Chilling in Szczecin

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
– Robert Louis Stevenson

Kascada@A.Waliszewska

Taken from my Instagram

Szczecin, pronounced “shcheh-cheen”, is a city that I have visited many times and I never cease to feel like a part of me is coming home whenever I return. This relatively unknown Polish city is home to my father’s side of the family therefore it has a special place in my heart.

Eagle@Google

The three eagle statue in Jasne Blonia Park. Taken from Google

Well off any track non-German tourists trod, the western port city of Szczecin is a lively city awash with students and a muddle of architecture inherited from wildly different ages. Crumbly German-era Art Nouveau tenements and mansions, some now undergoing renovation, echo a past splendour but historical style is patchy. The authorities seem to have given up on the idea of rebuilding, choosing instead to fill the gaps in the city centre with glass-and-steel malls.

– Lonely Planet

Szczecin@A.Waliszewska

Taken from my Instagram profile

After visiting again this past Easter, I thought I’d share some of my favourite things about the city 🙂

 

The Central Cemetery

Without a doubt, this is probably my most favourite thing about the city but maybe that’s because I have a weird love for graveyards. It’s one of the biggest in Europe (3rd) and is well-kept so it’s much like walking through a peaceful park. It was first established in 1901 when the city was still in German territory (Stettin) and has over 300 000 graves.

central-cemetery@TripAdvisor

Taken from Trip Advisor

 

Kasprowicz Park

The city park is huge (50 hectares – think of a shit load of football fields), with areas for concerts, long walks with family, cycling, having a beer with your friends or just laying down on the grass and getting tan or just general chilling in urban nature. One of the most beautiful places in Szczecin, especially in summer and early autumn. It has a fountain, a few monuments, a rose garden, a lake, an open air theatre, ice cream shops, a beer garden and more. You’ll find many people just going for a walk through the park just the enjoyment of having a stroll.

Jasne@Google

Technically this Jasne Blonia square which is directly opposite the park but also a popular place for summer strolls. Taken from Google

 

The Panoramic Coffee Shop

Located right in the heart of the centre, near to Galaxy Centrum (a big shopping mall) Cafe 22 is an elegant cafe on the 22nd floor of the city’s highest building; it has its own unique atmosphere, created in part by the impressive 360-degree panoramic view over Szczecin. This place is perfect if you want to have a light meal while looking at the vista of the city on a clear, sunny day.

Cafe22@cafe22

Take from Cafe 22’s official website

 

Glebokie Lake

The reservoir is located in the area of Puszcza Wkrzańska forest. There is a popular trail for cyclists and strollers around the lake which is about 6 km long. There are special areas for bonfires and BBQs designated along the path. In the summer you can also find lots of people doing different water sports and kids playing on the sand bank.

Miron@Facebook

This is my cousin, Miron. He teaches kids how to wake board on the lake during the summer.

 

The Odra River

Szczecin is a port city with a harbour of the Baltic Sea as well the river, however sitting in an open-air restaurant along the river on a summer’s evening, seeing how the lights reflect on the water is a lovely way to spend the evening with friends.

Szczecin@Google

Taken from Google

 

The Port Gate

One of my favourite monuments of the city is in the centre; Brama Portowa, or Port Gate in English. Someone on Trip Advisor described it perfectly as a “monument between the tram lines”, which is precisely true. It is one of the two gates of the old Prussia fortifications in the city that is directly in the middle of the centre’s hustle and bustle. It has a twin called King’s Gate somewhere in the city as well.

PortGate@A.Waliszewska

Taken from my Instagram profile

 

Cathedral Basilica of St. James the Apostle 

The cathedral, which was built between the 12th and 16th century, is the biggest church in its region – West Pomerania. I have definitely seen far more striking constructions where architecture is concerned, but if you climb the tower you can see wonderful views of the city.

Cathedral@Google

Taken from Google

 

The Ducal Castle

Nowadays a cultural centre and home to a number of exhibitions and seasonal concerts and plays, the Gothic Pomeranian Ducal Castle used to be the seat of the dukes of Pomerania between the 12th and 17th centuries. The building got seriously destroyed during World War II, but during its reconstruction in 1946 the crypt containing the dukes’ sarcophagi was found. The Tower of Seven Mantles, situated to the east of the Castle and dating back to the 13th century, is the only surviving element of one of the medieval gates which led to the town. Its mysterious name probably alludes to the local tailor guild that used to pay for the tower’s maintenance.
– theculturetrip.com

DucalCastle@Google

Taken from Google

 

Quick Facts

  • Szczecin, nowadays the capital of the West Pomerania Province and one of Poland’s biggest cities, changed hands for almost 800 years, and was returned to Poland only after World War II.
  • Szczecin is located near the Baltic Sea.
  • At Jasne Blonia square (which is next to Kasprowicz Park) was where Polish Pope John Paul II conducted a mass for 700,000 of Polish citizens in 1987. After the Pope’s visit, a big monument of him was erected in the middle of the square.
  • The city is very pretty in an subtle way; while walking around the centre, you cannot help but admire the facades of the buildings which remain from when the city was still German.
  • The city is home to roughly 400 000 people.
  • Szczecin is considered a ‘green city’ as it is so surrounded by vegetation and forest.
Aerialview@Google

Jasne Blonia Park. Taken from Google

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Kris Razma says:

    Aurelia thanks for your wonderful overview of your city. i wonder if you can help me. My mother is now 80 years old. She was born in Dombrowa poland(now Ukraine- we think) and in 1940 her family was taken from their home and sent to Siberia. She was taken deeper and deeper into Siberia, and then she became sick and was separated from them and taken to a hospital. Her mother died shortly after on the train route. Her father was is a work camp. She was 6 years old when this happened. She never saw her father but he finally located her and wrote to her. She was in New Zealand (that is another story :)). long story short- she wants to visit her father’s grave. He was sent to Szczein and died there. And we believe buried in the central cemetery. I have tried to contact them to ask of his grave’s location but have not heard anything. I wonder if you knew of any one I can contact to help me. we are arriving 3/31- so I am worried I will not find anyone to help me.

    His name was Jan Lubgan ( but L would have line through it). He died in 1954. I truly appreciate any leads of assists you may have. thanks so much- Dzenkuje

    • Aurelia Waliszewska says:

      Hi 🙂 Thanks so much for reading my post and also for sharing with me some of your family history! I’m going to be posting the memoir of my grandmother who went through a similar experience actually! Unfortunately no one in my family knows much about the cemetery (it’s really big) but I’m sure if you contact the townhall while you’re there, they’ll have records of people buried there, I hope that helps! I hope you enjoy your trip Szczecin though! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *