Szombierki, Bytom, Poland

May 3rd, 2009

Our users from Bytom, Poland have been very active recently and have uploaded plenty of old Bytom pictures. First of all, Bytom is a city of almost 200 000 citizens, located in the Upper Silesia region of Poland. It was set up in the 13th century, or even earlier, so it has a pretty long history; however it is most widely known for coal mining which was the main line of industry in the whole Upper Silesia region since multiple major coal mines and steel mills were built there starting from the 18th century. Nowadays the character of Bytom  has changed, most coal mines and steel mills are closed and the city concentrates on trade as its main area of activity.

We had difficulty choosing a picture for today’s blog entry because there were so many interesting photos of:

In the end we decided to go for this picture of old cooling towers in the Szombierki cogeneration plant, uploaded by user ameba1, because we found it particularly amusing:

Cooling towers in Szombierki power plant

Cooling towers in Szombierki power plant

If you aren’t sure what a cogeneration plant is - following Wikipedia,  a conventional power plant creates heat as a by-product of electricity generation; a cogeneration plant captures this heat and distributes it as as hot water for district heating. So the Szombierki plant was actually a conventional power plant at the beginning; it used these cooling towers for emitting the heat generated with electricity.

What is very interesting in these towers is that thy were based on a wooden construction; this could not have been accidental because the Szombierki plant was built shortly after World War I by German architects Georg i Emil Zillmann, who were world-wide famous architects (at that time Bytom was a part of Germany). If you visit Bytom today, you will not see these towers anymore, however cooling towers are still common around the world and nowadays can look like these:

Modern cooling towers

Modern cooling towers

Related links:

Wikipedia article on Bytom

Web discounts for hotels in Bytom area

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Lyndhurst, NJ

April 26th, 2009

Here at HistoGrafica we must admit we really enjoy looking at old pictures of vehicles like this one, recently uploaded by our user CarnationTG:

Fuel Service in Lyndhurst NJ

Fuel Service in Lyndhurst, NJ

This photo was taken in 1950 in the main street of Lyndhurst, NJ, a township of some 20,000 inhabitants with history dating back to the 1850’s. If you take a closer look at the fuel service car, you will notice that the company’s name contains an Italian surname. That is most likely related to the fact that 33.8% of Lyndhurst’s residents are of Italian origin, which is 19th-highest percentage in this respect across all municipalities in the United States*

*According to Wikipedia

Related links

Wikipedia article on Lyndhurst

Web discounts for Lyndhurst hotels


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Swimming in Polkowice, Poland

April 19th, 2009

Spring has only just started here on the Northern Hemisphere. In Eastern Europe it has already got quite warm, some 24 degrees, which is above average. How hot will the summer be this year?  It must have been hot back when this picture of kids having fun in the swimming pool was taken in Polkowice, Poland:

Picture of Polkowice swimming pool

Kids in the Polkowice swimming pool, uploaded by user gripper900

Polkowice is a town of some 22 000 inhabitants, located in Southern West of Poland. Its long history dates back to the XIIIth century. At the time this picture was taken, Polkowice was located in Germany and its name was Polkwitz. If you go there on a hot day this summer, you can follow the kids above and cool yourself down in a swimming pool built in the same place as the one in the picture. Or you can visit the modern Polkowice aquapark which attracts visitors from the whole region.

Related Links

Polkowice website

Web discounts for Polkowice area hotels

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Sestriere - Italy’s first purpose-built ski resort

April 14th, 2009

Have a look at this interesting picture of Sestriere in Italy, posted by user calval:

Sestriere - Italian ski resort

Sestriere - Italian ski resort

Originally, Sestriere was a sheepherding community; in the 1930s it was developed into a ski resort by one of Fiat bosses and is used as such until today. Moreover, in 2006 during the Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Sestriere hosted plenty of events. That is largely due to its location at snow-secure 2000 meters. What is really amazing is the type of architecture you can encounter there - it is quite unusual for these altitudes.

Related Links

Sestriere website

Web discounts for Sestriere hotels

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The Barracks in Colton, Staffordshire, UK

April 6th, 2009

Today we are posting a really old picture - have a look at this great photograph of Almshouses in Colton, UK, taken as early as 1885:

Almshouses in Colton, Staffordshire, UK

Almshouses in Colton, Staffordshire, UK

These six Almhouses, also known as The Barracks, were built in 1793 to serve the poor of Colton. Some of the ladies you can see in the picture could have been born in the 18th century!

