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Mikołów, 800 years old

A Gem of Southern Poland

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Market Square, Mikołów

Market Square, Mikołów

Mikołów ( read “Mee-ko-woov”), a city in southern Poland, in the Silesian Voivodeship, a neighboring city of Tychy. We decided to pay a visit there, and, as a result, we liked the city and visited it more than once by the city bus 268 from Tychy (about forty minutes ride). The city is sometimes called The City with a Soul.

The 800th jubilee monument at the railway station, Mikołów

The 800th jubilee monument at the railway station, Mikołów


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The name of the city probably comes from the name of Nicholas, but it is unknown whether it comes from St. Bishop Nicholas (the oldest church dedicated to St. Nicholas), or from an heir named Nicholas (popularly - Nicholas), a wealthy owner who lived in this area during the settlement. 1222 is considered the city foundation year. The first mention of Mikołow appeared in the document dating back to that year. Mikołów was officially mentioned for the first time in a document issued by the Duke of Opole Kazimierz I. The replica of the document is kept at the city history museum. The text of the decree fit into 22 lines of the text on a goat-skin parchment 17.8 cm high and 18.8 cm wide.

The fountain near the roadside cross, Mikołów

The fountain near the roadside cross, Mikołów


The roadside cross with a fountain, Mikołów

The roadside cross with a fountain, Mikołów


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We found out that the city rights had been granted in 1337. For most of its history, Mikolow was a trading city, and in the 20th century it became an industrial city. In the 20th century, many large industrial enterprises were established in Mikołów, including MiFaMa (Mikołowska Fabryka Maszyn - Machine Factory in Mikołów), FPM (Mechanical Flooring Factory), Wiromet. Barbara research mine is the only one in Poland and one of two such mines in Europe.

By bus to  Mikołów

By bus to Mikołów

Mikołów is one of the few cities in Upper Silesia which has the Old Town with a market square and streets branching off from it. The square is surrounded by tenements dating back to 18th and 19th centuries, with many still having the original architectural elements. The present town hall is housed in a building which is a part of the square’s western frontage and dates back to 1872.

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Market Square, Mikołow
Downtown Mikołów

Downtown Mikołów

Market Square fountain on Antiques Sale Day, May 2022, Mikołów

Market Square fountain on Antiques Sale Day, May 2022, Mikołów

The old town in Mikołów, although tiny, has preserved the atmosphere of the Upper Silesian province to this day. There is a beautiful Art Nouveau tenement dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century opposite the town hall (4 Market Square). Its facade is decorated with bright low reliefs in window frames contrasting with yellow and orange bricks, as well as a half-timbered wall. The building is topped with a turret and a spire. Beautiful buildings can also be found in John Paul II Street, which leads away from the Market Square, tenement at no. 10 deserves particular attention. Its rich facade is decorated with mascarons and brilliant plant motifs.

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Women's secrets by Krystyna Nowakowska, Mikołów

Women's secrets by Krystyna Nowakowska, Mikołów

The city center was completely renewed in 2002, including the reconstruction and modernization of the market square itself. The project “Revitalisation of the center of Mikołów” was awarded in 2003 in the competition ”The Best Space in Silesia Province” in the category “The best renewed public space”. Now there is a beautiful fountain in the center of Market Square.

Town Hall in Market Square, Mikołów

Town Hall in Market Square, Mikołów


Municipal Lesure Center in Market Square, Mikołów

Municipal Lesure Center in Market Square, Mikołów

The town hall in Mikołów was built in the Neo-Renaissance style in 1872. in Mikołów organizes numerous cultural events, including cyclic events, such as Days Mikołów, Silesian Fair and Christmas, Caroling Meetings, events for children and young people such as International Children's Day. The Municipal Leisure Center is the base for functioning of several hobby groups, among them the Film Club, the Photography Club, the Theatre Club, the Guitar Club, and the Handicraft Club . There is a great new fountain in the middle of Market Square.

St. Wojciech monument

St. Wojciech monument

The cult of St. Wojciech in Mikołów has a centuries-old tradition. The church dedicated to him already existed in the second half of the 13th century. In Bujaków District of Mikołów there is a St. Wojciech’s Chapel, the first church in the village. According to the legend, this church in this village of Mikołów was consecrated by St. Wojciech himself, who was in Silesia then.
In 1996, the pastor of the parish of St. Wojciech, asked the City Council to pass a resolution to grant Mikołów the patronage of St. Wojciech. The councilors accepted this proposal. In 1998, by the decision of Pope John Paul II, St. Wojciech became the patron of the city.

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In June 2006, the City Council passed a resolution expressing the will to build a monument on the market square. They found an artist who would undertake the creation of the sculpture. It was Professor Zygmunt Brachmański. The idea was to place the patron on a column in the place where the tower of the old town hall once stood. On April 23, 2013, the monument created by Prof. Zygmunt Brachmański was unveiled. It is a bronze figure set on a white pedestal. In the left hand St. Wojciech holds an oar, and he stretches out his right one, blessing those entering the market.
The inscription on the pedestal reads,

St. Wojciech, patron of Mikołów.
Look, where you see nothing.
Go, where there is no way.
Listen, where silence sounds.
Because God speaks there.

