town in the Silesian Voivodeship in southern Poland

Tarnowskie Góry is a city in the Silesian Voivodeship of southern Poland, with a population of 61,842 in 2021. It's part of the Katowice metropolis and is industrial; its main attraction is its old silver mine, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Understand

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Zatym książę rozkazał, aby wysiekano; On las, a na tym miejscu miasto zbudowano.
A stąd ludzie – zszedszy sie zewsząd – w krótkiej chwili, Robiąc kruszce, niemałe miasto zbudowali . . .

This poem of 1612 by Walenty Roździeński describes the founding of the city; in short, they cleared away the forest and dug up the ore.

Many villages in Silesia mined coal and metal ores, and grew into steel-making cities. The difference here was that in 1490 they found silver, and sparked a boom. Tales of hauling up near-pure metal would only be swallowed by the most gullible investor or prospector: natural silver is always found in combination with copper, nickel, zinc or lead. Anything better than 0.035% is nowadays rated high grade, and 0.1% silver content is "bonanza grade". But those other metals are also valuable so the town did very nicely, whenever it wasn't being ravaged by plague, wars or foreign occupation. The local ores were worked out in the early 20th century but Poland is still a major producer of silver, from mines near Lubin in the west of Silesia. Tarnowskie Góry's traditional industries have withered but parts of its vast network of mining tunnels are still accessible as visitor attractions.

Tourist information is at 8 Rynek, east side of the market square. It's open M 09:00-17:00, Tu Th 08:00-16:00, F 07:00-15:00.

Get in

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Map of Tarnowskie Góry

1 Katowice International Airport (KTW IATA) has a wide range of budget flights from across Europe.

Bus M14 runs direct from the airport to Tarnowskie Góry (multiple stops including the bus station) and Gliwice. It's every 30 min daytime and hourly overnight.

Trains from Katowice run every hour or so, taking 50 min via Chorzów. In 2024 this service is replaced by a bus; so too is the train from Bytom.

2 Tarnówskie Góry Railway Station is central, but it's decrepit with poor facilities.

Osada Jana is a small halt in the south of town which you're unlikely to use.

Long-distance buses don't call here, usually you change in Katowice. But some buses from Berlin and the Czech Republic stop at Gliwice on their way to Katowice and Kraków, so you can change there. Bus 5 runs every 30 min from Katowice to Tarnowskie Góry via Dąbrówka Wielka. Bus 19 runs from Bytom every 30 min.

The bus station (Dworzec autobusowy) is at the railway station.

By road the direct route from Katowice is 26 km, but this drags through Chorzów and Bytom. During the working day it's quicker to go west on Highway 902 to Gliwice then branch north on A1, 46 km.

Get around

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ZTM Metropolia run almost all buses across the 40-some cities of Upper Silesian Metropolis, which straddles the Czech border. They have a unified ticket system: see Katowice#Get around for ticket options and where to buy them.

The Katowice tram network doesn't come this far out. Bus 3 runs every 30 min from Osada Jana in the south to the bus station then west to Stare Tarnowice.

  • 1 Rynek is the central square and marketplace, which has been prettified and part-pedestrianised. On its south side are the former town hall (Ratusz) built in 1898, and the town museum. The 17th century Lutheran church is on the north side, the tourist information office is west, and just about everything else is food outlets.
  • Town Museum, Rynek 1 (above Sedlaczek restaurant), +48 32 285 2607. Su, Tu-F 10:00-16:00, Sa 10:00-15:00. Exhibits on the town and its part in European history. Adult 12 zł.
  • District Courthouse (Gmach Sądu Rejonowego) is a fine building of 1895 at Opolska 17, 200 m northwest of Rynek.
 
