Traces of history: The charming city at the Oder River

in Pinmapple2 months ago

Upper Silesia is a paradise for travelers. It captivates tourists with its variety of impressive landscapes, beautiful cities and interesting cultural background. We will travel to Opole, the capital of this part of Poland, and follow the traces of history.

The city lies in the twilight sleep of a quiet late summer day. People are working, pensioners are sleeping, and there are almost no tourists to be seen in Opole, formerly Oppeln, the capital of the historic Upper Silesia region. 120,000 residents live here between historic buildings and old socialist new building blocks.

Between the near and the far history: The skyline of OpoleBetween the near and the far history: The skyline of Opole

Between countless churches and wonderful parks. On one side of the Oder or on the other. It is quiet. It is peaceful and when the sun goes down, the small town transforms into a magical backdrop for colorful lights that shine on the water of the river.

The outskirts are a little bit horrible...The outskirts are a little bit horrible...

Opole at the Oder

Opole lies on the Oder and to this day the city is an important cultural, economic and scientific center in Poland. Opole is known for its picturesque old town, its numerous bridges and its diverse history.

Butwhen the night is coming, the city gets magicButwhen the night is coming, the city gets magic

At a point on the Oder beach, where a Slavic settlement was already located more than 1,000 years ago, it is a Roman Catholic episcopal see, university town and the center the area of the German minority that remained here after the Second World War.

The dawn of the lightThe dawn of the light

Visitors to the city get to know the architectural pearl of southern Poland, see a town hall built in the style of the Florentine Palazzo Vecchio, and they can walk along the Mill Canal - it doesn't take long before everyone understands why Opole, as it used to be called, has always been praised as the Polish Venice.

Outside the city it sometimes seems like a lost placeOutside the city it sometimes seems like a lost place

Opole is also the capital of Polish song. The oldest known Polish festival has been taking place here since 1963. In this city, the “Museum of Polish Song” invites you to learn more about Polish songs.

The skyline by nightThe skyline by night

Between the town hall and the tenement houses on the western side of the market square, visitors and residents of the city walk along the “Allee of Stars”. In the style of the “Walk of Fame”, plates embedded in the sidewalk commemorate 23 singers and ten bands.

The remainings of the socialist era - an ”Austrian Bibliothek”The remainings of the socialist era - an "Austrian Bibliothek"

From there to now

The walk from the outskirts of the city to the center - always along Krakauer Straße - goes through the different eras. Bulky concrete blocks on the outside, kebab stalls behind the bridge, but then slowly the historic center. The terrain rises between the market square and Copernicus Square. Both squares are connected by narrow streets, which are mostly made of coarse cobblestones.

Remains of the germans: One of a few old churchesRemains of the germans: One of a few old churches

There is construction and renovation going on everywhere, Poland has been booming for years. Especially the parks in the city center, the area at the castle pond, the newly designed paths along the mill canal, the path above the Oder dam and the areas along the Stromoder around the pier of the passenger ships to the park on the Oder, the weir and the lock as well the Bolko Island are worth a look.

The last legionarThe last legionar

Always restaurants and cafés

Nobody has to worry about starving or dying of thirst in Opole - when the weather is nice, there are many restaurants and cafés with outside service. In addition, there is not only excellent Polish cuisine - you can also find Asian, Ukrainian or Turkish restaurants. Finally, the delights of Polish cuisine are also part of what you should definitely experience - for example the nalesniki in "Manekin", filled pancakes, or a Apple, plum or rhubarb cake, usually served warm with a scoop and whipped cream.

Pinta brews a special beer for the OpoloniersPinta brews a special beer for the Opoloniers

Life in the city is relaxed, with a walk through the park on Mozartstrasse, a coffee in a small café or a walk in the park on the Oder. There are churches and museums everywhere that are dedicated to the history of porcelain and ceramic production in the region and its eventful history.

