Aside from the large Fiat car plant and the beer brewery brewing the famous “Tyskie” brand, Tychy is known for its many parks, which is somewhat surprising for a Silesian city. However, while one can't but help notice the ugly, big Soviet era blocks of flats, the Old Town is fairly interesting and worthy of an afternoon’s exploration. The city does actually serve as an ideal starting point to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Oswiecim, located only some 20 km west of Tychy.
History of Tychy
Tychy was originally an agricultural settlement in near to the trade route connecting Oswiecim to Mikolow. The village was first mentioned in historical sources in 1467.
Tychy often changed hands up until the mid-19th century. Its owners were successive feudal masters, in charge of the so-called Pszczyna class state. Starting from 1548 the village belonged to the Promnice family, scions of ancient Silesian nobility. When Stanislaw Promnic took control, Tychy began to develop economically.
By the 17th century it was already one of the wealthiest villages of Pszczyna County. The Ksiazecy Brewery, built in 1629, was operating at full capacity, there was cultivation of crops of barley and hop. Crafts and industry progressed. In the middle of the century a palace appeared to house the local forestry department, and then in 1870 Tychy became a stop on the railway connection to Katowice and Szopienice.
Tychy made its mark on Polish history as the place where the first Silesian Uprising began, on the night of 17 August 1919. In the Plebiscite, most voters opted for Polish membership. At about this time Tychy started to assume a more urban appearance.
After 1922, as a result of the Versailles Treaty, Tychy was given back to Poland. At that time the city’s development was at its peak. As part of the autonomous Silesian Province, the population amounted to 11,000 inhabitants, and then on 1 January 1934 it received city privileges. During this interwar period many new facilities appeared, among them a hospital, a school, a post office, a fire station, a swimming pool, a bowling alley as well as a variety of shops and restaurants.
World War II did not cause much damage to the city, since most of the fighting occurred on the Mikolow-Wyry line. However, while the city structure survived the war unharmed, the Germans killed as many as 500,000 residents.
The Government Executive decided to create Nowe Tychy (New Tychy) on 4 October 1950, giving rise to a new era in the history of the city. Before long Tychy turned into an extensive construction site. All this new construction is the reason it is now a relatively modern city with lots of young inhabitants. Many new people arrive from throughout Poland to make their homes here.
Points of interest in Tychy
Points of interest in the city include a palace and park complex from the 18th century, the Paprocka Steel Works, the St. Mary Magdalene Church and the Hunter’s Manor of the Pszczyna Princes in Promnice. You are also recommended to see the edifices housing Tyskie Browary Ksiazece (the Tychy Prince Brewery). It's painstakingly restored, supervised by the local conservator of historical monuments and which now form a splendid example of the country’s industrial architecture.
Cielmice is on the south-east of the city’s downtown area and actually forms a part of Tychy. Due to the lack of apartment buildings and many tiny houses, the area has a unique, village-like appearance.
Emblematic for the city are ancient chapels with stone figures of miscellaneous saints, as well as the roadside crucifixes that once marked Tychy’s major traffic arteries. You are sure to run across a lot of them while roaming around the city.
Apart from the many historical monuments, Tychy offers a good choice of pubs, bars and restaurants to help pass some time. One may also take advantage of the city’s cultural offerings, and among the many events held throughout the year are some of national importance, such as the Tychy Carolling Eves in January, Tychy Theatrical Meetings in April and the Tychy May Seminar.
Hunter’s Manor Tychy
The Hochbergs were once one of the wealthiest families in Silesia. Their lands stretched from the Sudetenland to Pszczyna. They were equal to kings, as shown by their major ancestral seat in Ksiaz near Walbrzych and the palace in Pszczyna. In Promnice, between Tychy and Kobiór, they built a hunting palace preserved to this day.
It was erected in 1868. The palace fascinates by English neo-Gothic elegance, completed with some Swiss architectural elements. Currently, it houses the luxury Noma Residence Promnice Hotel.
Tychy Brewery Museum
The museum is in the buildings of a former evangelical church from 1902 on the site of the Prince’s Brewery in Tychy. It opened to the public in 2004. In the museum hall are exhibits connected with the art of brewing, serving and drinking beer as well as about the history and traditions of the brewery in Tychy. Exhibits include over 300 bottles from the beginning of the 19th century, cooper’s tools and original oak barrels. There are also beer mugs, coasters, labels, bottle caps, documents, photographs on beer and its history and the story of the Tychy Brewery.
All this in a modern setting, using the latest museum techniques. The newly refurbished museum cinema shows a film about the history of the Pszczyna lands and the Prince’s Brewery in Tychy in 3D technology. The room is also filled with touch screens presenting the history of the brewery and the manufacturing process, beer games and a mail barrel from which visitors can send e-mails to their friends.
Since 2005, the museum has a programme of nightly tours under the slogan “See the Brewery at Night”. Tours include shows by amateur actors taking the roles of historical figures associated with the history of the brewery.
Church of Blessed Karolina Kózkówna
The Church of Blessed Karolina Kózkówna in Tychy is eye-catching from afar due to a characteristic shape, dominated by the centrally located dome. The building was erected in the housing estate called “T” in Tychy in 1993-2000. It also has a very impressive interior, painted in intensive colors by artists from Katowice, Joanna PiechKalarus and Roman Kalarus. Wood carvings are by Antoni Toborowicz.