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EBD 2020
Oficjalna strona turystyczna Bydgoszczy
  • Explore

    Bydgoszcz Cathedral | ©Robert Sawicki
  • History

  • Discover

    Mostowa street in Bydgoszcz | ©visitbydgoszcz
  • Bydgoszcz Pantheon

    Bydgoszcz PantheonSaint Vincent de Paul's Basilica, one of the biggest churches in Poland, was modelled after the Pantheon in Rome.

  • The oldest church

    Bydgoszcz CathedralThe oldest church and the oldest building in Bydgoszcz is St Martin and Nicolaus Cathedral. The cathedral was erected in 1466 – 1502.
  • Bike rental

    Bydgoski Rower Aglomeracyjny is a self-serviced bike rental system, which consists of 56 stations and 610 bikes. The stations are spaced every few hundred meters, which makes it easy to reach the selected area at any time. Bydgoski Rower Aglomeracyjny is a modern and environmentally friendly complementation of the city transport system. It operates 24 hours a day in the spring, summer and autumn. When renting a bike, every first 20 minutes of driving are for free.

  • Leon Wyczółkowski District Museum

    District MuseumThe beginnings of the museum in Bydgoszcz date back to the last two decades of the 19th century. In 1880 a Historical Society for the Netze District was founded, the aim of which was to conduct scientific research concerned with the region. Scientific works were accompanied with thecollecting activity. The collected objects provided substructure for the collections of the Municipal Museum established later on. The number of historical objects was growing quite rapidly, mainly thanks to the generosity of the donors.
  • Make soap yourself

    The world’s only Museum of Soap and History of Dirt operates in Bydgoszcz. It offers interactive time travel through the history of cleanliness, dirt and soap making, which has deep-rooted ties with Bydgoszcz.

     

    Museum of Soap and History of dirt | Bydgoszcz | Poland

     

    In the city on the River Brda, the first Soap and Candle Production Plant was founded as early as the 18th century in today’s Warmińskiego Street. Production of the famous Persil and Cypisek laundry soap originated in Bydgoszcz. A visit to the Museum starts from washing your hands in a tub. Then visitors move to the workshop, where soap makers teach them step by step how to make fragrant soap. After the workshops, participants visit all parts of this surprising museum.

     

    Museum of SoapWhen: The Museum is open all week.  Before your planned visit, we recommend taking a look on the museum website at www.muzeummydla.pl and check reservation for the selected date. 

    Where: 13 Długa Street, www.muzeummydla.pl

    Ticket prices

    Prior contact with the museum in this matter is recommended

     

  • Capacity of accommodation in Bydgoszcz

    Hotel in Bydgoszcz, fot. R.Sawicki

    Here you can find a table showing the number of beds in Bydgoszcz's hotels in the particular categories.

  • The history of Bydgoszcz

    Bydgoszcz Mockup

    Bydgoszcz appears for the first time in historical records on June 28, 1238. The Annal of the Chapter of Gniezno features the Bydgoszcz Castellan called Sulisław. Although the name “Bydgoszcz” is not mentioned, we know that the quoted Budegac is the city on the River Brda. Bydgoszcz, as a city protecting the crossing over the river, was founded most likely in the early 11th century in the area of the present Saint Andrew Bobola Church. A settlement outside the city walls developed in the south.

  • Car Rentals

    Car rental in Bydgoszcz.

  • City of Sport

    Sport

    Bydgoszcz is a city which, apart from culture, is usually associated with sports. The city is the seat of a range of sport clubs and institutions that are well known in Poland and all over the world. Various sports facilities such as the regatta course in Brdyujście, "Łuczniczka" sports hall and the "Zawisza" track and field stadium have witnessed many historic sport events. This is the home city and a training location of many great champions of Poland, Europe, the world, and winners at Olympic Games.

  • Take a cruise by water tram

    The Water Tram is a major tourist attraction in Bydgoszcz with thousands of satisfied tourists cruising every year. The trip on a water tram starts at Rybi Rynek.
     
    Bydgoszcz Water Tram, photo by Tymon Markowski

    Due to the ongoing epidemic of the coronavirus cruises in 2020 will not be launched

    Routes in 2020:

    Słoneczna (Sunny)

    Staromiejska (Old Town)

    Bydgoszcz looks the most beautiful from the river. The revitalized Mill Island, renovation of the boulevards on the Brda that is underway, historical hydrotechnical facilities on the Bydgoszcz Canal, can be best seen while taking a cruise by Water Tram. These water trams, called Słonecznik I and II, are modern and environmentally friendly vessels, powered by solar energy, which can carry 28 people on board. 

    When: Water trams operate daily in the summer season (launch dates to be confirmed), several times a day.

    Tickets: are available online (see below) or at the tourist information centre at the Old Market Square

    Before the planned trip, we recommend checking availability on the selected date online.

    Where: Cruises start at Rybi Market (Rybi Rynek). There is the current timetable and information on routes, which changes occasionally depending on the situation on the waterway.

    Price:

    10 PLN / 7 PLN

     

  • Around the City Centre

    Throughout the 19th century Bydgoszcz experienced an economic growth, which resulted in a transformation of its architectural landscape. The year 1851 turned out to be a crucial year, when the first railway and the local railway station were opened. The city’s area and population expanded.

     Time: about 3 hours

    Plac Wolności | Śródmieście | Bydgoszcz | zwiedzanie | ©visitbydgoszczThe flourish of industry and trade, and Bydgoszcz burghers getting rich were conducive to intensifying construction. The pride of contemporary Bydgoszcz is its excellently preserved street plan, reflecting the process of transformation of a small town into an important industrial and trade centre with a huge, diversified complex of burgher buildings from the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century.


