Opole Travel and Tourist Guide

Opole Coat of ArmsOpole Travel and Tourist Guide – Opole in south western Poland in the province of Opolskie. Opole is a city on the Oder River (Odra). Once it was a Slavic settlement on the fork of the Odra and the Mlynowka Canal.

It has a population of 125,992 as of June 2009 and is the capital of the Opole Voivodeship, Opolskie, and also the seat of Opole County.

Opole is the historical capital of Upper Silesia. Today, many German Upper Silesians and Poles of German ancestry live in the Opole region, in the city itself Germans make up less than 3% of the population.

It became a stronghold and a town as from the 13th Century and later was to become the capital of the Duchy of Opole. Part of Bohemia from 1528 and under the control of the Hapsburg from 1532 to 1742. In 1742 Opole passed into the hands of Prussia and at the outbreak of the Second World War it had about 50,000 inhabitants. Not until 1945 did it become part of Poland and in 1950 was named as the capital of the region.

A major flood in July of 1997 placed 70% of the city under water.

Most major cities in Poland seam to have an old town and Opole is no exception, situated at the mouth of the canal and dominated by the Piast Tower which was built in the 13th Century to replace an earlier stronghold. There is also an Amphitheatre and a pond associated with the Castle.

Opole has a large industrial centre with three cement mills, a power station and chemical equipment and metallurgical factories. There are two main educational establishments: Opole University and a Technical University.

Opole Travel and Tourist Guide

Poland Travel Guide Information

This site is a travel and tourist guide about the country of Polska which is located in central Europe. You are very welcome to visit our site and we hope that you will enjoy the experience.

Our guide is easy to use as each village, town and city has it’s own page with useful information for the visitor. Not all sections appearing on the left of our guide, on this place may have information as this is an ongoing project.

It may be the case that this location has not yet been reviewed and written about so if you can contribute any information about this place to improve this guide please send it to Opole Travel and Tourist Guide.

Accommodation in Opole

You will find the full range of accommodation in this town from the most luxurious five star hotels with up to date and modern amenities to pensions (a type of guest house or boarding house) and rooms or apartments at very reasonable prices. Some of the larger towns and cities will also have hostels.

If you prefer to stay in a more rural location there are a number of “Agro” style of accommodation places on farms and in the countryside plus there may be camp sites nearby.

If you see something you like or wish to know more about please contact the accommodation directly as we do not take commission and we take the attitude that their own website will have more up to date details on what they offer than if we were to include it here.

If you wish to advertise your accommodation on Opole Travel and Tourist Guide please contact us.

Accommodation

Awaiting Accommodation Article
This place to stay may just be the right accommodation for you.
Name of AccommodationAddressDistanceTypeDate
Hotel Poland – Exampleul.accommodationCentralHotel03.07.2014
Gościniec Arkadiaul. Franciszka Buhla 3
45-626 Opole
5kmHotel03.07.2014

Activities & Attractions in Opole

Poland is a country with a large variety of landscapes, a place where you can experience all four seasons. This provides the visitor with many opportunities for adventure and different activities and visiting attractions, whether you enjoy the mountains, lakes, rivers or the beaches you will find something that suits you.

If you see something you like or wish to know more about the activity or attraction please contact the provider directly as we do not take commission and we take the attitude that their own website will have more up to date details on what they offer than if we were to include it here.

What ever activity or attraction you run, you can advertise on Opole Travel and Tourist Guide.

Activities & Attractions

Opole's Rynek
The Rynek (town square) was badly damaged during WWII and has been rebuilt with attractive styled Baroque and Rococo houses. There are the usual pubs, street cafes and bars to be found and in the middle a 64 metre tall high tower attached to the Town Hall styled on the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. The original dated back to 1864 but it collapsed in 1934 and was rebuilt in the same style.
Name of ActivityStreetTypeURL
Advertise your activity or attractionul.activityActivity or Attractionwww.website.com

Geography of Opole

Opole is situated on the border of Upper and Lower Silesia on the banks of the River Odra. The river divides to form an island, the Wyspa Pasieka, which was inhabited in the ninth century by a Slavic tribe known as Opolanes. It is also an important trade centre including manufacturers of cement, metals, and furniture.

History of Opole

Medieval Period

Opole’s history began in the 8th century when according to archeological excavations, the first Slavic settlement was founded on Ostrówek, the northern part of the Pasieka island located in the middle of the Odra River. In the early 10th century it developed into one of the main gróds [fortified military camps] of the Slavic Opolanie. At the end of the century Silesia became part of Poland and was ruled by the Piast Dynasty; the land of the pagan Opolanie was conquered by Duke Mieszko I in 992.

During the 11th and 12th centuries it was also a castellany. After the death of Duke Władysław II the Exile, Silesia was divided in 1163 between two Piast lines- the Wrocławska line in Lower Silesia and the Opolsko-Raciborska of Upper Silesia. Opole became a duchy in 1172 and shared much in common with the Duchy of Racibórz, with which it was often combined. In 1281 Upper Silesia was divided further between the heirs of the dukes. The Duchy of Opole was temporarily re-established in 1290.

