The city’s attraction
Dąbrowa Górnicza is a city with an extremely varied landscape. On the one hand, industrial plants dominate the urban landscape, whilst, on the other hand, picturesque recreational areas, sites of natural interest and interesting industrial archæology predominate.
As a result of Dąbrowa’s having 4 beautiful, clear lakes, with a surface area of 860ha, 4100ha of woodland and 180ha of parkland, the city is a recreational base for the whole Upper Silesian region. This has been such a magnet as to attract modern, water-based cultural facilities, such as the Nemo – Water World Aquapark and the Sports and Entertainment Arena, that, taken together with the natural attractions of Europe’s unique Błędowska Desert, it results in Dąbrowa Górnicza’s surprising people with how many interesting leisure-time opportunities it has.
Dąbrowa Lake District
The group of four Pogoria Lakes is one of the most intriguing and attractive places in Dąbrowa Górnicza. This is all the more so, because each lake is different and offers different attractions. Pogoria I is best for those wanting to relax at the lakeside, as it has the best developed range of tourist accommodation. Nature and fishing enthusiasts will find Pogoria II the best. If someone loves sailing or windsurfing, they should choose Pogoria III. In sum, there is something for everyone here. Marked cycle tracks run round all 4 lakes. Dąbrowa Górnicza was officially recognized by the organizers of the National Wind and Water Fair, in 2005, when, in the towns category, it was awarded first prize for the most Friendly Shore.
The Błędowska Desert is an attraction for both nature enthusiasts and sensation-seekers. The desert covers an area of 20km2, comprising two sections, separated by the River Biała Przemsza valley. Currently, the desert is overgrown, mainly as a result of the intentional planting of Lyme Grass (a coastal sand dune plant) and Salix acutifolia (Caspian Willow) in the 1960s.
During the Second World War, the Błędowska Desert was an exercise ground for the Afrika Korps, under Rommel. After the war, this area was a training ground for Polish troops. In the 1960s, the desert area was used for outdoor locations in the shooting of Pharaoh, a film by Jerzy Kawalerowicz. In 1999, NATO forces trained here during international manœuvres. More recently, people driving quads and moto-cross motorcycles can be encountered here, driving at extraordinarily high speeds.
Zagłębie Palace of Culture
This facility was built between 1951 and 1958 in socialist-realist style, totally to the specifications of Zbigniew Rzepecki. The palace houses many institutions and activity clubs. Its total capacity, of 63,000m3, ranks it among the largest institutions of such kind in Poland. Zagłębie Palace of Culture in Dąbrowa is the place where famous artists have taken a special liking to performing on its stage, such as Anna Maria Jopek, the Wilki Band, Krzysztof Krawczyk and the actors from both Chorzów’s Entertainment Theatre and the Old Theatre, in Cracow. Good painting, graphics or sculpture form a repertoire of which the Palace Art Gallery can be proud, The gallery exhibits the works of both amateur artists and those having a very long, rich artistic career. Since 2007, the Kadr arthouse cinema, which mainly presents ambitious European films, has been putting on performances at the Zagłębie Palace of Culture. The Amateur Film Club and Film Discussion Club have also been based at the Kadr.
Nemo – Water World
The Nemo – Water World Aquapark is the largest facility of its kind in the Upper Silesian Province. This sports and recreation complex provides entertainment for visitors of all ages. The complex is to be found in the urban park named after General J. Haller. It covers an area of about 5ha. There are indoor and outdoor (winter and summer) swimming pools, saunas, solaria, cafés, pubs, restaurants and a disco.
The Nemo – Water World Aquapark has a swimming pool complex to suit everyone’s needs. An Olympic-size swimming pool, a paddling pool for children, 3 slides, a Jacuzzi, hydro- and underwater massage equipment, indoor and outdoor swimming pools are available for everyone to use. A visit to the park offers not only entertainment, but also an opportunity to take care of one’s own health: there is a salt cavern with a unique interior, in which the air is saturated with marine micro-elements, offering fantastic relaxation for body and soul.
All of those who wish to are also invited to the restaurant, pub and bowling alley in the same building. There are also 2 summer tea gardens available to everyone.
CENTRUM sports and entertainment arena
The arena was built in 2003-2004 and is the second such facility, in terms of size, in the Upper Silesian Province. It is located in the very centre, in Haller Park, which makes it easily available to a very large number of the city’s inhabitants.
The Arena in figures:
- Seats in the auditorium 3000
- Main arena 1630m2
- Tennis courts 722m2
- Fitness room 196m2
- Gym 83m2
- Parking places 180
Despite having been open for only a short period of time, the arena can take pride in having hosted numerous prestigious events on a country-wide and European scale. The most important thing for all the sports fans from Dąbrowa Górnicza is the fact that CENTRUM is the arena for the sporting contests of the Dąbrowa “goldies”, that is, the players of the MKS Dąbrowa Górnicza female volleyball team, which competes with the best Polish and European teams. The first division basketball players also play here.
Sztygarka City Museum
Everyone who would like to see the office of the first mayor of Dąbrowa Górnicza or learn how Zagłębie inhabitants fought for independence, should visit the Sztygarka City Museum. Here, you can also see what the inside of a mine looks like and how the Katowice Steelworks (now ArcelorMittal Poland) came into existence. Visiting the museum exhibits, you can find out that the earliest industry in the Dabrowa Górnicza area goes back a long way, dating from the Middle Ages. It is, for instance, shown in the museum’s collection including the real “Steelworker’s Treasure”, dating from the 17th century.
Those who decide to visit the museum will also be able to acquaint themselves with non-European culture, from India, Papua New Guinea, South America and Madagascar. It’s also worth looking at the collection of Indian dolls wearing costumes from different regions.
The historical building most characteristic of Dąbrowa Górnicza is the Bazylika p.w. Matki Boskiej Anielskiej (Basilica dedicated to the Angelic Mother of God), built in the neo-Gothic style in 1898, and designed by Stanisław Pomianowski.
Special attention should be paid to the Resursa Obywatelska building erected in 1895. Meetings with eminent cultural personages staying in Dabrowa were held in this building. During the Second World War, the edifice was commandeered by the Germans. Today, it is the home of numerous, mainly financial institutions,.
Tenement buildings of the former Huta Bankowa (Bankowa Steelworks)
Buildings set aside specially for French officials and Huta Bankowa staff. It was established in about 1918, together with the “Green” buildings. It consisted of 10 residential buildings, housing 272 two-room flats.