    A walk around the city centre of Bydgoszcz is an excellent opportunity to see the changes in architecture that took place within these few decades. Neo-classicist buildings fashionable at that time and later date back to the third quarter of the 19th century. Their facades are characterised by balance and equilibrium, simplicity of composition, and economical usage of architectural detail. In the late 19th century, magnificent tenement houses were preserved in main streets and more modest tenement houses far away from the city centre. Company owners, craftsmen, merchants and clerks developed the suburbs with houses and industrial facilities, and the increasing number of residents was conducive to development of the infrastructure of public buildings, especially educational and ecclesiastic buildings. At that time, all possible styles of historicism were dominant in architecture. This trend made use of forms adopted from gothic, Renaissance, mannerism, baroque and rococo in a creative way. In the city landscape, we will also see examples of the picturesque trend from the late 19th century, represented by tenement houses with characteristic, asymmetrical facades, distinguished by arrangements based on light and shadow contrasts, with breaks, bay windows, loggias, triangular and step gables.

    Big city tenement houses from the early 20th century belong to two stylistic trends: Art Nouveau and early modernism. What’s characteristic of Bydgoszcz, in spite of the popularity of Art Nouveau in European architecture ca. 1900, the buildings in Bydgoszcz do not represent the typical of Art Nouveau combination of architectural body and pliable, flexible decoration. However, the exterior attire was changed, enriched with flowing plant motifs and masks of long-haired women.

    Kościół Klarysek | Bydgoszcz | zabytki i zwiedzanie | ©visitbydgoszczThe next period, the twenty-year inter-war period, has left in the architecture of Bydgoszcz a visible trace in the form of numerous tenement houses in the style of modernism and functionalism.

    Going around the city centre, it is worthwhile starting from the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (colloquially called the Church of the Poor Clares) (1), which was occupied by the local convent of the Poor Clares in the past.

    Did you know that...
    In 1834, when the convent was disbanded, the Church of the Poor Clares became the city’s property. From that time, the church housed the municipal scales, was a warehouse of alcoholic beverages, and in 1872 it was turned into a fire station. Next, on the initiative of Herman Franke, the choir gallery was designated for the needs of the Noteć River District History Association. The collections gathered and exhibited here became the beginnings of the present-day museum. 

    A neo-Renaissance portal leads to the church interior (1925, designed by Stefan Cybichowski), where we will see relics of frescos from the 17th century, first of all, an excellently preserved wooden ceiling from the 1640’s decorated with painted rosettes, amidst which we will not find two identical ones. Noteworthy are also the furnishings from the 1920’s, with a mannerist high altar.


    Did you know that...
    The city bugle-call, composed on the 600th anniversary of the city of Bydgoszcz, resounds from the church tower each day at noon, at 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm.

    Going out of the church, we turn right in Gdańska Street. En route we pass several classicist buildings, amidst which the house at 5 Gdańska Street (2) stands out, converted by Rudolf Kern, who made ornaments referring to the forms of Berlin Art Nouveau, with a frieze decorated with stylised swans. The tenement house features the “Pharmacy under the Swan”, with a gilded swan on the façade, operating continuously here since 1853. One must go inside, see part of the preserved décor and visit the unique Museum of Pharmacy at the back. Going further up Gdańska Street, at the intersection with Dworcowa Street, we will see an old modernist department store dating from 1910-1911 (3) designed by Otto Walter of Berlin. Ferroconcrete was used for its construction for the first time in Bydgoszcz. The building was famous in the inter-war period as the Bydgoszcz Department Store Be-De-Te, and much later as the Department Store “Jedynak”. The decoration of its façade features figures of Greek goddesses: Aphrodite, Eris, Hera and Athena, and in the tympanum above the corner window a relief with a depiction of Silenus. At 17 Gdańska Street (4), at the corner with Pomorska Street (a street with medieval provenance), is the area’s oldest two-storey tenement house dating from 1852 (designed by B. Brinkmann), topped with crenels, reminiscent of a fortified castle.

    Dom Towarowy Jedynak | Bydgoszcz | zwiedzanie | ©visitbydgoszczKamienica Gdańska 5 | Bydgoszcz | zwiedzanie | ©visitbydgoszcz

    Opposite the Department Store at 14 Gdańska Street, the edifice of the Pod Orłem Hotel (5) rivets your attention – the building with neo-baroque forms designed by J. Święcicki dates back to 1892-1894.

    Did you know that...
    In the façade decoration of the Pod Orłem Hotel we find a single portrait masque, which for years was regarded to be an image of the hotel’s designer according to the suggestion of a certain art historian. Nowadays, when it is known what Józef Święcicki looked like, the question of who this masque depicts still remains unanswered. 

    Looking inside, we will see the glamorous lounge with stuccowork, stained-glass windows, and gilded wrought-iron balustrades. In 1921, Józef Piłsudski stayed at this hotel to relax for a few hours.

    Hotel pod Orłem | Bydgoszcz | zwiedzaniefontanna potop bydgoszcz WZ

    From under the Pod Orłem Hotel we go right towards Wolności Square, passing no. 16 – the classicist tenement house designed by Carl Semphel (1882). Next, we see the dominant tower of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul (6), designed by Berlin architect, Friedrich Adler. The cornerstone was placed in 1872. The old Protestant church, now Catholic, was constructed on the plan of the Latin cross. In the spacious interior decor, our attention is attracted by stained-glass windows in the chancel, made at the Imperial Stained Glass Institute in Berlin, funded by Emperor William I.

    Kościół pw. św. Piotra i Pawła | Bydgoszcz | ©visitbydgoszczDid you know that...
    The church was provided with an innovative (at that time) heating system, consisting of a gas boiler room placed under the chancel, two heaters and ducts distributing hot air.


