Starogard Gdański’s Old Town Market Square (Stary Rynek) is idyllic, tranquil and the town’s centre point. The square is of a perfect size, measuring precisely 107 x 107 metres. In the centre sits the pretty Town Hall which is rumoured to be connected to dungeons and subterranean passages from the town’s medieval history. In summer months, a lively beer garden and temporary beach makes this a great place to relax.
Starogard Gdański’s “local hero” is footballer and Olympic Gold medallist Kazimierz “Kazik” Deyna, who also scored Poland’s match-winner against Italy in the 1974 World Cup. As a result, the town have developed a special “Kazimierz Deyna Heritage Trail” which takes you to the house he was born, his old school, past two football stadiums, a mural and a statue. The final location on the tour brings you nicely to the local football stadium, home of local football team Klub Piłkarski Starogard.
Olimijczyków Starogardzkich 1, 83-200 Starogard Gdański, Poland, +48 58 562 21 20
The superb Browar Kociewski in Starogard Gdański is a brewery which also has a huge bar and restaurant attached to it. The venue serves up tasty dishes and excellent local beer in four common varieties – Pilsner, Lager, Wheat Beer and a Dark Ale. It also hosts the town’s annual beer festival every September and is part of the town’s most popular Hotel Complex, Hotel Ren.
Despite being a town of only 50,000 residents, sports-wise Starogard Gdański is successful. As well as Olympic Gold medallist and World Cup star Kazimierz Deyna, the town also boasts a club in Poland’s top basketball division, SKS Sportowa SA Polpharma Starogard Gdański. SA Polpharma play in a large basketball arena housed on the island adjacent to the football stadium, a hotel and Wichertow Palace.
Olimpijczyków Starogardzkich 1, 83-200 Starogard Gdański, Poland, +48 58 712 62 50
In the summer, you can go canoeing or kayaking on the River Wierzyca which runs through the town. Interestingly Starogard Gdański actually has an island inside the town centre, barely noticeable as the bridges are very short.
Pałac Wichertów is an elaborate palace that was built by Franz Wichert in the 19th-century. It’s an eclectic villa with a huge entrance arch and five statues at the front. It is also one of the sights on Starogard Gdanski’s tourist trail.
Sadly Starogard Gdanski was annexed by Nazi Germany during the Second World War, with many Polish and Jewish people executed in a forest nearby. There are a few memorials to the war in the town, but the most prominent is on the corner of Adama Mickiewicza and Generala Hallera Streets in a quiet park.