When you stroll along Repecki Park alleys, round buildings with shingle roofs emerge from behind trees. Each of them hosts an entrance to underground landing places for boats in which tourists cover a 600-meter section of the Black Trout Adit. It is worthwhile to take a closer look at these constructions.
If we come from the parking lot on Repecka Street, the first building we stumble across is the Sylwester shaft. In the old nomenclature it is known as the adit shaft no. 17. Its construction began in 1823. The shaft reached the depth of 30 m, which was supposed to facilitate the construction of the north-western section of the Friedrich Deep Adit. It is hosted by a vented, roofed building, which was partly reconstructed. In 1950s the shaft was opened for tourists as part of the Black Trout Adit. To reconstruct the non-existent, upper part of the wall (above the door and window level) local stone was used; the building was covered with a new roof preserving traditional form, based on original drawings of skylights in the Friedrich Mine.
The second building is the Ewa shaft, in the specialist literature referred to as the adit shaft no. 13. 20 m deep, it is located on the northern slope of the Drama River Valley. Its construction began in 1822 and once completed, the shaft was utilized to bore a section of the Friedrich Deep Adit in two directions. Similarly as in the case of the Sylwester shaft, its stone rotunda was partly reconstructed and covered with a traditional shingled-style roof.
The Park in Repty is one of the largest (over 400 ha) areas of this kind in the region and also the biggest cluster of veteran trees in Upper Silesia. You will find over 150 such trees here. The park’s history dates back to the early 1800s, when this area became part of lands owned by the Henckel von Donnersmarck family. The family decided to turn the forest, which had grown there since the Middle Ages, into a park and create a space for hunting. In 1898 a grand palace was put into use in the park. This was when the park gained the English style. In 1945 the palace was burned and in 1966 the Communist authorities blew it off. In 1970s the Upper Silesian Rehabilitation Center was built on the site. Right in the middle of the park you will find two shafts of the Black Trout Adit, inscribed in July 2017 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Drama River, running through the Repecki Park, is associated mainly with its natural values, but in fact it played a very important role in the history of mining expansion in Tarnowskie Góry. In order to efficiently drain a huge mining area, in 1834 the Friedrich Deep Adit was built, which discharged dozens cubic meters of water into the Drama River a day. The river meets the adit discharger a few hundred meters farther. Then Drama runs through the Zbrosławice commune and the town of Pyskowice, and flows into the water reservoir Dzierżno Małe. Next it runs into the Gliwice Canal and the Odra River. And so ultimately adit water ends in the Baltic Sea.
On outskirts of the Repecki Park, 1.5 km from the Ewa shaft, a unique stone construction stands, popularly known as the Gwarki Gate. It was built in 1834 of sandstone blocks, in the shape of a neoclassical portal. The gate is a decorative ending of the Friedrich Deep Adit. It is here where adit water leaves underground and through a discharger (an artificial water channel) flows hundreds meters, all the way to the Drama River.
On 9 July 2017 eyes of the world turned to Tarnowskie Góry. During the 41st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which took place in Krakow from 2 to 12 July, the “Tarnowskie Góry Lead-Silver-Zinc Mine and its Underground Water Management System” were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Beside the Historic Silver Mine and the Black Trout Adit, the family of the world’s most important historic monuments greeted over 20 post-mining facilities, located mainly in Tarnowskie Góry and in some parts of Bytom and the Zbrosławice commune. Historically and technically, they form a whole, connected with the extraction of silver, lead and zinc ores and underground mine drainage systems and the use of post-mining water for public water supply.
For more information on the World Heritage facilities please visit the website
Below we present a few of them.
When you plan a trip to Tarnowskie Góry, you simply must visit the town’s historic centre. It abounds in historic monuments, atmospheric cafés and restaurants. The most important pearls of architecture are to be found in the town square and its immediate surroundings. Strolling around the town’s main square, tourists may admire the town hall from late 1800s, the evangelical Church of the Saviour, famous arcaded houses and many historic tenement houses, among which the building of the “Sedlaczek” winery stands out in particular – the best preserved example of the ancient secular architecture, with Renaissance ceilings, portals and vaults.
The Museum is located on the second floor of the Sedlaczek House and, apart from tokens of remembrance related to the town history, you may see here the collection of modern Western Europe paintings and an exhibition dedicated to the stay of Jan III Sobieski, who stopped in Tarnowskie Góry on his way to the relief of Vienna in 1683.
(more on: www.muzeumtg.pl)
The wooden bell tower, located near the town square, is the only historic monument of the kind in Poland. It served to notify miners working underground at the Friedrich Mine about the start and the end of their shift. Until 1954 the bell tower was used in the open-cast mine Blachówka in Bobrowniki Śląskie. In February 1955, on the initiative of the Tarnowskie Góry Land Lovers Association, it was moved to Gwarki Square, where once miners’ meeting house had stood.
It is simply hard to miss. Raised in the 16th century, the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, with its nearly 60-meter tower, dominates the town. Inside the temple, which was rebuilt many times, tomb slabs, set of stained-glass windows and a few very good quality paintings have lasted down to our times. Adjacent to the church is St. Barbara’s Chapel, where the Saint is worshipped as the patroness of miners.
Built at the turn of 15th century, the Church of St. Martin is one of the oldest sacred historic buildings in Silesia. The church tower was erected in 1400, which is evidenced by a preserved inscription. The oldest extant parts of the church are a 15th-century door with fittings between the nave and the northern churchporch and a Gothic stone stoup inside the porch.
The only castle in Tarnowskie Góry is located near the Repecki Park. It was built in-between 1520 and 1570. Its construction was initiated by Piotr Woch, who earned quite a lot from mines being established at the time. Over the years, the castle had various owners and was redeveloped many times. In the years 1820 – 1945 it was owned by the Donnersmarcks. Recent years have seen its comprehensive modernisation, aimed to restore the castle’s Renaissance features and adapt it to new needs. Now the castle hosts the Fine Arts and Old Crafts Centre. It can also offer rich cultural experience. Concerts, shows and tournaments take place there. The castle should be a must-see place on your list. More information: www.fundacjakomplekszamkowy.pl
A tour by the world’s oldest uninterruptedly operating narrow gauge rail is a treat you cannot miss planning your visit to Tarnowskie Góry. The train runs between Bytom and Miasteczko Śląskie. It stops near the Historic Silver Mine on its way. The railway, part of the Industrial Monuments Route, is available for tourists the whole year through. It is operated by the Upper Silesian Narrow Gauge Railway Association (www.sgkw.eu)
Apart from history- or wildlife-related attractions, Tarnowskie Góry has a lot to offer recreation and sport lovers. This includes mainly two modern sport facilities – the Water Park and the Sports Hall. The first one mentioned was raised as one of the biggest recreation and swimming centres in Poland. A few swimming pools with the total water surface area amounting to 1159 square meters, saunas, gym, salt cave and many other attractions await guests to the Water Park. Nearby you will find a skate park and an artificial ice rink available in the winter.
The Sports Hall is a separate facility, where guests gain access to a multifunctional sports field with grandstands, tennis and badminton fields, four courts for squash and a climbing wall.