Silesia explorer

Blog about tourist places, travelling in Upper Silesia, Poland

BYTOM – SMALL CITY BUT WITH A BIG CHARM

on November 12, 2012

Mistery City.

If you ask to Polish people some suggestions about Bytom, their faces change for a moment. It was perfect that I didn´t care about their comments; “It´s ugly city, don´t go”, ” It´s old, you will not like it”, “There is nothing to see there”……

But it´s not true. Each person has his/her likes, and me and my friend from Spain love BYTOM.

It´s not the most beautiful city that I have visited in Poland, but for sure one of the ” Seven Wonders of Architecture in the Silesian Province”.

I live in Katowice for 9 months and I haven´t been in  Bytom, maybe because it´s close to Katowice or maybe because I didn´t hear to much about this city, but after some opinions and searching some pictures I went there.

One of my best friends from Spain came to Poland for visit me for a few days and I chose Bytom for enjoy with her.

To go there from Katowice it´s really easy, you can take number 820 and 830 and in 20 minutes you are there. Timetables here.

The first objective for us was to find the Tourist Information Center. We  asked to the inhabitants of Bytom if they knew about this building but they didn´t have idea where it is situated. We were walking till the Main Market square and after long time taking  pictures with the Lion statue, checking some maps with all informations about the city, finally, we found the building.  It´s complicated to realized because on the wall you can´t see any signs. The best way it is to ask in the local business.

Probably they will know it.

Inside of the building, they have several duties, and one of these duties it´s inform to foreigners people the most interesting places for visit in Bytom.

Pawel, the person who was talking with us it was really friendly and able to deal with foreigners. He gave us brochures, maps, he wrote in the maps the places where we should go and even he gave us postcard of Bytom for free . He proposed us some restaurants, museums, etc. We felt to much satisfied with him and excited to be in Bytom.

In this moment, our visit in Bytom it started.
One day it´s enough for see all city but if you stop in each places like us you will spend 2 days.

Our route began in the south part of the city.

  • Galeria Kronika ( Rynek 26)

The Kronika Gallery was established in 1991.  Is a centre for contemporary art located in the heart of the industrial city of Bytom, Upper Silesia.

Consists in two floors;

The first one is conected with Jews life in Upper Silesia and the second floor you can see some pictures which representing unemployed peoples working in the town.

Kronika does also  rental bikes and only one artistic bookstore in Upper Silesia.

It´s open:  Tuesday – Thursday  11.00 – 18.00 , Friday: 14.00 – 20.00 , Saturday:  11.00 – 15.00

Entrance for free.

More information about Kronika. 

  • Art Nouveau building of Upper Secondary School ( Sikorskiego Street 1)

Here we had unbelievable experience. We didn´t know that it was a Secondary School and just we wanted to visit the interior of this building. We meet with a English teacher and he invited us to participated in his lesson and talk with the students about something interesting for us. We were discussing about the History of Poland and about the relationship between Polish peoples and German /Ukraine and Russian.

In this school exists the clock more old of Bytom, and we had a pleasure to go up and visit it. From this panorama you can observe all city. It was amazing view. It was snowing, so perhaps could influence in our feeling.

  • Opera House ( Moniuszki Street)

The eclectic Silesian Opera House formetly City Theatre and Concer Hall from 1903.

We tried to watch some performance  but there weren´t any available.

In front of the building, from the Moniuszko street side we can see a statue of S.Moniuszko. Created by T.Sadowski.

  • School of Music ( Moniuszkin Street).

If your passion is a music or you want to listen a nice melody come to the neo-Gothic building near to Busy Sikorski Square.

Go inside and you will see:

Impressive staircase, old furnitures, young composers strolling the corridors with their instruments and pictures which you can see that this conservatory was working since 1984.

After that we spent all morning in this side of the city, it was time to walk and visit the North part of the city.

  • Holy Trinity Church ( Kwietniewskiego Street 1)

Try to find Kosciusko Square and Jainty Street and finally you will reach the parish. It was built in the years 1883-1886 to replace a former cementary chapel under the same name. We went inside but we couldn´t visit the basilican and the Main Altar. What mostly impress to me was the multi colored wall paintings, stone carvings, a windows decoration or spire´s capstone catching the eye too.

  • Holy Virgin Mary Church (Koziolka Street 3)

If you walk around Rynek, your eyes will catch the oldest building in the city. Actually is older than the town itself, because its origins date back to the first half of the 13th century. After the fire in 1515 temple was renovated and if you see carefully you can distinguish two parts. One of this part it´s old, damage because of fire and the other part it´s new and renovated. Good contrast. We couldn´t been inside because it was closed.

