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Kolbrow (13.10.2019 - Olsza - a mosaic)

Started by kbieniu7, October 09, 2008, 11:00:59 AM

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Few kilometres east from the historic city centre of Kraków, there is an interesting place. Designed and built in 1950's by communist government and intendend to be a separate city that would became a counterweight for the cultural and intelligent-centred face of old Kraków. Nowa Huta, a socialist district built on empty ground as a home for over 100 000 people, mostly working in the biggest steel mill (nowa huta means "new steel mill" in Polish) in Poland of that time, is an example of a monumental architecture and trials to create an ideal city. It soon became an integral part of Kraków and a scene for many events, mostly protests and strikes against the communist government. Many of them met with brutal answer and was followed by repressions.

Source: wikipedia, author: TomRollauer

The main point of the district - just like the Main Market Square for the old Kraków - is the Central Square (pol.: Plac Centralny), where main wide and representative arteries meet. Originally, there was a monument of Lenin in the middle, but it was taken away after the fall of communism in 1989.

Instead, there is another one comemorating the Solidarity movement that has a V-shape symbol of victory.

Source: Wikipedia, author: Zygmunt Put

Moreover, the steel mill had originally been given a name of Lenin too. Similiar to the monument from Central Square, it has been changed now it helds the name of Tadeusz Sendzimir, a Polish engineer of metallurgy, with his name exposed with giant letters at the square. In the picture below, there is the main entrance to the facility. Twin buildings on both sides serve as an administrative centre for the entire steel mill.

Source: Wikipedia, author: Zygmunt Put

Far away from narrow streets of historic centre, chimneys, stacks and giant furnaces make another, industrial face of the city.

Source: Wikipedia, author: Zygmunt Put

That was a small jump into more modern times. Nowa Huta has already been shown by me in 2014, but only a small part.

Stay tuned and see you back soon!

Arthur - Thanks! From the early-spring update in 2016, I spotted that people like such comparisons, so I took the idea here as well :)
siemanthepieman - Thank you! Glad that you like it :)
Feyss - Ah, yes, you spotted it! :D It's called Saint Cross Church. I've forgotten to mention it in the post! Thanks!
Thank you for visiting Kolbrów, and for being for last ten years!


I remember when you posted those. It feels like it was yesterday  :D

I've always enjoyed those customised tramway pieces  ;)

Is it the big factory that you can see from Krakus mound?


Yet another interesting update. I, too, remember when you posted these, but I don't know if that was just before or after I came out of lurkerdom ::)

I think Nowa Huta is really fascinating because it defies everything we are taught about socialist architecture. I actually find it rather cozy.

It is an interesting reflection you do with seeing something in the game first and then seeing it in reality afterwards, or the opposite way around. You should travel to some other place that Korver has recreated, that would probably be the easiest solution :P It is kind of a déjà vu thing I think.
Come join me on a hike to St Edmea!

Latest update: 7

"In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy." - John Sawhill


It's very well done, I love all the lots you created for your city. The image with the factory is my favorite, it is there, built close to the houses but it does not shock, the transition is beautiful. :thumbsup:
My CJ :

My european road textures project : S N T - v.2.1



An object mentioned by Feyss ;)

On a hill not so far from the city centre, there is a mysterious mound. According to archeological investigations, it's dated back to between 8th and 10th century, while the legend says that it was created to commemorate a legendary king Krakus, founder of Kraków that was named by him.

Source: Wikipedia, author: Mateusz Giełczyński

In the past there was an oak planted on top of it, but as the Christianity were introduced on those lands, the oak, being a pagan symbol, has been cut down.

Thanks to its location it is a perfect view point towards all directions - including the city centre, remote steel mill and, during good weather conditions, Tatra Mountains.

Photo taken by Feyss. Thanks! This link redirects to the full size of the photo.

Just by there are other characteristical points, like a radio and tv tower, or a quarry inside of which there are remainings of decoration used for "Schindler's list" film. In this quarry were working prisoniers of nearby former nazi concentration camp KL Plaszow. They are decorations, rebuilded just for the purposes of the movie, as the original structures have been demolished just after the II World War.

Source: Wikipedia, author: Jakub Hałun

Krakus Mound is not the only one in Kraków. There are three more, dedicated to legendary princess Wanda, Józef Piłsudski and general Tadeusz Kościuszko. The latter one has been turned by Austrians into a fortress... but that's in the next episode ;)

Source: Wikipedia, author: Mach240390

Feyss - You actually reminded me about mounds! I forget to prepare them, so this particular update has been shown thanks to you :D  I'm not sure about which factory, you're talking about, as from Krakus Mound the view is possible in each direction. Under this link, there is a view towards east, the second one in the background is the steel mill. Regarding the tramway piecies, I like them too ;) They pass tramway traffic trough, but unfortunately they're not UDI-enabled :/
Karl - Tack! Kind of reversed deja vu, there :P I'd need to go to Piza or Venice, to get the same effect with Korver's work that I've seen in his topic, but not yet in reality ;)
Akallan - Merci! Yeah, there was quite of lotting and making few props for this district. I'm glad that you liked it :)
Thank you for visiting Kolbrów, and for being for last ten years!


