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Friday 31 October 2014

Salt Mine in Wieliczka

1st November 2014

The trip in Salt Mine starts from Daniłowicz Shaft. This shaft was reconstructed many times. At present it connects the surface with Level VI of the mine ( approx. depth 243 m) The shaft is divided into two sections: a staircase and a hoist ( for the elevator).Visitors enter the mine descending 378 steps down the staircase. The tour begins at the shaft bottom on Level 1 called Bono  ( 64 metres underground).
Typical trip in the salt mine includes 28 points.

Urszula Chamber
The first is Urszula Chamber was carved out in the upper part of the a large block of green salt. Miners began their work here approx. 1649 and extracted the salt manually for almost 400 years.
At the beginning of the 20th century Upper Urszula Chamber was secured with cribs and included in the tourists route.  The device for the vertical transport of salt together with the hand cross were reconstructed in the Urszula chamber.
A cart referred as Hungarian dog was placed near the fore-shaft. The Hungarian dogs were pushed along wooden sleepers -boards which were reconstructed and installed into chamber's floor and corridors. Metal wheels made a specific sound which miners associated with the barking of dogs.

Mikołaj Kopernik Chamber. The sculpture was carved in salt in 1973.
The second chamber on the tourist route is Mikołaj Kopernik Chamber - it was named after Nicolaus Copernicus the great Polish astronomer who visited Wieliczka undergrounds in 1493 while being a student at Jagiellon University. A monument celebrating the 500th anniversary of this outstanding Pole's birth was placed in the centre of chamber.
The chamber cut in a block of salt remained intact thanks to a special system of wooden cribs securing the chamber.Wood from deciduous trees were used to build mining machines, whereas coniferous trees timber was used to erect securing and support structure.

Thanks for visiting

Thursday 30 October 2014

"Wieliczka" Salt Mine

31st October 2014

This post is dedicated to Wieliczka "Salt Mine" because my blogger Andrew- High Riser  http://highriser.blogspot.com/ asked me about this famous landmark. I am a lucky person because yesterday it turned out one of my students Paul is visiting the Salt Mine  in Wieliczka today  and he has taken for me some photos in the salt mine and has bought a fantastic guidebook..

Wieliczka is located 80 km from my place and 10 km from the centre of Cracow. Wieliczka is the only mining facility in the world operating continuously since the Middle Ages until now. Wieliczka Salt Mine is on the First UNESCO List World Cultural and Natural Heritage since 8th September 1978.

Daniłowicz Shaft was built in 1635-1640 when Miołaj Daniłowicz was responsible for management of the salt mine. Initially the shaft was used only for transport salt to the surface , but since 19th century it has began to serve as a communication shaft for salt mine officials and tourists visiting the mine more and more often. So every trip stars here....

The remnants  of the first salt-mine works producing salt from surface brines date back to the Middle of the Neolith period 6000 B.C. and were discovered in the area later referred as Wieliczka.

So fantastic history

Be continue .. tomorrow. I am going to write a lot of post about this salt masterpiece..

I beclieve it will be interesting trip with me as a guide...

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Theatre in Katowice and best jugglers are here

30th October 2014

I love going to the theatre but I am short of time as  usual. There are two theatres in Katowice the big one and the small one. This one is located in the heart of the city next to the Market Square which is renovated now. But I believe I will visit Theatre before Christmas..

It was built in 1907

Silesian Theatre Wyspianski in Katowice is the most dramatic scene in the area of Upper Silesia. Theater building was erected in 1907, designed by architect Carl Moritz. 
For 15 years it housed the German theater, in October 1922, after returning to the borders of Silesia, Polish, began his artistic activity in the Polish Theatre. 

Theatre serves as the national stage in Silesia. In the theater have a permanent place of work of Polish and international classics (Stage High), contemporary Polish dramas (Chamber Stage), theater performances also draw on the third stage - in the hall of initiation of the former Masonic lodge (The scene in the paint shop). 

Theatre has a wide range of international contacts. In recent years, presented his performances in various parts of Europe (Moscow, Lvov, Vilnius, Brussels, Stockholm, Vienna, Paris). 

As  know it is worth watching "Smashed" - you can see the best jugglers from Europe here. First time in Poland. Great idea.  .... why not..?

