Nikiszowiec: Katowice’s old mining district

Katowice is a city of more than 300,000 inhabitants, at the centre of one of Europe’s principal coal-mining and iron-making regions. In the nineteenth century it was part of the Prussian province of Silesia, but from 1922 was incorporated into Poland. Nikiszowiec is a part of an administrative district Janów-Nikiszowiec of the city. Initially it was coal miners’ settlement of Giesche mine built on the land of Giszowiec manor between 1908–1918 on the mining metallurgical concern initiative Georg von Giesches Erben, a Silesian mining corporation that originated in the early…

Read More

KNOxOUT, the mural in Warsaw that absorbs as much pollution as 780 Trees

Who would have though that simply painting a mural on the side of a regular building would have the same pollution-cleaning effect as planting 780 trees? Organized by the sportswear company Converse as part of their City-Forests campaign, the latest mural in Warsaw, Poland, is not only an aesthetically pleasing artwork, but also an ingenious way to tackle a hot-topic as urban pollution. Painted using photocatalytic paint with titanium dioxide, on a building that faces the busy metro station Politechnika, the ingenious mural reportedly attracts airborne pollutants before converting them…

Read More

Kościół w Kartuzach: the coffin-shaped church in Poland where monks once slept in coffins

Despite It’s hard to tell from the ground, if you take to the skies you’ll see that this 14th-century Gothic church is shaped like a coffin. Yes, really a coffin. And, interestingly, it isn’t its only coffin connection, either. The church, located in Kartuzy, in nothern Poland (about 32 kilometres west of Gdańsk), was part of a monastery built in 1380 by a group of Carthusian monks from Bohemia. However, the small brotherhood was rather eccentric and had the macabre custom of sleeping in coffins. Also the building’s inside has…

Read More

Łapalice Castle – The never completed derelict mansion of a Polish artist.

This eerie castle rots within the small village of Łapalice, Poland. It was abandoned before it was even completed, essentially doomed to exist as a shadow of what it could have become. However Zamek Łapalice, in Polish, isn’t an ancient castle or medieval fortress at all: Its construction began in 1979, and it was meant to be a studio for local artist Piotr Kazimierczak, who was granted permission to build a 170sq/m work studio on a patch of ground overlooking the lake. But he planned for it to be a…

Read More

Święconka: the Polish Easter tradition artfully assembles symbolic foods, from bread to lamb-shaped butter.

The Polish people are very religious. Most of them are Roman Catholics. For centuries, during the 40 days before Easter (Lent) the Polish people fasted: they ate no meat, butter, eggs, cheese or desserts. On this day, the day before Easter, called Holy Saturday, Catholics still today assemble artful collections of symbolic foods for a traditional sacred ritual: the blessing of Easter baskets, locally know as Święconka. With roots dating back to the early history of Poland, it is also observed by expatriate and their descendants Poles in the U.S.,…

Read More

3# From the bathtub to the table: Christmas Eve Carp!

There are many ways to ensure your meal is fresh: first, you can grow it yourself, or you can buy it directly from the farm. Or you can take it home alive and let it swim in your bathtub! The latter method is a Christmas Eve carp tradition in Slovakia, Poland, and Czech Republic. For centuries, families throughout much of central Europe have relied on one simple main course for Christmas Eve dinner: the common carp, a symbol of good luck and classic meat-free meal for Christians. Strong Catholic traditions…

Read More

The sad story of Mieszko the Stone Bear in Warsaw – Poland

When walking past Warsaw’s Old Town and the Church of Our Lady of Grace, there is a small statue that does seem a bit out of place. It’s a bear, seemingly frozen on the church porch. This statue is said to be of Prince Mieszko, an adopted prince of Janusz I who was found in a bear’s den during a hunting trip. According to the legend he protected the bear and her cubs from being shot by putting himself between the animals and the hunters, a very brave move that…

Read More

The girl tattooed with “The Garden of Earthly Delights” Isn’t what It seems to be!

