For many people Belchatow is only the famous largest mine and Mount Kamiensk, which are not even within the administrative borders of the city. A landscape dominated by a mine, a power plant and largely transformed by man, I face further changes and ideas to create an innovative place.
In this post, we’ll show you where Mount Kamieńsk is, the largest hole in the ground in Poland, a beautiful manor house in the center of the city, and where kids get gigantic power!
It’s time to disenchant another city in the Lodz province as part of our ambassadorship ;) We will show you both the city of Belchatow and its famous surroundings.
Table of contents
Belchatow mine and power plant
Let’s start with the biggest hole in the ground in Poland, namely the mine and its adjacent areas. Mines and power plants that have significantly affected (and continue to affect) the environment.
The open-pit mine near Belchatow is the only place of its kind in Poland – it is here that we will see a huge 12-kilometer-long, 3-kilometer-wide and 200-meter-deep depression in the ground, the place where lignite coal was extracted, formed from plants growing here some 20 million years ago.
We have been here many times, both in the days of school trips, our trips together, and even as part of an orienteering bike rally. Every time, but every time, standing at the main vantage point of the Kleszczów mine, we can’t help but marvel at how large an area has been mined for coal.
Even if the photos don’t convey the size of the whole thing, pay attention to the people (if you have a falcon’s eye) or vehicles down below – enough of a reference point to grasp how huge the areas are occupied (although these machines are downright monstrous in size, too).Please define valid width and height attributes for remote images. This will also optimize the loading time of the remote panorama.
The reference to soccer fields in the article also gives a good comparison
: Soccer enthusiasts could fit 5,000 in the area. soccer fields!
The size of the mine itself is followed by big numbers on coal production, as we can read about on the
the mine: annually approx. 40-42 million tons of “brown gold”, which is more than 60% of Poland’s annual output of this resource.
The mine can be visited as part of organized groups – you can’t enter just off the street. Depending on the option, you can go to the viewing terraces or to the excavation (the second option is available only to people aged 15 and over).
The power plant is located in the village of Rogowiec, and the puffs of steam coming out of the cooling towers and exhaust from the tall chimneys can be seen from afar. It is the largest power plant in the world that converts lignite coal into electricity. Unfortunately, it also tops the rather infamous list of the largest carbon dioxide emitters in the entire European Union.
The areas around the mine are trailing high-voltage lines, conveyor belts and machinery, the operation and role of which we learned only in Belchatow itself, but about that in a moment. It is also the richest municipality in Poland, which can be seen at every turn (we are talking about the Kleszczów municipality, of course). I remember how impressed I was with the new, straight sidewalks, bike paths and a school that was the envy of students from the big city.
However, it is important to know that the coal seams at the site are not infinite. The Belchatow field has a license to mine coal until 2026, while the Szczerców field will be mined until ca. 2040
So what does the future hold for the current mine site? Will it become a machine graveyard of skyrocketing proportions? Already a lot of smart people are thinking about how to transform this place into two huge and at the same time the deepest water reservoir in Poland, which could become a place of rest and recreation. The plans and visualizations look really interesting, but the plans put the end of the work at a rather distant approx. 2060 (?!?!) year. We are very curious about the end result. Maybe our grandchildren will live to see it ;)
Some 20 minutes’ drive from the mine, Mount Kamieńsk is an artificial embankment and the highest elevation in central Poland. There is a ski slope, ski lifts, a toboggan run, numerous bicycle trails of varying levels, as well as inflatable attractions and trampolines for the youngest.
From afar you can see the windmills on the hill, which produce electricity for approx. 6 thousand. holdings.
In the summer, on Sundays, the place wakes up to life quite late, as late as around 11 am. That’s when you can hear the first rasps of the gliding ski lift, the sounds of the roll-up blinds at the ticket offices and the hum from the toboggan run.
On the other side of the heap, cyclists try their hand at it, climbing to the top in a sweat on the asphalt road. But it’s not just paved roads that await cyclists. They can enjoy a total of 60 kilometers (!!!) of trails, including extreme riding trails.
In winter, on the other hand, winter enthusiasts come here and ski down the groomed ski slope. It may not be very impressive compared to typical mountain slopes, but for residents of central Poland for a quick trip of a couple of hours to go skiing, it’s ideal.
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Kamieńsk Mountain, combined with the lakes planned in the area, could become an extremely attractive destination for a weekend getaway, although there is still plenty to do here today.
That said, since we’ve already seen the mine and Mount Kamiensk, while in the area, Belchatow is also worth a look. Although the city doesn’t abound with many monuments, there are a few places of interest.
Apple Orchard in Belchatow
We took our first steps to the newly opened place – Apple Orchard, financed by European Funds, within the framework of the Regional Operational Program of the Lodz Voivodeship. Although the word open is used here more in the context of the grand opening and finalization of the planting of trees, preparation of paths and installation of benches and pergolas.
It is right next to a block of flats, open to everyone, with no fences or wickets. However, these are just the beginnings of an orchard planted with 10 varieties of domestic apple trees and seven species of fruit bushes.
Probably the place will look beautiful in a few years, when the freshly planted trees and bushes will grow and bloom, and residents will be able to taste apples – the symbol of Belchatow.
Olszewski Manor House
The most interesting place in Belchatow, in our opinion, is the so-called Olszewski Manor from the 18th century. It is a grand building surrounded by green areas with numerous benches and bridges over the Rakka River. An ideal place for a walk in the city center.
The building houses the Regional Museum, entry to which is free on Sundays. The museum features replicated rooms showing what noble interiors might have looked like. Civil weddings are held in the Concert Hall. In addition, you can see an exhibition on the history of Belchatow, history from the Stone Age to modern times, crafts and the Salon of Independence Traditions.
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Gabriel Narutowicz Square in Belchatow
The central place in Belchatow is Gabriel Narutowicz Square. It is here that you can cool off in the fountain on hot days, eat ice cream purchased from one of the many ice cream shops, and the youngest have a playground at their disposal. The place is arranged in such an interesting way that there is plenty of greenery and shade, as well as places to sit and take a break.
Next to it is a community center and the parish of St. Peter’s. Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The building that is more striking, however, is the PGE Gigantes of Power building. It is a museum, and more of an interactive educational center showing both the history of the extraction and use of energy sources and the operation of the power plant itself.
So if you have another hour of free time while in Belchatow, it’s worth going there.
Such attractions as Kamieńsk Mountain or the vantage point of the largest hole in the ground in Poland may be familiar to you, but have you been there? :) In our opinion, this is a good idea for a short weekend getaway.
And if you are already in the area, be sure to also visit Belchatow itself, where several interesting places also await you.
We also invite you to visit the photo gallery of our entire trip:
We also recommend our video on You Tube, Belchatow and surrounding areas:
The project titled. “Energy, nature and tradition – on the Bełchatów trail”, “Revitalization of the degraded area of the city of Bełchatów – stage I”. and “Increasing access to culture through the purchase of equipment for the Municipal Cultural Center in Belchatow” are co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund and the state budget under the Regional Operational Program of the Lodz Voivodeship 2014-2020.