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Opole

Though Opole is primarily known as the home of the National Festival of Polish Songs, held here since 1963, the city offers plenty to do and see all year round. Every year, Opole hosts new and regular events, fairs, shows and competitions. Most places of interest are easily accessible from the historic centre of the city, making it possible to view them all even if you have only a few hours to spend in Opole.

Opole TOURISM

Opole is not just the capital of Polish song; it is a city that seamlessly combines culture, education, tourism and business. It is small, yet enchanting, with numerous canals and green spaces adding to its charm.

Some of the points of interest are the historic churches and monasteries (fragments from 1280), the tombs of Piast princes and a huge tower that is the only remnant of the castle dismantled by the Germans in 1930. Encircled by fine tenement houses, the magnificent market square is the location of the town hall, which brings to mind the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.

While almost all of Opole is situated on the mainland, on either side of the river Oder, it also includes two islands, Bolko and Pasieka. Lying in the middle of the river Oder, the former is definitely worth a trip as it offers some wonderful walking areas, with playgrounds hidden in the park, a lovely pond and a zoo.

The city has numerous hotels and restaurants that offer the specialities of Silesian cuisine that Opole is well known for. The warm months sees the sidewalks blooming with umbrellas as numerous popular cafes open for the season.

GEOGRAPHY

Opole, the capital of the Opolskie voivodship, is a medium sized city of 125,000 and coverings a total area of 96 km2. It is located in the south-western part of Poland, on the river Oder as it crosses the Slaska Plain. As a consequence, the region can be described as typical agricultural lowlands.

Its position in the open valley of the river Oder gives Opole a mild climate characterised by low temperature variations and a small amount of rainfall. The average annual temperature is 8° Centigrade, and the winters are very short and mild while the summers are long with warm days. These climatic conditions encourage outdoor sports and recreational activities.

HISTORY
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Leaving legend aside, the name Opole originates from the old Polish word “opole”, meaning an ancestral territorial community. Another explanation of the origin of the city’s name is that it comes from the simple word “pole” (field in English): as the legend goes, there once lived a tribal lord who had lost his way while hunting in the thick woods, and when he eventually came across a settlement, he cried “O! Pole!”. Following that, he decided to start a city there.

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GENERAL INFORMATION
coat of arms
Population: 122120 #32
Province: Opole
Telephone: +48 77
Museums: 6
Districts: 14
Theatres: 5
Mayor: Ryszard Zembaczyński
Higher Education: 8