Auschwitz is the most famous concentration camp of the Second World War, located in southern Poland, 60 km west of Krakow. The exact number of victims of this death camp is still unknown, but it is reliably established that the prisoners who did not wait for freedom were at least a million people, most of whom were Jews, as well as Polish and Soviet prisoners of war. Today, on the territory of the former camp there is a museum complex dedicated to the memory of its prisoners. More than a million people from all over the world visit it every year. In 2010, a kind of record was set – 1.38 million visitors. Many of them come here to honor the memory of their ancestors, but there are many of those whose family history has nothing to do with this terrible place. See BRIDGAT.COM for climate and weather information of Poland.
How to get to Auschwitz
First of all, you need to get to Krakow, the nearest major city in Poland to Auschwitz. There are several options for how to get from there to the memorial complex:
- It is possible to purchase an organized tour: a minibus will pick you up from your hotel and bring you back, but in this case you will be limited in time to explore the memorial.
- By car or taxi on the E40 highway, distance about 70 km, travel time about an hour. Parking on site is paid.
- By train to Oswiecim station: departure from Krakow Głowny main station. This type of train, Osobowe, goes with all stops, so the journey will take more than 1.5 hours, in addition, from the station in Auschwitz to the museum you will have to walk for about half an hour or use public transport (buses No. 24, 25, 28, 29).
- By bus: from there (the main station is also called Dworzec Głowny), buses and minibuses go to Auschwitz about once every half an hour, the journey will also take an hour and a half.
There are free buses from Auschwitz 1 to Auschwitz 2 (Birkenau). The schedule of their movement, as well as the schedule of return buses from Auschwitz 1 to Krakow, it is better to see immediately upon arrival. It is easier to return to Krakow from Auschwitz 1, keep this in mind when planning your visit, it is worth noting that you will need at least 3-4 hours to see the entire museum.
Sights of the city of Auschwitz
Despite its gloomy history, Auschwitz is a nice town with calm, quiet streets along which old, mostly two-story houses are comfortably located, with a beautiful city hall and a market square in front of it, a city park and a pond where dozens of swan couples live, an incredibly beautiful cathedral Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary and even the city castle. This castle is distinguished by strict forms and lacks the elegance with which such architectural complexes are usually associated, but it has been restored and is in excellent condition.
The city has a fairly developed infrastructure; both physical and spiritual development is taken care of here. So, there is an ice arena, a huge indoor pool, various sports facilities, numerous cultural centers and interest clubs.
Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
The construction of the Auschwitz 1 concentration camp began in August 1940. At the same time, the city was renamed Auschwitz by the Germans, and Polish prisoners of war became the first prisoners, and camp buildings were erected by their forces. The eerie atmosphere of those years has been preserved in all blocks, right down to the straw mattresses in the corridor on which the prisoners slept, and the museum exhibitions include photographs, documents, lists of the dead, farewell letters from prisoners and much more. In fact, the entire territory of the museum is one large cemetery, so all visitors are advised to behave accordingly: with respect for the memory of the dead and their relatives.
Detailed information about the museum is on the Auschwitz-Birkenau page.