Silesia explorer

Blog about tourist places, travelling in Upper Silesia, Poland

“Katowice – city of gardens” – official slogan of the city. Garden could be also artificial


Flowers are blooming in Katowice.

Come to Rondo near Spodek and see around sometimes colorful foutain the gigantic air flowers. Or are they Palms? Or Echinacea?

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Stained glass windows (vitrage) in St. Mary’s Church (Kościół Mariacki) in Katowice


Mariacki Kosciol is the church impossible to miss in Katowice. Because it is situated on Mariacka street – street of pubs, restaurants and pub. Each city has such street, where young and not-young people hang out, make noise and just arrange appointments.

Mariacki church in Katowice despite rich history and so one is nothing special – like all other churches in Silesia. But. Take a look at these stained glass windows!

Vitrages have pictures of domestic animals:

   

Reptile:

Birds:

    

Insects:

    

Flowers:

   

   

   

I was in this church several times and only after some visit mentioned these fauna and flora vitrages. Angels, saint people and Bible stories are everywhere – but nature – only in Katowice.

10 Comments »

Desert in Poland?! Yes, it is! Polish Sahara – Pustynia Błędowska


I didn’t study well geography at school, and I thought that deserts are situated only in Africa. I was wrong. Desert is in Poland!!

Welcome to Bledow desert (pol. Pustunia Błędowska) – the largest desert in Central Europe (32 square km).

Image

Since the beginning of 20 century this desert was used as training ground for military troops. Now sappers are working here: searching for old bombs.  That is why part (southern) of desert is the closed territory till December of 2013, and nobody is allowed to enter.  I don’t know in which part I was; and I saw several marriage couples taking pictures here, families with children playing in sand, paraplanes and other sky devices flying here.

I was in this place in right day and time: hot day, in evening, observing sunset.

Apart from desert itself here is no other attractions. But you can have fun here as me: adults and children. Nice people installed here such swings.

To come to desert is not so easy. Check the map. Desert is situated in the border of Upper Silesia region and Lesser Poland region (pol. Malopolska) – in the west of  Upper Silesia. To go here is easier by car from Katowice to Dabrowa Gornicza, and later to Olkusz direction or to Ogrodzieniec. By the way, Ogrodzieniec with its famous ruins of medieval castle is very close. Put this two objects to your trip – and you’ll have enough emotions for all day.

Pity to know that the desert is dying – start to be normal forest. You can mention this on satelite photo.

Bledow desert, Silesia

2 Comments »

Galeria Szyb Wilson – NIKISZOWIEC


If you are going to Nikiszowiec and you find colourfull walls, wonderful drawing on the walls and caracteristics doors, you are lucky because you are in Galeria Szyb Wilson.

Go inside and enjoy!

Situated in Oswobodzenia street Nº 1 (Nikiszowiec).

Just north of the centre of Nikiszowiec (3km by official measure), this seemingly obscure and certainly underappreciated modern art gallery is arguably Katowice’s best art space and one of the primary highlights of a trip to Nikiszowiec.

How to arrive there??

  • Get on the bus number 30 in Aleja Korfantejo street and get off in Szopienicka street.
  • Get on the bus number 12 in Warszawska street ( Damrota bus stop) and get off in Lwowska street.

If you need more information or it´s not clear for you. Search here

The gallery itself comprises an impressive 2,500 square metres divided into three halls. Full of seriously bonkers, yet compellingly high quality sculpture, graphic and installation art by both local and international artists, exhibitions change regularly with permanent installations – some disturbing, some playful, some political – hidden throughout the dozens of small nooks spidering throughout the building. The closest thing to a contemporary art museum in Katowice, it’s an admirable and highly recommendable venue.

      

If you have trash at home, if you love pick up things on the street and you don´t know what to do it with them, go to the museum and give to them. They will make different furnitures, painting, etc without sense, but for your eyes can be amazing and it will give you new inspirations.

They were my favourite!!

   

About a 5 rooms are decorated in different styles, sometimes hard to find its meaning and inspired by different topics. Observed the different objects and perhaps you become to be an artist for a moment.

