Bydgoszcz

 

History of
Bydgoszcz

City Tour
Bydgoszcz

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Bydgoszcz

History of Bydgoszcz
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City Tour Bydgoszcz 
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History of Bydgoszcz

 This 362 thousand  city is the administrative capital of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province and the seat of the governor of the province. The city is situated between the rivers Brda and Vistula, on the edge of the Bydgoszcz Forests. In the 13th century, when Poland was divided into small principalities, Bydgoszcz belonged to the Kujawy principality and, after its division in 1267, to the Inorocław principality. In the years 1329-1343, Bydgoszcz was ruled by the Teutonic Knights. In 1346 it was granted municipal rights from the Polish King Casimirus the Great. During the war against the Teutonic Knights (1454 – 1466), Bydgoszcz was the headquarters of the Polish army. After the peace agreement, concluded in 1466, Bydgoszcz started to flourish. This was because the Vistula River trading route was accessible. The main commodities were salt and corn. 

Between the 14th and 17th centuries, numerous corn granaries, warehouses, mills and grout granaries were built. From the end of the 16th century until late 17th century there was a mint on the Młyńska (Mill) Island, entitled to issue 100 ducat coins that had the highest value in Poland. Initially private, later it belonged to the king. In 1772 Poland was partitioned and Bydgoszcz became part of Prussia. 

     
In 1773 the Prussian King, Frederick the 2nd, ordered the construction of the Bydgoszcz Channel that joined Noteć and Brda. In 1920 Bydgoszcz returned to the newly reborn Poland. Initially within the borders of the Poznań Province, after the administration reform Bydgoszcz was part of the Pomorze Province. After 1945 Bydgoszcz changed its administrative status again. It was the capital of the Pomorze Province and later – the Bydgoszcz Province. 

Bydgoszcz is an important centre of culture, industry, sports and services. As regards culture, the following institutions are active in Bydgoszcz: Polish Theatre, Opera Nova and Pomorze Philharmonic. The city is also famous for its educational offer, boasting of its University of Technology and Life Sciences, Casimirus the Great University, Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music and Ludwik Rydygier Collegium Medicum of Nicolaus Copernicus University.



City Tour Bydgoszcz

 Let’s start our walk on the Old Town Square. Its western frontage is dominated by the former seat of the Jesuits’ Collegium, erected in the years 1644-1653 and founded by the bishop of the Chełmińska Land. This building was rebuilt many times in the 18th century. After the suppression of the Jesuit’s order in 1782, the building still seated a school. In 1879 it became a town hall: the seat of the city authorities. Next to the town hall we can see St. Ignatio Loyola Church, formerly a Jesuit’s church, built in 1638. On the stairs of this church, the Treaty of Bydgoszcz was signed in 1657, preventing the Prussian support for Swedish invasion on Poland. The characteristic point in the North is the Golden Eagle Apothecary that dates back to the end of the 16th century. In the East, it’s worth  paying attention to the number 19 house. It is believed to have been an inn, and it is here that the famous Polish magician, Mr. Twardowski, is believed to have stayed, cured people and given them back their youth. To commemorate this legend, everyday at 1.13 and 9.13 p.m. a two-meter figure of Master Twardowski is shown, bowing and greeting the passers-by. We go down the Farna Street and head towards St. Marcin and St. Nicolaus Cathedral. This brick church was erected in the years 1466-1502 in the late Gothic style and is the oldest one in the city. It is also a Shrine to the Virgin Mary, where the cult object is the Icon of Our Lady with a Rose, placed in the main altar. In the interior of the church there are numerous pictures, altars, sculptures, headstones and commemorative plaques. In the southern aisle there can be found a renaissance, brass baptismal font from the early 17th century. In front of the cathedral we can see the 19th century monument of St. Jan Nepomucen, sentenced to death by king Vaclav the 4th. He was reportedly accused of… keeping the secret of a confession. Nepomucen is a patron saint of bridges and water crossings, as well as farmlands, which he protects against flood and draught

Bazylika
     
We continue our walk down the Przyrzecze Street and turn right into the Ku Młynom Street. We can see Młynówka, a branch of the Brda river, that encircles the Mill Island, previously called the King’s Island. In Middle Ages, this island built-up with warehouses, corn granaries, mills and a mint that was functioning here until the 16th century. It was propelled by five water wheels. In the years 1815-1825, the Prussian authorities carried out a modernisation of the industrial facilities. The old king’s mills, warehouses and granaries were demolished with few exceptions, and replaced with new mills and warehouses, built in brick. Turning right into Mennica Street we will get to the White Granary, a timber-frame building (wood, reed, clay) from the late 18th century. The name of the granary comes from the colour of the walls. Inside, we can admire the historical collection of the Regional Museum in Bydgoszcz. Moreover, on the island we will see a 16th century miller’s house, a groat mill from the 15th century and a coach house from the 18th century. The picturesque area of Młynówka is known as the Venice of Bydgoszcz.

Twardowski w oknie na StarymRynku w Bydgoszczy
     
  We go back to the Przyrzecze Street that leads us to the Długa Street and Pod Blankami Street. There, we can see the monument of the Polish king Casimirus the Great, unveiled in 2006. It was him, who granted Budgoszcz municipal rights in 1346. The three-ton brass figure of the mounted king is placed on a granite sole that weighs more than a dozen tons. On the Pod Blankami Street, the oldest and the longest (app. 80 meters) strip of mediaeval defensive walls is preserved. The walls date back to the 14th and 15th centuries. The fortifications were damaged during the wars with Sweden and the Great Northern War. In the early 19th century they were eventually demolished. The Pod Blankami Street leads us back to the Długa Street, which, in turn, gets us to the Zbożowy (Corn) Market and further to the Benedyktyńskie Rounabout. Behind the roundabout, in a park, we can see the Benedictine church of Our Lady Queen of Peace, constructed in the years 1552-1557 in the late Gothic style. After the suppression of the Benedictine Order in 1816, the building was donated to the evangelic congregation. Since 1860 it has been a garrison church. The interior of the church is modestly furnished with a rococo pulpit, dating back to the 18th century. There are also a few headstones. The architectural details of this church are particularly valuable. Let’s now head North, towards Brda, passing the facilities of the University of Technology and Life Sciences. Ahead of the bridge on Brda, we will turn left into Grodzka Street, to see the characteristic complex of three granaries, a recognisable landmark of the city. The first one, number 7, also called the Dutch, was built in 1793, and the remaining two, bearing the numbers 9 and 11, date back to the first half of the 19th century. Those old corn granaries are timbre-framed. We reach the Mostowa Street, where we will turn right, and cross the bridge on the Brda. Our walk comes to an end.
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