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Wise woman who was born in Katowice

29 th  October 2014

Since October twice a week on Monday and Friday I am in Katowice because I teach students. So I love walking and sightseeing there. Luckily last Monday the weather was perfect but sunny. While I was walking to University I have noticed a big photo of woman which was painted on one of Silesian University building. This photo presents Maria Goeppert Mayer. 

Maria Goeppert
Born June 28, 1906
KattowitzGerman Empire
(today Katowice, Poland)
DiedFebruary 20, 1972 (aged 65)
San Diego, California, United States
United States
InstitutionsSarah Lawrence College
Columbia University
Los Alamos Laboratory
Argonne National Laboratory
University of California, San Diego
Alma materUniversity of Göttingen
Doctoral advisorMax Born
Known forNuclear Shell Structure
Notable awardsNobel Prize for Physics (1963

It was decision to commemorate this wise woman who was Katowice born.

Park close to University.

Greetings from sunny Upper Silesia

Monday 27 October 2014

The new and modern building in Katowice

28th October 2014

The long-awaited opening of the The Polish National Radio Orchestra’s new concert hall took place on 2nd October with the opening gala including a concert by Krystian Zimerman, Poland’s finest classical pianist.

Krystian Zimerman photo was taken by my c ose friend on opening ceremony

In my opinion is very impressive and modern building . I like it.

Photos were taken 27th October.It was sunny day.

The NOSPR’s new hall was designed by Tomasz Konior from Tomasz Konior Studio and is centrally located at Wojciech Kilar Square where the former “Katowice” coal-mine was located. The great Polish classical musicians Krzysztof Penderecki, Krystian Zimerman and Kilar himself, were engaged in the hall’s design and provided suggestions throughout the building process. The result, a remarkable architectural achievement, with excellent acoustics.
The Opening Festival will last until October 31st.

Sunday 26 October 2014

Halloween I like it

27th October 2014

Halloween is not Polish tradition but it is becoming more and more popular at my place,The reason for this aversion towards Halloween probably derives from the traditional christian character of my country – in the past dressing up as ghosts and monsters was considered a dangerous pagan ritual. That belief has been passed on though the ages and has stuck deeply in the conscience of the Poles. Another factor is that we were always more focused on celebrating All Saints Day, which in our culture is a very melancholic and pensive holiday, so it doesn’t correspond well with the festive and joyful character of Halloween.

 My students love "Trick and Treat". As ESL teacher we talk about Halloween every year. We prepare Jack Lanterns and we love "Apple Bobbing" it is a fun. 

Currently at my country there are a lot of pumpkins in the shops and Hallloween decorations and they are lovely.

Halloween Man in the supermarket Tesco . I love it..

Fortunately, as the world becomes more and more of a „global village”, we start to notice that celebrating Halloween couldn’t be further from being a mockery of the dead. In fact, it constitutes mainly of great fun for both children and adults. Each year on October 31st all sorts of parties and events spring up like mushrooms around the country. Even some schools organize dances for their students. Although trick-or-treating still isn’t very common, we can see occasional groups of kids in costumes going around the houses in their neighborhoods.

Thanks for visiting

Memorial Day is coming

26th October 2014

All Saints’ Day is an annual national holiday in Poland to celebrate the saints on November 1st. It is also known as the Day of the Dead, as many people remember dead family and friends on this day.

Roman-Catholic Cementary in my suburb

The old chapel in the graveyard where funerals services are held.

Typical Roman Catholic graveyard in my country

The oldest grave..

It is fantastic monument and so impressive

All Saints’ Day is an official public holiday in Poland, so schools, banks, government offices and most private businesses are closed. 
Special church services are held to commemorate the saints in various towns and cities in Poland. Many people in Poland lay flowers and candles on the graves of deceased family members and friends in cemeteries. This tradition continues through to All Souls’ Day which is on November 2, but it is not a public holiday.

 According to some sources, the idea for All Saints' Day goes back to the fourth century while other sources say that a commemoration of “All Martyrs” began to be celebrated as early as 270 CE. Pope Gregory IV made All Saints' Day an authorized holiday in the Catholic Church in 835 CE.

