Bydgoszcz

Valley of Death

  Dolina Śmierci     21 Aug 2019
                   The main memorial sculpture.
                   Photo by Piotr Przybyszewski.
A chilling site where some 1200-1400 Poles and Polish Jews (the exact number is unknown) were murdered by the Nazis and buried in a mass grave between October 10th and November 26th, 1939. This was not the first WWII mass grave in Bydgoszcz - the narrow and winding valley was chosen as a new execution site after Tryszczyn and Borówno started to overflow with dead bodies. After the war, victims’ remains were exhumed and buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery founded on Wzgórze Wolności (Freedom Hill). In 1975, a memorial depicting broken stalks of wheat, created by sculptor Józef Makowski, was unveiled here, followed by a Way of the Cross constructed between 2004 and 2009, which culminates in a striking, modular ‘Gate to Heaven’ monument. Known as the Bydgoszcz Calvary, the sanctuary doubles as a stage for yearly Christian Passion Plays.

To get here, take tram no. 3 or 5 from ‘Plac Teatralny’ to ‘Przylesie’, then change to bus 69 or 89 (you have to cross the street - the correct stop is on ul. Korfantego, also called ‘Przylesie’) and get off at ‘Twardzickiego’. Better yet, let bydgoszcz.jakdojade.pl figure out the optimal route for you.

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