  • Chapel with the statue of the Holy Virgin Mary and Church of the Holy Spirit. ( Grunwald Square)

In this district of Bytom you can see the statue of the Holy Virgin Mary. The building behind of this statue belonged to once famous vodka producer-Vizent Pissarek and at bottom the Church of the Holy Spirit.

The history of the church of the Holy Spirit, which was then located outside the city walls is related to the centuries-long presence of the Order of the Guardians of the Holy Sepulchre in Bytom. Brought to Bytom from the neighboring Chorzów they opened a hospital for the ill, poor, and erected a chapel of the Holy Spirit next to it. The church is the only one in Bytom with completely Baroque decor

  • St. Jack´s Church ( Matejki Street 1)

For the end of our trip we visited as unique as impressive in size, Neo-Romanesque building. Was built in the years 1908-1911. The Church, built of stone slabs is impressive with two 57 meter hight towers. Walls and windows carvings catched our attention especially. Around this building there were some constructions. It was the most beautiful church for me and it was a pitty that we couldn´t go inside..

Do you remember the first picture with a Lion?

Do you know the meaning of this Lion in Bytom? I will explain you.

The sculputure of the Lion that you can find in the Main Square of Bytom representing the victims whose died in Prussian-French war in 1870-1871. Bytom belonged to the territory of Germany during the war. This Lion was created in 1873. After II world war, monument was destroyed and it appeared in Warsaw.

In 2006 the statue was found  in Warsaw zoo and  in 2008 Lion has returned to Bytom. Now it stands in the center of Main Market Square.

Look and find several of them !!

If you are interested in History, if you love to visit ruins, damaged buildings or old cities…go to Bytom.

Don´t hear what the peoples think about the city and just explore by yourself.

You will fall in love.
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6 responses to “BYTOM – SMALL CITY BUT WITH A BIG CHARM

  1. Tom says:

    Coś jest schrzaniona data lokacji lwa, który już przed wojną był w Bytomiu a tu ktoś pisze o 1997 roku… : In 1887 a war between Germany-France happened. Bytom belonged to the territory of Germany during the war and many people died. This Lion was found in 1997 in Bytom and it is the representing the victims of this war.

    • silesiaexplorer says:

      Hello Tom.

      I wrote this date because a men from Biuro Promocji Bytomia informed about that. I was searching also for more information about thet history of Lion in internet but I couldn´t find nothing. Now I know that he was wrong. I would like to know the true history so please if you know it just tell me and I will change for sure.
      Thanks Tom.

      • zawe says:

        Yes, lion which was standing on socle, was commemorating victims of Franco-Prussian (1870-1871) war, it was made in 1873. After II world war monument was demolished, lion (without socle) was moved to the park. In 50′ years it disappeared, no one have known what happened with it. A few years ago one of historian from Silesia found the lion in Warsaw in zoo, exactly in 2006 – and citizens were helping to prove that lion is from Bytom, after 2 years lion back to Bytom (2008), Warsaw got duplicate.

      • Arivald says:

        Hi. About the lion: this sculpture was on a pedestal with informations about people from Bytom whose died in Prussian-French war but in 1870-71 (not 1887). The lion was created in 1873 and was in Bytom propably to 1945 (after II world war Warsaw people take out the statue to Warsaw for renovation of destroyed capital of Poland). But Bytomian people found it in Warsaw and in 2008 the lion returned to Bytom for this place where is now.

        Next time, you should visit the Bytomian dragon (it is a big and really fanatastic sculpture on house on the Pilsudskiego Street and the Drzymaly Street corner). We have also nice the city park and football stadium (it is old and devastated but local team “Polonia Bytom” play in 1st Division (it is 2nd football class in Poland – but now it is a winter break).

        Best wishes

  2. Pawel says:

    Dear Maria,

    One more time thanks for your very interesting text about our city and excellent advertising!
    I know, that you need my help:) I wrote you short history about our Lion statue:

    “Sleeping lion” (ger. Sterbender Löwe) – this is orginal name of this sculpture, which has been executed in bronze by berlin’s foundry Gladenbecka in 1873, on base of project of Theodor Kalide from 1824. This Sculpture crowned one-meter’s long monument and it was found for memory of Bytom’s inhabitants whos died in war between Germany and France 1870-1871. Monument has been destroyed in 30 years of 20th century, but the lion’s sculpture was taken and has been put in Academic Square, next in City Park near the Zoo.
    Between 1952-1953 lion has passed away from Park in unknown circumstances. Finally our sculpture has been recovered in 2006 near the Warsaw Zoo. Lion has returned to Bytom in 4 October 2008, where it stands today on Main (Market) Square!

    See you soon:)
    Greetings,
    Pawel Slota
    Bytom’s Promotion Office

  3. restlessjo says:

    You certainly made the most of your time in Bytom. I enjoyed exploring it with you.

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