The candles that are laid on graves are especially made so they can burn for many hours. It is believed that these candles help the departed souls find their way through the darkness.

Now a lot of people clean graves of their relatives and bring beautiful flowers and candles. But on Saturday 1st November each graveyard will be beautiful. I believe I will take some photos and put them on my blog.

Saturday 25 October 2014

21st century - what about the bread?

25th October 2014

I love weekends because I don't have to go work and I can relax at home or go away. Every weekend while I walk with my dog I notice that our society is not poor anymore. Why because our housing estate waste-baskets are full of bread, food and fruit,vegetables. It became popular here people buy a lot of bread at weekdays but they don't eat it and on Fridays afternoon or on the Saturdays mornings. Is it bread cheap or expensive at my place. I can say it is rather cheap for me but some people earn less money than me. I know this part of my country is the richest one. But honestly I believe people shouldn't throw away so much bread because some people maybe not in my country but in others are hungry.

Breakfast ....... 

 "If you've got a lot of bread left over, then you can just freeze it." Maybe it is the solution..

 "Every time I go [through rubbish] there's different things in the bin, but bread definitely is the number one.

Birds are eating bread..

Some old people who remember the WWII and post war difficult times and communism express opinion it is a sin.  So some people use it for feeding birds and sometimes local farmers collect it for chickens. But the problem is I live in the biggest metropolis in Europe ( which includes 14 cities) so we don't have almost any farms here. I believe we should buy less bread because shops are open here everyday and the fresh bread is available.
In November is a long weekend - because it is The Independence Day in December is Christmas so the bins will be full.

It is very serious problem of our modern society.

Magpie is looking for delicious snack...

Friday 24 October 2014

Silesian zoo in Katowice

24th October 2014

Silesian Zoological Garden  was founded in 1954 and is situated in the Katowice and Chorzów districts of Silesia. It covers over 47.6 ha within the Silesian Central ParkThe Silesian zoo is a home for about 2 500 animals of 300 species. It is visited by over 390 000 people annually.
Last Saturday my daughter visited the zoo. I love zoos too, but I had to stay at home because I caught a cold from my students. I love observing animals and my favourite are big ones. Bu personally I think animals should live in their natural environment but I know the educational purpose is very important.

Hippo is relaxing in sunny day..

My favourite animal giraffe. Why? Because when I was seven I was very tall so my classmates called me Giraffe. But now I am only 170 cm tall. But for my school friends I am "Giraffe" forever... Now it is very funny but in the past it wasn't...

Thanks for visiting

Thursday 23 October 2014

Traditional Silesian Folk Dress

23rd October 2014

Last month when we hosted our European friends we were visiting Basilica in Piekary Śląskie.  While we were walking around the church we met a nice woman who was wearing Silesian folk costume. This costume dated back from 19th century. Women who live here wore these dresses sometimes at weekdays but mostly they wore on Sundays ans at National Holidays.

Silesian woman and Spanish students with teachers

Italian Team

Romanian Team

This traditional costume is not very popular now but only some old people have had those costume. This traditional folks costume is very expensive if you want to buy it. But it looks wonderfully and it,s our regional tradition strictly connected with my place. And I am jealous because my students can speak Silesian dialect but I can't.  But the most important I can cook some delicious meat or red cabbage which come from Silesian cuisine, I don't come from this region as 97% people here but I live here so it is my small homeland.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Double fences - natural and artificial ones.

22 nd October 2014

I love walking especially at the weekends because weekdays I spent at my work. When I came back home it is too late and too dark for walking. Last Sunday which was very sunny while walking I took lovely photos on my way. So I noticed very funny fences which were built from concrete and were covered with vine so it looks so interesting.

Thanks for visiting

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Sky in the evening

21st October 2014

It is definitely autumn and days are getting shorter and shorter. In the morning it is usually foggy and wet but evenings are cold. But the worst problem for me is darkness. I hate darkness but now is almost dark at 6 p.m. What is the worst this Saturday we are going to come back to winter time. So it means it will be dark at about 5 p.m.  In the autumn the sky is so amazing in the evening and at my place the red sky means good weather the next day.

The sky from my apartment on 19 th October- Sunday