The current capital of Zagłębie Dąbrowskie (or Dąbrowa Basin). It became a city in 1902. Previously, it was a village called Sosnowice (the name derives from the pine trees overgrowing the entire area) with the population of 61 000 (!) residents. It is sometimes mistakenly situated within the Upper Silesian Industrial Region (Polish abbreviation GOP stands for Górnośląski Ośrodek Przemysłowy). It must be definitely emphasized that the Przemsza river separates Upper Silesia and Zagłębie, which previously belonged to Lesser Poland Voivodeship (In Polish: Małopolska), and later was in the Russian annexation. Until these days, there are some not too wise prejudices and animosities between the inhabitants of those parts of the region. Probably no one has yet known where do they come from, and just repeat absently somehow offensive opinions on it.
So why do I mention this? Our Dear Guests. I truly believe that tourism is not only sightseeing, beautiful and interesting places. It is also getting to know the people, their way of life, their customs, traditions and culture. The things that I mentioned above, they simply exist.
I think that thanks to these prejudices, not once or twice, the idea of exploring the city Sosnowiec will be responded with a characteristic knock on one’s forehead (a gesture to show disapproval in Poland), and a look of pity. “There must be something wrong with that poor man…'.
Nevertheless, we do cross the river Przemsza. Some people may say maliciously that Sosnowiec has already joined the Schengen area so that there is no need to have a passport anymore.
The first place which we are going to visit is Sielecki Castle.
The building that has its first mention in writing in the first half of the fifteenth century, was rebuilt in 1620. After the renovation in the years 1999 - 2002 the distroyed building gained its present appearance. In this moment, the Sosnowiec Art Center - Sielecki Castle is located there.
Sosnowiec Art Center - Sielecki Castle
Castle Street 2
Telephone number: 32 266 38 42
Next stop we will make in the park surrounding the city museum. It is located in a Neo-Baroque palace, built on order of the manufacturer Ernest Schon in 1885.
The permanent exhibition is regarding Saxon industrialists Schons in Sosnowiec until 1945, and their contribution to the development of the city. The second permanent exhibition is the exhibition of the Polish contemporary glass.
In addition to these exhibitions, there are also some temporary exhibitions, e.g. the work of the family of Kossak Julius, Wojciech and George. These are not only paintings, but also literary works of Zofia Kosasak - Szczucka, poetry of Mary Pawlikowska - Jasnorzewska (nee Kossak), not to mention the writer Magdalena Samozwaniec (Mary’s sister). Even if someone is not interested in these exhibitions, the palace itself is definitely worth seeing. It sounds nice to walk in the park and finish the visit in the restaurant 'Belvedere' situated in the basement of the palace where you can eat and drink something delicious. After all, one does not life by the art alone…
Museum - Palace of Schoen
Chemiczna Street 12
Telephone number: (32) 363-45-10
April - October
November - March
I mentioned above about the Russian zone. In Sosnowiec there is still a memorial to those times.
It is a church dedicated to Saints Faith, Hope, Luba and their mother Sophia. It was built in 1889. It is the only remaining orthodox church of the other three churches that once stood here, and one of the two existing up to this day in our voivodeship (the second one is in Częstochowa).
Orthodox church can be visited on Sundays and holidays between 9.30 and 10.30, or in the case of visiting the temple by organized groups - by prior appointment with the priest.
Telephone number: (32) 266-07-79.
WARNING. The priest can be addressed as 'Father'. The Polish term 'pop' is pejorative, as well as the other Polish word 'klecha'.
Maciej Mastalski, the tourism enthusiast and lecturer at University of the Third Age in Tychy.
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Hostel Mariacka 13,
street Mariacka 13/4a, 40-001 Katowice, Silesia, Poland
Accommodation, rooms, apartment rent in Katowice center.