    

Walking around the museum and introducing yourself in the several rooms, you will find old objects, sculputers done in wood, with ceramic but most of them related with religion.

The pics situated in the middle show a violin made in in wood and by hand. Also is painted with different colours and in differents forms. Nice to see.

Almost there are about thousands painting or I think even more. They are showing different country, different personalities, forms, style, colors, etc and on them I observed a green point between the number. It´s mean that they had a competitions between them. The painting which have this point mean that it´s one of the best in all gallery.

For me it´s was interesting to find a Spanish painters. Not just one, maybe four. I felt identified. Most of them show sun, sea, green, the typical spanish food and different traditions about my country.

 

                                                                                                        This is my favourite !!! I love it

                                                                                I will make it for my future house for sure.

 

Outside you can spend some time as well enjoying their wonderful arts.

Sometimes they have events, concert.. In that day it was concentration of motorcycles.  SUPER !

For the end Remember that it´s for free

Open: 09:00 – 19:00 every day, including weekend.

Dive deeper

You will spend good time!

Leave a comment »

WHICH CLIMATE HAS THIS COUNTRY?


Well.

When I arrived to Poland it was June, I remember that the first day it was raining and my flat was cold. I had to wear long pyjama and buy two pairs of wool socks. I didn´t want to be in Poland !!

During a week it rained without stop and the storms were amazing. I haven´t seen the same before. I thought that the roof of my flat will fall down and that some thunder come to me in the street.

An experience happened to me with a friend from Ukraine (Oksana Bondar) : There was the day when Spanish football team played the final of European Cup. We wanted to see the football match in Spodek but it was impossible. We were waiting there for a long time under a roof and finally we decided to go home. The Sky in Katowice was black, orange, brown, the sun umbrellas in Spodek were fall down, the windy destroyed everything… DISASTER! and when we arrived to home it was the second part of football match. Spain won European Cup but still was raining till midnight.

Image

Image

I remember that I was talking with my flatmate about my Grandmather. She hates storms and when storm is coming, she is going to her bed and she is keep herself under the blanket until when this storm dissapear. I was imagining me all summer in my room without nothing to do. But the weather changed.

Changed but strange!

The mornings were warm and Maria wear summer clothes. In the office break Carolina (Volunteer of Bona Fides), Tetiana and me went to buy our ice-creams… delicious!!. but the evening started to rain and Maria didn´t know what to wear. During June and July this is was the weather in Poland.

Image

In the beggining of August the summer started and we were swimming in Gliwice. There were a lot of people there. It´s some kind of swimming pool and it´s cheaper.

Image

I need the sun for survive and I think Polish people too.

But why Polish women have dark skin? aa I know it´s not because they took sun it´s because they spent a lot of money in Rayos V. Also now I can understand better how the weather influence in their caracter and for this reason when they are going abroad they come to Poland fell in love with this country and with the sun of south of Europe, but for some of them it´s difficult to go in summer because they can´t even breathe there.

Having in August, one week ago the weather changed again, one night I wear a dress which one it´s for summer and also summer shoes and suddenly started to rain to much and during all night.

I am used to have this climate but my friend from Spain became to be ill and he decided to go at home. During these last weeks I wear all kind of clothes, socks, coats, jerseys, I used umbrella, scarf…

A girl from Poland being in Wroclaw told me that summer in Poland is finished… but how I can believe her? Yesterday when I woke up and I look on my window there were people in front of my room taking a sun in the garden.

Are they crazy I thought?

Nie Nie. It was 28ºC so I decided to wear my bikini and go to some lake near to Nikiszowiec. When I arrived there a lot of people were enjoyed this day. It was wonderful, colourful. The people were fishing, eating, drinking, playing. The animals jumping of happiness and I was lying with my book, my food and thinking about myself. During 4 hours I was there and I was the girl more happy in this world just with shining sun but….

Image

Image

Image

Image

Which weather it will be tomorrow?? Surprise, Surprise.

I will be ready step by step.

Leave a comment »

4 must-see in Katowice


Katowice is the capital of Silesia region. And we live here.

There is your plan what you must see here in order to come back home and be sure that you were in Katowice. So let’s start:

1. Working mine

Not from underground, but at least from outside (though miners earn a lot of money, are you searching for job?).

