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Gorzow Wlkp

Photographs of Landsberg Warthe

Polish women in Gorzow Wlkp., Poland!

Two NKJO college students pictured in one of the main streets of Gorzow Wielkopolski in Poland. In the background is the impressive Gothic cathedral which dominates the skyline of the centre of Gorzow. More pictures of Gorzów.

Gorzow Wielkopolskie is one of two capitals of the Lubuskie region. The other being Zielona Gora. Gorzow has a population of 125,500, and is situated in the west of Poland. It lies in the centre of a triangle formed between Berlin (Germany), Poznan and Szczecin; and is located beside the river Warta, which is the 3rd biggest river in Poland after the Wisła and Odra.

Far back in history the area where Gorzow now stands was part of the Santok defence settlement and was called Kobyla Góra. In 1254 a town by the name of Landisberch Nova was founded by Albrecht de Luge. As time progressed the name evolved into Landsberg Warthe and it became a  prosperous part of the Prussian province of Brandenburg.

the 19th century tram system is still going strong in 2004!

Just before the 2nd World War Gorzow had 48 053 inhabitants and was an important and thriving industrial centre with a well developed river port and many metal working, textile, wood, paper, shoe, pharmaceutic, armaments, and food industry factories.  

During the second world war Gorzow was the location of two big prison camps: no 936 Stalag Alt Drewitz and Stalag III C. The area around Gorzow was also home to 12 work / labour camps. The remains of the biggest local camp at Woldenberg still stand and make an interesting excursion for any visitors to the area interested in wartime and/or modern history.

At the end of the war most of the residents of the city were forced to flee their homes in the face of the advancing Red Army. Those left was expelled when the Polish authorities took over control of the town following the decisions made at the Potsdam Conference and the subsequent redrawing of the Polish border. This marked the end of more than 700 years of German history in the area. 

the Sunday outdoor market in Gorzow

Under Polish control, Gorzow's expelled German population was replaced by Polish speakers from what is now Ukraine and the east of Poland. To complete the process of turning what had been the German city of Landsberg Warthe into a Polish one the name of the city was changed to Gorzow Wielkopolski.Under the communist system Gorzow continued to develop as a centre of industry: the most well-known and successful of which were Stilon, a producer of synthetic fabrics and Ursus where parts of agriculture machines were produced. Sadly after the changes of 1990 very little industry remains in the city, and because of this unemployment is currently at more than 20%.

There are several places worth visiting in the city itself. The central point in Gorzow is the old town with its 14th century Gothic Cathedral of the Assumption. This impressive gothic church was built in stages from the 13th century. The massive tower being added in the 14th century.

Close to the centre there are the remains of the 14th century town defensive walls. The average height of the walls is 4,5m. Apart from this Gorzow has three cinemas, a few art galleries, a theatre and two museums. Gorzow is also famous for its parks, there are several large and many small ones.

The main museum in Gorzow on Warszawska street houses some fine examples of handicrafts, and is surrounded by a park, which also contains a megalithic tomb from 2100 BC and is the site of an early medieval stronghold. Nearby stands the neo-Romanesque Church of St Stanislaw from the 18th century. Gorzow is also blessed with some fine historic houses from the XIX and beginning of XX century. 

In the direction of Gdansk one can find a large and well-tended cementary of Russian soldiers, killed during the fierce battles at the end of the second world war. A short walk away from this was the city's former cemetery in German times, which has been levelled and converted into a park. Nearby, there is a mental hospital, with buildings dating from the XIX century.

On the other side of the river is a palace dating from the XIX century with an interesting interior and the remains of what was once an impressive garden. Not far from there, there is the second museum – the old historic timber framed Granary from 1798.

Cricket practice at the 2nd High School in Gorzow

Gorzow is a good place for shopping, with a three large Tesco hypermarkets, two modern shopping centres, numerous small stores and an open-air market. It also has a number of night clubs, three cinemas and a new sports centre. Gorzow is also home to one of only two Polish cricket clubs, Polonia C.C, and the International 4x4 Offroad Club.

The area around Gorzow is one of the most picturesque in the whole of Poland, with numerous lakes, large stretches of forest and many quiet and unspoilt farming villages. The unspoilt nature of the Lubuskie region combined with Gorzow's location close to Berlin and the German border make the area an interesting and potentially attractive location for a holiday with a difference.

Finally, if you'd like to see what Gorzow looked like before the end of the Second World War, have a look at our Gorzów in old pictures section.

Polish name: Gorzów Wlkp

German Name: Landsberg Warthe

Province: Lubuskie

Nearby Large Cities: Berlin (90 minutes), Frankfurt Oder (60 minutes), Poznan (120 minutes), Szczecin (75 minutes), Zielona Gora (120 minutes)

Nearby Villages and Towns: Barlinek; Bialoblocie; Bogdaniec; Borek; Brzozowiec; Chwalecice; Chwalowice; Czechow, Debno, Deszczno, Dobiegniew; Gorki; Goscinowo; Gralewo; Janczewo; Karsko; Kłodawa, Kolczyn, Kostrzyn, Krasowiec, Krzeszyce, Lipki Wielkie, Lubiszyn, Lubniewice, Lubno, Mironice, Mysliborz, Nowiny Wielki, Nowogrodek, Polichno, Rogi, Rozanki, Santocko, Santok, Sciechow, Skwierzyna, Stare Kurowo, Strzelce, Swierkocin, Trzebiszewo, Ulim, Wawrow, Witnica, Zdroisko.

Local Attractions: Barlinecko - Gorzowski National Park; Drawa National Park; forests; numerous lakes such as Lipie; annual river, music and dance festivals; mini zoo; roadside shrines; safari zoo; Notecka Forest; Slonsk Bird Reserve; Miedzyrzecz fortifications

Related Links: Pictures of Gorzow Wlkp; Map of the Gorzów area

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