    Near the church, the next big city tenement houses delight with their beauty. The first one – a neo-baroque house was designed by J. Święcicki, dating back to 1896 – 1 Wolności Square (7)On the other side, at27 Gdańska Street(head office of the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, among other things) – there is a modernist tenement house (1908, designed by Adolf Schleusener) with a renovated interior featuring a working historical lift.

    Did you know that...
    It is also worthwhile looking at the green tenement house at 3 Wolności Square, on which huge blue jeans hang. This unique sculpture by Piotr Wagner is a tribute to the eminent graphic artist and painter, Andrzej Nowacki, who had his studio for fifty years in this tenement house. The sculpture is a reference to the artist’s famous series “Jeans Wearers”

    Behind the church (Church of Saints Peter and Paul) you will find a Casimir the Great Park, which is a former garden of the Poor Clares Monastery and an impressive fountain "Deluge" (8).

     

    We go further along Gdańska Street northwards, to the intersection of three streets: Gdańska, Śniadeckich and Krasińskiego. Here, we see a little bench (designed by Michał Kubiak) of Marian Rejewski (9) – a famous mathematician and cryptologist, who contributed to the breaking of the code of the German cipher machine ”Enigma” during the Second World War. 


    We go further northwards along Gdańska Street. The long walk along the grand street is more attractive thanks to a diversified architectural landscape. Looking to the right, the even part of the street, and to the left, the odd part of the street, we will find out the main productions of the local designers. Right behind the intersection, our attention is drawn to tenement house no. 34 representing the scenic trend, dating back to 1914, designed by Fritz Weidner, contrasting with the neo-baroque house no. 36  designed by J. Święcicki, from the late 19th century.
    Further, we will face two magnificent villas occupied by the Polish Radio Station. The first one, no. 48  with a “cafe au lait” colour reflects the original colour of the facade. The villa “Flora” (10) owes its name to the now non-existent polychromes decorating the loggia. The facility was designed by Berlin architect Heinrich Seeling. 


    Built in 1898, the villa is one of the most beautiful examples of the scenic trend in the architecture of the late 19th century in Bydgoszcz. Its interiors feature relics of rich décor: grand woodwork, wood panelling, and a ceiling with gilded ornamentation, made using the papier-mâché technique. In the old garden, at the back of the house, is a historical fountain from the late 19th century with a unique, polychromed sculpture of a heron. Ernst Heinrich Dietz (1840-1901), city councillor and co-founder of an inland navigation company (later Lloyd of Bydgoszcz), enjoyed this residence for a short time. However, it remained in the hands of his inheritors until the outbreak of the Second World War. Later, it was used by the PPR Polish Workers’ Party, and since 1951 it has been occupied by the local radio.
    The neighbouring villa, no. 50 (11) , was constructed in 1900-1902 (designed by Hildebrandt from Berlin) for Wilhelm Blumwe, the then owner of the Woodworking Machines Factory.

    Willa Flora, BydgoszczSiedziba Radia PiK | Bydgoszcz


    Did you know that...
    Heinrich Seeling earned his name in Europe as the designer of theatres. The now non-existent Municipal Theatre in Bydgoszcz, which had been located in Teatralny Square, was also his work. In his career he designed only two churches: the Protestant Church of the Saviour (1896-1897) in Zbawiciela Square and the present-day Catholic Church of St Andrew Bobola (1901-1903) in Kościeleckich Square – both are the pride of Bydgoszcz.

    The designer provided the residence with Renaissance attire inspired by the famous Villa Rotonda by Andrea Palladio in Vicenza. Unfortunately, only an elegant room with a glazed plafond has been preserved on the ground floor in the converted interior.

    Did you know that...
    Until 1940, the urn with the ashes of the founder of the local Woodworking Machines Factory – Carl Blumwe – was placed at the top of the tympanum of the villa at 50 Gdańska Street, at the top of the façade.

    Starting from 1930, it was occupied by the Polish Club House, and during World War Two by the head office of the NSDAP. On May 1, 1945, the first Polish radio programme after the Second World War was broadcast from here.

    Now we are at an intersection of streets, at the corner of Cieszkowskiego Street, on the left-hand side we see at number 63 the exceptionally rich neo-baroque house of builder Józef Święcicki, who was born in Bydgoszcz.If you want to feel the atmosphere of his days, we recommend going for a while into Cieszkowskiego Street (12), marked out and developed with grand tenement houses within only 10 years (1894-1904). The sculpture of a halberdierat the corner of house no. 22 (1898, designed by F. Weidner) watches over the street.
    Going further down Gdańska Street at numbers 75 and 52 we pass buildings with façades inspired by classicism. At number 56, is the convent of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration with a public chapel located in an old villa. In accordance with the convent observance, the nuns live in seclusion from the surrounding world.

    Cieszkowskiego Street, Bydgoszcz, fot. R.SawickiŁuczniczka | rzeźba | Bydgoszcz
     

     

     

     

     

    Turning right into Slowackiego street we reach the Music District (21) with the Pomeranian Philharmony, Music Academy and a Music High School. It's unique character is complemented by a dancing fountain and a music playground in a recently revitalised park. Here you will also find sculptures presenting world famous composers, as well as a beautiful "Archer Lady" statue (13).

    Heading East and passing the philharmony you will reach the Copernicus Square (18) and the Sielanka district (17). In 1912, the final design was prepared by Joseph Herman Stübben, which became the foundation for marking out a district gracefully called Sielanka (English “idyll”). The district’s green square (the present-day Marian Turwid Square) was placed in the centre. The district was popular among the Bydgoszcz elite. Physicians, lawyers, architects and factory owners used to live here. At 16 Kopernika Street, in the corner plot by Ossolińskich Avenue stands a villa called Netherlander, built ca. 1933 by Antoni Weynerowski as a wedding gift for his son Witold and his wife Julia (who most probably brought the design from her homeland – the Netherlands). This house, distinguished by a de l’Orme roof, surrounded by a beautiful garden, appeared in a newsreel about Bydgoszcz in 1937. After the war, the expropriated villa became a kindergarten. The family which owned this house also owned the famous footwear factory “Leo” that after the war was changed to “Kobra”. The old residence (1933, designed by Jan Kossowski) of merchant Czesław Borys, located at 8a Sielanka Street, was intended for the local Registry Office – Civil Registry Office. We leave Sielanka, going back along Krasińskiego Street to Gdańska Street, turn left and go down Gdańska Street, reaching the Old Town.