This picture was uploaded by the Colton History Society - on their website you can find a lot of articles about the history of this village located just outside of Rugeley in Staffordshire.

Related links

Wikipedia article on Colton

Web discounts for Rugeley hotels

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Kadzielnia, Kielce, Poland

April 5th, 2009
Kadzielnia - Kielce, Poland

Kadzielnia - Kielce, Poland

User www.kielce.vel.pl has posted this picture of the Kadzielnia hill in Kielce, Poland. Kielce is a city of about 200,000 citizens with history dating back to the origins of Poland in the 10th century. For the last 500 years, Kielce was an important industrial city due to its richness in natural resources. The picture above is a good example of that - since the 18th century until the 1960s, natural lime resources in the Kadzielnia hill were extracted in an open-pit mine. Afterwards the area was turned into a nature reserve with an emerald-coloured lake and an amphitheatre for 5000 spectators, drilled in the hill’s stone.

Related links:

Wikipedia article on Kielce

Web discounts for Kielce hotels

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The Aqueduct of Ferrara, Italy

March 22nd, 2009

We’re back to Italy again today thanks to our user calval and we are looking at one of Ferrara’s landmarks - the Aqueduct.  It is 37 meters high and made from concrete. Unlike many real aqueducts which you can find in Italy, and which date back to the Roman times, this one was built as late as the 1930s. It’s more ancient Roman than you probably think though - did you know that concrete was widely used by Romans (it was invented by Assyrians though)?

Aqueduct of Ferrara

Aqueduct of Ferrara

The Ferrara aqueduct is located in the Garden District, a lovely area which is at the same time green, quiet, centrally located and full of nightspots such as bars and cafes (is that really possible?). All of that makes it a  popular meeting point, especially among the young part of the Ferrara population.

Ferrara aqueduct in 2008

Ferrara aqueduct in 2008

Related links:

Wikipedia article on Ferrara

Ferrara hotels

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The Electricians of Penzance, UK

March 21st, 2009

Penzance, United Kingdom, is famous for many things, for example the English expression “From Orkney to Penzance” - for being located in the southernmost area of England. Another one is the opera “The Pirates of Penzance”, the title of which does not really correspond to this town’s peaceful character. Have a look at this picture of cable layers from the 1920s, posted by HistoGrafica user vingoe. The area where the picture was taken is called Causeway Head and is nowadays a pedestrian precinct with a wide selection of shops.

Cable layers in Causeway Head, Penzance, UK

Cable layers in Causeway Head, Penzance, UK

Related Links:

Wikipedia article on Penzance

Hotels in Penzance

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Gallipoli beaches

March 18th, 2009

It’s back to Italy again since our Italian user community has been very active recently. One of the pictures from Italy that was uploaded within the past few days was from the town of Gallipoli. Due to its location and climate, tourism has long been an important industry in Gallipoli; one of the attractions enjoyed by tourists have been the beaches, including the Spiaggia di Lido San Giovanni.

Have a look at people taking a rest on that beach some 69 years ago:

Spiaggia di Lido San Giovanni

Spiaggia di Lido San Giovanni in 1940

It looks like not much has changed in the way people spend their time on the beach now, except that kayaks have been introduced since:

Gallipoli beach nowadays

Spiaggia di Lido San Giovanni nowadays

Update (19 Mar 2009): after reading this post, user ledy2 who uploaded the first picture of Lido San Giovanni, added one more photo of the place, taken in 1955. In his own words (according to Google’s translation from Italian): “where there was wood, behold, cement …”

Lido di San Giovanni in 1955

Lido di San Giovanni in 1955

Related links:

Wikipedia article on Gallipoli

Web discounts for Gallipoli hotels

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On Paddy’s Day: Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Karachi, Pakistan

March 17th, 2009

That is quite a coincidence - today is Saint Patrick’s Day in Ireland and our new user sirfmemon has posted a very interesting picture of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Karachi, Pakistan:

Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Karachi, Pakistan

Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Karachi, Pakistan

The Cathedral was built in 1845 and is an exquisite example of neo-Gothic style - probably people who haven’t been to Pakistan wouldn’t expect to encounter this architectural style there. But there it is - and it’s still standing today, accompanied by the Chris the King monument, built after the picture above was taken:

St. Patrick's Cathedral in Karachi nowadays

St. Patrick's Cathedral in Karachi nowadays

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