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Oświęcim

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Market place
Town Hall

Oświęcim [1] is a city in Jura Mountains in southern Poland.

Understand

Oświęcim, a town of 43,000, lies in Southern Poland, roughly 60 km from Kraków. The town is best known as being home to Auschwitz I, a WWII concentration camp, and its close proximity to the Auschwitz expansion camp - Auschwitz-Birkenau, an extermination/forced labor camp.

The first record of the town dates to the 10th century. Originally, Germans and Poles inhabited the town. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Jewish population of Oświęcim began to grow and in a relatively short time Jews were in the majority.

Get in

Get around

  • Bus

Buses are frequent and cheap, if not totally reliable around the town. Particularly to the Auschwitz museum not far away.

  • Foot

Oswiecim is easily navigated on foot, as everything is closeby.

See

  • Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp
  • Oswiecim Castle
  • Cemetery of Moses Religion
  • Auschwitz Jewish Center, it includes a museum about the former jewish life in Oświęcim. Jews were for 150 years the majority in this town.

Do

Visit Old Town Market, and Chewra Lomdei Misznajot Temple, and the castle. There is also new modern library, and ice hockey stadium.

Life Festival Oświęcim [2], music, theatre, art festival which main concept is building peaceful relations between cultures. May.

Buy

Anything, as Poland is notoriously cheap.

Eat

  • Hotel Galicja, a bit pricy, but fancy cuisine. Dabrowskiego Street.
  • Rapsodia the pizzeria. Good Italian style pizzas, reasonably prices. Sniadeckiego Street (by the town's Culture Center (OCK)).
  • Scorpion Restaurant, just opposite the Station, very cheap, not overly friendly, but a wide variety to choose from when waiting for a train.
  • Bistro Bilard, The best Italian restaurant- pizzeria and billiard club. Opposite the Museum Auschwitz- Birkenau (Leszczyńskiej Street).

Drink

  • Pub Kancelaria Caffe, Tea and drinks - is near synagogue temple and Castle. Place in Old Oświęcim town decor, with before WW2 photographs of town and people who lived in town.

Sleep

  • Hotel Olecki [3] good hotel, reasonably priced, a few meters from Auschwitz 1
  • Hotel Galicja [4] a short taxi ride from railway station and memorial.

Get out

  • Krakow

An hour's journey from Oswiecim, take the bus or the train from the train station. See Kraków for more information.


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