In the early 13th century Duke Casimir I of Opole decided to move the settlement from the Pasieka island to the right shore of the Odra River, since the 17th century it was the old stream bed of Odra known as Młynówka. All of the inhabitants were moved in order to make place for the duke’s new castle that was eventually built in the place of the old city.

Former residents of Ostrówek together with German merchants that immigrated here from the West, received the first town rights probably as early as around, 1217 though this date is disputed by historians. Opole received German town law in 1254, which was expanded with Neumarkt law in 1327 and Magdeburg rights in 1410. Opole developed during the rule of duke Bolko I of Opole. In this time the castle was finally completed and new buildings, including the city walls and the Holy Cross church, were constructed.

Along with most of Silesia, in 1327 the Duchy of Opole came under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Bohemia, itself part of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1521 the Duchy of Racibórz (Ratibor) was inherited by the Duchy of Opole, by then also known by its German equivalent, Oppeln. The second castle of Opole was probably founded in the 14th century by duke Władysław Opolczyk, though some sources claim that it was originally a wooden stronghold of Opole’s castellan dating back to the 12th century.

Habsburg Monarchy Period

With the death of King Louis II of Bohemia at the Battle of Mohács, fought on 29 August 1526 near Mohács, Hungary and was a decisive event for the history of East-Central Europe for the following centuries. In the battle, forces of the Kingdom of Hungary led by King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia were defeated by the forces of  the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.

The Ottoman victory led to the partition of Hungary for several centuries between the Ottoman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, and the Principality of Transylvania. The death of Louis II as he fled the battle marked the end of the Jagiellon dynasty in Hungary and Bohemia, whose dynastic claims were absorbed by the Habsburgs via the marriage of Louis’ sister. Silesia was inherited by Ferdinand I, placing Opole under the sovereignty of the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria. The Habsburgs took overall control of the region in 1532 after the last Piast duke of Opole – Jan II the Good died.

In those days the city was still mainly Polish-speaking (around 63%), with other nationalities represented mainly by Germans, Czechs and Jews. The last two dukes of Opole: Nicholas II of Niemodlin and Jan II the Good did not speak any German.

Beginning in 1532 the Habsburgs pawned the duchy to different rulers including a number of monarchs from Poland. With the abdication of King John II Casimir of Poland as the last Duke of Opole in 1668, the region passed into the direct control of the Habsburgs. At the beginning of the 18th century there were estimated to be around 20% of Germans in the population of Opole.

Prussian Silesia Period

King Frederick II of Prussia conquered most of Silesia from Austria in 1740 during the Silesian Wars; Prussian control was confirmed in the Peace of Breslau in 1742. During the Prussian rule the ethnic structure of the city began to change. In the early 20th century the amount of Polish and bilingual citizens of Opole, according to the official German statistics, varied from 25 to 31%.

From 1816–1945 Opole was the capital of Regierungsbezirk Oppeln within Prussia. The city became part of the German Empire during the unification of Germany in 1871.

After WWI

After the defeat of Imperial Germany in World War I, a plebiscite was held on 20 March 1921 in Oppeln to determine if the city would be in the Weimar Republic or become part of the Second Polish Republic. 20,816 (94.7%) votes were cast for Germany, 1,098 (5.0%) for Poland, and 70 (0.3%) votes were declared invalid. Voter participation was 95.9%. Results of the plebiscite in the Opole-Land county were different, with 30% of population voting for Poland.

Oppeln after the plebiscite, under international ruling in August 1921

Oppeln was the administrative seat of the Province of Upper Silesia from 1919–1939. With the defeat of Poland in the Invasion of Poland at the beginning of World War II in 1939, formerly Polish Eastern Upper Silesia was re-added to the Province of Upper Silesa and Oppeln lost its status as provincial capital to Katowice (renamed Kattowitz).

On 15 February 1941 and 26 February 1941, two deportation transports with 2,003 Jewish men, women and children on board left Vienna Aspang Station to Opole, By March 1941, 8,000 Jews were deported to the ghetto which had been set up in Opole. From May 1941, 800 men capable of work were deployed as forced labourers in Deblin.

Liquidation of Opole ghetto began in the spring 1942. A transport to Belzec extermination camp left on 31 March 1942 and deportations to Sobibor followed in May and October 1942. Of the 2,003 Viennese Jews, twenty-eight are known to have survived.

Opole Since 1945

After the end of the Second World War in 1945, Oppeln was transferred from Germany to Poland according to the Potsdam Conference, and given its original Slavic name of Opole. Opole became part of the Katowice Voivodeship from 1946–1950, after which it became part of the Opole Voivodeship.

