This trip begins in the town square. It is a typical square so popular in the Medieval times with a market, town hall and the cloth hall. Here the tourists can admire a 14-metre-high Column of Virgin Mary, made by an Austrian artist, John Melchior Oresterreich. The column was erected as an act of thanksgiving for saving the town from an outbreak of cholera in 1708 and 1715.
Just next to the town square, in Dluga Street there is the Regional Information Centre with a Tourist Information Office.
Let’s head towards Nowa Street that used to be one of the most important trade streets in Raciborz.
On the left, we pass a parish church of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, dated back to 1205. A baroque altar made by Salomon Steinhof is said to be the most beautiful part of the church. In 1654 a richly decorated stalls were placed in the presbytery, they were modelled upon the stalls seen in St Mary’s church in Cracow.
Just next to the church, behind the square of priest Pieczka we can admire an astonishing baroque statue of John Nepomucen, made by John Melchior Oesterreich.
Now, let’s turn into Solna Street that welcomes the tourists with beautiful tenant houses containing both neo-Gothic and Renaissance elements, and then let’s move to Lecznicza Street with a building of a former hospital, dated back to 1802. Here we can also find a huge late Classicist edifice of the District Court, built in 1826. At first it was a seat of the Higher Country Court.
Just opposite the building there is a square with a statue of Stanislaw Moniuszko, a great Polish composer, author of songs, operas, operettas and ballets overflowed with the Polish patriotism and folk motives.
The medieval planning arrangement ends at the court. In the past, there was the Nowa Gate with a bridge and a moat. Now, let’s turn right where we pass a District Court and a former building of Court of the First Instance. Today it houses a borstal. The edifice was built in the Netherlands Neo –Renaissance style in 1889.
Now, we turn into Wilenska Street, where the remnants of evangelical church (non-extant today) can be found. The former presbytery houses The Registry Office while the parish house is a seat of the Craftsmen Guild. A Musical College is situated in the place where the former church stood.
When passing the crossroad we can see a row of eclectic tenant houses designed by Paul Kuhnert.
Following Lwowska Street we get to Opawska Street and the monument of Arka Bozek, a great activist fighting for the Polish character of Silesia. The statue was brought from Markowice, one of the districts of Raciborz.
Then, we head towards Slowackiego Street where we can find an impressive edifice of Higher Vocational State School in Raciborz and Foreign Languages Teacher Training College, built on the foundations of the Polish girls' grammar school in the 1930s.
Slowackiego Street is the longest Polish and probably European alley of Turkish hazel tree. At the end of it we turn right into Ocicka Street, that leads to the crossroad of Starowiejska Street and John Paul II Street. Here, on the right we can see monastic buildings of Missionary Sisters, ‘Anuntiata’.
In John Paul II Street we can visit a baroque pilgrim’s Church of St Mary with the miraculous painting of Our Lady of Raciborz (16 th century), whose crown was consecrated by the Pope John Paul II in Gliwice, in 1999.
Then through Zorska, Ocicka, Slowackiego and Wczasowa Streets we reach the church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Warszawska Street. It was built on rotunda plan in the 30s by A. Otto Lindner, an architect. In front of the church there is another statue of St John Nepomucen.
When we leave the church on the right hand side is a 19 th-century building of a school, that used to house a Teacher Seminar, and since 1926 a secondary school for girls.
Moving across Ocicka Street we get to a cross-over gate with sculptures of a Sower and Harvester. In Warynskiego Street we can admire modernistic tenant houses from the turn of the 20s and 30s.
Now, let’s see a 19 th-century complex of prison buildings situated in a nearby park. Here we can look at a very interesting building of penitentiary, modelled on the famous Berlin prison, ‘Moabit’, built between 1845 and 1951. At that time it was the newest prison in Europe and probably in the world too. Today, it is a maximum security prison. So far, no escapes have been reported.
Now, let’s enter to a Roth Park, called after the name of the partner city in Germany, situated in an area of a former hospital cemetery. Here we can find two monuments of nature: a unique bald cypress ( Taxodium distichum ) and English ivy ( Hedera helix ). Strolling along the bank of the pond, we pass the remnants of a statue of heroes from the interwar period. Moreover, there is also a renovated sepulchral figure dated to 1915.
Just behind the trees we can notice Neo-Gothic buildings of the Joseph Rostek Hospital, that was used until 2003. Opposite the hospital we can see a modernistic villa that belonged to a medical adviser, Waldemar Orzechowski. Today it houses a kindergarten.
In Staszica Street we can admire numerous eclectic tenant houses representing the north –German Neo-Baroque, built between 1890 and 1900 and Secessional tenant houses in Sienkiewicza Street. The latter were designed by Herman Arwinski in 1906.
Sienkiewicza Street takes us to Jagiello Square, where St Notburgi’s Welfare Services House is located. On the right we pass the edifice of Bank Slaski, built in the 1930s and joined to the building of Internal Revenue built in 1880. Nowadays, only a row of columns in the Doric order and frescos with floral decorations can give an impression of its glamour.
Next, we move forward to a park. On the left there is a Neo-Gothic donjon and well-preserved fragment of the defence walls.
When walking through Dlugosz Square we get to Zborowa Street with a winery founded in 1872.
In Adam Mickiewicz Street we can find a statue of Joseph von Eichendorff, a late romantic poet from Lubowice. The statue unveiled in 1994 is a faithful copy of the monument that disappeared in mysterious circumstances in 1945.
Then, let’s move towards the town square. On the way via Dominican Square we pass a green in Szewska Street. During the war there was the last Jewish synagogue in Raciborz.
At the end of our trip we recommend visiting St Jacob’s church with a baroque sepulchre chapel of von Gaschin. The vault is decorated with stucco art (1635 –55) and contains the coat of arms as well as an altar made from black marble. In front of the church we can once again see a statue of John Nepomucen from 1720.
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