What seems to be a photograph of a girl showing off her Hieronymus Bosch-inspired tattoo isn’t a photo, but an incredible oil painting by Polish artist Agnieszka Nienartowicz, a creative reproduction of the highest work of the Dutch artist born in the fifteenth century. Bosch’s figures, expertly painted in oil by the young artist, show the fall of man, contrasting with the delicate beauty of the young woman depicted, who offers her back like a canvas for the painter. Nienartowicz’s work follows a modern trend, which sees the return to…

Read More

Stańczyki Viaducts: this two abandoned overpasses are among the largest bridges in Poland!

This two big Roman viaducts are located near a small Polish village. These abandoned railroad bridges tower over the little village and its surrounding woods. The Stańczyki Viaducts are among the largest bridges in Poland, stretch nearly 182 meters long, stand 36 meters tall, and boast arches that clock in at just under 15 meters long. The two bridges were built in the 20th century. the northern one approximately in 1914 and its southern counterpart between 1923 and 1926. They served as railway overpasses that connected the towns of Gołdap…

Read More

Poland: when a city and a Bishop went to war over Beer…..

Drink often present on the richest medieval tables, beer has been a true symbol of conviviality since ancient times. But, in addition to lunches and dinners, the drink has also been the protagonist of far less pleasant events. Wrocław was then the capital of Silesia, a region that corresponds to portions of today’s Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, and Poland. Silesia’s allegiance shifted throughout the Middle Ages, and in 1327 it severed ties to the Polish crown and joined the Kingdom of Bohemia. Wrocław wouldn’t be considered Polish territory again until…

Read More

Wojtek: The unusual polish soldier that drank beer and went to war.

When at the port of Naples the british official Archibald Brown, looking at the roster in his hand, called out the name—“Corporal Wojtek”, nobody came forward. It was mid-February 1944, and the official was at Naples to help process a unit of Polish soldiers that had just arrived by ship from Alexandria in Egypt, to join forces with the Allies in their fight against Germans and Italians. One of his tasks was to check crew manifests and speak with new arrived soldiers. The official Brown consulted once again the document.…

Read More

Krzywy Las (crooked forest) in Poland, the mysterious forest with over 400 curved pine trees.

Just outside the town of Gryfino and Nowe Czarnowo, in the West Pomeranian region of Poland, there is Krzywy Las, or Crooked Forest, where the pine trees look like stick figures, and it’s certainly one of the most unusual of Europe. On some 400 trees, the trunks buckle out 90 degrees and the curious fact it’s that all pointing in the same direction, north. No one knows for certain what caused this unusual stand of the trees in a normal forest, the town was mostly destroyed during the second World…

Read More

The mystery of medieval vampire burials in Poland.

The Drawsko Cemetary, in Poland, recently discovered hundreds of graves among them, they found also some anti-vampire burials. This site is a source of studies concerning ancient burial practices since 2008, the year from which over 250 graves were opened. Some of these people were decapitated, others buried face-down, and still more were weighted down with the stones. Over 1,000 graves were found in the cemetery. The cemetery, which was known as Culmen in Latin, saw its first burial at the end of the 10th century AD, and Culmen became…

Read More

Lighthouse in Świnoujście, the highest lighthouse of the Baltic Coast.

lighthouse height: 68 m light emitted to the height of: 68m over sea level light is seen at the distance: 25miles/about 46.3km Geographic position: width 53″55’03″N length: 14″17’10″E The Swinoujscie’s Lighthouse (Poland) with its 68m is the highest lighthouse of the Baltic Coast and the fifteenth tallest “traditional lighthouse” of the world. The first lighthouse in this place was built in 1828, and the current structure is from 1857. The cross-section of the entire 1857 tower was octagonal. However, in 1902–1903 the tower was restored to repair some brickwork. This…

Read More

Latarnia Morska Niechorze – Niechorze Lighthouse, Poland

Height of Lighthouse: 45m The light ascends to the height of: 62,8 m of the sea level Light Range: 20 nautical miles (about 37km) The decision to build a Lighthouse in Niechorze (in polish Latarnia Morska Niechorze) has been taken in 1860, and was commissioned by the German Ministry of Shipping in 1863. The tower of this lighthouse has been built of face-bricks. In the lower part it has a quadrangular shape and in the upper one above the outhouse an octagan form. The corner of that tower have been…

Read More