A common feature of the towns in Western Pomerania involves their medieval roots, which are noticeable mainly in the historic Gothic architecture.
Each region is specific in its own way, and has its own colour, which derives from historical and political events, and geographical and cultural conditions. See the West Pomeranian jewels of Gothic architecture along the European Route of Brick Gothic.
Moryń: medieval town and Geo-Park
In Moryń, which was given its urban character in the 14th century, the medieval urban layout of the streets has survived even until the present day. The heart of the town is the market square surrounded by historic tenement houses and The Great Crayfish Fountain, which refers to the local legend about a courageous young man named Rak (Crayfish). Another pride of the town is the 13th-century Romanesque Church of the Holy Spirit, with its massive tower, along with the defensive walls made of stone.
Your attention also maybe attracted by the Avenue of the Pleistocene Stars in the Moryń Geo-Park, with life-size models of mammals from the ice age, such as the European cave lion, the woolly rhinoceros and the mammoth. Visit the Stone Garden to see 40-50 erratic boulders collected from the surrounding morainic hills.
Chojna: Route of Brick Gothic
The city of Chojna which was founded in the 13th century is situated along the European Route of Brick Gothic. The buildings are dominated over by the spiry tower of St. Mary’s Church (102 m high), which was devastated during the Second World War and which has been reconstructed since 1989, and which is one of the largest and the most beautiful churches representing the Brick Gothic style in Pomerania. The original church furnishings, which have survived till the present day, include the Gothic baptismal font and a few fresco paintings. Other noteworthy Gothic monuments include the Church of the Holy Trinity, with paintings presenting scenes from St. Francis of Assisi’s life, the historical town hall, where today a public library and a culture centre are situated, and the ruins of the Chapel of St. Gertrude dating back to the early 15th century. What has remained of the reinforcement and fortifications of this medieval town are the preserved town gates: the Barnkowska and the Świecka Gates, and the towers: the Baker’s, the Prison and the Stork’s Towers.
Myślibórz: a new life of the Gothic style
Coming to Myślibórz, which was granted its urban charter in the 13th century, will deepen your knowledge of Gothic architecture. It is worth paying a visit to the monumental collegiate Church of St. John the Baptist, dating back to the 13th century, with its historic Baroque altar and a pulpit from the 17th century. The small Jerusalem Chapel is the only keepsake of the old Stations of the Cross. Other Gothic monuments have been adapted for new functions – the post-Dominican complex is the location of the Municipal Culture Centre, the Chapel of the Holy Spirit (14th century) now houses the Myślibórz Lakeland Museum, and the Chapel of St. Gertrude (15th century) houses the Fine Arts Education Centre. Other reminders of the past are the remains of the stone and brick walls with two gates, the Pyrzycka and the Nowogródzka Gates, and the Gunpowder and the Shell Towers.
Stargard: a jewel of the Gothic architecture
A journey along the European Route of Brick Gothic culminates in a visit to Stargard (12th century), which is a city with the highest class and the greatest saturation of monuments in Western and Central Pomerania. The spiry church towers, distinguishing themselves against the panorama of the city, can be seen from afar. In the past, Stargard was a member of the Hanseatic League. The historic part of the city comprises the green belt (3 km), the defensive walls (1 km) with ambushes, as well as the towers, gates, bastions and bastiles. Apart from Kożuchów, Chełmno and Paczków, Stargard is a city with the longest defensive walls in Poland. Here, you will find the original Mill Gate, spanning the river. The tower of the Gothic Church of St. John is one of the highest towers in Poland (99 m). The market square, where the city’s life used to be concentrated in the past, is decorated with the city hall dating back to the 13th century. The most valuable historical building in the market square is the monumental collegiate Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of the World). If you are an art connoisseur, you will also appreciate the beauty of a Gothic tenement house known as Protzen’s House, the arsenal, the Białogórska Tower, the Rampart and the Mill Gates, and the granary.