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The Red Trail

The Municipal Tourist Route (The Red Trail) runs through the most interesting parts of Szczecin. Having a length of 7 kilometres, it originates and ends in front of Szczecin’s Central Railway Station. The route is marked out by a dashed line painted on the pavement. In front of each of the 42 objects of interest, there is an encircled number, with an information board standing nearby. The route was established to celebrate the 750th anniversary of Szczecin being granted city rights. Pocket guides with a map of the route in different languages can be purchased in the Tourist Information Centres, PTTK (Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society) centres and bookstores.

Below you can find about the monuments located within the Municipal Tourist Route:

1) Central Station of the Polish State Railways – originally known as the Berlin Station. Both its building and the railway connection systems have undergone numerous renovations. Facing the station is the „Switchman” monument from 1964.

 

2) Snail Gate Barracks – a Neo-Renaissance built in stages since 1872 and renovated in the years 1994-95. The main hall with its columnar glass roof is especially worth seeing.

3) The Former Barracks Building – a classicistic building dating back to 1818, situated in the place where the Snail Gate once used to stand. Renovated in 2001. Currently, it is home to Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń i Asekuracji S.A. „Warta” (an insurance company).

4) A section of a mediaeval wall of the city fortifications, situated near the place where the Holy Spirit Gate once stand, with a plaque attached to commemorate the visit of the troops of Stefan Czarniecki to the Szczecin Region in 1657. The mediaeval city fortifications were 2510 metres long, 610 metres running along the Oder River. They had 4 main gates (Młyńska Gate, The Holy Spirit Gate, the Maiden Gate, the Passawska Gate), 7 circular towers, 14 square towers, 1 hexagonal tower and 15 half-towers.

5) The Church of St. John the Evangelist – a three-aisle, Gothic-style hall church, erected in the 14th Century by the Franciscans who left the city in 1525 following the Reformation. The cloister buildings were converted into a hospital. During the Swedish intervention (1630-1635) period of the Thirty Years’ War, it served as a garrison church, and during the Napoleon campaigns, it was a warehouse (the ecclesiastical fittings being removed). In 1956, the church was given back to the Catholic Church. Since 1957, it has been attended to by the Pallottines. In 1882-85, new monastic buildings were added.

6) The Long Bridge. Reported to have existed since 1283. The present bridge was built in 1959 to replace the Hansa Bridge from 1903. Past the bridge there is the building of the Customs Office (1903) and the 1897 Neo-gothic Church of the Holy Trinity with the 64-metre-high Tower of the Evangelical-Augsburg parish.

 

7) The Old Town Hall – a Gothic-style building erected in the 15th Century that was converted into a Baroque-style edifice in the 18th Century. Restored in 1975, it currently houses a museum dedicated to the history of Szczecin from the Middle Ages to contemporary times. It is set amidst the old town, which has been under reconstruction since 1995. One of the highlights to see here are the restored facades of the tenement houses at Sienna 7 and 8 St. The tenements at the latter street are crowned with a tympanus containing a relief of Fortuna, the Roman goddess of fortune.

8) The Loitz House – once property of a family of merchants and bankers. The building came into being in 1547 and its design is typical for late Gothic. At present, it accommodates the Secondary School of Fine Arts. The front elevation contains a replica of the „St. Paul’s Conversion” relief.

 

9) The Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle – in 1346-47, Barnim III built the „Stone House” and the St. Otto’s chapel. The castle was expanded during the times of Bogusław X and Barnim XI. In 1571-82, it was rebuilt by order of John Frederick in the Renaissance-style into its present form. Over 1616-19, during the rules of Philip II and Francis I, the western wing (Museum) was annexed to the building. Devastated after the air-raids in 1944, it is now home to the Opera and Operetta House, cultural institutions, the Governor’s Office, the wedding ceremony hall of the Registrar’s Office and the Cultural and Tourist Information Centre. The Clock Tower features an astronomical clock from 1693. Among other things to see are its exhibition halls, the dukes’ sarcophagi and an exhibition on the history of the castle. Moreover, you can climb up to an observation point in the Bell Tower. Near the tower there is a monument to Bogusław X and Anna Jagiellonka.

