Three Emperors' Corner

 

Apparently most of us has once heard the above-mentioned name. But, unfortunately, most of us does not know what it is and where it is.

 

For a better understanding of what is going on and where did this name derive from, one needs to go back to the year 1873, when the Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph I, German emperor Wilhelm II and Russian tsar Alexander II, have entered into the so-called “The League of the Three Emperors'.

 

The name for the tripoint of the three powerful countries, which is “Three Emperors' Corner' (in German: Drei Kaiser Ecke) and literary means the angle of the three emperors, was wrongly translated into Triangle of the Three Emperors (Trójkąt Trzech Cesarzy in Polish) and has survived in this form up to this day. Speaking of the mistakes, one more thing should be explained here as it is very frequent to be mistaken. It is very common to say that this point is the place where the borders of the three annexations met. In fact, it was the tri-border area of the Russian and Austrian annexation and Germany. In that time, the region of Silesia had not belonged to Poland for a few centuries, so there is no question that it was not a German annexation.

 

Two rivers, White and Black Przemsza, were the borders. The place where these two rivers merge into one forming the river Przemsza is the “Three Emperors’ Corner'.

 

At the turn of the century that was the place which was well known in almost the whole Europe. According to the ancient chronicles, approximately 6,000 up to 8,000 visitors were coming here every day. The place was bustling with life especially in Mysłowice on the German side. Plenty of restaurants, wine bars, etc. were providing the rest and board. The housewives were passing the bridge over the Black Przemsza to get to Niwki - Modrzejów to buy things cheaper. In the mornings and afternoons, German engineers and technicians, who supervised the work of the industrial plants situated in the Russian zone (Zagłębie), were crossing the bridge. Two excursion steamers were ferrying the passengers across the river. There was a panoramic view from the Bismarck tower, which was built in 1907.

 

The tower was demolished on the order of the Silesian governor Michael Grażyński in 1937. Obviously, the thriving smuggling business was making a profit out of the price differences between countries. After the end of World War II, the place slid into oblivion. It was not until 1 May 2004, i.e. the date of the entry of Poland to the European Union, when the area nearby Sosnowiec was cleaned up, a commemorative obelisk was placed and a stone with an appropriate inscription from the side of Myslowice.

 

I urge you to visit this important historical place. Suddenly , you move from the busy streets of the city into an oasis of peace and greenery. It does not matter that we will not find the former vibrant places… Just being in such a historically significant place and having the opportunity to have a picnic among the greenery is of great value. It is enough to close your eyes and you will be able to move to those old times. I hope that the published photographs will help a bit. Well, for what is the imagination, which without any doubt every tourist have?

 

Practical remarks

 

The easiest way is to get there from the side of Niwki - Modrzejów (district of Sosnowiec). One needs to turn right before the bridge, a little part of the way is along a powerful neo-Gothic church and the White Przemsza river. It is a nice walk among the greenery taking in the view of fast-flowing river. You can also get there from the side of Myslowice - Słupna, which might be a bit more difficult. The above-mentioned tour can be complemented well by a visit to the Central Museum of Firefighting. It is surely worth it!

Maciej MastalskiMaciej Mastalski, the tourism enthusiast and lecturer at University of the Third Age in Tychy.

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