    In the distance one can see the dome of the largest church in Bydgoszcz,St. Vincent de Paul Basilica Minor (20)(designed by Adam Ballenstedt), which is modelled after the Roman Pantheon. The church dome was decorated with rosettes featuring motifs of Polish flowers. Nearby botanical garden (14) is also worth visiting. Featuring ponds and numerous rare plant species, the garden is an excellent place, where one can escape from the heat and street noise.

    Ogród Botaniczny UKW | Bydgoszcz | ©visitbydgoszczSt. Vincent de Paul Basilica Minor, Bydgoszcz, fot. R.Sawicki

     

    We leave the Sielanka district through the Witos Park to admire the nearby murals. The largest and most famous is "Peter Pan" (19), painted in the summer of 2009. In the vicinity (towards the Gdańska street) you will find many other interesting large format graphics.

    On the other side of the Gdanska street axe it is worth to reach Piastowski Square (15), which was marked out as a market square of the so-called Elizabethan district established in the mid-19th century, named after Elizabeth Ludovika – the wife of the then Prussian ruler, Frederick William. There was a park and a marketplace, which functions to this day.It is worthwhile taking a closer look at the western frontage, at the intersection with Chrobrego Street; at number 23, there is a corner tenement house with a characteristic corner crowned with a cupola. At 6 Wileńska Street, Marian Rejewski, already mentioned, was born. This building features a commemorative plaque. Moving back to Śniadeckich Street, which is the main compositional axis of the district, at number 45 we see a bewitching tenement house guarded by a bear cub sculpture, and the wings of a gate with wrought-iron grille, since metal craftwork companies operated successfully in Bydgoszcz. Going further in the direction of Matejki Street, we see the neo-baroque Church of the Sacred Heart (1910-1913, designed by Oskar Hossfeld of Berlin), in the past designed for the Catholics of German origin. It is worthwhile looking inside the church to see the preserved decor dating back to the time of its construction. Continuing the walk towards the railway station, we reach the Protestant church in Zbawiciela Square  – designed by H. Seeling. Behind the church is an interesting complex of barracks from the 1870’s. Turning left into Matejki Street we reach Dworcowa Street, and turn right into this street. Our attention is captured by the monumental neo-mannerist building (16), with a front garden, erected in 1886-1889 for the then Eastern Railways Authority  – designed by Martin P. Gropius & Heino Schmieden, modified by national construction inspector Bergman. Impressive brick façades contrast with a rich, sculpture detail made of light sandstone. This construction solved premises problems of this important city office. In 1849, Bydgoszcz became the seat of the Royal Eastern Railways Board, transformed in the same year into Europe’s first district railways authority. Starting from 1853, its offices were located in the railway station building, which – in spite of extension – was constantly too small.

     

    Budynek dawnej dyrekcji kolei wschodnich, Bydgoszcz  Municipal Water Lock | Bydgoszcz


    We go back to the Old town along the boulevards by the Brda rive, passing by the historic hydrotechnical facilitie. Municipal City Lock (22) was onstructed within the redevelopment of the Bydgoszcz Canal in the years 1908 - 1915, replacing the old structure causing many problems. Its lifting height is 3,33m and lockage here takes about 10 minutes.

     

    Dookoła Śródmieścia | Mapa | Bydgoszcz

  • See the Old Town

    We encourage you to take a walk along the oldest part of the city, founded on the Brda River in the 14th century. During the walk of about 2 hours you will get to know the oldest monuments in Bydgoszcz as well as completely new tourist attractions of the city.

     

    See the Old Town - Time: about 2 hours


    We start sightseeing of the Old Town in the Old Market Square in front of the Bydgoszcz Land Fight and Martyrdom Monument (1) placed here in 1969 (designed by Franciszek Masiak). The monument commemorates the casualties of the Nazi terror, especially the residents of Bydgoszcz who were executed in this place by firing squad on the first days of the Second World War.
     
    Stare Miasto | Bydgoszcz | mapa
     

    Old Market Square

    Bydgoszcz | Old Market SquareThe city’s central square was marked out in the year 1346, when the city was founded by King Casimir the Great, and its present-day buildings date back mainly to the 20th century. From in front of the monument we go along Farna Street towards the oldest church in Bydgoszcz, the Cathedral of Saints Martin and Nicholas (3). En route we pass the oldest pharmacy in Bydgoszcz – ”Under the Golden Eagle” at 1 Stary Rynek Street – and a grand edifice of the old Jesuit college from the 17th century, presently the City Hall (2). We enter the cathedral through 500-kg bronze doors on the ground floor of the church basement.
     

    Did you know that....
    At the beginning of the Second World War, the old Jesuit Church of St Ignatius of Loyola still stood in the Old Market Square. Legend has it that one of the victims of the Nazi terror, while dying, leaned against one of the church walls. The trace of the hand remained and it could not be removed, that’s why the German occupants decided to demolish the church.
     

    Cathedral by the river


    Going around the cathedral, it is worthwhile paying attention to the Farny Weir (4), i.e. the place where the River Młynówka, flowing around Mill Island (14), falls into the River Brda. The present-day building of the Small Hydroelectric Power Plant, standing by the weir, is an old groat mill. In the vicinity, between yews, a bright observer will notice the freestanding sculpture of St John Nepomucene (5) from the 18th century, a saint who was to protect against flood.
     