10) The Castle Manege – dates back to the beginning of the 18th Century. It features a small crane for lifting horse fodder, as well as an early Renaissance portal. Today, it serves as the home of the Department of German Studies of the University of Szczecin.

11) The Tower of Seven Coats (The Maiden Tower) – a Gothic-style tower from the early 14th Century. By 1723, it served as a prison.

 

12) The Castle Route – developed and completed within 1987-96. Since the beginning of the 20th Century, on the eastern bank of the River Oder, where now the footings of the Royal Route bridge are placed, there were buildings of the St. Catherine’s church and a Cisterian monastery for women.

13) The Maritime University – it is accommodated in the complex of public utility buildings on the Chrobry Embankment, using 2 buildings of that complex. The neo-Baroque edifice to the south was built in 1902-1905 for the National Social Insurance Institution, with the neighbouring one, done in Northern-German Mannerism-style, being put up in 1914-21 for the Head Customs Office. From 1962 on, the buildings have been utilised for the purposes of maritime education.

14) The Maritime Museum – its building was commissioned in 1913. Presently, it is dedicated to introducing visitors to the history of Pomerania, and to exhibiting maritime collections, a collection of antique sculptures, as well as ethnographic collections from Africa, Asia, Polynesia and South America. Also, it is home to the Contemporary Theatre. The terrace on the Chrobry Embankment features a 1913 sculpture depicting Hercules in a fight with Centaurus. Near the fountain, there stand monuments representing John Scolvus and Jan Wyszak, as well as the coats of arms of Polish port cities.

15) The Governor’s Office – built between 1906-11 for the Szczecin Governorate and for maritime institutions. On 30 April 1945, at 8:15 a.m., the flag of Poland was hung out on its front. The southern tower contains a representation of a sailor, the northern one contains a representation of a ship bridge.

16) Adam Mickiewicz monument – crafted by Sławomir Lewiński and unveiled in 1960 to replace the equestrian statue of the German Emperor Frederick III. Behind the statue, there lies the Stefan Żeromski park, set up in 1810 to replace the former cemetery, and expanded at the start of the 20th Century. It features a multitude of precious tree and bush varieties.

 

17) The PAZIM complex with Szczecin’s Radisson hotel – developed over 1990-92. Its dominant feature is the 84-metre-long „vacuum flask” topped by a radio mast measuring 34 metres in height. The penultimate floor, located 80 metres up the building, houses the Cafe 22 coffee-house – a perfect observation point to oversee the city, along with the forests, basins and hills surrounding it out to a distance of 35 km.

18) The Royal Gate – a Baroque-style gate put up in 1725-27. Decorated with a sculpture of a shield with the Prussian Eagle encircled by a chain of the Order of the Black Eagle, of Mars and Hercules. The initials of King Frederick William I from Prussia and panoplies can also be found inscribed upon this device. On the Gate’s wall, there is also a plaque dedicated to General Dezydery Chłapowski, who was imprisoned in the Szczecin citadel due to his involvement in the Polish-Russian War 1830-31 (the November Uprising).

19) The St. Peter and Paul Church – a Polish Catholic church. Originating in 1124, it was first built of wood. The present Gothic-style building dates back to the 15th Century. An interesting feature worth looking at are console tables carved to look like human heads.

 

 

20) The mast of the „Kapitan K. Maciejewicz” steamship – dates back to 1929. Set up on the route in 1990, it is here that the Municipal Theatre from 1848 once stood. This was damaged during the air-raids by the Allies and so devastated, that after World War II, it was pulled down in 1953.

21) The Professors’ Houses – since the 14th Century, these were home to the lecturers at the St. Mary’s College. They were rebuilt in the first half of the 18th Century and in the 19th Century, and their current design is that of the 18th Century.

22) The Heroes of Monte Cassino Secondary School No. 9 – it was put up in 1832 for the purposes of the Royal Gymnasium of the St. Mary’s Foundation, replacing the Gothic-style Holy Virgin Mary collegiate church. This caught fire following a lightning strike in 1789, and was pulled down in 1830.

