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 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.
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.
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.