Angelus Silesius. A.D. 2013

Planty Park, Mikołów

Planty Park, Mikołów

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Planty Park, Mikołów

We also visited Planty Park located near Market Square – an old park created in the 18th century. The park represents a closed landscape composition. Planty Park is considered one of the best preserved parks versus its initial form in the Silesian Agglomeration. In 2001, Planty Park was entered into the Register of Monuments in the Province of Silesia. The park took part in the park development project in the competition ”The Best Space in Silesia Province” in the category “The best renewed public space”, and won the prize in 2004.

Architectural gems of  Mikołów

Architectural gems of Mikołów


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The emblem of the botanical gardens

The emblem of the botanical gardens

We dedicated almost an entire day to the visit of the Botanical Gardens of Silesia, and did not regret it at all. The Silesian Botanical Garden (Śląski Ogród Botaniczny w Mikołowie) is located 20 km from Katowice/Tychy and covers the area of about 100 hectares. According to the gardens brochure, it has become a green showcase of the industrialized Silesia region.
The Garden has two parts/entrances:

  • Ogród Żólty/Yellow Garden (in Sosnowa Street;
  • Czerwony/Red Garden (in Grudniowa Street).

These two parts of the garden are connected by a forest path leading through Fiołkowa Góra.

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The Silesian Botanical Garden, Mikołow

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The botanical gardens have a big diversity of plants and animals’ habitats, diversified landscape and picturesque surroundings. There are unique trees and bushes here. They are located mostly on Fiołkowa Mountain and around the fish ponds.

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The Silesian Botanical Garden, Mikołow

The botanical gardens created a project “Development of the Center for Environmental Education - Silesian Botanical Garden in Mikołów”, which was awarded in 2012 in the competition ”The Best sspace in Silesia Province” in the category: the best renewed public space.
The building on the site was previously a German headquarters and the bunker has been excellently redesigned and enlarged. The local people are justly proud of this area and recommend visiting it by all means. There is a a well built wooden viewing tower an easy climb giving a 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside.
There is a huge playground for child and nice footpaths for walking. You can also find a fireplace and a cosy restaurant with delicious ice creams. In other words, it’s a place absolutely worth visiting.

Aqua fons vitae – Water is the fountain of life, a sculpture by Bartolomew Struzik, 2012, at the entrance to the Gardens

Aqua fons vitae – Water is the fountain of life, a sculpture by Bartolomew Struzik, 2012, at the entrance to the Gardens


This was one of the first sculptures we saw at the Botanical Gardens.
417322f0-e8fc-11ec-bf8d-a119137e012f.JPGLeaf 7 – from the cycle “Our Motherland” by Krzysztof Nitch

Leaf 7 – from the cycle “Our Motherland” by Krzysztof Nitch

World War II Memorial, Botanical Gardens, Mikołów

World War II Memorial, Botanical Gardens, Mikołów

There is a war memorial on the hill. The inscription provideds us more details about this place in war times. It reads,
“This beautiful surroundings called Mokre was a witness of important events for Poland and Mikołów itself in September 1939. Sosnia Góra, on which you are standing (329 m above sea level), with the neighboring Fiolkowa Gora (341 m above sea level) was part of the fortification system called the “Mikolów Redoubt", which is the southern extension of the Silesian Fortified Area. Field fortifications made just before the outbreak of the war have survived to this day in Fiolkowa Gora. Behind them was the main line of fortifications, which, using the natural qualities of the area, stretched, among others in the Klodnica valley and the Jamna stream. This line was to be strengthened by numerous concrete combat bunkers, commonly known as “bunkers”, but most of them were not completed. its defense was entrusted to the "Śląsk" Operational Group commanded by General Jan Sadowski.

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On 1-2 September 1939, Sosnia Góra was attacked by German divisions that were part of the Wroctaw VIII Army Corps.in the end, these combat positions were defended by the National Defense Company “Mikolów, hastily formed from reservists and volunteers under the command of Captain Tytus Wikarski. This company was a part of the 201st Infantry Regiment of the 55th Infantry Division. It was also this company that built field fortifications here in August 1939, including the command post of Cpt. Wikarski and an observation point for an officer of the 23rd Light Artillery Regiment. After the war, Sosnia Góra became area closed by the army. Until the 1990s, the sub-units of the 73rd Air Defense Missile Squadron from Oswiecim were stationed here.”

Sculptures at the Botanical Gardens

Sculptures at the Botanical Gardens

The botanical gardens created a project “Development of the Center for Environmental Education - Silesian Botanical Garden in Mikołów”, which was awarded in 2012 in the competition ”The Best Space in Silesia Province” in the category: the best renewed public space.
The building on the site was previously a German headquarters and the bunker has been excellently redesigned and enlarged. The local people are justly proud of this area and recommend visiting it by all means. There is a a well built wooden viewing tower an easy climb giving a 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside.
We saw and felt that the Silesian Botanical Garden was a great place if you liked to take rest and spend time on fresh air. There is a huge playground for child and nice footpaths for walking. You can also find a fireplace and a cozy restaurant with delicious ice creams.
In other words, it’s a place absolutely worth visiting.

