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Greatest Old Towns in Poland


Satchkat - | 20
14 Jan 2013 #31
Isn't there also a bit that is actually called Stare Miasto? A bit north of the Main Town.

Yes, there is - however it's not what pawian was showing. In this case, "old town" refers to the eldest part, but not the representative one. Old town and main town are quite commonly mixed up. Does that make sense?
Kasmiski 1 | 6
17 Jan 2013 #32
I'm curious.. call this a dumb question if you will, but is there reasoning for the color choice on the majority (well what I've noticed) of Poland buildings. They're very bright colored, from what I can tell, beautiful if you ask me. Just wasn't sure what, if any, reasoning was behind it.

Thank you :)
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
17 Jan 2013 #33
but is there reasoning for the color choice on the majority

happy colours equals happy people

or did you want grey and miserable
Kasmiski 1 | 6
18 Jan 2013 #34
Nope. Just was curious. Being from the US, I don't see much of that. Like I referred to the colors, "beautiful ". I was intrigued, actually.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
18 Jan 2013 #35
Nope. Just was curious

If there is a national colour it seems to be a sort of mustard/yellow, which can be seen in villages as well as cities throughout Poland.

The colours do seem lmited to a small number of colours, but are used well. Shades of red, blue, yellow, green and brown.

Wroclaw's Rynek shows half a dozen colours that the city gave approval to
OP pawian 178 | 15,897
18 Jan 2013 #36
Nope. Just was curious. Being from the US, I don't see much of that. Like I referred to the colors, "beautiful ". I was intrigued, actually.

Hmm, yes, I also thought about it. I sometimes wonder if those Polish Old Towns aren`t too colourful. After all, bright flashy colours are popularly associated with tasteless gaudiness.

Wroclaw's Rynek shows half a dozen colours that the city gave approval to

Let`s compare.

Wrocław is very flashy

Warsaw

and Krakow a bit less

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johnb121 4 | 184
18 Jan 2013 #37
Think, too, of the palette of Norwegian house colours.

Wasn't the original selection restricted to colours whose chemicals in the paint would resist weather and fading? So composition of the paint governs durability governs choices available?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
18 Jan 2013 #38
I only know that in wroclaw the colours come from a list and that the paint must be a particular type.
OP pawian 178 | 15,897
18 Jan 2013 #39
Think, too, of the palette of Norwegian house colours.

Cannot find Norwegian Old Town (???) so I am presenting Danish one from Copenhagen. Flashy!!!
johnb121 4 | 184
18 Jan 2013 #40
You don't need to search for an old town in Norway - but here are a couple of shots







Lyzko
19 Jan 2013 #41
Would one of those shots be of Stavanger, perchance? Just wondering:-)

My vote's still be Kraków with it's Sukiennica, Wawel..... Never been as yet, unfortunately, but that's only what I've heard (.. and seen in umpteen photo albums)LOL
johnb121 4 | 184
19 Jan 2013 #42
Actually, I think they're Longyearbyen, Bergen and Honningsvag
Lyzko
20 Jan 2013 #43
At the very least, I guessed they were in Norway! Only know Oslo Airport from the trip en route NY to Copenhagen...never even left the hangar:-)

lol
OP pawian 178 | 15,897
20 Jan 2013 #44
You don't need to search for an old town in Norway - but here are a couple of shots

What is wrong with Norway and their Old Towns? Vikings didn`t build ones???

Lublin, capital of Eastern Poland:

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podroze.gazeta.pl/podroze/51,114158,13214810.html?i=12
johnb121 4 | 184
20 Jan 2013 #45
What is wrong with Norway and their Old Towns? Vikings didn`t build ones???

What I meant was there's no need to specifically look for an OLD town - modern homes in Norway are every bit as colourful
OP pawian 178 | 15,897
21 Jan 2013 #46
Oh, I see.

Biecz - according to a legend, a school of hangmen was located in Biecz.

Grybów, a tiny town in southern Poland, we always pass through it going on holidays:

Grybow, Poland

Unfortunately, Old Towns make only a small part of the settlements they are located in. E.g., Krakow`s Old town is less than 10% of the city`s area:

s

Can you see that iregular oval in the middle? So small....

