Where heavy industry prevails, architecture has little value. Manufacturing and cherishing are not compatible. But when the tide has turned, beautiful things come into existence. Such is the case in Katowice, which is rediscovering itself. A cultural city awakens…
Katowice is located in the south of Poland and is the capital of Silesia. It is the focal point of a region in which the coal mining, steel and chemical industry stood at the centre for decades. Since then a period of change has begun, with privatisations and investments in new technologies. The old days have passed and Katowice has found a new élan, not by rejecting but rather by embracing the past: the city is an architectural goldmine.
Those who make a city tour are treated to different architectural styles. By means of residences, public buildings and estates you can travel through time. Renaissance, baroque, art nouveau, modernism, Communism and a single neo-Gothic building may all be found here.
The area surrounding Katowice offers possibilities for a green experience. Forests and flower fields reach as far as the eye can see, occasionally interrupted by small villages, castles and manors.
The Giant Mountains, named after the giant Rübezahl, loom in the background. According to the stories he is ancient, lives underground and can adopt every imaginable guise. The latter may explain why he has not been seen for a long time...
Over the last few years Katowice has made clear choices. Strong investments have been made in the liveability of the city centre: roads were closed to make space for broad promenades. Old squares were restored, new ones were constructed. In order to stimulate the urban development, an architectural contest was announced. At the end of the 19th century Katowice was nicknamed ‘little Paris’. Everything indicates that they would like to have that name back.
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