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What is your opinion of Gorzów Wielkopolski?

Bartkowiak 5 | 114
19 Aug 2016 #1
Have you been there, lived there or seen it? What do you think of it?
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,839
19 Aug 2016 #2
Yes I spent some time there and have since visited on a few occasions.
In fact my children's babcia lives there. Tbh it always seemed a bit soulless to me.
It has some lovely 'jugendstil' (sorry dont know the word in Polish) architecture that you can see on some old apartment blocks.
When I first went there it was a crowded town, with a posh restaurant and a milk bar on the town square. They are both gone now, as is the market, and an awful lot of the people.

It seems like the kind of place where all the young people have now left. When I say young I mean 21 - 50.
Jardinero 1 | 405
21 Aug 2016 #3
In terms of architecture - it's a post-German city. In terms of population, opportunities, etc, it's in the 3rd league of Polish cities.
mafketis 24 | 9,122
21 Aug 2016 #4
It has some lovely 'jugendstil' (sorry dont know the word in Polish) architecture t

noun: Secescja
adj: Secesyjny (architektura secesyjna for architecture)

For other readers: in English it's usually called Art Nouveau

it's in the 3rd league of Polish cities.

I've never been there but that seems a little harsh, it's close enough to Germany that it should be better. I've known a couple of non-Poles who lived there for a year or two and they said the people were much more friendly than in most other areas...
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,839
21 Aug 2016 #5
it's in the 3rd league of Polish cities.

that does seem a bit harsh,
There are excellent transport links to Berlin,
In fact if you are going to Gorzow, the quickest way is via Berlin.
Once I flew to Poznan to get there, and it was a pain in the a@@
Jardinero 1 | 405
21 Aug 2016 #6
No intention to be harsh - aside from being close to the German border, it is a town with a population of 120k (ranked 31st), and so naturally what it has to offer in terms of jobs and prospects for the young is proportional to and limited by it's size. What I meant is if you take the largest cities beside Warsaw: Wrocław, Kraków, Tri City, Poznań would be in the 1st league; then you have places such as Łódź, Szczecin, Katowice, Lublin, Bydgoszcz in the 2nd; then Rzeszów, Kielce, Toruń, Częstochowa, Białystok, Olsztyn, Radom in the 3rd... so really it is more like the 4th tier.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,839
22 Aug 2016 #7
I wonder if it feels a bit soul-less because it was a German town until relatively recently. The German people there at the end of the war had to flee before the advancing Red Army, as I am sure people know.

There is a good book by Christa Wolf about this time called A Model Childhood.
I wonder what this area was like after the German people had left but before the people came from the East to re-populate it.
Apparently a lot of the German people thought they were coming back so they buried and hid stuff.
Another place that would be interesting to have a little dig is 'the Seelow Heights' between Berlin and Gorzow.
mafketis 24 | 9,122
22 Aug 2016 #8
I wonder if it feels a bit soul-less because it was a German town until relatively recently.

That's the case almost everywhere west of the interwar western borders. Wrocław manages to somehow blend the German and Kresy elements pretty well but it's the only one AFAIC. The most soulless place I've been was Lubin back in the 90s, a small village before WWII that grew after the war due to copper. It was newer (and cleaner) than almost any other Polish town I'd seen but also kind of.... blahhhhh with a particularly... aggressive working culture.
Jardinero 1 | 405
22 Aug 2016 #9
German people there at the end of the war had to flee before the advancing Red Army

Yes, same as Poles having to leave cities and villages in today's Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania... wars... ;-(
StevD - | 5
22 Aug 2016 #10
I have family there. I visited first in the early nineties. My first impressions were that the town seemed a mass of dull, grey concrete with a few old German buildings not in great repair offering some architectural contrast. There was a Russian soldier standing in the market selling whatever he had on him, stripping off as people offered to buy a belt, or his boots etc. The shops in the town centre were mostly old government stores midway through the process of transforming themselves into private businesses and tended to sell everything and anything judging by what was crammed into their windows. I also remember going into a small supermarket that sort of resembled a primitive Aldi. It had soft drinks in all sorts of colours unimaginable back home - blues and greys and even opaque brown - all unrelated to the supposed flavours. A triumph of science over nature.

The overall impression I had of the town was tatty, poor and neglected. I sort of liked it.

The thing that really stood out was amid all the drab local shops stood a branch of Benetton. Prices for their unremarkable knitwear was the same as in the west, i.e. upwards of £100 for a jumper. Ridiculous considering the average wage at the time. I doubt it sold a single item ever as the few Poles who could afford one would not be seen dead in Gorzów considering how close Poznan is relatively speaking.

More recently, the town featured in a TV programme in the UK about the rise of right-wing thugs in Europe. It seemed that there were large numbers of skinheads targeting ethnic minorities, whether immigrants or homegrown and particularly those in the company of local girls.
Kezman - | 1
7 Nov 2016 #11
I have visited gorzow 4 or 5 times over the past 4 years and I have to say my first impression wasn't great very grey and dull. But then my partner and her parents showed me the many lakes and forests in the region and I have to say it changed my opinion. i now look forward to visiting.

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