Kostrzyn’s Pompeii

Eden Polska Międzynarodowy Konkurs
na Najlepsze Europejskie Destynacje Turystyczne (EDEN)

Kostrzyn’s Pompeii

Kostrzyn, a small town with a population of 18,000 located in the western part of Poland, where the Warta flows into the Oder River, has experienced an exceptionally long and rich history. Kostrzyn’s main strengths are its geographic location and convenient access to transportation routes. The border town is situated only 80 km from the German capital of Berlin. Kostrzyn is located in a magnificent natural setting. An unspoiled natural environment, the proximity of the Warta Mouth National Park and an abundance of woods and lakes in the area create ample recreational options for tourists and ornithologists. History lovers will be interested to visit the Kostrzyn’s Pompeii – Old Town ruins and other attractions.

The most interesting monument of Kostrzyn are the Kostrzyn’s Pompeii – ruins of Kostrzyn Fortress and Old Town with preserved network of streets.

The history of Kostrzyn dates back to the 12th c. and, as is the case with any city located on the border, it has been anything but quiet. The town has changed hands, been destroyed by fires and consecutive wars. The biggest development of the city took place however in 1535, when it was governed by Jan Hohenzollern. The city has been made the capital of the so called New Marchy. There were many offices, government institutions and a marvellous castle with fortifications. They all made Kostrzyn to be one of the biggest fortresses in Europe. The armies of Gustavus Adolphus, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon came and went through the city. In 1945, 95% of the city was razed to the ground when the Soviet Army marched past Kostrzyn. Only the remains of the Old Town and a true jewel of European stature, the ruins of a 16th c. stronghold, survived. The stronghold built by Italian constructors was a true masterpiece. The sites, forgotten for decades, are now being carefully restored. Well preserved are the former street lanes and fundaments of the buildings. They all resemble Italian Pompeii. Since 1994, reconstruction work in Kostrzyn’s Old Town, also known as “Kostrzyn’s Pompeii”, has been under way thanks to cooperation with Kostrzyn’s sister cities: Spandau and Peitz. Last September, a cooperation agreement for the protection of military sights was signed by representatives of 17 towns from Poland, Germany and Russia that used to serve as strongholds. The work is difficult and expensive; however, it offers a great challenge for imaginative investors.

More at: www.muzeum.kostrzyn.pl