    Bydgoszcz Cathedralrzezba nepomucen bydgoszcz
     

    Did you know that...
    The sculpture of St John Nepomucene, located by the cathedral, is the oldest sculpture in Bydgoszcz, and one of the oldest freestanding sculptures of the saint.

    Old Granaries

    Going along the river, we reach Mostowa Street. After a few moments, we will be able to see the city’s official symbol, i.e. three half-timbered granaries (6) from the turn of the 19th century, scenically located on the River Brda. In the past, these were among many grain storehouses in the city; nowadays they belong to the Leon Wyczółkowski District Museum. In front of the main entrance to the building is a model of old Bydgoszcz. Looking at it, we can see several now non-existent buildings, including the City Hall and Jesuit Church in the Old Market Square, the little Romanesque Church of St Giles, city gateways, and Bydgoszcz castle, which was destroyed during the Swedish Deluge. Now we go towards the Jerzy Sulima-Kamiński Bridge, where we stop for a while to look at the eagerly photographed panorama of Bydgoszcz.

    Bydgoszcz, Granaries, fot. Filip KowalkowskiMan crossing the river | Bydgoszcz

    Did you know that...
    A replica of Bydgoszcz castle is located by the main entrance of the BREBank in Grodzka Street. It was near this place that the stately Bydgoszcz castle surrounded with a moat was located. Legend has it that centuries ago a cruel castellan lived here with his gorgeous daughter, Angelica. The father was so afraid of the girl’s soon-to-happen marriage that he had her kept in the castle tower day and night. One day, Angelica fell in love with one of her father’s prisoners – prince Jarosław, whom she set free, ignoring the father’s anger.Two days later, Jarosław returned for his love. A cruel fight ensued, during which the young man was killed by a knight wearing a black visor. Eager to avenge his death, Angelica dealt a blow on the back of the mysterious soldier. When the black knight dropped dead, the girl removed his visor; it turned out that it was her father. In despair because of her deed, she plunged into the River Brda. Since that moment, she would return to the castle as a ghost each night to look for her love and her father in the rooms.

     
    The sculpture floating above the River Brda is the “Man Crossing the River” (7), a tightrope walker smoothly balancing on the rope, who commemorates the day Poland joined the European Union in 2004 (designed by Jerzy Kędziora). Lemara Barge, constructed in 1937 in Bydgoszcz, is moored near the bridge (8).
     
    The “little palace” (9) in the Dutch mannerist style on the right bank of the River Brda, built in 1885-1886 (designed by Waldemar Jenisch), was the old head office of, among others, Lloyd of Bydgoszcz, one of the biggest shipping companies in the Second Republic of Poland. On the other side of the river, one can see the Main Post Office (11), which is housed in a complex of historic buildings from the 18th century.
     

    Along the boulevards


    Going down the bridge stairs to the boulevard, it is worthwhile looking at the richness of neo-baroque forms on the corner tenement house at 1-3 Stary Port Street – the work of the famous builder of Bydgoszcz, Józef Święcicki. On the boulevard we turn right and go along the River Brda towards the monumental edifice of the Opera Nova (10).
    Did you know that...

    On the boulevard on the Brda River, we can admire the Rafter sculpture (12) (designed by Michat Kubiak), which refers to the city’s water traditions.

    On the left-hand side we pass St Barbara’s Island, from behind which the slender structure of the cathedral emerges. Next, we enter the footbridge connecting the boulevard and Mill Island. We can take a look at the modernist opera building, scenically located in a bend of the River Brda.The building was designed in 1961 (by Józef Chmiel and Andrzej Prusiewicz), and it took over thirty years to construct (1973-2006). This is not only a music stage, but also an important conference centre.
     

    Mill Island - a green enclave in the heart of a vibrant city

     
    On the other side of the river, in the western part of Mill Island (14), one can see well the modern building of Bydgoszcz Marina (13), designed by the office APA Rokiccy, excellently blending with its surroundings. The marina, completed in 2012, has won not only the hearts of Bydgoszcz residents but also many prestigious awards owing to its unique architecture. Across the footbridge we enter Mill Island, a 6-hectare green oasis in the very centre of the city. We go past the oldest building on the island, the so-called White Granary (15) dating back to the late 18th century, which is now occupied by archaeological collections of the District Museum. Walking along Międzywodzie, an artificial canal crossing the island, on the left-hand side we go past the building of the European Money Centre (16), erected on the site of the buildings of the Bydgoszcz Mint (operating 1594-1688), and the old steam mill from 1861, the so-called Red Granary, now the Modern Art Gallery.
     
    Mill Island | BydgoszczMill Island, Bydgoszcz, fot. R.Sawicki


    Did you know that...
    100 ducats of Sigismund III Vasa minted in Bydgoszcz in 1621 is one of the most beautiful and precious coins in the history of Europe. In 2008, at an auction in New York, a ducat of Sigismund III was sold for an astronomical amount of 1,380,000 dollars, which to this day makes it the most expensive Polish coin in history.

    The central part of the Bydgoszcz island is occupied by a complex of mills dating back from 1848-1849, i.e. the huge Rother’s Mills. The scenic yellow building, located opposite them, is nowadays the House of Leon Wyczółkowski (17), where one can admire paintings, graphics, and the studio of the patron of the museum in Bydgoszcz. Now, we go to the other side of the street called Mennica (Mint), towards the tenement houses on the swift current of the River Młynówka. These buildings, once showing up almost straight from the water, are called the Bydgoszcz Venice (18). In the past, rich burghers used to build their workshops and plants here, e.g. dye-houses, distilleries, sawmill, and a bathhouse operated here. First across the footbridge over the River Młynówka, and then along the corridor between tenement houses we reach Długa Street (the former Platea Longa), the most important track of medieval Bydgoszcz, which now is 640 metres long.