Unlike other parts of the Recovered Territories, Opole and the surrounding region’s autochthon population (one of the earliest known inhabitants of a place) remained and was not forcibly expelled as elsewhere. Over 1 million Silesians who considered themselves Poles or were treated as such by the authorities due to their language and customs were allowed to stay after they were verified as Poles in a special verification process. It involved declaring Polish nationality and an oath of allegiance to the Polish nation.

In the later years however many of them left to go to West Germany to flee the communist Eastern Bloc. Today Opole, along with the surrounding region, is known as a centre of the German minority in Poland that recruits mainly from the descendants of the positively verified autochthons. In the city itself only 2.46% of the population declared themselves to be German, according to the last national census of 2002.

Much of the above history of Opole has been quoted from Wikipedia.

Museums in Opole

Polska is full of history and the Polish are great lovers of knowledge of the past so you will find many museums in the country, whether it be a folk, military, science, skansen, transport or any other type.

Poland has a long history and has been an important trading route that has been invaded by many different groups over the past 1,000 years. Museums are a great way to explore the nations history about the inhabitants of the land in the past, their lives and customs.

Accept a free advert about your museum and include it below by writing an article about it here on Poland Explorer. Follow the link for the article. For the rest, if you see something you like or wish to know more about please contact the museum directly as we take the attitude that their own website will have more up to date details on what they offer than if we were to include it here.

What ever museum you run, if you wish to advertise it on Opole Travel and Tourist Guide at no cost please get in touch with us.

Museums

Muzeum Wsi Opolskiej
You can find this museum on the main road leading to Wrocław about 8km west of Opole city centre. The museum is an open air Opole village showing about 60 wooden rural dwellings from the region. A wooden church from Gręboszów dating back to 1613 is an example of local Silesian church architecture. Other buildings include a windmill and an eighteenth century water mill in working order.
Name of MuseumStreetTypeURL
Muzeum Wsi OpolskiejUl. Wrocławska 174,
45-835 Opole
Open Air Museumwww.muzeumwsiopolskiej.pl

Places to Eat in Opole

There are many restaurants covering the usual pizza to those offering local Polish traditional and regional cuisine.

If you see something you like or wish to know more about please contact the place to eat directly as we do not take commission and we take the attitude that their own website will have more up to date details on what they offer than if we were to include it here.

If you wish to advertise your cafe, restaurant or bar you can let us know at Opole Travel and Tourist Guide.

Places to Eat

Awaiting Article
This place to eat may just be the right one for your pallet.
Name of Eating PlaceStreetTypeURL
Advertise your place to eat hereul.eatingplaceEating Placewww.website.com

Tourist Information in Opole

This web site will eventually have tourist information on most of the places in Polska. Being a web site you will be able to access the information on most digital platforms, including your laptop, personal computer or a mobile phone.

Tourist organisations are welcome to contact us for details on how to display their information on Poland Explorer.

PTTK – Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society is a non-profit organisation that you will find in many places in Poland.

It is one of the oldest tourist societies in Europe and was was created by the merger of two societies: Polish Tatry Society (1873) and Polish Country Lovers Society (1906).

Official Tourist Information Centres in Poland are divided into 1*, 2*, 3* and 4* Certified and Non-Certified. All Certified Tourist Centres provide information in one or more foreign languages and have an expanded range of services as compared to the Non-Certified.

Tourist Information

Awaiting Article
No further information as yet.
Name of Tourist OfficeStreetTypeURL
City Tourist Information OfficeRynek 23 45-015City Tourist Officewww.opole.pl

Transport in Opole

There are currently no international airports in Opolskie with the nearest one being Wrocław Nicolaus Copernicus Airport.

The train and bus stations are next to each other just south of the Old Town about a 10 minuet walk. Opole is on the main railway line between Katowice, about one and half hours, and Wrocław, about one hour 15 minuets with most of the Katowice trains continuing to Krakow. There are also a number of trains to Częstochowa each day, about one hour and 45 minuets. Fast trains to Warsaw take about 4 and a half hours.

Here are some useful websites to help you find your way to this place.

Transport

Awaiting Article
No further information as yet.
NameTypeURL
e-podroznik.plBus & Train Timetableswww.e-podroznik.pl
Wrocław Nicolaus Copernicus AirportAirportwww.airport.wroclaw.pl
Przewozy RegionalneRailwayswww.przewozyregionalne.pl

Websites of Opole

If you have a website that is an official one linked to this town, or you administer a local community or an important trade site please contact us here at Opole Travel and Tourist Guide as we may be interested in including it.

Websites

Awaiting Article
No further information as yet.
Name of WebsiteAddressTypeURL
Opole.plRynek, Ratusz, 45-015Official Sitewww.opole.pl

Regional Links

Province

The Opolskie Voivodship was created in 1999 and is located in the south west of Poland.

Province

 

Places in Province

The cities, towns and villages of the region of Opolskie.

Places in Province

Map of Opole

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Opole Fontanna na placu Wolności Fountain

Opole Market Square

Opole Defensive Wall

Opole Cathedral

Opole Travel and Tourist Guide – Opolskie – Poland Travel Guide

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