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A city in the north of Poland on the Brda and Vistula Rivers, Bydgoszcz has some rather quirky sights to explore. The 8th largest city in Poland, it is home to Casimir the Great University, the University of Technology and Life Sciences, plus the Collegium Medicum of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun. Sitting between the Vistula and Odra Rivers and the Bydoszcz Canal, it is where you can listen to opera at the Pomeranian Philharmonic Concert Hall or the Opera Nova house.
It is also the site of a few offbeat attractions.
The Exploseum is an underground museum that was once a Nazi explosives plant founded by none other than the inventor of dynamite. Sitting just outside the city down an old dirt path in a forest, you will find this very sobering to explore. The abandoned remnants was the largest ammunition plant of the Nazis, where over a period of 6 years more than 1,000 buildings, 400km of underground passageways and 40km of underground railroads were constructed. This huge compound is now a spooky walkable museum that spans a 2km route of dimly lit tunnels. You can learn about Alfred Nobel, the dynamite creator and his company with exhibitions related to the forced laborers from concentration camps, the lives of Polish locals during the German occupation and the weaponry that was hidden from the world. The final room gives you an insight into the future of modern war and the weapons that could destroy everyone.
On a lighter note the Museum of Soap and History of Dirt is a quirky take on looking at "dirt and filth" and Bydgoszcz's history of soap manufacturing from the days of making it from fat and olive oil to the modern version of laundry flakes. Obviously this city was not in tune with the rest of the world during medieval times when people were not inclined to be hygienic and clean. In the 14th Century it was possible to go to the popular bath named "Plugawy" on Mill Island in the Brda River and get pampered. Here you could have your rotten teeth yanked out, have a de-lousing treatment and even a good leeching of the bloodletting variety. Think along the lines of a day spa treatment salon and check it out. Before you leave the area make sure you take a stroll around the historic redbrick buildings, the footbridges and the ancient chestnut trees of this atmospheric location stepping back in time.
If quirky is not your thing, take a stroll around the city and gawk at some of the historical buildings such as the Gothic Church of St Martin and Nicolaus known as "Fara Church" from 1466 that has a beautiful painting titled Madonna with a Rose. If you really need a bit of divine intervention in your life, continue on to the Church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin also called "The Church of Poor Clares" that is a famous landmark of the city.
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