Welcome to Płock, the former capital of Poland, the oldest city of Mazovia region and the present capital of Polish oil industry.
Area: 66.5 sq km
Location: in the center of Poland, in the distance of not more than 120 km from the biggest Polish cities - Warsaw and ŁódĽ, on a steep Vistula riverbank.
The Cathedral Basilica, the pearl of Renaissance architecture erected on the foundation of the Romanesque and Gothic shrine in 1144 on the initiative of Bishop Alexander of Mallone. In the Royal Chapel, there are tombs of two Polish rulers, Władysław Herman and Bolesław Krzywousty. In the porch, visitors can admire a faithful bronze replica of the Romanesque Płock Door made for the Cathedral ca. 1154 in Magdeburg.
Opposite the Cathedral arise the walls of the former Benedictine abbey and the remains of Płock castle built under the king Kazimierz Wielki. Cluster of buildings called The Castle of Mazovian Dukes houses the Mazovian Museum that boasts world-famous collection of secession art. You will not find more detailed and more professional record of the magic period of fin de siecle in the whole Poland.
Tumska Street was first referred to at the beginning of the 19th century when it connected Canonical Market (nowadays the Narutowicza Square) with the New Market. Soon, it became the main shopping passage where many shops and representative communal buildings flourished (on the picture, the former English Hotel). Tumska preserved its significance up to present. It is the most famous Płock's promenade that attracts every tourist coming to Płock.
Grodzka Street is one of the oldest routes in Płock originating in the 13th century. It connected two markets: the Canonical (nowadays the Narutowicza Square) and the Old Market. Its architecture is dominated by the 19th century neo-classical tenement houses (on the picture, the only along that street Baroque mansion dating back to the turn of 17th century).
Up to the middle of the 19th century the Old Market was full of life. It was here where the richest shops and inns were located. Later, the market lost its mercantile character. In 1997, Płock City Council accepted the Strategy for Old Town Revitalization foreseen for next 30 years. The results of the revitalization process have already received both local and country-wide recognition. The program was rewarded on the 7th Polish Cities Investment Fair "Investcity" in Poznań in 1998 and "Modernization of the year 1998" competition.
Płock's market square is a destination place of many pilgrims. In one of the tenement houses, there is a sanctuary commemorating the place where St. Faustyna Kowalska had her first vision of Jesus the Merciful in 1931.
Darmstadt House is another building on the market square that is vibrant with life. It was renovated thanks to the financial support provided by the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation and sister city Darmstadt. Płock develops beneficial partnership relations with many other sister cities i.e. Fort Wayne in USA, Forli in Italy, Mazeikiai in Lithuania, Nowopolotsk in Belarus, Auxerre in France, Beltsy in Moldova.
The historical building of the City Hall has been modernized and the Old Market square has been rebuilt. Due to the citizens' wishes, the market was enlivened by the modern illuminated fountain. Every-day bugle call is performed on the City Hall tower.
Furthermore, a tourist attraction is the spectacle of knighting Bolesław Krzywousty displayed on the tower just after the bugle call at noon.
Płock City Hall was constructed between 1824 and 1827 according to Jakub Kubicki design, one of the leading classical architects (creator of Belweder building in Warsaw). The City Hall housed the Last Session of the Polish Kingdom Parliament in 1831 (so called Uprising Parliament). The building was always the seat of local authorities. After the complex modernization completed in September 1998, the City Hall became a modern, functional building, one of the city's tourist attractions.
There is one more construction that stands out in Płock's landscape. It is the Neo Gothic monastery of the Old-Catholic Church of the Mariawici order built at the beginning of the 19th century.
At Obrońców Warszawy Square, near the house where a hundred years ago famous poet Władysław Broniewski (1897-1915) was born and lived, there is an impressive monument in honor of the poet built in 1972 according to Gustaw Zemla design. In the courtyard grows a several hundred years-old oak. Broniewski used to identify himself with this ancient tree in his every-day and in poetic speeches. Władysław Broniewski is Płock Citizen of Honor.