- Olga Lenczewska
Katowice, the capital of the Silesian province of Poland, is famous for its industrial past and excellent art scene. Here are some of the most interesting things do and see in Katowice.
Visit the Wyspiański Silesian Theatre
The modernist Wyspiański Silesian Theatre (Pol. Teatr Śląski im. Stanisława Wyspiańskiego) was designed by a famous German theater architect Carol Moritz of Cologne at the beginning of the 20th century. Back then, the Silesian province belonged to Germany. The theater is located in the market square and is the largest building dedicated to dramatic arts in the region. It was named after a Polish writer and painter from the modernist period, who included in his work many themes of the folk tradition. Nowadays, the theater stages both Polish and foreign dramas and comedies, mixing the tradition with contemporary theatrical movements.
Wyspiański Silesian Theatre, Rynek 10, Katowice, Poland, +48 32 258 72 51
Go to an event at the Spodek arena
Spodek, the biggest arena and concert venue in Katowice, is a cultural must. From the outside, it resembles a flying saucer or a UFO spaceship. It was built in 1972 and, apart from the concert hall, it is home to a number of recreational attractions such as: a few gyms, restaurants, an ice rink, and a hotel. It is here that the biggest and best concerts, sport events, and cultural activities are hosted. In 1987, Metallica performed here for the first time in Poland. In 1998, the place hosted Modern Talking. More recently, there has been Depeche Mode, Rammstein, Green Day, Leonard Cohen, and many famous national bands and singers.
Spodek, al. Korfantego 35, Katowice, Poland, +48 32 258 32 61
Go to the Silesian Museum
This beautiful museum survived a Nazi attack and was reinstated in 1984. In it you can learn about the Silesian history and art by visiting the exhibitions about the region’s ethnology and archaeology as well as the collection of Polish paintings by, for example, Stanisław Wyspiański and Olga Boznańska. Additionally, the photography collection is rich in 35,000 pictures and daguerreotypes, some of which document World War I or the Uprising of Silesia. Others depict beautiful portraits.
Silesian Museum, al. Korfantego 3, Katowice, Poland, +48 32 779 93 00
Visit Katowice’s Cathedral
Christ the King Cathedral in Katowice is an impressive architectural project, designed and built during 1927 and 1955. Its design is reminiscent of classical architecture. The difficult time of World War II forced a pause in the creation of the Cathedral. The building often hosts organ concerts and other events, such as the presentation of the ‘Lex ex Silesia’ award for a significant contribution to the development of Silesia’s cultural heritage.
Christ the King Cathedral, ul. Plebiscytowa 49a, Katowice, Poland, +48 32 251 21 96
Have a drink at Browariat
The most popular craft brewery in Katowice, Browariat, prides itself in its wide selection of international beer from the best European breweries, such as Camba, Schonramer (Germany), Meantime (UK), and Jopen (Holland). Among their large selection of beverages coming to more than 50 types of beer there are some award-winning craft beers. The relaxed atmosphere and super-friendly staff only add to the wonderful fame of this place. Browariat stays open until 11pm Sunday-Thursday and until 2am on Friday and Saturday.
Browariat, ul. Francuska 11, Katowice, Poland, +48 535 009 768
Hang out in the Nikiszowiec quarter
Katowice’s main cultural heritage are the buildings and sites created during the intense industrialization of the city during the 19th and 20th centuries. It is then that 250 neighborhoods for the miners were built. The Nikiszowiec quarter offers you the best insight into this kind of architecture and history; it is listed on several heritage registers and there is a big chance it is going to join UNESCO’s World Heritage List in the future.
Visit the Museum of the History of Computers and Computer Science
This fascinating museum demonstrates the 40 years of the evolution of computers and information technology – a period which seems short, but in which computers evolved drastically. In fact, these 40 years can be compared to 400 years in the history of architecture. This museum has 250 different computers which, when compared between themselves, open our eyes as to the complexity of their structure. Apart from the main exhibition, the museum sometimes has temporary exhibitions directed at a particular event.
Visit the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Katowice’s Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra is a cultural ambassador of Poland on the international scene. It was founded in 1935 and since then has collaborated with the best composers and conductors of 20th century Poland, such as Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, and Krzysztof Penderecki. The Orchestra has also produced national recordings and hosted many fine foreign soloists. If you are a fan of classical music, you cannot miss a concert by the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Have a walk around Goldstein Palace
Goldstein Palace is one of the most representative palaces in Katowice. Built at the end of the 19th century in a neo-Renaissance style, the palace once served as a commerce chamber, a theater, and other institutions. Nowadays it is home to a civil registry, but it is worth entering in order to see the beautiful, golden staircase and hall, and the ceiling above them.
Go to the Kościuszko Park
This charming park is located in the center of the city. It started as a tiny park in 1888 and has evolved into 72 hectares. It charms with a variety of trees, such as cherry and rhododendrons, and its ‘English’ parts: a line of roses and English flower beds. You can also spot some sculptures created by local artists and the wooden Church of St Michael the Archangel. The park also includes a commemorative plaque for Tadeusz Kościuszko, the patron of the park and one of the biggest names in Polish history as well as American history.