The known history of the city of Opole startet during the 8th century. A small settlement of a tribe which (may be) was named Opolan existed at the North end of an island inside the river Oder. The photo shows the view to the eastern bank nearly 1.300 yearts later. The Skyline tells something about the history; the oldest church (named Of the Holy Cross) from 1024, the tall chimney as a remain from the 19th century industrial growths and an apartment building from the second half of the 20th century.
The settlement belonged during the centuries to different dukes and kings: bohemian, silesian, the Piasten family, the Austrian empire and the Prussian kings and by this later to the German empire. During the administration of the Piasten Family Opole was part of a polish kingdom.
During the 19th centrury most of the inhabitants of Opole spoke German. After World War I and especially after World War II German speaking people had been expelled.
A huge statue was erected in the 1970th to celebrate polish nationality of this territory.
Although Polish nationalism is actual the strongest movement in Polish politics the City’s portrait tell a story of many national and cultural influences.
The monument had been erected in the 1970th, the time of communism in Poland, as a victory sign for patriotism and (I believe) a defeat of capitalism.
The figure is called „Nike on a European Bison“. Nike was a helenistic godess supporting Zeus. In Europe used as a sign of a military victory.
It could have been interpreted as a sign for Europe on the Taurus, but the former and also the actual politic is not close enought to the idea of a united Europa.
Opole always had a more regional Impact; today it partly looks like a deserted place. walking through streets I remember imagines of my early youth after World War II.
Entering the building of the main Train Station you feel like visiting a museum.
Employees working with PCs, beeing friendly and kind. It seems that people are living in two different worlds without beeing disturbed – me included, but I am disturbed.
A fascinating and irritating world – it’s like sitting in a cinema watching an all everydays film.
Some more Impression of the Opole City you can see in the German written blog.