Silesia explorer

Blog about tourist places, travelling in Upper Silesia, Poland

Barborka 2012 – miner’s holiday in Nikiszowiec


I am sleeping so sweet, so calm. And what a … is going here? I am woken up at 08:00 am by music of orchestra. Some orchestra is playing close to my window. Barbórka!!

Barbórka or St.Barbara Day – it is the holiday of miners on 4 of December. Because St.Barbara is the patron of miners.

I get dressed, take camera and run outside. Make several circles around Nikiszowiec and I finally find object which woke me up near the administrative office of mine (pol. kopalnia “Wieczorek”).

Barburka 2012. Nikiszowiec

Barbórka. St.Barbara Day 2012 in Nikiszowiec, Katowice

Playing for 4 minutes, orchestra moves to another places in Nikiszowiec. Such a round-Nikiszowiec-orchestra- wake up-tour.

I follow them, but orchestra walks quicker than me. Musicians escaped.

Barburka. St.Barbara Day. Nikiszowiec. Katowice

But after 10 min musicians appeared at main square. And journalists appeared.

Nikiszowiec. Winter. 4 December. Barburka

Holiday winter December Nikiszowiec miners holiday St.Barbara

Orchestra in Nikiszowiec. Barbórka holiday 2012

And look at this Polish winter!

Let it snow, let it snow… Winter fairy tale.

Nikiszowiec winter snow Katowice December

Winter in Nikiszowiec. Heavy snow. Barburka

Nikiszowiec. St.Anna church in snow

Nikiszowiec. Barburka 2012. Beautiful winter

Woke up half an hour before alarm clock I have some time before ready for work. I go to local bakery to buy something sweet for breakfast.

Nikiszowiec cafe backery

Nikiszowiec backery. Cukiernia, Piekarnia

Nikiszowiec cafe window

Such a one morning story.

Nikiszowiec

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In love with Nikiszowiec…


We love Nikiszowiec. We adore Nikiszowiec.

If you ask me the only place to visit in Katowice – My answer: Nikiszowiec.

If you ask me the only place to visit in Silesia – My answer: Nikiszowiec.

It is our 22 article on blog, but all the time we wanted to write about Nikiszowiec. Now I did it.

Nikiszowiec, Plac Wyzwolenia, Katowice

Nikiszowiec is district in Katowice. We, Tetiana and Maria, actually live here. Our flat is on the ground floor. Director of our organization bought flat here quite cheap as reasonable investment for future. Still Nikiszowiec has image of criminal and dangerous for life place. Miners were never intellectual people, sorry.

Now situation changes. Each weekend tourists are walking here and making photos in front of our window. Art people are buying accomodation here. More and more cultural events are organizing here. For example, Holiday of Sausage (pol. Krupniok) (pol. Święto Krupnioka):

Nikiszowiec, as historical settlement, erected in the beginning of 20 century. It was housing for miners and their families. Mine is located 5 min on foot.

Heighborhood has 2-floor houses built from characteristic red bricks. Each of 9 estates has square or triangle form, surrounding large inside courtyards.

Streets are narrow, strict, dark, without trees. Buildings connect by gateways, so here is a feeling that you are in encircled cozy fortress. To enter internal yard is possible through archs in houses. In courtyard you can see another picture: trees, grass, children playgrounds, benches.

I heart that the idea of design is like this. Yards are enclosed from all sides by building, because women were sitting in balconies and keeping an eye on their children playing in yard. Wives of miners didn’t work, because husbands earned enough money.

Design of all buildings has one style, but each building is little different.

Some people say that Nikiszowiec looks like getto or like Auschwitz, because of street lights and low red houses.

This area had worked as everyday self-autonomy. It has school, shops, post office, pharmacy, restaurant, laundry, church and even sport complex. Around here is forest, complex of small private gardens, mine, railway. Quite isolated.

Nowadays Nikiszowiec has good transport communication. To come to Nikiszowiec from Katowice center you should take bus N 30, 12. Check map.

Please, look at one effect of Nikiszowiec – sitting and staring at window dogs. Not only mothers)) In Ukraine I saw only cats in this positions:

All flats have white windows with red frame painting. I saw only one wooden brown window.

In 2011 Nikiszowiec was awarded the prestigious status of Monument of History of Poland – one of 48 objects in Poland. Now Nikiszowiec is third object in Silesia in in this list together with Silver mine in Tarnowskie Gory and the Bright Mountain monastery in Czestochowa. Monuments of History are city centers of Krakow, Wroclaw, Warsaw, Gdansk.

Not everything is perfect in Nikiszowiec. Absence of car parking forces people to park on pedestrian road. As I mentioned, streets are narrow here. Or cars are in courtyards under windows.

In our yard there is no asphalted road. And like in the beginning of 20 century we have mud when it’s raining.

I want to insert also several pictures of citizens of Nikiszowiec. These people create beauty of their home day by day. Local heroes

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“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?

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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.

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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!

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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.

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