Main Attractions in Szczecin
The Red Route is a 7 kilometer long walk through the city, marked by red arrows on the sidewalk that take the tourist through the major sights of Szczecin. It is easy to follow, starting from the Main Train Station and ending there as well. The sights along the route cover over 1000 years of the history of the city. These are mentioned below:
Only remains of the medieval fortifications dating back to the early 14th century still stand in the form of the Maiden's Tower or The Tower of the Seven Coats. It has two tiers that peak in a crenel and conical helmet each. It also served as a prison at some point. Tragically, some part of the tower was destroyed during the Second World War, but restored in the 1970's.
The Pomeranian Duke's Castle is a nerve center for cultural life, not only in Szczecin but also in Western Pomerania as a whole. After suffering heavy destruction during the Second World War, it was reconstructed and made into an administrative and cultural center, with the aim of popularizing art and culture. It abounds in musical activity and exhibitions. Chamber, classical and choral music concerts take place here. Famous among them are The International Choral Festival, Sunday Noon Concerts and Chamber Music Evenings at the Candles. Big names in the music industry have performed here.
The Krypta Theatre and the Cellar by the Vault Cabaret also perform here. What's more, each year, about 30 art exhibitions are held here. Some of them are rare and exceptional, such as the works of Gunter Grass and Salvador Dali. Workshops on topics such as art preservation and cultural heritage are also held here.
In the castle museum, look for modern mosaic solar clocks. Also look out for the 16th-17th century clock in the clock tower, the sarcophagus in the East Wing and the Tower of Bells.
St. James' Cathedral, also called The Archcathedral Basilica under the Invocation of St. James, was founded by Beringer, who hailed from Bamberg, in 1187. This cathedral, like many other monuments in Szczecin, was bombed during the Second World War and suffered serious damage. Reconstruction started 1970, and still continues. Nevertheless, one can see many precious, ancient relics here such as gothic triptychs, tombstones and epitaphs. There are chapels dedicated to West Pomeranian Dukes, the Holy Mary Ostrobamska from Vilna, victims of the Holocaust and several others. There is a museum - The Archdiocese Museum - that chronicles the history of the church in Pomerania. Other objects of interest are a bell from the 1600's and the gothic house of the curate from the 15th century. Much of the Cathedral's beauty was lost to the destruction of the War, and it is hoped that the spire will be restored soon.
The Berlin Gate, or King's Gate, is a baroque gateway, in the heart of Szczecin. The Prussians built it in the 1700's as a part of the city's fortification. Today, it serves as a souvenir store for tourists.
The old town has some picturesque streets (such as Osiek Street, Sienna Street) with charming houses near the bank of the Odra River and the Pomeranian Duke's Castle. You can take a refreshment break at one of the numerous pubs and cafés. The Old Town Hall, built in 1245, now houses the City Museum of Szczecin.
The National Museum is housed in an 18th century baroque palace and focuses on ancient and modern West Pomeranian art. There is also the Maritime Museum and Theatre, chronicling the maritime history of Szczecin.
When you are through with seeing the historical sights, head for the Park Kasprowicza for some fun and fresh air. Bask in the shade of ancient trees, and take notice of the limes that have a captivating fragrance on a sunny summer afternoon. The summer theatre has a wide variety of musical entertainment to offer - from rock music to a philharmonic orchestra. If you are feeling romantic, take a walk on the bridge over the Lake Rusalka with your sweetheart.
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