Kamień Pomorski is a town in the north-west of Poland, in Kamień County of which it is the capital. The town is close to Zalew Kamieński (Kamień Bay) and about 5 km from the Baltic Sea. The estuary part of the River Dziwna gives the town a direct link to the Baltic Sea.
You can reach Kamień Pomorski taking the 107 road, being linked to the E 65 route (A-road 3) as well as by railway running from Szczecin to Świnoujście. It is about 50 km to the nearest airport in the town of Goleniów.
The Kamień commune has an area of 208,2 square km with the population of about 15 000 (10 000 inside town limits).
The name of the town comes from a huge boulder lying in the waters of Kamień Bay (on the north bank of the nearby Chrząszczewska Island. Thr boulder, named King Boulder, has got 20 m in circumference and is 3 m above water level. It was transported and placed there by the Pleistocene glacier from the present day Scandinavia about 10 000 years ago. The name is associated with a legendary event that took place in 1121. That is where, in all probability, the Polish king (not crowned but unquestionable in Pomerania) Bolesław Krzywousty welcomed a parade of the Pomeranian fleet.
Coats of Arms
As early as the 14th century the figure of Saint John above the town walls and between two croziers began to be used on town seals. On some seals, in his left hand, Saint John is holding a book with a lamb on it and, in addition, two stars are seen on the wall. Today, the coat of arms with the blue background, represents the figure of Saint John between 2 croziers and behind the white walls. The saint is wearing a white and red robe and a gold halo is placed above his head.
The coat of arms is a proof that the town belonged to the Kamień bishopric.
Kamień Pomorski is one of the oldest towns in West Pomerania. The very first traces of settlement in this area dates back to ancient times. There was a stronghold here as early as the 9th century and a hundred years later a settlement of craftsmen was established. At the turn of
the 11th and 12th centuries Kamień Pomorski was the capital of West Pomerania. The first recognized duke, the founder of Pomeranian Gryfit Dynasty residing in Kamień Pomorski, was Warcisław I. It was him who invited and welcomed the mission led by bishop Otton of Bamberg in 1124. From 1175 on, in a few centuries, the town was also the seat of West Pomeranian bishopric.
Kamień Pomorski received city rights, granted by Duke Barnim I, in 1274. The event of receiving the city rights resulted in the rapid development of the town. Good location and easy land access to German seaside towns marked out a trade route running throughout this area from Kołobrzeg, Słupsk and Gdańsk.
Numerous privileges granted by the duke resulted in the development of trade in addition to agriculture, fishing and craft. The town had very tight connections with the Hanseatic League In a few hundred years of its history the town remained under Dutch, Brandenburg, Swedish and Prussian control. Since 1945 it has been part of Poland – it was granted to Poland after World War II.
Step back in time and experience the beauty of Kamień Pomorski. Walk the streets and enjoy the historic sites of the town including numerous examples of both sacral and secular architecture, the most valuable of which are presented below:
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist – founded by Duke Casimir I. in 1175 when the bishopric was moved from Wolin to Kamień Pomorski as a consequence of Dutch raids. The cathedral was erected as a cruciform building and apart from the north wall of the transept, which was built of granite, the whole cathedral was built of brick. The three-aisle body of the cathedral was built in the late gothic style before 1385 and a tower was erected in its western part. The present tower is the third one and it was built in the 1930s. At the end of the 15th century the cathedral received a splendid altar (form of triptic) , the one we can admire today. The sculptures of St. John the Baptist exhibited in the chancel, the oak stalls as well as the cross above the entrance bars come from the same period.
Erazm Manteuffel – the last catholic bishop in Kamień Pomorski died in 1544 and after his death, until 1648, the church was a Lutheran chapter and later became a union-evangelic church. At that time the interior of the cathedral received the baroque organ (1669), the pulpit (1683), the bars (1684) with the altar in front of the chancel (the present altar situated next to the first column on the right) and the bars (1685) round the stone font from the 13th century. After World War II the cathedral became a Roman Catholic church and in 1972 Pope Paul VI decided that the cathedral would become a Szczecin-Kamień diocese and as a result the cathedral itself would become a co-cathedral.