Mikołow: Churches and Cathedrals

St. Wojciech Cathedral was dedicated in 1861. It is called the minor basilica of Mikołów.

St. Wojciech Cathedral, Mikołów_10

St. Wojciech Cathedral, Mikołów_10


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Since the sixties of the 20th century, St. Adalbert Church has had two patron saints – St. Adalbert and Our Lady of Snows. Today, its name is the church of Our Lady of the Snow.

You can see another church next to St. Wojciech Cathedral: the church of Our Lady of the Snow (former St. Adalbert Church) dating back to the end of the 16th century. The original church - St. Adalbert Church - was built at the end of the 13th century. They say that most probably it was built as a wooden church and later, in the Gothic period, it was rebuilt in brick.

The church of Our Lady of the Snow, Mikołów

The church of Our Lady of the Snow, Mikołów


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In the years 1580–1628 it served as an Evangelical temple and later became a Catholic temple. This late Gothic church is a one-aisle construction with Baroque furnishing. Inside the altar there is a painting of St. Adalbert dating to 1675. In addition, you can admire three side altars: St. Anthony of Padua’s Alter, St. Barbara’s Altar and Our Lady’s Altar. The last one features the image of Our Lady of Snow, also called Our Lady of Mikołów. Behind the gate there is a statue of St. John of Nepomuk founded in 1799 by Mikołów parishioners.

The statue of St. John of Nepomuk

The statue of St. John of Nepomuk

Until 1861, St. Adalbert Church was a parish church for Mikołów and neighboring communities.

St.John’s Evangelical Church, Mikołów

St.John’s Evangelical Church, Mikołów

St.John’s Evangelical Church, Mikołów

Saint John’s Evangelical Church is a beautiful neo-gothic church in Karpecki Street. The church attracts you from afar. You can see a cast of the head of Christ above the entrance, probably the work of August Karol Kiss. The church has a neo-gothic baptistery and a pulpit. The latter is decorated with low reliefs showing the main reformers of the protestant church. St. John's Church in Mikołów is the church of the Evangelical-Augsburg Parish in Mikołów. It was erected in 1861 in Mikołów.

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The memorial plaque at the entrance gives us more details about the church. It reads,
“The Evangelical church of St John was built in 1861 in neo-gothic style. The building site was donated by Hans Heinrich X Hochberg, the Prince of Pless. On the gable of the main portal, you can see the Christ's head cast by the 19th century sculptor Prof. August Kiss. Inside the church, there is an altar with a painting by Eduard Leopold Radtke from Berlin. On the right-hand side of the altar there is a baptismal font; on the left-hand side there is a pulpit with plaster busts of the main reformers: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther, Prof. Philip Melanchthon, Rev. John Calvin, Rev. Ulrich Zwingli and Bishop Nicolaus Zinzendorf. The church organ was built by Carl Volkmann from Gliwice in 1861.
The church was demolished by Soviet bombing in January 1945 and renovated in the years 1945-1946. Behind the church there is a churchyard that was consecrated together with the church on October 29, 1861 and a graveyard chapel dating to 1900. Inside the chapel there are two tablets with names of parishioners, who perished during the First World War.”

St.Nickolas Church,  Borowa Wieś

St.Nickolas Church, Borowa Wieś

St.Nickolas Church in Borowa Wieś (Mikołów District) is one of the two wooden churches within the town borders. St.Nickolas Church in Borowa Wieś was originally built in Przyszowice, probably at the end of the 17th century or the beginning of the 18th century, and was transferred to its present location in 1937-1939.

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There is a square tower with a baroque dome and a lantern on its western side. In the village of Borowa Wieś, a district of Mikołów, there is a historic wooden church of Saint Nicholas. It was moved to its current location from nearby Przyszowice in 1937-39.

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The building is a typical, oriented structure, with a tower and a turret on the roof. It is surrounded by arcades, serving as shelter for pilgrim called “soboty” meaning “Saturdays” in English, because pilgrims used to gather here on Saturdays. The church equipment comes from the seventeenth or eighteenth century. Like many wooden churches of the region is mostly in the Baroque style. It is located on the Wooden Architecture Trail of Silesia Province.

St.Nickolas Church,  Borowa Wieś_28

St.Nickolas Church, Borowa Wieś_28

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We also saw an advertisement about a flea market, or antiques sale, on a Sunday in May, and decided to visit it. We did not buy much, but it was a great experience as well.

Antiques Sale in Market Square, in Mikołów_4

Antiques Sale in Market Square, in Mikołów_4

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We enjoyed every minute of our visits to Mikołów.

Posted by Vic_IV 13:52 Archived in Poland

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Comments

Sounds like you had a nice day! Probably I would have ended up spending as much time in Botanical Gardens than you did!
Albeit the green buildings in the town and tge town itself looks cool too!

by hennaonthetrek

Yes, Henna, I agree with you. It was a marvelous discovery for us! Thank you.

by Vic_IV

the park looks amazing for a daily walk!

by Ils1976

Yes, indeed... We are surrounded by beautiful places and there are many kind and caring people everywhere...

by Vic_IV

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