     

    Długa street - autographs and a unique museum

     
    We turn right and after several steps we reach Wełniany Market Square. Here we see the monument to Leon Barciszewski (designed by Sławoj Ostrowski), the last pre-war mayor of the city, who along with his 18-year-old son was murdered in an unknown place by the Nazis in November 1939.
    Did you know that...
    In Wełniany Square once was the Poznań Gateway, where the city executioner lived. The city executioner was friends with a certain poor tailor named Janek. One day, the young man walking with his beloved met a rich merchant, who fell in love with Janek’s sweetheart and promised to shower her and her family with riches if she married him. Tailor Janek was so irritated with this daring proposal of the stranger that he went after him with fists. After this incident, Janek was captured and sentenced to death. The executioner, who felt sorry for his young friend, decided to help him. They agreed that before going to the market square the executioner would loosen his irons so that Janek could run away in the direction of the Poznań Gateway, which was not guarded on this day. Everything went as planned. The tailor’s love waited for him by the gateway, and together they disappeared in the mist. People were shouting “Catch him, catch him”, and the place where the two lovers disappeared without a trace is nowadays the little lane named Chwytowo (from the Polish verb ”chwytać” = English “catch”).         

    Let’s look now at the tenement house in 4 Wełniany Rynek – watchful onlookers will see a cannonball between the windows of the second floor; most probably this is a reminder of the Kościuszko Insurrection in 1794.
     
    Muzeum Mydła i Historii Brudu | Bydgoszcz

    We go back to Długa Street. Walking amidst stylish tenement houses, mainly from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, one can feel the atmosphere of old Bydgoszcz, though the merchant’s major road had lost its position as the city’s trade centre. It is worthwhile visiting the exceptional Museum of Soap and History of Dirt (20) at number 13-17, and stopping by the 18th-century tenement house at number 22, the birthplace of painter Maksymilian Piotrowski (1813-1875), professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Królewiec (Konigsberg). In the same building, as legend has it, King John III Sobieski stayed in 1676 during his journey by the River Vistula to Gdańsk. From the side of its backyard, the tenement house has extremely interesting two-storey cellars. In the area of Batorego Street, we turn right, going towards the monument to Casimir the Great (21).

    Casimir the Great, Bydgoszcz, fot. R.SawickiOne of the most eminent monarchs in the history of Poland looks at us with authority, holding in his left hand a scroll – the foundation charter of Bydgoszcz. The monument was placed here in 2006 (designed by Mariusz Białecki). The monumental edifice of the District Court  built in 1906 soars behind our backs. On the right-hand side of the monument, between the tenement houses, is a bewitching half-timbered granary from the 19th century, which is occupied by the Orthodox Church of St Nicholas. It is worthwhile going in this direction to see the remains of walls surrounding the city from the south in the past. There is also the only partially preserved tower (19) of the old fortifications.

    We return again to Długa Street, turn left and go towards the intersection with Jana Kazimierza Street. In the area of the seat of the authorities of Bydgoszcz, located on the left-hand side, it is worthwhile looking down. Under our feet we see the Bydgoszcz Autographs, i.e. signatures of people, who have made a special contribution to the city. Such famous people as Zbigniew Boniek, Irena Santor and Jan Kulczyk have their plaques here.Looking at the next autographs, we reach the intersection with Jana Kazimierza Street, where we see an old orange tram from 1955, now a seasonal tourist information centre. It is hard to believe now that in the past trams used to run along Długa Street: “red” and “green” line trams. On the southern end of Jana Kazimierza Street, there is a boulder commemorating the Bydgoszcz Jews. The boulder is located right on the site of a monumental synagogue from 1882 (designed by Albert Muttray), dismantled by the Nazis in 1939.

    Bydgoszcz | Old market square | Fountain
    Now we go along Jana Kazimierza Street towards the Old Market Square. The western side of the Market Square is occupied by the classicist edifice of the Dr Witold Bełza Provincial and Municipal Public Library, erected in the 18th century for the Prussian administration. Collections of the library that used to belong to the Bydgoszcz Bernardine monastery are kept in the building. This is the city’s oldest preserved book collection, whose origins date back to the late 15th century. In front of the main entrance to the library, is the bewitching sculpture-fountain ”Children playing with a goose” (22) – a work by Karl P. Kowalczewski, which has adorned the Old Market Square since 1909. Originally, the fountain was located in front of the Pharmacy under the “Golden Eagle”, because it was funded by its owners, the Kupffender family, on the centennial of their pharmacy. Down Magdzińskiego Street we go towards the historical covered market (24) opened in 1906 (to a design by the Berlin company of architects Boswau & Knauer). Above the entrance to the covered market, there is the city’s impressive coat of arms, while inside the steel structure is an interesting roof. Meat, fish, crayfish and seafood used to be sold here. The viewing axis from the Old Market Square via Magdzińskiego Street is closed by the neo-Gothic Church of St Andrew Bobola (25) with a slender clock tower, dominating Kościeleckich Square. The church, designed by Berlin architect Heinrich Seeling, was erected for the Bydgoszcz Protestants in 1903. Quite surprising is the fact that these days the Jesuit church still remains the highest (75 m) building in Bydgoszcz.


