Kołobrzeg

A health resort with a history…

Taking into account the town’s location it is not surprising that it passed from hand to hand so many times throughout more than a thousand years of its history, and that that lands owned by it were constantly fought for by someone. According to the local chroniclers, Kołobrzeg’s tradition dates back to the Congress of Gniezno, during which Otto III established one of Poland’s first dioceses here. However, Thietmar’s Chronicle mentions that there was a settlement here as early as the 8th century whose inhabitants earned a living mainly by evaporating salt.

But at that time Kołobrzeg did not lie on the sea coast; it lay a bit to the south, in the area of the present-day village of Budzistowo, where the oldest monument of sacred art in Pomerania – the thirteenth century Church of John the Baptist – stands. It was only after Warcisław III granted the incorporation charter to the town in 1255 that the settlement was moved.

Kołobrzeg very soon became one of Medieval centers of trade. By receiving Hanseatic merchants, the town gained fame and wealth, traces of which can still be observed today, for instance the 15th century tenement house at Emilii Gierczak street.

For a long time the town also played the role of a fortress. It was surrounded by fortifications, few of which have survived until today. Among the most popular ones is the Fuse Tower at Dubois street, which presently houses the PTTK tourist society. Another tower, called the Prison Tower, almost completely destroyed and somewhat forgotten even by locals, is located at Wąska street.

Undoubtedly, one of the town’s most characteristic landmarks is the Co-Cathedral Collegiate Church of the Assumption of Mary, which has overlooked the town for centuries. It is Europe’s only 5-nave church, largely destroyed during WWII, which was used as the Polish Arms Museum during the communist times. You could see heavy military equipment in the naves, and the roof was used as a viewing platform.

When talking about Kołobrzeg one must not forget about the Town Hall and the legend surrounding this building. In one of its pillars you can find a low relief of a human head. It depicts Jakub Adebar, an alderman, who in 1524 decided to lead a townsmen’s revolt against the mayor. The revolt was successful and the authorities were overthrown. However, soon afterwards Adebar himself started to betray the townsmen’s trust and was executed in the town hall’s courtyard. The legend has it that by touching the head you are guaranteed to return to Kołobrzeg one day.

Kołobrzeg is certainly a place where not only the sea is combined with the Earth, but also history with the present day, and entertainment with leisure. It is here that, apart from sandy beaches, the sun and iodine, the tourists can enjoy events like Jacek Kaczmarski Poetic Song Festival, or concerts and exhibitions of the Regional Culture Center named after Zbigniew Herbert. Kołobrzeg lets you achieve harmony between your body and soul, boost you vitality and feel young again. This is a place that awaits you any time of the year.