If you see huge triangular tower with wheel on the top – it is a mine. This is what construction you should look for (not working mine).

If the wheel is going round – it is a working mine.

Find a miner (attribute: dirty hands and face, overalls, helmet, long boots), made a picture with him and then show to your friends.

Though if you are not attracted of high salary of miners, but still you are interested, go to Tarnowskie Gory and visit real mine, which stopped work more than 50 years ago. Read our article.

2. UFO

In 20 century UFO was flying above Earth. And in 1971 it arrived to Poland, in Katowice. Petrol finished and UFO is still here. Locals start to call it Spodek, what means Saucer.

It is a not-football stadium – an example of communist period flight of imagination.

If you make photo here – this mean you were in Katowice.

Football championship EURO 2012 madness.

Spodek is easy to find.

3. Colorful fountain

Near UFO you will see not less freak monument. I saw in different time this fountain with yellow, with red (actually it is a blood, and Dracula is from here) and with normal transparent water.

Fountain is situated at square near Spodek.

4. Nikiszowiec

For sure we will write big and full article about Nikiszowiec. It is a place with combined magic fairlytale and getto athmosphere. It is heighborhood built for miners in beginning of 20 century.

Maria and I – we live in Nikiszowiec. Here is a view from our flat.

To come to Nikiszowiec you should take bus N 30 or N 12 from city center and go 20 min.

Leave a comment »

Tattoo Museum in Gliwice – you don’t need to go to Amsterdam any more


One month ago Museum of Tattoo was opened in Gliwice – the first one in all eastern Europe.

It is not actually the museum how we get used to imagine a museum. Museum is situated in the same space with working tattoo salon. If the door to the room is not closed you can even observe some man laying in the couch and master making weird things with the skin.

Museum is small – two rooms with exponates according to history of tattoo: drawings, paintings, reproductions of old pictures, tattoo sticks and stuff from different parts of world. All this is a private collection of owner. He works here, so you can talk personally –  creator of a museum is the best guide.

It could be one of the most amusing museums in Silesia, especially if you are involved in topic.

And entrance is for free. Nice, I like it.

Image

Image

Image

Museum is simple to find, go from Gliwice main square Rynek in down town, follow the map, see sign on the wall, go upstairs and find the door of tattoo salon.

Facebook page of museum.

2 Comments »

HISTORICAL MUSEUM- KATOWICE


MEMORIES OF THIS CITY

This museum showcasing some of the more interesting aspects of the life and times of the city and their people.

It´s situated five minutes ride for the city center, in the street Szafranek St. 9, and inside there are few important things to see. Admission 8zl/4zł students, Saturday free. Guided tours 12zł per person.

Open 10:00 – 17:30, Tue, Thu 10:00 – 15:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 – 14:00. Closed Mon.

It is divided into three main sections.

First floor: 

Wearing a pair of silly slippers provided in the price of the ticket, wander for a wonderful carpet in all rooms and include as well a superb recreation of house interiors of the middle and upper classes of the city from 20, 50 and 100 years ago.

The conservation of furniture, smell older and high roofs introduce yourself to the past.

The walls have a very formal style keeping with the times and adapted to each type of rooms.

                

               

Second floor:

This exposition is complemented with an XVIII century map and ironworks tools.

Exhibits of tradition and cultural achievements of less-privileged classes in Katowice it focuses on peasant communities as well as plebeian townspeople, mainly working class and partly craftsmen. Is dedicated to cultural remnants of former rural life and illustrates the urbanised culture.

A few photographs help the visitors to know what the town looked like at that time.

If you don´t know Polish it will be a little bit complicated to understand.

Third floor:

Sport is the theme of the exhibition. Was inspired and to some extent dictated by sports events – Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, and the Olympic Games in London.

The exhibition objects were collected from various museums in Poland, with particular emphasis on the collection of the Olympic Center in Warsaw.

A separate part of the exhibition deal with the interwar period woodcuts depicting winter sports. Aptly fifties to the present day are represented in the graphic technique, taking up about the sport in different scenes and different forms of expression from realism to symbolism.

          

One of the best museums in southern Poland, and well worth visiting when you’re in the city…..