I have exactly the same picture  :D

I like the pedestrian bridge on the avenue+tramway here  :thumbsup:



In  18th century Kraków became a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire. Festung Krakau in German, or Twierdza Kraków in Polish means "Kraków Fortress" and refers to chain of more than 50 fortifications and other objects around entire Kraków that were created by Austrians o reinforce the city. The main point was the Wawel Hill (serving as headquarters and barracks), however many of them are located in other parts of the city centre or even kilometers away from it.

Source: Wikipedia, author: Andrzej Otrębski

In the last update you could have seen a photo of Kościuszko Moud surrounded and turned into a fortress. Today, there is a museum inside, but many of them have disappeared or turned into ruins with only few having survived in good condition.

Source: Wikipedia, author: Piotr Tomaszewski, fly4pix.pl

On the other hand many of them remain quiet, hidden between newer developement.

They hold a fascinating part of the history of the city, but gets very little attention, compared to other landmarks.

Forts are not so easy to photograph, so it might be easier to look at them in 3D. Below there are links to several ones at Google Earth 3D:

Fort "Kleparz", directly in the city centre, today there is a music club inside.

Fort "Kościuszko", created by surrounding Kościuszko's Mound.

Fort "Benedykt", located at the top of St. Benedict's Hill, just above Podgórze district.

Fort "Lubicz". Only foundations remained. They have been uncoverd during construction of that large roundabout and lowering terrain level.

Sorry for the delay in posting. Even though I have prepared most of the stuff to show, RL things are still there... Anyway, I hope you enjoy! :)

Feyss - Thanks Feyss, I'm glad that you liked it. It was nice to discover your pictures from Kraków! :)

Also, thanks to Arthur, Karl, Tyberius and siemanthepieman for pressing "like" buttons ;)
Thank you for visiting Kolbrów, and for being for last ten years!



Link to Google Earth 3D

Błonia, is a vast meadow with an area of 48ha directly adjacent to the historic centre of Kraków. They make approximately 1,5km long window pointing at Kościuszko Mound. At their beginning point, there is a national museum and an abandoned hotel from 1960's called Cracovia. With quite sad history of being threatend by demolishon, it was in recent years turned into another museum. 

Source: Wikipedia, author: RaNo

In the past, when there was not so much developement around them and the terrain was not well drained, Błonia were used as public pasture field. Even in 1950s it was possible to see cows there. However, today (with nearby parks and stadiums) they are a giant space dedicated to recreation and large events, which most known were masses celebrated by Pope John Paul II and his successors. Some of them are said to have had more than 2 mln people gathered at once.

Source: Gazeta Krakowska

The last big event were World Youth Day in 2016. Pope Francis, as well as approximately 3 mln pilgrims from around the worlds. Part of the events took place at Błonia, however the main final mass on a large open field near Kraków. Interesting fact is that it was the first time when the pope arrived at scene not in his special papal car, but in... a tramway!

For the time of WYD, Kraków became an amazing place. With almost every street filled with hundreds or tousands of people from around the world, it was possible to see a lot of happines, joy and humour, like at that particular moment every person was a friend. Also, it was possible to hear dozens of languages: mostly Spanish (majority coming from South America), French, Italian, Portuguese and English.

That time was quite heavy for residents, with transportation and safety rules turned upside down, but generaly turned out to be very safe and filled with an incredible atmosphere that Kraków has never experienced before. And I took part in all of that ;)

General view. Click for full size

Are there anyone who came to Kraków then, or has been to other World Youth Days? ;)
Thank you for visiting Kolbrów, and for being for last ten years!


This was the big triangular field we saw! :shocked2: I never made the connection! :-X

Great areal work as always!
Come join me on a hike to St Edmea!

Latest update: 7

"In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy." - John Sawhill


Congratulations my friend !!

Sorry for not commenting on the latest updates, I have to say that I have really enjoyed watching and reading these updates. Krakow is a wonderful city and you are doing an incredible job,

Keep up this amazing job  &apls &apls

                                                                                     || Benelux Team || Windows on the World || My Photos on Flickr || Kelis BNL Projects ||


Impressive work on that triangular field. I take it the hotel is the flat building near the T tram intersection?

Also congrats on 1000 posts !!!
I'll take a quiet life... A handshake of carbon monoxide.

Props & Texture Catalog

manga rivotra

Your recent updates are really beautiful !  &apls &apls &apls
The overviews are very well reproduced and the realism is spectacular.
I have a preference for the fortifications of Kościuszko Moud. Excellent work !  :thumbsup:


Very nice updates, I did not have time to comment on the previous ones, but everything is beautiful! The MMP work and planning of the city is very well done, good job! :thumbsup:
My CJ :

My european road textures project : S N T - v.2.1



We're slowly reaching the end of the series, now going back to modernism.