    From in front of the covered market we go down Podwale Street (on the site of an old moat) towards Rybi Rynek (Fish Market Square). We turn into Kręta Street, running slightly uphill, which leads us again to the Old Market Square. At 3 Kręta Street, there is an interesting brick building, in the past a part of Herman Franke’s industrial complex, nowadays the famous music club “Eljazz”. The entrance steps are covered with notes – the score of the jazz standard Seven steps to heaven by Miles Davis (for the needs of the steps to the club changed into Three steps to heaven).
    Entering the main Market Square of the city, it is worthwhile looking at the corner tenement house at 15 Stary Rynek (23). In one of its attic windows, Master Twardowski appears exactly at 1:13 p.m. and 9:13 p.m. At the corner of the Old Market Square and Batorego Street, is the artistic Węgliszek Cafe, with a window decorated with an image of the devil of the same name, which had shady dealings with Master Twardowski.
  • Mill Island

    Mill Island | Bydgoszcz

    Mill Island - the spatial heart of Bydgoszcz. A green enclave in the heart of a vibrant city, home to 360,000 inhabitants. The island has not yet been seized by our greedy modern civilization. How surprising! A park and alleys flanked by old trees: chestnuts and lindens. Vast lawns, alleys with benches and the sound of water falling rapidly through the weir.

     

    Mill island - in the heart of the city

    Mill Island | BydgoszczWater all around. From the old town flows the fast, restless Brda-Młynówka, following the wall of Bydgoszcz Venice – named so because of its countless picturesque blocks of old houses, outbuildings and annexes. On the other side the mighty main canal of the Upper Brda, the outlines of the dignified Fara Cathedral and the New Opera House. Behind the cathedral there’s the Old Town– the main square in the city. Between the two rivers, a long embankment with dense rows of old trees connecting Mill Island with the modern world through the Solidarity Bridge on Foch Street.
    Among the green areas of Mill Island, there are also houses. Scattered chaotically, almost all of them are old places of interest. They contribute to the specific character and mood of the island: old mills, grain warehouses, granaries, storehouses, all creating an amazing, historical industrial landscape. Crossing the border of Mill Island, over the bridge in Niedźwiedzia Street, from the Old Town direction, or using the embankment coming from Foch Street, is like travelling back in time...
    In recent times, Mill Island has seen a revival project, a joint effort of the city and European funds, also the Norwegian Fund, making it one of the most visited attractions in the city. The contemporary revitalization project was discreetly concerned with: modernly-organized museums, gastronomy, water transport, recreational areas on the grass, a playground and also a sequence of modern footbridges connecting the island with other central parts of Bydgoszcz.

    Exhibitions on the Mill Island:

    -->> History and the present state of the Mill Island

    -->> Bydgoszcz treasure

    -->> The Bydgoszcz Mint

    -->> In the Town of Bydgost

    -->> Works of Leon Wyczółkowski (1852-1936)

    -->> Modern Art Gallery

    -->> Bydgoszcz and its environs since the dawn of time

     

    Mill island – the mint "on the water"

    Wyspa Młyńska | Bydgoszcz | ©visitbydgoszczAt first, before they started to make coins for the Polish king on Mill Island in Bydgoszcz, we could find here a church mill which was mentioned before 1408, a large mill from 1541, the City Bath, and also a sawmill. However, it was the king's coin mint that made Bydgoszcz a real feature on the map of the First Republic.
    It was a huge factory, which occupied the entire eastern part of the island to Miedzywodzie (at that time there were no less than 3 islands, which were later merged). The Middle Ages mint consisted of several buildings of different sizes and various uses. For centuries, despite the fact that the mint almost neighbored the city, the market, and the parish church, it remained strictly isolated due to the nature of the production. Although the whole factory was located on the island, it was also surrounded by a wall, partly wooden, and a solid fence from the east and north sides.
    One could enter the island through the Mint Gate, like entering a separate town (the gate was located behind the cathedral, in the area of today's so-called White Granary). Just beyond the mint gate, one could see the first important buildings of the factory complex: support and storage facilities and the forge. In the forge, also called the blacksmith, planchets (or blanks) were prepared for future coins. Damaged tools were also repaired here, nails were made and bolts were threaded. The locksmith’s flat was located in the attic, and at the entrance of the blacksmith shop there was a stone for sharpening tools and a table for threading screws. After the fall of the mint the forge was converted into the miller’s house (later called "the Old Miller's House").
    A half-timbered coach house was situated in front of the forge, and on the shores of Miedzywodzie there was a stone stable. These four buildings were like the atrium of this industrial complex. The main Mint buildings could be found concentrated further south, in the area of today's Młyńska Tavern and the Red Granary Museum.

    A really big factory, one of, or perhaps the largest in the sixteenth to eighteenth century Poland. At that time in Bydgoszcz there were only detached, brick or timber-framed houses, whilst in the Mint even the inferior, administration buildings were massive.
    In Bydgoszcz, the Royal Mint produced a lot of different coins, from the bulk or so-called minor, casual coins, like the popular tymfs, boratyns and thalers, to coins and medals of high monetary and artistic value.


    Skarb z Bydgoskiej Katedry | Bydgoszcz | wystawaWhat about the scale of production at the Bydgoszcz mint? At that time it was very large. One minter processed approximately 60 kg of silver a day. There were 12 - 15 minters working at the mint, therefore 620-900 kg of silver were turned into coins each day. So what can we say about the number of coins produced, especially the low-value ones? Very hard to say. Enough said that boratyns truly flooded the Republic and its neighbors. At some point, this triggered protests by the nobility in the Sejm, which actually sought to ban the production of small coins. At a time when the Royal Treasury ran into problems, the proportion of silver in coins had to be reduced. The material value of the coins became lower than their purchasing power. This was the case with tymfs and boratyns. When the Tymf brothers, tenants of the Bydgoszcz mint, exaggerated with the amount of silver content in their coins, leading to their banishment, the following saying remained "A good joke is worth a tymf".
    The mint stopped working probably around 1702, but it was only in 1765 that the Sejm Commission ordered the Treasury to draw up an inventory of the Bydgoszcz mint, and send everything of value that was left to Warsaw.
    The mint stamps were sent to the capital, and the dilapidated, abandoned buildings remained in this state throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