Krakow

The reason?
Comparing to European standards, Polish towns had rather low population when they originated and developed a few centuries ago.
Niko
27 Sep 2015 #47
That depends on what you call 'old town' exactly.
Actually, Kazimierz and Podgorze lie south from that shape you're pointing at.
West, there's Krowodrza, and East Grzegorzki, both districts with their shares of nice buildings renovated (or in need for renovation).
As time is passing by, the heart of Old Town is getting cramped and more people are looking more carefully at those other districts that extend beyond Stare Miasto.
OP pawian 178 | 15,897
27 Sep 2015 #48
By Old Town I mean exactly the area which originated in the Middle Ages (during the main settlement era, mostly in result of implementation of Magdeburg Rights)

https://polishforums.com/history/poles-owe-germans-53954/#msg1174498

Kazimierz is OK, yes, came into being in 14 century, has its own market square etc.

But other districts you mention aren`t old enough to me.

Some places are only Old Towns with marginal development beyond the defensive walls area:

Szydłów - once thriving, then declined and remained so till today.

s

s

Not far from Szydłów there is Staszów. I used to teach there nearly two decades ago. Great times. :)

Kalisz again. I can`t resist, it is so beautiful from the air.....

Though a closer look shows standard stuff on the ground level

s
OP pawian 178 | 15,897
30 Apr 2021 #49
Some morons in local councils think that greenery in Old Towns is unnecessary or even harmful coz it prevents holding big events with thousands of people, especially tourists, present. A few dozen old towns have been deprived of their trees or lawns which gave way to concrete paving. Yuk.

See more photos
miastojestnasze.org/betonoza-wizytowka-polskich-miast/

Below: Skierniewice in 1970s and today. Coście skurwysyny uczynili z tą krainą.....







OP pawian 178 | 15,897
3 Jun 2021 #50
BB, check this video showing drone views of the Old City on Warsaw

youtu.be/mE3UXY4dv8c
Novichok 1 | 2,927
3 Jun 2021 #51
Kalisz again. I can`t resist, it is so beautiful from the air.....

From the air, everything is "so beautiful". That beauty fades quickly once you move in and have no place to park a couple of cars. Dragging groceries up to the fourth floor after a nice, mile-long walk is so much fun. Been there, done that.
OP pawian 178 | 15,897
3 Jun 2021 #52
fades quickly once you move in

But we can still keep the aerial view in our memories for personal enRichment. :):)
OP pawian 178 | 15,897
13 Jul 2021 #53
A few dozen old towns have been deprived of their trees or lawns which gave way to concrete paving. Yuk.

Check Kielce - past and today. Amazing difference.





JakeRyan
18 Jul 2021 #54
Yuck, too bad, this makes Polish cities and towns less attractive. Are they trying to evoke the oppressive feel of the commie era?
Paulina 10 | 1,804
18 Jul 2021 #55
@JakeRyan, in case of Kielce square they actually wanted to go back to the original, historic state of the place (this is what it looked like in the past):

Kielce

That pool in the photos posted by pawian was a fire retention pond built by the Nazis during occupation in the middle of the historic square with its history going back to the 12th century... I can't blame the city authorities that they wanted to get rid of it :)

In my opinion it's good that the renovation happened, because now we have a proper historic square in Kielce instead of a noisy roundabout. People weren't relaxing in that place anyway due to the traffic and the noise and that spot was dingy already. There's a proper park not far away in the city centre with a big pond with a big fountain and ducks and swans are swimming there, so it wasn't a great loss, imho :)

The renovation itself was, however, an example of Polish "betonoza" which was trendy at that time - too little or almost no greenery. Fortunately, the trend seems to be changing:

kielce.naszemiasto.pl/wielkie-zmiany-na-rynek-w-kielcach-zamiast-tylu-kamiennych/ar/c1-7590337

And here are interviews with inhabitants of Kielce - the reporter is asking whether they prefer the present day square or what was before and in general what they like and don't like about the renovation (young people seem to be complaining more about the lack of greenery):

kielce.naszemiasto.pl/kielce-kiedys-i-dzis-co-mieszkancy-sadza-o-zmianach-wideo/ar/c3-4296898

I'd like to add sth about the unfortunate changes that happened behind the city hall (the taller building on the left in the photos), but I don't have time right now, so maybe another time :)
OP pawian 178 | 15,897
18 Jul 2021 #56
we have a proper historic square in Kielce instead of a noisy roundabout.

