a residential building. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the construction of new residential houses dynamically developed in Kobiór around the already hardened roads of Pszczyna - Mikołów and Kobiór-Murcki. At that time, the previously planned location of the parish church was abandoned. The church was finally built in the years 1911-1912 in the immediate vicinity of the crossroads of transit roads.”

Visiting Beskids Tavern in Kobiór

Visiting Beskids Tavern in Kobiór

Rezerwat Przyrody "Babczyna Dolina", Leśników Street (Foresters Street)
The "Babczyna Dolina" ("Granny's Valley") nature reserve is a unique place of a marsh habitat, on the riverside of the Korzeniec River backwaters. This habitat creates special living conditions for plants, close to the natural ones. Among others, there is swamp purse, entered as an endangered species in the Red Book of the Silesian Voivodeship.
The submontane reed forest is a peculiarity of this place. Hairy reed, which is a very common plant in the Forest District, is a rare plant in Europe. There is an educational and nature trail running through the reserve, which allows for its exploration. Its length is 2700 m, and it takes about 40 minutes to visit it. The path is equipped with information boards and starts at the gate on the Korzeniec River - it runs through the three communes of Kobiór, Suszec and Pszczyna.

Wooden sculptures at Karczma Tatrzańska, Kobiór

Wooden sculptures at Karczma Tatrzańska, Kobiór

Zbiorniki wodne - "Dolina Trzech stawów" ("Valley of the Three Ponds" water reservoirs, Leśników Street /Foresters Street).

Three Ponds Valley, Kobior

Three Ponds Valley, Kobior

Water reservoirs surrounded by forests - the Valley of the Three Ponds - were created in a natural valley at the end of the last century on land owned by the State Treasury. During the periods of spring thaw or intense rainfall, the water in the river is dammed up on the weir, and then by a system of pipes, gravitationally fed to the upper and middle reservoirs. In order to avoid very high damming of water, each of the tanks has a lower water level.
The old riverbed of Korzeńec was moved to the southern side of the valley. This solution was adopted to avoid flooding forest areas in the event of a flood. The water surface of the tanks has an area of approximately 15 ha, and a capacity of approximately 300,000 cubic meters.
This place is perfect for recreation, and also provides a supply of water for firefighting purposes.
We were happy to find the Love Tree in this area. It is not marked by any roadside markers, and we only had Google Maps at our disposal. Thus, it turned out to be a little quest. You can't miss it, especially if you see what the tree looks like on Google Maps pictures.
The tree has a unique form indeed. We simply stood and pondered wishing good luck to our family and friends in our minds.

The Love Tree, Kobior

The Love Tree, Kobior


Walking back home from Kobiór

Walking back home from Kobiór


Monuments and memorial places in Kobior

Monuments and memorial places in Kobior


There are two war memorials in Kobiór, and both are in Foresters Street: Foresters war memorial and war prisoners memorial. There were created by village residents.
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The inscription on the War prisoners memorial reads,
To commemorate the victims of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and to commemorate the internment in this place of the prisoners of war from the countries of the anti-Nazi coalition in the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.
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The inscription on the Foresters war memorial reads,
On the 25th anniversary of the skirmishes between Kobiór foresters and Nazi troops.
The team of the Kobiór Forest District
1.9.1964

During our day hike to the neighboring village of Tychy, we saw this duck pond.
Views of the village of Kobior

Views of the village of Kobior

We have passed this forest village by car and by train many times, but have been there only twice. We have also been a couple of times at the Hunting Castle that is within a walking distance from Lake Paprocany in Tychy. I feel there is still a lot to see in Kobiór. We enjoy the village quiet atmosphere, fresh air, good roads and great pavements. My must-see list is increasing, therefore we must revisit this place some day. The village is across the forest from where we are staying, and we enjoyed our hikes a lot...

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Posted by Vic_IV 08:05 Archived in Poland Tagged lake castle upper hunting silesia tychy paprocany kobiór promnice

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Comments

I like the look of the castle and all the statues.

by irenevt

So do I, Irene! Thanks for reading and commenting!~ Keep safe!~

by Vic_IV

Were you able to see all this on a one day??? So many lovely places :)

by hennaonthetrek

Yes, Henna, we have been there only once, but there is still a lot to see ( I have a list), therefore we must revisit this place some day, it is across the forest from where we are staying...

by Vic_IV

Luckily not too far! I like those country walking paths, no wonder you want to visit again! :)

by hennaonthetrek

It is quite safe, and those paths are never empty. There are many bikers and hikers like us. We enjoy fresh air and the forest.

by Vic_IV

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