    Mill island - the beginning of the bydgoszcz canal

    Wyspa Młyńska, Bydgoszcz, fot. R.SawickiIn the eighteenth century Bydgoszcz was not in the best economic condition. After bouts of epidemics and war, there followed a very serious economic decline. The city almost collapsed. Also, the old mint buildings were demolished or poorly used and fell into disrepair.
    New and better times for Mill Island came as a result of an extraordinary, massive-scale European investment. Immediately after the occupation of Bydgoszcz in the Polish partition of 1772, King Frederick II of Prussia undertook the implementation of the bold projects of Polish engineers, drawn up under the last king Stanislaw August Poniatowski. They concerned the linking of the natural waterways of Eastern and Western Europe. So started the construction of the Bydgoszcz Canal. It was then that the island became home to the Royal Mills, the Prussian army food supply, while the neighboring city sluice opened the water “highway” to the west of Europe (the comparison is no exaggeration once we take into consideration its economic importance).


    Wyspa Młyńska z lotu ptaka, Bydgoszcz, fot. R.SawickiWork on the construction of the canal began in 1774, with the reconstruction of the water system around the Brda River and Mill Island. The flow of the Upper Brda could be narrowed, cut and regulated by the Municipal Sluice Gate. Further to the north, the Brda was joined with the Municipal Bydgoszcz Canal, by means of the Municipal Sluice, and flowed further west to Noteć, Oder, Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg and Amsterdam...
    During the construction of the first section of the canal, an embankment leading from Mill Island to the present bridge on Foch Street was constructed. Most probably at the same time, rows of young trees were planted on the embankment, trees which today, after more than two hundred years, form an unusual green tunnel in the centre of the town. Also then, the third important entry to the island was built, as an extension of Niedźwiedzia Street, coming from the Old Town. The so-called Mill Bridge was built around 1791, with the current bridge more or less retaining its position. There was no need to isolate the island from the city any more.
    In 1789, on the other side of Mill Island, the massive Royal Granaries were built. Burned down during the Red Army invasion in January 1945, they gave place to today's New Opera House .
    When the Royal Granaries were built, the construction had to be carefully planned, as there were other industrial buildings and equipment on the island. For this purpose, around 1789, the Warehouse Bridge was built, which was recently rebuilt as a modern pedestrian footbridge linking the Old Town with the New Opera House. It was also then that the road to the Warehouse Bridge was built, a paved section of which survived to this day, next to the so-called White Granary (built in 1789).
    The construction of the Bydgoszcz Canal and the Handling and Wood Ports, along with the Royal Mills complex in the late eighteenth century, were investments at an unprecedented scale at the time. Bydgoszcz was starting to become a modern industrial and commercial city.

  • Bydgoszcz Canal

    Bydgoszcz CanalBydgoszcz Canal was built in the years 1773-1774 as a part of the international waterway E 70. It connects the Vistula River and the Odra River through their tributaries: the Brda River, the Notec River and the Warta River.

  • "The Archer Lady "

    The Archer Lady

    It is one of the symbols of Bydgoszcz. The sculpture is located in the Jan Kochanowski Park in the vicinity of the Polish Theatre and the Pomeranian Philharmonic. The sculpture was designed by Ferdinand Lepcke and was unveiled on the 18th of October 1910. "The Archer Lady " has changed its location several times.

  • Bydgoszcz Cathedral

    In 2004, the Bydgoszcz Fara Church was raised to the rank of Cathedral of the Diocese of Bydgoszcz by the decree of Holy Father John Paul II. However, for many centuries and for dozens of generations of Bydgoszcz residents, it had been the only and most prominent municipal church.

    Bydgoszcz Cathedral | Bird's eye view | fot.R.SawickiBefore it was built, there had been two places of worship, namely the Church of St. Giles and the castle chapel. When they were erected, Bydgoszcz was not a city. In 1346, just after the city was founded, work started on the construction of a municipal church in the proximity of the Market Square and City Hall, in line with medieval traditions. Initially, the Bydgoszcz Fara Church was a wooden structure. After it was consumed by fire, the decision was made to build a stately, Gothic brick church. Construction continued between 1466 and 1502. Saints Nicholas and Martin were chosen as its patrons. As patron saints of trade and many crafts, they were best suited for the commercial aspirations of the city.

    This Gothic hall church built from brick features a nave and two side aisles. It has the chancel closed from three sides and a square tower to the south. A two-storey arcaded porch adjoins the church from the west. The main entrance to the church features Renaissance oak doors, adorned with coats of arms and initials of guilds and Bydgoszcz townsmen. Its interior charms with the unique abundance of colours, something which is rarely seen in the region of northern Poland. Polychromes date from 1922-1925 and were made by Henryk Nostitz-Jackowski. However, the most important masterpiece in the Cathedral, which is also an object of worship, is the Madonna with the Rose. The painting from the high altar is the centrepiece of the church, attracting the attention of the faithful and tourists. It is a late-Gothic painting of the Madonna and Child, holding a little rose in the other hand.

    Bydgoszcz CathedralBydgoszcz Cathedral

         

     

                     Did you know that... ?
    In the downspout, there is a little crowned eagle embossed in sheet metal. As the only in Bydgoszcz, it had survived the occupation period unnoticed by the Germans, when all symbols related to the Polish State were destroyed. It attracted Bydgoszcz residents, particularly young people, who came here in secret to pay tribute to the coat of arms of Poland.

  • Exploseum. D.A.G. Fabrik Bromberg

    Exploseum

    The spatial character of the establishment resulted from aspiration to minimalise the explosion risk and effects. Several parts of the production process was divided into two separated small buildings. Technological links relied on underground tunnels. This was an example of production line.

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