Inside the silver mine
  • Saints Peter and Paul is a large church at Gliwicka 14, 300 m southwest of Rynek, built in the 16th century and later re-fashioned as neo-Romanesque. It holds mass six times a day so M-Sa you'll find it open all daylight hours.
  • Gwarek Bell Tower, on Teofila Królika opposite SS Peter & Paul, once tolled the shifts at a local mine. It's a 20th century replica, as the original bell was stolen and the wooden tower rotted away.
  • 2 St Anne's at Gliwicka 30 was built in 1617 for the Lutherans but is now RC.
  • Karłuszowiec Palace 1 km southeast of Rynek is an elegant 18th century set of office blocks, fronting Legionów, Lipowa, Ogrodowa and Karłuszowiec streets. As "Carlshof", it was a plush manor and estate offices for the Donnersmarck industrial tycoons. Most of it today is private offices or fenced off as derelict. The only interior you can see is the Ogrodowa villa, which has been converted into a hotel, see Sleep.
  • 3 Historic Silver Mine, Szczęść Boże 81, +48 32 285 4996. Daily 09:00-15:00. This mined galena - lead sulphide - with a byproduct of silver. As they plumbed deeper they hit the usual problem of flooding - horse-drawn pumps just couldn't keep up. In 1784 they found silver-rich seams, which steam-powered pumps let them exploit, and later a series of adits were drilled - sideways passages into the workings so the water drained naturally. The mine closed in 1913 when the best seams were exhausted. You descend one shaft with a guide and tour through the tunnels (1700 m in all, 270 m by boat) to emerge through another shaft. Tours take 1 hr 45 min, must be pre-booked and are available in English. A narrow-gauge railway potters about the surface site. The mine and adits are listed as a   UNESCO World Heritage Site. Adult 72 zł, conc 62 zł.    
  • 4 Black Trout Adit (Sztolnia Czarnego Pstrąga), Repecka, +48 32 285 4996. Daily. A 600 m section of one of the drainage adits, reached by a shaft then toured by boat. It got its nickname when trout colonised it from the river it drains into. Tours take an hour, times vary. Adult 62 zł, conc 52 zł.    
  • 5 Wyzwolenie Gardens are private allotments, but you can stroll this pleasant green space in daylight hours, dogs permitted.
  • 6 Old St Martin's at Niedziałkowskiego 4 is 15th century and still in occasional use. "New" St Martin's across the street is neo-Gothic from 1902.
  • Tarnowice Stare Castle 2 km west of town is now a hotel, see Sleep.
  • Rybna Palace 8 km northwest of town is likewise a hotel and events venue, see sleep.
 
Gwarek Bell Tower
  • Tarnogórskie Cultural Centre is 200 m northeast of Rynek at Jana III Sobieskiego 7. Olbrzym Cinema is within.
  • Narrow gauge railways once wound across Silesia, with a preserved section running here from Bytom. In 2024 the Tarnowskie Góry section of track is derelict.
  • Park Miejski is an extensive green space 1 km southwest of town centre, accessible 24 hours.
  • Świerklaniec is a village 7 km east of town which once had a grand palace, destroyed in 1945. You can still explore the extensive park.
  • Carrefour is 500 m north of the railway station at Tadeusza Kościuszki 5, open M-Sa 06:00-22:00.
  • Rynek has about a dozen eating places, with more nearby in the streets leading off.

Drink

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  • Near Rynek are Piekarnia Piwa microbrewery and Bar Praha.

Sleep

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  • Hostel Młotek i Perlik, Gliwicka 4 (50 m south of Rynek), +48 797 474 690. Clean friendly hostel, very central. Double (room only) 300 zł.
  • Hotel Opera, Zamkowa 1 (100 m south of Rynek), +48 32 381 8870. Simple comfy hotel in city centre. B&B double 250 zł.
  • 1 Olimpijski Hotel, Korczaka 23, +48 32 285 4524. Simple hotel near a sports complex 1 km north of the centre. B&B double 200 zł.
  • 2 Ogrodowa Palace, Ogrodowa 1, +48 32 445 3345. Very mixed reviews for this villa 1 km south of the centre. Some were charmed by its old-world ambience and gardens, others found dark dingy rooms. B&B double 250 zł.
  • 3 Motel Drabek, Skośna 15, +48 32 285 1614. Budget motel by the south ring road. The rumbling noise is not from the traffic but the basement bowling alley. B&B double 200 zł.
  • Villa Mirage is 500 m further southwest on the road to Gliwice.
  • Aslan and Kropka are south on the road to Bytom.
  • 4 Hotel na Podzamczu, Pyskowicka 39 (within castle), +48 731 961 054. Renovated hotel within a castle barn. B&B double 300 zł.
  • 5 Rybna Palace (Pałac w Rybnej), Powstańców Warszawskich 83, +48 32 284 1837. Mansion completed in 1796. It had a variety of uses in the 20th century and from 2011 has been a cultural centre and events venue, with 18 plush apartments available for short or long hire.  

Connect

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Lutheran Church on Rynek

As of May 2024, Tarnowskie Góry and its approach roads have 4G from Orange and Play, and 5G from Plus and T-Mobile.

Go next

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  • Katowice at the centre of the metropolis is grubby and industrial but with lots of 19th / 20th century heritage.
  • In Chorzów the main sights are in the Culture Park along the boundary with Katowice.
  • Częstochowa is a pilgrimage site for Jasna Góra monastery, with the icon of the Black Madonna.



This city travel guide to Tarnowskie Góry is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.