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Park “Planty” in Mikołów

Park in Mikołów, called “Planty” is situated between the Konstytucji 3. Maja street and the Alexander Stream. The northern part of the park nearly reaches the town center. This area is so called Little Planty and is separated from the Big Planty with the Górnicza street.

The park was established in the 18th century as a closed landscape composition. It is one of the best preserved parks in the Upper Silesia and for many generations it has been a place of walks and meetings for town residents.

Planty is a kind of public garden, originating from the 19th century idea of bringing the green to town centers. Most often planty would be situated in the place of medieval defense walls or directly behind them, whereas the park in Mikołów was established where the former farms had been.

Planty in Mikołów owe its beginning to a hussar cavalry troop’s colonel Korwin-Wierzbicki, the captain of horse. At the end of 18th century, in the most exposed part of today’s park (south-western part of the park), he created a spot imitating leisure gardens with a bathing place and romantic summer houses. Sophisticated compositions of shrubs, flowers and trees were arranged there. In honor of colonel’s wife, Charlotta, the park was called Charlottenthal, whereas local people used to called it “Wymyślanka” (a “Makeupland”). It was to give way to their feelings about sophisticated ideas of Korwin-Wierzbicki.

In 1868 the contemporary owner of this land - August Winkler – gave Wymyślanka to the town against much bigger piece of land owned by the town. We may conclude that it was already then that Mikołów authorities would plan to create a public excursion and leisure place. However at that time coming from Wymyślanka to the town center was only possible using a field way from the Jewish cemetery side. That is way in 1895 they started to work on promenade leading from today’s Karol Miarka street to the Alexander stream valley. It was then that the obelisk, called the Charlotte stone, was placed in Wymyślanka at the end of the promenade. It had a noticeable sign in front „Charlotten thal gegr. 1796” (Charlotte Valley established 1796) and the abbreviations of the German name for the Mikołów Beatifying Association ”V.V.N.” at both sides as well as the dates – ”1865” at one and ”1895” at the other side of the stone (the above mentioned association was created in 1865 and in 1895 it lead to building a promenade to Wymyślanka).

At the beginning the promenade led only with a narrow green path through the town-owned terrain purchased from local people. It was only in 1919 that the town extended the park area with the areas bought from Rudolf Fuchs. From then on we may speak of Planty in Mikołów as we know it.

A huge work to create this extraordinary garden was undertaken by the first Polish Mayer of Mikołów after the World War I Wojciech Rybicki. In the course of time there were more and more decorative shrubs and plants, concert arbor and representative stairs were built in the area of today’s Gymnasium No 1 (primary school at that time). Also children playground and pool were built.

Presently run modernization works are to restore the original splendor from the Charlottenthal times and preserve our culture heritage. In the recent years two flood-retention basins were built which regulated water management on park fenland and became sort of part decoration and ducks’ habitation. The indoor swimming-pool, a new Park House and ice rink were built in the park. Parkways, flowerbeds, playgrounds and bridges became more beautiful, stylish post-lamps were added, also Charlotta stone was restored.

In 2001 Planty were entered into Monuments Register in Silesian Province.

- Konstanty Prus:” Z przeszłości Mikołowa i jego okolicy”, Mikołów 1932 (reprint 1992).
- Ryszard Szendzielarz, Bogusław Bromboszcz: ”Mikołów z perspektywy 150 lat”,, Mikołów 2009.

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