Patio garden – founded at the beginning of the 14th century. It is the only internal garden inside church walls in Poland. In the past it was a place of religious services, processions, meditation and public penance. A five-hundred-year-old thuja, a three-hundred-year-old oak and over a hundred-year-old ever green holly are examples of the very old and protected plants which can be found in the garden. In 1890 gravestones were removed from the cathedral floor and placed in the garden to preserve these gothic and renaissance works of arts - symbolising that West Pomeranian dukes and bishops were buried there.
The Treasury dating back to the mid-14th century is located above the eastern wing of the arcades. Originally, the four gothic rooms served as accommodation for priests but later on a collection of sacral art was started there. At the final phase of WW II the collection and the interior of the treasury were taken away and disappeared. At present Cathedral Museum is housed there (valuable old documents and manuscripts from the cathedral library, medals and tin dishes are displayed) Contact: 0 888591 219
Organ – founded in 1669 by Pomeranian Duke Ernest Boguslav de Croy and Arechot. (the last on the distaff side of Gryfit dynasty), designed by Michael Berigel from Szczecin.
13 m in width, height of 9 m and 2660 pipes - makes an impressive size. The cost of the organ amounted to 4000 thalers (then currency). During WW II the instrument was severely damaged It was renovated in 1962 and regained its excellent quality - again it has 47 tones and the increased number of 3300 pipes.
The Cathedral and the so called Cathedral estate were listed on Polish President`s List of Historical Monument in August 2005.
Bishop Mansion – built in the 14th century, called Bishop Palace. The old records say that it was the diocese seat from the 14th to 16th century. The characteristic features of its architecture are: the renaissance northern front, the triple staircase inside the building and the bay window on the western side wall from the 16th century being an example of the finest works of that type in Pomerania.
St. Mary`s Church – built in the north-eastern part of the old settlement. Its prototype was the church founded by bishop Otto of Bamberg at the time of his mission in 1124. The church was rebuilt after the damages in the 17th century. The present form has its origins in 1753. It is a building with triple side closure in the east and a tower in the west. On top of the tower there is a double lantern and helmet – fine example of baroque ornaments.
St Nicolas` Church
Built in the 14th century of bricks and stone
Originally, it was a hospital chapel without a tower, located on the hill out of town. As a result of later alterations in the 16th century, a new span was built as well as a pentagonal tower covered with shingle. The hill is a place where inhabitants of Kamień Pomorski were buried.
Built at the turn of 13th and 14th centuries in the centre of Old Town market place The process of construction might be divided into six phases, each of which lasting for several years. The reason for that was the necessity of enlarging the already built construction or renovations due to war damages. Only in 1969 after post-war rebuilding, the town hall received its original gothic form. The characteristic architectural features of this building are: the arcade on the eastern front wall (served as a court of law), part of the building that served as a meetning spot for councillors (occasional events and trade took place there too) and the western front from the 16th century with rich ornamentations (that is where the town coat of arms was placed in 1969). At present the town hall houses town authorities.
Wolin Gate and Tower, both built after 1308, erected along with the bailey around the town including seven other towers and four gates – Cathedral, Monastic, Butter and Fishing Gate, of which the only preserved is so called Butter Gate. It was built in gothic style and in the 19th century received a new finial. Since June 2001 the tower has housed Museum of Stones.
Historic places in the area:
*Benice – Palace of Von Flemming Family – now Lower Secondary School, park
*Górki Pomorskie –earliest records -1344, the church built in mid 15th century.
*Giżkowo – the palace
*Jarszewo – first records date back to 1308 and the name that appeared in them was Jarsow; the church from the beginning of 16th century, restored after the fire in 1634 and extended in the 18th century, inside there is valuable interior in gothic-renaissance and baroque styles. The tower – wooden belfry from the 17th cent.
*Połchowo – a settlement from 10-12th centuries (Gardzka Kępa), viewpoint over the Bay and the Chrząszczewo Island and Gardzka Kępa (the place of hatching for e.g. the grey heron and cormorant in the oak forest with 120 year old trees).
*Sibin – the church from the 14th century, French mansion park planted in the 18th century.