The cheap parts of the city are more Istanbul as you knowThe cheap parts of the city are more Istanbul as you know

You can also see a handcart that is as big as the one that the Germans had to use to take the permitted amount of private things with them when they had to leave the city after the Second World War.

Jerzy Popiełuszko was a pope - and his was purdered by the communistsJerzy Popiełuszko was a pope - and his was purdered by the communists

Sightseeing features

Opole offers many attractions for visitors interested in architecture, art and history. The most important include:

The river Oder, polish Odra by nightThe river Oder, polish Odra by night

The market square with the 14th century town hall, which was rebuilt in the Renaissance style. On the market square there are also several town houses from different eras, the Plague Column from the 18th century and the Fountain of Good Deeds from the 20th century.

The marked placeThe marked place

The 13th century Piast Castle, which is the oldest surviving castle in Upper Silesia. It served as the residence of the Piast Dukes of Opole and now houses a museum.

The do what they can to hold the historyThe do what they can to hold the history

The 14th century Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, which has been remodeled several times over time. It is the largest church in the city and impresses with its baroque facade, its Gothic choir and its rich interior.

It’s not so far to the rest of the worldIt's not so far to the rest of the world

The Opole Silesian Museum, which presents the history, culture and nature of the Upper Silesia region. It has an extensive collection of artworks, documents, photographs, costumes, weapons and much more.

King Casimir I of Opole is riding since five years on this placeKing  Casimir I of Opole is riding since five years on this place

The zoo, which was founded in 1930 and shows about 1000 animals from all over the world. It is one of the oldest and largest zoos in Poland and also offers a botanical garden and a playground.

Let’s have a look to this art project - and hear this stunning version of ”Umbrella”Let's have a look to this art project - and hear this stunning version of "Umbrella"


Opole is not only a city to see, but also to experience. The city offers many opportunities for fun and knowledge-expanding activities. Here are some examples:

This Pub makes jokes about former presidents of the polish republicThis Pub makes jokes about former presidents of the polish republic

A boat trip on the Oder that offers beautiful views of the city and the surrounding landscape. There are different routes and offers that vary depending on the season and interest.

Wandering the Odra by night: Karol Musioł was a mayor of Opole, they call him ”Papa”Wandering the Odra by night: Karol Musioł was a mayor of Opole, they call him "Papa"

A city tour with a qualified guide who tells the history and secrets of the city. There are different themes and languages to choose from, which can be customized according to your needs.

A visit to the planetarium, located in the building of the University of Opole. It offers various shows and programs that explain and illustrate the sky and space.

Lightning bridgeLightning bridge

A concert in the Opole Music Theater, which is one of the most modern stages in Poland. It offers a diverse repertoire of operas, operettas, musicals, ballets and concerts.

A stroll through the Green Island, which is a large park in the middle of the Oder. It is a popular place for relaxation and leisure, with many paths, benches, playgrounds and monuments.

Every building has it’s colorEvery building has it's color

How to getting there

Opole is easy to reach by car, bus or train. The city is located on the A4 motorway, which runs from Berlin via Dresden to Krakow. There are also several national and international bus services connecting Opole with other cities.

The main train station is located in the center of the city and offers regular train connections to Wroclaw, Katowice, Krakow, Warsaw and other locations. The nearest airport is Wroclaw Airport, which is approximately 90 km from Opole. From there you can take a bus or a train to Opole.

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Mordern times are coming: Bicycle streets in OpoleMordern times are coming: Bicycle streets in Opole The night is always youngThe night is always young and the bridges are burningand the bridges are burning
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Impressive and beautiful

Congratulations @koenau! You received the biggest smile and some love from TravelFeed! Keep up the amazing blog. 😍 Your post was also chosen as top pick of the day and is now featured on the TravelFeed front page.

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I really agree that this city is a traveler's paradise, seeing the city so beautiful and spectacular makes me so amazed

@koenau Yes you are right a very beautiful and picturesque city.

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