Katowice

Nikiszowiec

share

Built between 1908 and 1912 to house workers in the backyard of their place of employment – the large smoke-churning Wieczorek (formerly ‘Giesche’) coal mine – the enclosed residential complex of Nikiszowiec is composed of six compact four-sided three-storey blocks with inner courtyards. Distinguished by its uniformity of style – red brick buildings accented with red-painted windowframing, and narrow streets joined by handsome arcades – the neighbourhood was designed by Georg and Emil Zillman of Berlin-Charlottenburg to be a completely self-sufficient community for 1,000 workers with a school, hospital, police station, post office, swimming pool, bakery and church. Thanks to WWI and the subsequent Silesian Uprisings – St. Anne’s Church (Pl. Wyzwolenia 21) wasn’t able to be finished until 1927, but it became the crowning glory of the neighbourhood as soon as it was.

From the Wilson Gallery downtown Nikiszowiec is a short eight minute walk (or one bus stop) down ul. Szopienicka into Nikiszowiec proper. Make a left onto ul. Zofii Nałkowskiej (towards Eurohotel and the ice rink complex) and then your first right to officially enter the district on ul. Rymarska and you’ll pass the new Tourist Information Office inside a recently unveiled branch of the Katowice Historical Museum at number 4. Here you can pick up a handy free map as well as other information about the district. The museum illustrates the everyday lives of the region’s miners and other blue-collar folks through a series of ethnographic exhibits, including an interesting gallery of painting by Nikiszowiec’s renowned Janowska Group, and shouldn’t be missed.

Though it would ironically seem be a socialist planners’ wet dream, Nikiszowiec actually makes a handsome departure from the mix of brutalist communist architechture and contemporary glass and steel towers of downtown Katowice and has become a prized location for amateur photographers and budding filmmakers. Though the district is generally safe to wander, you should still exercise sensible precautions about where you stick both your nose and that fancy new digital camera; and who you do it in front of.

EDITOR'S PICKS & FEATURED VENUES

Nikiszowiec Information Office

 ul. Rymarska 4 (Industrial Ethnography Museum, Nikiszowiec)
EDITOR'S PICK
Located inside the Industrial Ethnography Museum, this should be the first port of call for anyone on a
Editor's pick
Take your guide with you Download a pdf Browse our collection of guides
Top
City Essentials

Download our new City Essentials app

download 4.5