*Śniatowo- Palace of von Flemming Family –a nursing home now, the park by the lake
*Trzebieszewo- the church built in the latter half of the 15th cent., extended at the end of the 17th cent, the apse from 1544. The wooden part of the tower with octagonal helmet dates to 1569. The tower has a steep gothic portal.
What makes Kamień Pomorski attractive today is tourism, spa treatments, recreation and relaxation opportunities. The well-preserved historic heritage attracts a number of tourists. Additionally, the vicinity of water reservoirs (Kamień Bay, the River Dziwna the River Świniec, Lake Wrzosowo) attracts sailing and rowing lovers as well as fishing fans. Excellent wind conditions on the Bay along with sailing infrastructure give great opportunities to organize both domestic and international sailing competitions.The sports center built in 2004, including the stadium complex makes it possible to do several disciplines.
The number of farms, where accommodation is offered to those who long for holidays in peaceful surroundings and away from the noisy resorts, is growing.
A very important factor which has greatly influenced the development of
Kamień Pomorski was discovery of brine that took place 100 years ago as well as therapeutic mud.
Main treatments provided by Health Spa include mobility, respiratory and circulatory system diseases as well as neurological and rheumatic disorders.
The spa offers early cardiological, orthopedic and post-mastectomy rehabilitation
The spa complex incudes sanatoriums and spa hospitals, natural therapeutic resources and indoor brine pool.
The town and the commune have an interesting offer for potential investors including building plots (both for individual and commercial use) and industrial sites (part of former airport in Śniatowo).
How to spend time in Kamień Pomorski
1 Adventure with history – recommended tours:
*Cathedral complex – listed on Polish President`s Historic Monument List in 2005.
The cathedral and its internal garden as well as the Treasury, The Bishop Palace, Mansion of Ernst von Kleist (the inventor of electric condenser) and other buildings (the school, House of Jan Vianey, the former vicarage, the house of nuns ) – duration: 1,5 – 2 hours.
Old defence system – the walls in the vicinity of the Bay, Butter Gate, Wolin Gate and Tower (visiting Museum of Stones), the moat – about 1 hour.
Churches in Kamień Pomorski – the Cathedral, St Mary`s Church, St Nicolas` Church on Żalnik Hill – about 1 hour.
Old Town – Town Hall (western front with the coat of arms), old houses in Grifit Street, the place next to St Mary`s Church – where the original settlement was established, viewpoint on top Wolin Gate an Museum of Stones (view over the medieval town planning structure) – 40 minutes.
Quayside- the pier, the footbridge and Marina plus an optional boat trip – 1-2 hours
Kamień Pomorski in a nutshell – the Cathedral, Town Hall, Museum of Stones – about 1,5-2 hours.
2 Active Holidays
• Sports and Cultural Centre – sites for 40 yachts (draught - up to 1,8 m), new sanitary infrastructure, accommodation for 40 guests in single/double/three- or 4-bedded rooms, workshop, a modern hangar for keeping boats, rental of boats and other water sports equipment (e.g. Omega boats, canoes). Information and booking on + 48 913820882 or email@example.com
• Seasonal boat trips on Ship “Victoria” – start at the pier in Kamień Pomorski, sea trips on Ship “Korsarz” from Dziwnów or trips on Kamień Bay (prior booking). Information and booking on + 48 913813072 ex.66
• Sports and Entertainment Centre – volleyball, basketball, handball, football pitch, tennis and table tennis coaching – information and booking + 48 913824277 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• Town Stadium – two fields and tennis court. Booking +48 913824277
• Horse Riding – “Pod Kogutem” – recreation farm in Wrzosowo (outside town limits). Information and booking =48913812931 or www.podkogutem.com. The centre offers horse riding for children and adults all year round (indoor riding-school), cart/sleigh rides, accommodation in family suites and double rooms, full board, bike rental, playground, parking space.
3 Cultural holidays
* Museum of Stones in Kamień Pomorski houses a collection of interesting minerals, fossils as well as exhibits of space origin. While walking through the rooms of the museum attention should be paid to huge amethysts. One of the most interesting exhibits is a duck-beak dinosaur`s nest as well as fossils of bones of prehistoric animals including a complete skeleton of Deinonychus dinosaur and Gibeon meteor. One of the attractions is a film about the life of prehistoric reptiles. The museum is situated in Wolin Gate, which was built in the 14th century (1308) and which is one of the eight gates preserved until now. Excellent view over Kamień Bay and medieval town planning structure. Of interest is the River Dziwna and its floodplain, Chrząszczewo Island.and King Boulder (interesting legend about the origins of the town name)
Address Museum of Stones 1 Słowacki Street (ul. Słowackiego 1), contact 0607870880
open from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. (high season – every day, low season – Tuesday-Sunday).