23) Office of PZU „Życie” S.A. (a Polish insurance company) – it was in this building that on 2 May 1729 Princess Sophie Friederike von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg, daughter of Christian Augustus, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst, was born. In 1745, she got married to Peter III, who would later become the Emperor of Russia, and changed her name to Catherine II. Following Peter’s assassination, she succeeded her husband as Empress Regnant. She was involved in the successive partitions of Poland (1772, 1793, 1795).

24) Archcathedral Basilica of St. James – financed by Beringer of Bamberg, it was built in 1187. Developed between the 13th and the 14th Century, it is a Gothic-style church made of brick. Destroyed during World War II, following the air-raids by the Allies, its restoration commenced in 1972. It contains some valuable objects (Gothic triptychs, gravestones and epitaphs) and chapels commemorating the victims of Nazism and Stalinism, the soldiers of the Resistance Movement, people who devoted their life to sea, merchants, Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn, the dukes of Westpomerania, Pope John Paul II and primates of the Polish Church: August Hlond and Stefan Wyszyński. The Archcathedral Museum is dedicated to introducing the history of the Church in Pomerania. The premises of the cathedral feature such objects as a 1681 bell, a Gothic vicarage from the 15th Century, a cross taken from the papal altar on Jasne Błonie, and a 1991 statue of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception (placed on the same pedestal that once supported a statue of Carl Loewe (composer and one-time organist of the St. Jacob’s church) that was destroyed in World War II. A plaque can also be found on the tower containing the „Five Verities of Poles”. At the foot of the tower are the Jubilee Doors depicting scenes from the life of St. Otto.

25) The Flora Statue – a Baroque-style statue from the 18th Century devoted to the Roman goddess of flowers and the season of spring.

26) The fountain with the sculpture of an eagle – a Baroque fountain made in 1732. Here, a water conduit running from the Warszewskie Hills used to end.

27) Palace under the Globe – a Neo-Baroque building developed during 1890-91. Set up to replace the Baroque Grumbkow Palace from 1724-1725, it witnessed the birth of Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg (Maria Feodorovna, the later „Mother of Tsars”), the second wife of Tsar Paul I of Russia. Its premises are home to medical schools. Situated nearby are such buildings as the Classicist Ionic Palace from the 18-19th Century, a neo-Renaissance palace and a Baroque corner house from the 18th Century. These currently serve as bank premises.

28) Feliks Nowowiejski Music Schools – developed over 1778-89 for the purposes of a Szczecin manufacturer and merchant Georg Christian Velthusen.

29) The National Museum – established in 1726-27 as the Diets’ Palace. Since, 1927, it houses a museum which exhibits the history of the Pomeranian art and the dominion of the House of Griffins. A tympanum, featuring the coat of arms of the Prussian kings, is crowned with female personifications of Justice and Prudence.

 

30) The Gallery of the National Museum and the „13 Muses Club” – this building was put up between the 18th and the 19th Century. The window lintels on the first floor feature head silhouettes of contemporary Szczecin natives of merit who had made significant contribution to its culture.

31) A plaque to commemorate the establishing of the Polish scout troop in Szczecin, in 1934 – it features Rodło, the Polish emblem used by Polish Scouts in Germany since 1932. Situated 300 m away from the route, at the Aviators’ Square, there stands the monument of Bartolomeo Colleoni, an Italian Condotierri, one of the most eminent military leaders of the Republic of Venice. Unveiled in 1496, it is considered to be among the most exquisite horse statues of the Renaissance era. This faithfully rendered bronze casting was gifted to the Municipal Museum of Szczecin in 1913. It had been put on display, but was later gifted to Warsaw under unknown circumstances. There, around 1956, it was placed on the square of the Academy of Fine Arts. Its return to Szczecin and the ceremony of unveiling took place in 2002.

