And it happened. After 8 months of travel and 22 thousand kilometers traveled across Europe, we arrived back to Poland to spend the last two and a half weeks of our trip here, „Golf around the World.” On Wednesday, in the early evening, we crossed the German-Polish border near Szczecin and began a detour of the western part of the country.
After quite a long time abroad, we wanted to see how Poland looks like after other countries that we have visited so far. Well, now we have comparative material, because we’ve seen it somewhere else. So we check if Poland is in ruin all the time 🙂
We start with Szczecin. We are at the very beginning of the Piastowski Boulevard at the height of the Szczecin Główny railway station. We look south towards Kolumb Street and old farm buildings. This part of the city is just waiting for the transformation that has already occurred between the station and Wały Chrobrego, but more on that later.
We are passing recently completed after general renovation and reconstruction of the railway station and we reach the vicinity of the Old Town. It’s a fountain in the park in front of the Maritime Office. It is a pity that it is closed.
And the Maritime Office in Szczecin. The building is one of the most impressive buildings in the city.
A few hundred meters walk and we are at the back of the Archcathedral Basilica of St. Jakub.
Grodzka Street connects the cathedral with the Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle. We are already under the former seat of magnates.
The picturesque Kuśnierska street leads straight to the two main squares of the Old Town – the New and Old Market Square. New Market Square is a former Fish Market and the Old Market Square is a former Sienna Market. In fact, these names are used interchangeably today.
On the left, the former town hall at the Old Market Square. Some of the tenement houses in the Old Town were rebuilt after the war damage in a similar appearance to the original one, some are a loose reference to their predecessors. The remaining areas of the former center of Szczecin were built with blocks or converted into squares. This fragment of the city reminds you of how Szczecin used to look.
We are on the Piast Boulevard on the Western Oder. This place in recent years has changed a lot and today can serve as an example of how to reclaim riverside areas in cities. The long wharf is full of places to rest, walk, ride a bike or just allow a moment’s break from the city noise in one of the many cafes located here.
And this is Wały Chrobrego, probably in the mos popular ‚postcard’ place of Szczecin. We look at them on the West Odra and the impressive fountain by the stairs leading to.
In our opinion, the seat of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship Office is definitely the most beautiful building in Szczecin. Built in the early 20th century, the building represents the style of German historicism. This style strongly referred to the architecture of the Northern Renaissance, which we can also often meet even at the Main Town in Gdansk.
From the headquarters of the voivode, we look at the second characteristic building of Wały Chrobrego – the National Museum in Szczecin.
The main entrance to Wały from the side of the embankment on the Oder.
Another important monument of Szczecin is the seat of the City Hall. Built in the 1920s, the building was meant to serve as the headquarters of the Seym of the Pomeranian Province.
Equally impressive on the other side with the Bartłomiejka fountain.
We turn around and we see the favorite place of rest for the residents of Szczecin, that is the papal lands connected with Kasprowicz Park. It is the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon. Very well maintained, green areas also encourage play and recreation.
From here it is not far to one of the most interesting districts of Szczecin, namely Śródmieście-Zachód. This part of the city is built up with quarters of tenements from the turn of the 19th / 20th century, largely renovated, with ground floors converted into service and catering premises. The best example of the transformation of this part of the city is the pedestrian street at Prince Bogusław X.
Another street that has undergone a metamorphosis is Fountain Avenue, connecting Grunwaldzki Square with Lotników Square. From the side of Grunwaldzki Square it is crowned with the Monument to the Sailor.
A last glance at this part of the city. What distinguishes Poland from the Western countries is certainly the multi-colored elevations of tenement houses. In the West the colors are more subdued with us it is more familiar.
We are already near the Port Gate, one of the main intersections on the communication map of the city. First, however, the St. Adalbert’s church with a modern fountain in front of it is hidden between trees.
A glance from the other side. In front of us is the Port Gate, which is the remnant of the former city fortifications and behind it once again the cathedral in Szczecin. There is an observation deck on the glass tower.
A few minutes walk from the Gate towards the Old Town and we are in another charming corner. This is the White Eagle Square, which looks a lot like it used to be.
At the end of the visit in the city could not miss his most famous contemporary symbol, or Philharmonic named Mieczysław Karłowicz at Solidarności Square. The building, which was supposed to resemble an ice palace, was donated several years ago, has won many prestigious architectural awards, but as with this type of bold projects, there are also zealous opponents of its construction.
Interiors of the philharmonic hall.
A small cut-out on the go. Driving along the S3 road from Szczecin to the south, it is impossible not to stop in Świebodzin, even for a short while 🙂
And that’s how we got to Zielona Góra. We are at the Old Town Square.
Tower of the Church of Our Lady of Czestochowa in all its glory.
Kupiecka Street. Main pedestrian and commercial city. Nice, neat, but probably a bit too colorful.
A full green Aleja Niepodległości we reach the next nice corner of the city, the Heroes’ Square.
The second most important church in the center after the cathedral is the Church of Our Lady of Częstochowa, whose tower we have seen before.
And the aforementioned Co-Cathedral of St. Hedwig. As befits Zielona Góra, surrounded by greenery.
A restored, lively Old Market Square. Despite the middle of the week and the noon hours the traffic was really big. This place has very big potential.
Last look at Zielona Góra and two local doves. In a moment we will go on in Poland, this time in Lower Silesia.