Leave a comment »

Szczyrk: 2 hours from Katowice – you are in mountains


Szczyrk is quite famous Silesia ski resort. All ski resorts in summer time transform to hiking resorts.

Szczyrk is situated in the Beskids (pol.Beskidy) mountains. Beskids are stretching through Poland, Slovakia, Czech and Ukraine.

The best way to come to Szczyrk is first to come to Bielsko-Biala (pol. Bielsko-Biała). Szczyrk is near at hand from Bielsko.

In village you can find thematical restaurants with Polish food, concerts of folk music, fair with traditional souvenirs. But we came here not for this. Mountains are waiting for us.

In Szczyrk take chair-lift to the mount Skrzyczne (price 12 PLN). Please, not forget to take warm clothes. Wind is blowing, and in the middle of July here was +14C.

Image

Riding a  lift you observe perfect view to neighbourhood and feel flying. Under your legs you find stumps, fallen trees, green grass, around you – high firtrees.

And breath! Air is fresh and clear here. Seems like you can drink the air.

Lift drives you out of civilization, far far away. Leave all your problems below, and go to pure nature closer to sky.

Image

Getting off the lift you find charming beautiful landscapes. Green, grey and blue colors.

From the top you start your way along one of several trails. You can choose wide road, which is used for bicycles and ski, or tiny snaky  track, where your legs will be scratched by blueberry bushes. Blueberries are everywhere! Try this healthy and tasty berry – your fingers will be blue.

Night comes here unexpectedly. Once you admire magnificent sunset, pick up healing herbals (lift stops work at 19:00), and next moment – darkness. So don’t forget to take with you to mountains a relaible  person, who will not panic and search for the path to village together with you.

Enjoy your trip. But I advice you to behave carefully and respectfully to nature here. This forest is a mystery forest. Here gnomes and leprechauns are living. If you disturb them – they will get angry, send rain and storm to you. But being calm and kind-hearted they could play funny games with you, invite you to their houses and show forest treasures.

Szczyrk is definitely a good choice for weekends. Before you can check web-site of Szczyrk – it looks useful.

10 Comments »

Zabytkowa Kopalnia Srebra—Tarnowske Góry


SILVER MINE AND MUSEUM

One of the biggest attractions in Tarnowskie Góry.

Situated in 81 Szczęść Boże Street. Check the map here

  • Access by bus from Tarnowskie Góry Bus Station; lines 151, 734, 735; Kopalnia Zabytkowa bus stop.
  • Access by bus from Katowice Stawowa; line 820; Tarnowskie Góry dworzec PKP bus stop.
  • Normal ticket price: 27,00 zł/pers. It´s depend of age, group and guide tour. There is a possibility of foreign language touring (English, German, Russian, Czech).
  • Open: Every day from 9.00 a.m. till 3.00 p.m. In June, July and August on Saturdays and Sundays from 9.00 a.m. till 5 p.m.

Open to visitors since 1976.

The first part of this museum is on a building where through models show how it is the mine in reality and the different instruments that the miners used while working. You can use computer inside this building and get more information about this mine.You can find it in differents languages. It is also projected a funny documentary of this region.

After visiting the exhibition, tourists must put a helmet and go down into the mine by means of the original miner´s lift. The underground of the ancient ore mines dating back to 16th-19th century.  Inside there is a constant temperature of about 10ºC, provided with electric lighting, has been adapted to the visits of disabled persons. It is cold! So wear warm clothes and be ready. It takes about 1.5 hours to visit the mine with a guide. The underground tourist trail, at a depth of about 40 m, has the length of 1740 m and 270 m is to be crossed by boats. Each boats have the capacity for almost 30 people.

Outside on the surface in the area surrounding the mine, an outdoor Museum of Steam Machines has been organized. Among the 31 exhibits the most numerous group is formed by narrow-gauge railway engines from the beginning of 20 th century. Also presented are hoisting machines and other equipment once powered by steam.

If you are hungry or you want to buy some souvenirs you can find it as well.

More information: click this link

DON´T LOST THIS OPPORTUNITY… YOU WILL FEEL LIKE A MINER

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: