czwartek, 4 grudnia 2014

Bydgoszcz - the Venice of Poland

The city of Bydgoszcz is an ancient one, founded by the king of Poland Kazimierz Wielki (Casimir the Great).

The local University has been named after him to mark the historic event.

In the 19th century, Poland was split between the three neighbours and Bydgoszcz was renamed to Bromberg by the Prussian rulers.
After the I World War, Poland was restored and Bydgoszcz was incorporated in the II Republic of Poland.

Commemorative plaque marking the city's reunion with Poland

The city is located on the Brda River flowing into the Vistula close to another ancient city of Toruń (Thorn, founded by the Teutonic Knights). In the neighbourhood there is a 19th century Canal integrated with he rivers thus making Bydgoszcz accessible by boats, which was widely made use of in the past.

The most attractive and immensly popular place is the Mill Island in the historic city centre. It is encircled by the Brda and the Młynówka featuring many granaries and mills transformed into mueseums.
It is the favourite leisure place for the citizens.

The city has been going through a profound renovation process with excellent result.

Still, some buildings show the touch of time :)

 There are obviously multiple bridges, some of them devoted to love:

The cathedral overlooks the River

The Cathedral inside

and so does the new Opera Nova:

Another place marked with water is the "Deluge" fountain in a little park in the centre, next to one of the major streets, the Gdańska.

There is a Foundation taking care of the "Deluge Fountain". They organise summer concerts of classical music by the students or graduates of the local Academy of Music.


In the Gdańska street, there is an old hotel, "the Eagle":

Bydgoszcz is much influenced by water. In the Długa Street, there is the Museum of Soap, or the History of Dirt presenting many intersting stories of the ways people used to wash in the old times.
Here, apart from the insight into the "dirty history", everyone is invited to produce their own soap.

The wash basin in the contemporary toilet for the visitors

The "unwashed" condition, i.e. "Alusia" was very keenly followed by monks and saints; St. Agnes never washed

 The Długa street is paved with the names of famous people:

a lady singer

Rafał Blechacz, winner of the prestigeous Chopin Piano Contest, who had studied in the Music Academy in Bydgoszcz
a film director

the nation-famous patisser

A recently opened restaurant on the River offers fish directly from a stream:

Another curiosity of the City is a private Pharmacy Museum, the Swan in the Gdańska Street:

The man who first decoded the Enigma, before the British got hold of it: Marian Rejewski from Bydgoszcz:

Local breweries are becoming very popular in Poland, and Bydgoszcz is no exception to it. The Warzelnia Brewery is accessed from the street and slopes down to the River:

Here, the most heavy-duty venue to visit is the Exploseum, the former DAG Explosive Factory located on the outskirts of the city, this time no reference to water:

The candidate for Nobel's secretary

A store room

The long and winding corridors

Alfred Nobel

Nobel's letter to a lover

The production process in the former factory

The rounded corners of all openings facilitating the gust of possible explosion without damaging the structure too much

In one of the rooms, there is an exposition concerning the underground army of Poland against the Nazi Germans
Here, the so called Metal Files 


The intersting architecture of Bydgoszcz calls for a separate article.

The Bydgoszcz blog in Polish,  featuring the reminiscence of "good old days" of its authors: