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I am the passenger
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
KATO by a newcomer

Hi guys!

I have moved downtown recently and thought it would be quite nice to start a photo thread about the city I live in now. This is not going to be an eye candy thread with fancy architecture and well-off areas. I am going to show you the city as I see it - sometimes beautiful and modern, sometimes ugly and dirty.

So, to begin with, let me introduce you my university's new library. I had to sit down there and read some books and I took my camera with me. While taking photos, a security woman approached me and ordered me to stop photographing because it was forbidden there. Luckily, she didn't asked me to erase my camera's memory :)





 

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The library is called CINiBA which is an acronym of Centrum Informacji Naukowej i Biblioteka Akademicka, which means something like The Science Information Center and Academic Library. There is 52 kilometres (circa 30 miles) of shelves there and almost a million books, over one hundred computers, two dozens of personal work cubicles, cafeteria, advanced xerox and few quit work rooms, self-checks and you can return books in so-called wrzutomat even when the place is closed (at night for instance).

But enough data.

I find it really impressive. Modern architecture and technology, everything is new there, the staff is nice and polite so learning there will be a pleasure!








That would be all for today. Comments will be really appreciated! Thanks for watching :)
 

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So far, I like what I see. I think you're a good photographer who will be able to capture this city well. Isn't Katowice going through major renovations? There's also some interesting modern architecture now. The new shopping center and train station will be amazing.
 

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As a matter of fact, it is. There is a huge development in the very heart of the city, where the main square and main railway station (just two blocks away from each other) are being reconstructed. I've heard that the railway station is the biggest non-public investment in latest 20 years but I can't say whether it's true or not.

Thanks for your opinion :)
 

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So, as you wish!

I live on ninth floor now and have this amazing view on downtown. That black area on the right is a construction site of the new Convention Centre and Silesian Museum which will be partly underground. The new building of Polish National Radio Orchestra is on hold there too.




Altus is the tallest (125 metres / 410 feet) skyscraper in the city and also in the whole southern Poland. There is a really nice Skybar on the 27th floor and Qubus Hotel there. The third photo shows the new County Court building in the other part of the city.




Morning view towards old downtown. The cathedral dome is visible on the left.

 

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The new County Court located in south Downtown won some architectural prizes but in my opinion it's not so great. I mean, looks nice but nothing extraordinary.






The Music Academy, on the other hand, is terrific.

 

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Thanks, Benonie. Katowice hides its greatest parts ;)

Missing the European capital of coal and steel?








Nordic walking is more and more popular among elderly people these days. Not all of them do it properly, though ;)


Bicycle paths, contrary to western European countries, are mostly located next to sidewalks, not as a part of road. It has its advantages and disadvantages - during rainy days or in winter it's better but many pedestrians don't notice when the sidewalk ends and walk on a bicycle path too.







 

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Discussion Starter #11
Northern part of the city was developed in the 60s and 70s, so you can see huge buildings, wide roads and huge free spaces between them.













 

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The Americans were voting last night... so did we :D

Of course, it was just fun, not a real voting, though I found it quite interesting and very impressive, as the whole room was decorated with banners, people were wearing stereotypical American cloths, there were free badges, hats and so on. The Consul General of the United States in Kraków, Mrs Ellen Germain came too and impressed us with her Polish language. The program included various lectures, some by Polish professors, some by the Americans in Katowice (prof. Creston Davis - the most American person I have ever met :D), some by the Americans experts in the US talking with us via Skype. Three TV channels were there, faculty from my university and the Silesian Uni, other people from the Consulate and so on.

Obama won by 154 votes, Romney had 89 (including mine ;) ) Ron Paul has 7 votes, 1 vote was a joke and two were wrongly filled.






These people here were the shining stars of yesterday's evening. That kid made us laugh all night long ;)






There was also a jazz band Schmidt Quartet performing yesterday.




Here's a Skype connection with professor David Crockett from the University of Texas in San Antonio.





 

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Okay, so it's been a while since my last post in this thread but as you can see, I'm back!

I quite like this German-Kaiser style of architecture that is left in Katowice, as opposed to the Polish-Communist style. Both styles can be spotted in this photo and I guess it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which one is the better one.


Ulica Francuska (French Street) has witnessed a small office-space boom recently. This street connects A4 Highway and East Downtown and was one of the most important streets in the city since 19th century. Fortunately, some years ago most of the traffic moved from here to a parallel Graniczna (Border Street) so many bistros could open here. This photo shows GTC Francuska Office Centre.


GTC Francuska Office Centre consists of two 7-floor, A class office buildings with an office space of 11 thousand square meters. Apart from offices, there is also a restaurant in the lobby and a parking space for 200 cars.


Katowice's Court had been presented by me already so I won't write much about it.


The newest investment in the area is this office building, the property of Echo Investments. It's still under construction: first building is almost finished but the demand was so great that Echo started to build second building, along with an underground garage. One of the most important tenants here will be IBM, who employs 400 people in Katowice now and plans to expand to 2,000 employees in 2015.


Back to the old part of the city.


A quick look down the Lompy Street. That building in the foreground is Altus, the tallest office tower in Katowice (125 meters).


This simple but quite large building serves as Kompania Węglowa S.A. headquarters. Kompania Węglowa S.A. is the largest coal-mining corporation in European Union, with over 60,000 employees and 40 millions tonnes of coal produced each year.


Just few steps further we can see this cute mansion. The most significant leader of Polish-Silesians - Wojciech Korfanty - used to live here. Currently it serves as a kindergarten. We'll get back to Mr Korfanty later.


Once a Silesian Parliament, this building currently host several voivodeship-level offices. It is really enormous, like a smaller-scale Pentagon ;) Corridors have a length of 6 kilometers, there is a paternoster and in the two-level basement there is a special room for Silesian treasury (which swamps if someone unauthorized enters it). There is also a Marble Room (previously Reception Room) - redesigned by Albert Speer, Hitler's architect, during II World War, to look familiar to Berlin's Reich Chancellery. Because the Berlin's original was destroyed, this room is often used to film historical movies.


As said before, we're getting back to Mr Korfanty.


This beautiful, though a little dirty building hosts am ambulatory now but its history is much darker. During II World War it was Gestapo headquarters and many people died inside it. They're commemorated by a memorial.


And to end this post, here's my new window view (I need to clear my lens)


Thanks for watching, I hope you liked it! Any replies will be appreciated :)
 
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