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Opole: Old Town, Poland

Opole is one of the oldest Polish cities (founded at the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries), as well as one of the historical capitals of Upper Silesia. Currently, it's the capital of the Opolskie Voivodeship, as well as a place where the National Polish Song Festival takes place. The old town is characterized by an interesting architecture, and is well-kept and colorful.

Parking in Opole next to the National Centre of Polish Song

As usual, we search for the right parking lot to be near the Old Town. One of the places that fits us is the parking lot at Norbert Barlickiego street, opposite the National Centre of Polish Song and the Millennial Amphitheater, next to the Castle Pond (P1; GPS: 50.6664889, 17.9177603). Parking is not too big, but if you come as early, you will definitely find free places. Parking is payable, the fee is paid in the parking meter.

Alternatively, it is worth interested in a very large, underground parking lot on the Copernicus Square (at Solaris Center) (P2; GPS: 50.6690014, 17.9271803). Current price list is available on the Solaris Center website.

Towards the Main Market

We just parked at the National Center of the Polish Song to see the interesting Castle Pond and the Piast Tower. The Castle Pond (A; GPS: 50.6664786, 17.9190292) arose from the coat surrounding the Piast Castle. It is currently an attractive recreational element and we really liked it. The Piast Tower (B; GPS: 50.6673422, 17.9193831) with a height of about 40 meters is a residue after the Piast Castle. It is a pity that it stands next to unattractive building of the Provincial Office. Everything in the area is as modern, so the tower itself does not stand out too much and is a bit overwhelming. External architectural details do not make this location too interesting. Nice lighting after twilight makes the tower more attractive.

To reach the center of the Old Town, we go the Castle Bridge (C; GPS: 50.6675192, 17.9208075) above the branch of the Odra river named Młynówka. By the way, we look at the so-called "Opole Venice" - a row of tenement houses on the river. Behind the bridge, on the left side, we pass the Helena Lehr Square and the Memorial of Karol Musioł - the outstanding Chairman of the City Council in 1952-65 (D; GPS: 50.6677231, 17.9212633).

The Main Market in Opole

On the Main Market, which preserved its medieval arrangement, you can find the large Town Hall building, at which the monument of a man on the horse stands. The monument presents the Prince of Opole and Raciborz that lived at the beginning of the 13th century. He came from the dynasty of the Piast and founded Opole (E; GPS: 50.6682381, 17.9224622). The Main Market is surrounded by interesting and colorful tenement houses (some with arcades). Some of them were rebuilt after World War II.

University of Opole

From the Main Market we walk the Krakowska Street, and then go through the Small Market. Then we enter the hill where the University of Opole is located. There is interesting chapel of St. Adalbert (not available for visitors) at the main building (Collegium Maius) of the University (F; GPS: 50.6687533, 17.9257561).

The Artists Square on the University Hill

There are some sculptures of outstanding Polish artists on the University Hill (G; GPS: 50.6693431, 17.9259975). Interesting poses and location makes the sculptures seem almost alive - you can obviously take pictures with them.

We come back alongside an interesting building called Collegium Minus belonging to the University and currently meeting administrative functions (H; GPS: 50.6696033, 17.9258928). Nearby there is a restored statue of Saint Christopher from 1867. In front of it, there's a 18th-century figure of Saint Nepomuk. We go by the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows and Saint Adalbert (I; GPS: 50.6690694, 17.9253403) and we go to Daszyński Square.

The Ceres Fountain on Daszyński Square

We walk the Small Market, and then the streets of Zwierzyniecka, Ozima and Hugo Kołłątaja to reach the Daszyński Square, where a beautiful multifaded sculpture stands. It is the Ceres Fountain in the Art Nouveau style from 1907 (J; GPS: 50.6654994, 17.9275344). As we learn from Wikipedia, "the lower sculptures show two fishermen with a network, miner with a pickax and a woman with cereal snacks, and a woman with a basket of fruit, symbolizing the fishing, limestone industry and agriculture of Opole area. Above them, on a goblet pedestal ties the figure of Ceres, goddess of the harvest, with a child on his hand and with a spindle". The place is an oasis of peace visited by people who want to relax from urban traffic and noise.

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