Bydgoszcz is a city with a population of nearly 360 000 people, located in the north-western part of Poland. Situated between the Brda and the Vistula Rivers, it has an atmosphere of the 18th and 19th centuries with its interesting buildings and architecture. A walk around the Old Town or a cruise by a water tram reveal views of the still operating 19th century locks on the Brda River. The Bydgoszcz Canal used to link the Western European waterways system with The Vistula River, and is now a popular tourist attraction. Mill Island is the oldest part of the city, a picturesquely located area around which the Brda River loops, which has been a place of inspiration for generations of painters.
The city is famous for many concerts and international festivals that are held in the magnificent building of the Pomeranian Philharmonic Hall with exceptional acoustics that is said to be the best in Europe. The Concert Hall is situated in the heart of the ‘music district’ of Bydgoszcz. The Opera Nova House offers many classical music concerts, operas and ballet performances. Moreover, it hosts the Bydgoszcz Opera Festival, where the biggest music theatres of Poland, as well as many renowned European artists, give performances.
A wide range of performances is presented at many music clubs of Bydgoszcz. However, it is not only music Bydgoszcz is famous for. The Polish Theatre organises a very prestigious, annual event - the Festival of International Premieres. Additionally, many museums and galleries welcome visitors with a grand selection of exhibitions. The District Museum offers a significant collection of contemporary paintings and photography.
Sport is a pride of Bydgoszcz's inhabitants. The city has many facilities which have been constructed in order to create good conditions for sporting events. These include: the Sports and Entertainment Hall ‘£uczniczka’, where the volleyball and basketball World League matches take place, the City Stadium (athletics), the 'Polonia' Sports Club (speedway). Bydgoszcz is a city where fans get many opportunities to watch a whole variety of sport events: athletics, speedway and water sports. In recent years, Bydgoszcz has become the capital of Polish athletics. The City Stadium was the venue of the IAAF Word Junior Championships 2008. The 'Polonia' Stadium is the place where the world individual speedway championships 'Grand Prix' is organised. Moreover, the city is known as the capital of Polish 'oars'. Each year the best Polish and foreign contenders compete during the Great Rowing Regatta for the Brda Cup.
Bydgoszcz is one of Poland's biggest and most modern economic centers. Many world leaders in the field of telecommunications run their businesses here e.g. Lucent Technologies. There are research & development centers which provide a link between the education sector (colleges, universities) and the economy.
The food industry, chemical industry, as well as the production and maintenance of means of transportation play a significant role in the city's economy. Bydgoszcz is also the seat of the Joint Force Training Centre where command personnel from NATO states improve their skills. Over 40,000 students attend the two local universities and many other colleges. The biggest school is The Kazimierz Wielki University, which has been named after the king of Poland who founded Bydgoszcz. Fitch Ratings gave the city a rating of "BBB" (Outlook Stable), which proves the attractiveness of Bydgoszcz for investment.
The Tucholskie Forest Complex is one of the biggest forest complexes in Poland. Oaks, hornbeams, asps, birches and yews are just some of the species of trees which inhabit the complex. Moreover, it is home to such rare birds and animals as: eagles, wood grouses, cranes, herons and otters. There are many guest houses and tourist routes waiting for visitors to come and admire the region.
The palace in Lubostron was built in 1800 and it is known as one of the most beautiful classicistic palaces in Poland. The Palace is surrounded by 28ha of forest.
The Palace Park Complex in Ostromecko (from the 18th and 19th centuries), houses a significant collection of contemporary paintings and graphics and a collection of old pianos.
Biskupin is a reconstructed proto-Slavic settlement which was founded in 700 BC. It consists of wooden houses and is surrounded by an embankment and a breakwater.
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