*The Cathedral – visiting the Treasury, Museum of Kamień Pomorski, the patio garden, Organ concerts (booking in advance on 0 888 591 219)
*Bishop Palace – 7 Cathedral Square - summer exhibitions
*Cultural events: International Festival of Organ and Chamber Music – every Friday (end of June - begin.of September) at 7 p.m.
Information and booking on +48 913820541
Christian Culture Festival “Ottonalia” (last week in June)
Festival of Contemporary Folk Culture (last week in July), information -+48 913824227
4 Relax and rehabilitation in Kamień Pomorski
Health Spa in Kamień Pomorski offers a wide range of treatments, profylaxy and rehabilitation. Treatments for patients with the following heath problems are offered:
mobility, respiratory and circulatory system diseases as well as neurological and rheumatic disorders. The spa offers early cardiological, orthopedic and post-mastectomy rehabilitation
As a special offer the Spa recommends a slimming programme. It provides treatment based on natural resources such as brine and therapeutic mud as well as physiotherapy. It can offer about 6000 places a year and among the patients are both National Health Fund patients and individual or group tourists from Germany, Sweden, Denmark, France, England and many other countries, who do not receive any refund. The spa`s new programmes include treatment of arteriosclerosis with the use of a very effective method called chelation and conferences combined with different treatment.. Guests may choose from single, double or 3-bedded rooms with bathrooms to suites. Information and booking +48913825043.
• In the town
- Hotel Staromiejski – ul. Rybacka 3, tel. + 48 91 38 22 644,
- Hotel „Pod Muzami” – ul. Gryfitów 1, tel. + 48 91 38 22 240,
- Hotel Polski – ul. Szczecińska 42b, tel. + 48 91 38 22 579
- Health Resort and Spa Kamień Pomorski Sp. z o.o.: Sanatorium „Chrobry”- ul. Bankowa 2, tel. + 48 91 38 20 440, + 48 91 38 25 043,
- Hotel „Żeglarski” – ul. Wilków Morskich 4, tel. + 48 91 38 20 882,
- Guest rooms – ul. Kopernika 21, tel. + 48 91 38 20 219
- Youth Hostel– Pl. Katedralny 5, tel. + 48 91 38 20 841 - seasonal
• In the area
Stasing on a farm
- „Pod Kogutem” – Wrzosowo 44, tel. + 48 91 38 12 931;
- Guest House „Mędrek” – Radawka 2, tel. + 48 38 12 984
- „Rainbow-Agro” – Borzysław 12, tel. + 48 91 38 28 820;
- Rancho Panorama – Chrząszczewko 3 on Chrząszczewo Island,
tel. + 48 91 38 25 280; www.infoturystyka.net.pl/panorama
- „Bungalow” – Strzeżewko 1, tel. + 48 91 38 32 288;
Bed & Breakfast:
- „Olech” – Wrzosowo 13, tel. + 48 91 38 12 970;
Eating and drinking
Restaurant „Pod Muzami” – ul. Gryfitów 1, tel. + 48 91 38 20 825
Restaurant „Magellan” – ul. Wysockiego 5, tel. + 48 91 38 21 454
Bar „Pycha” – ul. Chrobrego 1, tel. + 48 91 38 20 989
Pizzeria „Pizza Pick” – ul. Mickiewicza
Pizzeria „Aleksandria” – ul. Jedności Narodowej 16 a, tel. + 48 91 38 25 294
Fish and chips shop „Rybka” – the pier - seasonal
CAFE „O Poranku” – ul. Gryfitów 14, tel. + 48 91 38 22 425
Restaurant „Steńka”- ul. Rejtana 23, tel. + 48 91 38 20 671
Autor: Elzbieta Kucharska
Tłumaczenie: Dorota Różewicka