But they could ban traffic within the square and still keep that pond with the fountain and the greenery around,. :):)
Paulina 10 | 1,804
19 Jul 2021 #57
@pawian, then there wouldn't be place for much of anything else because that green patch with the pond was taking most of the space. There was a patched up, uneven road around it with pavements and that was it. It wouldn't be a proper city's main square then, but a tiny park-like area. As that lady at the beginning of the interview (that I linked to in my previous post - it's the second link) said there are concerts taking place there nowadays, including the New Year's Eve concert. I also personally don't miss that shabby looking "Nazi pool" (it was old and the city had problems with its upkeep anyway).

Also, Rafał Zamojski in the interview (in the first link that I posted) said that such were the restoration guidelines at that time - restorers wanted to retain the medieval setup of old towns and that meant almost no greenery. Take a look at the main squares of such old cities like Kraków, Warsaw or Poznań - there's almost no greenery there. According to Zamojski those guidelines are changing though, because the restorers realised that besides being true to history main squares should be also functional and people-friendly :)

Btw, even though I think that restoration was a must, I don't like how it was done, I don't like the surface of the main square and some other things. I wish they kept those trees, but put them on the sides of the place rather than in the middle. But, at least, it does look like the city's main square and I wouldn't want to go back to what was before. As I already wrote - not far from rynek right in the city centre there's one of the oldest parks in Poland:

pl.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_miejski_im._Stanis%C5%82awa_Staszica_w_Kielcach

There's a big pond with benches around it in that park, it's surrounded by trees (big weeping willows are my favourite :)), the water streams in the fountain are so high that when it's windy it blows a wet breeze in your face from its direction lol You can sit there and relax, eat an icecream from the sweet-shop at Staszic Street and watch kids feeding the ducks :):

m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=262469144976042&id=2029898670636227

My cousin who lives in Wrocław was always saying how green Kielce was in comparison to Wrocław, so I guess we shouldn't be complaining too much :):

youtu.be/dDQ03WxsuxU

Woah, sorry for the long post... You know what, my comment about Sienkiewicz Street in the riddle thread and my posts here made me realise that even though Kielce isn't anything special or a tourist attraction I actually love my city ;D :)))
OP pawian 178 | 15,897
19 Jul 2021 #58
concerts taking place there nowadays,

I see. That is some explanation,. :):)

shabby looking "Nazi pool"

:):) It lasted quite a long time, though.
Max86
20 Jul 2021 #59
"It wouldn't be a proper city's main square then, but a tiny park-like area. "
The thing is Polish most towns like Kielce do not have as much beautiful architecture as, say Klatovy in the Czech Republic. I mean it's nice, but too watered down, it shows Bohemia didn't suffer as much damage in wars and poverty, so even without trees their main squares look WOW. What Polish towns had going for them was how green they were, I guess not anymore.

And, no it was not always like that everywhere:
pbs.twimg.com/media/D8x9NDcW4AE2rXX?format=jpg&name=small
Paulina 10 | 1,804
20 Jul 2021 #60
It lasted quite a long time, though.

Yeah, well, you know, I'm guessing the Soviet Union wasn't as willing to co-fund the renovation as the European Union was ;) Kielce became pretty good with time at getting the EU funds.

And, no it was not always like that everywhere:

But that's the beginning of the 20th century and Plac Teatralny came into existence in the 19th century (instead of trees there is a car park there now and in the past there were no cars). I was writing about main squares in the Old Towns of cities and towns with their history going back to medieval times. Rafał Zamojski said in the interview that since the architecture around the main square in Kielce is now mostly from the 19th century (previous buildings were destroyed in a great fire), he'd like to go back to what was in the 19th century - which means more greenery.

I guess not anymore

Well, hopefully it will change with changing restoration/conservation guidelines... I guess we'll see :)


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