32) The building of PKO Bank Polski S.A. (the largest Polish bank) – it was put up over 1893-95 to serve as the seat and bank of the Pomeranian Landowners. The balcony features sculptures of a knight and a landlord. In its upper section there is a Griffin holding a shield with the initials of the Prussian King Frederick II and the establishment date of the Borough – 1781. The tympanum contains a nine-field cartouche with the coats of arms of Pomerania.

33) The Head Office of the Post Office and Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. – a neo-Gothic building developed over 1901-05.

34) The St. John the Baptist Church – a church built in neo-Gothic style that was put up in 1888-90 for the Catholic municipality. The interior is decorated with sculptures, and features memorial plaques and stained glass. The main altar was designed by Anna and Leonard Torwitt. It was in this building that on 30 November 1952, Primate Stefan Wyszyński learned that Pope Pius IX had appointed him a cardinal, as commemorated by the monument of the Primate of the Millennium in front of the church.

35) Children’s Hospital – a hospital complex built and developed between 1893-94 for the purposes of the Institute of Obstetrics. In 1904, and during the inter-war period, it underwent expansion work.

36) General Władysław Anders Square – a park set up within the former garrison cemetery. It contains a glacial erratic with a memorial plaque dedicated to the French prisoners of the French-Prussian war of 1870-71. The nearby area is vegetated by interesting tree varieties such as Amur cork trees, Aesculus and Robinia pseudoacacia.

37) Church of the Holiest Heart of Jesus Christ – it was built between 1913-19 to serve as a garrison church. Its front elevation contains a depiction of Christ. Above the entrance, there is a relief of St. George fighting with a dragon. Inside, one can see a neo-Gothic altar, „The Last Supper”, which dates back to the early 20th Century. The vestibule contains a plaque devoted to Cardinal August Hlond, the Primate of Poland and the founder of the Society of Christ Fathers for Poles Living Abroad, which has been the host of the church since 1945. In the vicinity, at Wojciecha 1 St., stands an Art Nouveau tenement house from 1904, with its captivating backyard.

38) St. Adalbert’s Garrison Church – a neo-Gothic-style garrison church put up during 1906-1909. It measures 65.5 metres in height. Its interior contains a stained glass window depicting the death of St. Adalbert, as well as memorial plaques and urns containing ashes collected from the battlefields of World War II.

39) The monument of Kornel Ujejski – dates back to 1901. Until the end of World War II, it was located in Lviv, and it was transferred to Szczecin in 1956. The pedestal contains a lyre tethered with chains and a poem, called „The Chant”, written to commemorate the Peasant Revolt, which took place in Galicia in 1846. On the back of the monument there is a sign containing a message: „May joy be with you Polish People”.

40) The Harbour Gate – set up in 1724-40. Initially called the Berlin Gate, it is richly decorated atop with the coats of arms of Prussia. Its western elevation also contains a depiction of Viadrus, the god of the Oder River, a panorama of Szczecin and a sign in Latin referring to the history of the city and the Szczecin Duchy.

41) The New Town Hall (The Red Town Hall) – a neo-Gothic-style building put up in 1875-79 for the purposes of the city authorities. Currently, it is home to maritime institutions. Above the entrance there are allegoric figures representing „Wisdom”, „Agriculture”, „Industry” and „Marine Economy”. The terrace of the town hall provides a view onto the edifice from 1868, which used to be home to the Pomeranian Library, as well as onto the Chancellor’s Office of the Pomeranian Academy of Medicine (built between 1901-02) with its lofty tower.

42) The Anchor Monument – initially a monument representing the female figure of Sedina – the apotheosis of the port city of Szczecin. This was unveiled in 1898 and taken apart in 1943-45.

For more information, see the website of the City Sports, Leisure and Rehabilitation Centre of the Szczecin City Hall  www.mosrir.szczecin.pl/cit/szlak/szlak.htm

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Zadanie współfinansowane ze środków Unii Europejskiej ze środków Europejskiego Funduszu Rozwoju Regionalnego w ramach Regionalnego Programu Operacyjnego Województwa Zachodniopomorskiego na lata 2007-2013.

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