AIA Spring Tour 2020
11th - 17th May 2020
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The AIA last visited Poland in 1996 under the leadership of the late Ray Riley and the trip is dedicated to his memory. Much has changed since then.

We are working with Piotr Gerber who is the TICCIH representative in Poland and who is very excited about the AIA coming to Poland. We're hoping he will be able to accompany us for the whole tour.

We are only in the early stages of planning but we have identified a long list of possible sites and Piotr has been able to add a number of places to that list which are off the beaten track and not generally open to the public.

Poland is a large country and we will be traversing it from North to South but in stages. This will mean that we will be staying probably in three different places – first in the North in Gdansk, somewhere in the middle perhaps Lodz and then in the south, probably Katowice in the area where there is the highest concentration of Industrial Heritage sites that we might see.

Incidentally in Katowice we’re only about 1.5 hours’ drive from Ostrava where we were in the Czech Republic in 2016.

On the image above are shown just a few highlights, places we are pretty sure we will be going to but we can’t make any promises at this stage. Anti-clockwise from top right:

  • The shipyards in Gdansk. Known world wide as the place where in the late 70s and early 80s Lech Walensa fought political battles as the leader of Solidarity, the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union. Large parts of the yards are now closed but there is a movement to have them recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. We can visit the yards which are not open to the public.
  • The gradation towers and salt works at Ciechocinek. These were included in the 1996 tour but are not to be missed this time around either.
  • The city of Lodz the former textile-manufacturing hub. We don’t believe there is any textile manufacturing left in the city but, a bit like Manchester, some of the amazing mill buildings remain. One is a textile museum which we can visit but we will also view some of the others which are mostly re-used.
  • This is an almost complete, preserved Zinc Rolling Mill at Szopienice. Another must-see.
  • This is the Guido mine at Zabrze, no longer in production of course but we can have a tour which includes a descent to 320m underground - the deepest mine that can be visited in Europe. No faked up mine on the surface here – this is the real thing, more than 3 times the depth of the Big Pit in Wales!
  • At Karchowice we can visit the Water Supply Station where there are preserved steam pumping engines and boilers
  • The railway museum at Jaworzyna Śląska. We may be able to have a steam excursion from here.

More details will appear here as planning develops.
Register interest now to get a place on the waiting list and to hear updates as they happen

8th August 2019