Kraków is often called the historical and cultural capital of Poland and this statement has really strong foundations, as you may have already seen. The history is not the only face of the city, however. As the life goes on, more and more modern achitecture popped up. Today, there are many new offices built all around the city, most of them in last 10 years. However, there are two older 1970's skyscrapers that are probably the best known ones.

Author: Krzysztof Leśnodorski & Zdzisław Arct, design project from years 1972-75.
Image found at http://krakow.wyborcza.pl/krakow/51,35812,6216304.html?i=2

The first one, popularly called Błękitek, is the highest building in the city. It was meant to be a part of a new modern district of skyscrapers, "Manhattan" of Kraków. The huge plans fell trough, however, and only two towers have been built. From today perspective we may see it as actually better, as if the plans were achieved, the calm and cosy ambiance of Kraków might have been destroyed with a massive skyline. This particular tower got its present name after being refurbished in 1990's ("błękit" in Polish means the azure colour).

Source: Wikipedia, author: Mateusz Giełczyński

The second skyscraper had less luck than its nearby brother. Its construction started also in similiar time, but it was soon abandoned. With the main structure constructed, it has kept scarying with its picture for more than 30 years, so it has been named as the "Skeletor" (Szkieletor in Polish). There was many plans to finish or destroy it, most of them fell trough. Even in 2010, when Kacper created its model for SimCity, there was no chance of finishing it at sight. Since last year, however, it finally found an investor that started works, so probably the Skeletor is going to change its appearance in the neareset future.
Source: Wikipedia, author: Janusz Klimek

In the line between those two towers, there are also three identical smaller office buildings. They hold know some companies, as well as offices of the city and the voivodeship.

Błękitek in Google Earth 3D
Szkieletor in Google Earth 3D

Karl - Ja, det var det ;) Tack!
kelis - Thanks a lot for those words! I'm happy that you came there for that time :)
Arthur - Merci beaucoup! :) Yes, you guess it right, the brown one just by the avenue with tramway and trees with parking lots in front of it.
manga rivotra - Thanks! :)
Akallan - Thanks! Content d'entendre ça! :)

Thank you for visiting Kolbrów, and for being for last ten years!


Really great job Kamil, as always  &apls


I missed your last update! :O Great update as always! It is interesting to see all these grand projects, how they thought about their future and how it turned out, and how that pattern repeats itself over time and place. It is also an interesting difference in attitude between having the tram stop inside the roundabout versus outside the roundabout.
Come join me on a hike to St Edmea!

Latest update: 7

"In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy." - John Sawhill


A belated congratulations on 10 years  :bnn:  Huge accomplishment and it's been such a pleasure to follow over time. As usual, I love your work with plazas, open spaces, and historic centers, the tram network is excellent, and I really liked the way the ancient hill turned out  &apls The recreations are faithful and enjoyable and the progression through time is a fun way to tell the story of your development here. I hope your MD will be around for many years to come  :)


We can see the contrast between this neighbourhood and Kolbrow's tidy city centre. That's also something that I like to do in my cities  :D

I'm looking forward to see the next update  ;)



There has been a quite long pause since the last post, sorry for this, but some real life stuff occupied me.

We've reached the end of our trip around Kolbrów. As I said once, I really thought about going for a "retirement" after reaching 10 years. It's a plenty of time and the life is going further. However, now I see that I can still find some fun in playing that game. A game that became a kind of a sandbox of my own experiences. And, what is more important, a game that is a doorway into an awesome community.

And that's why I have to say to all of you: thank you! You, all my readers, give me the power to publish effects of my work. I'm really glad to know that there are some people from the entire world that watch, read and follow updates and sometimes even find an inspiration in them. All of your kind words in the comments that you have left troughout last decade make me still keeping this work. And saying: "that's not yet the end" :)

During last month I have shown you several places in the city that refers to real Kraków. I hope that you found them interesting, as well as short descriptions and summaries of their history. It's been just a tip of the iceberg. There's still plenty of other places in Kolbrów unvealed. Some of them are to be seen below, in a series of more or less characteristic locations of the city, some of them will still need to wait a bit.

But also the real Kraków has a lot to offer. I would never be able to recreate all its gems in the game. Moreover, there's much more beyond the achitecture - the history, culture, legends and local traditions that (as I've written at the very beginning of that series) create together an image of a multilateral city. I hope that you have a chance to visit it someday and discover all those little treasures by yourselves ;)

All real-life photos in this updates have been taken by feyss. I invite you to visit his flickr account. Thank you for allowing me to use them!


Thank you for visiting Kolbrów, and for being for last ten years!


Interesting way to make river banks in the second picture. I'm taking notes :D

I think I just started playing SC4 when you first started your MD here. It has always been a good source of inspiration for me ;)

Congratulations for those 10 years and thank you for your MD :thumbsup: