Monthly Archives: December 2010

Katowice: where old meets new

To mark the beginning of its “A year in images” photo exhibition in Katowice, Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza has published this short time-lapse, tilt-shift video about Katowice.

I’ve mentioned the city many times on this blog, partly because I know it well, partly because it’s eventually, although very slowly, shedding its “dirty, industrial and boring” image.

Heavy industry has always been a crucial part of this city’s – and the region’s – history, but over the past 20 years Katowice and many neighbouring cities have had to reinvent themselves. The coal mines and steel factories might be gone, but they have been replaced by General Motors, Fiat and hundreds of others which helped the area reinvent itself.

Katowice itself is undergoing probably one of the most dramatic changes in its recent history. The lovely, partly neglected and partly confused city centre is being re-developed. Mariacka St, once a very dodgy, but architecurally lovely street, has been pedestrianised and the city’s biggest eyesore, the main railway station, is eventually (although not without controversy) going to be rebuilt and its sorrounding area transformed into a very modern transport and shopping hub.

All that is captured in the film. From Nikiszowiec, the old working class district of Katowice, where window frames and sills are still painted bright red, to Rynek, the curiously underused central square. From the recently modernised Rondo gyratory (with the famous flying saucer-shaped Spodek concert hall in the background), to the about-to-be-completely-rebuilt bus and train station in the heart of the city.

Those who know Katowice, will find many familiar sights here, those who don’t should probably give it a chance. After all, it’s been shortlisted as one of Poland’s candidates to become the European City of Culture in 2016.

Katowice. Rok w fotografii Gazety Wyborczej
Uploaded by gazeta_katowice. – Watch the latest news videos.
If you happen to be in Katowice over the next few weeks, make sure to visit the exhibition, which is open from 9.12.2010 to 14.01.2011 in the Cultural Centre in Katowice.