Wednesday, October 26 2016, Imieniny Ewarysta, Lucyny, Lutosławy
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Under steam

Who would have thought that in the age of fast trains, Internet and mobile telephony the world would go crazy over the good old steam locomotive? Piękna Helena (Beautiful Helena) is a locomotive from Wolsztyn that turned a small sleepy town into a place known far beyond Polish borders.

A railway town

Every spring a parade of steam locomotives is organized in Wolsztyn. This "railway town" attracts not only historical engines from all over Europe but also, even more importantly, enthusiasts of heritage trains from all over the world. Wolsztyn has amazing attractions awaiting them: there are fully operational models of steam locomotives (hardly ever seen outside museums). Visitors can actually take a ride in the cab of a steam locomotive. The parade is accompanied by another event: The International Competition of Engine Drivers.
Wolsztyn remains attractive throughout the year as its steam locomotive shed is the only one in Europe to operate scheduled passenger services on rules unchanged since its beginnings. The Wolsztyn Steam Locomotive Shed has 30 steam locomotives, including its pride: Polish steam engine Pm 36-2 Beautiful Helena, capable of travelling at a maximum speed of 130 km/h. When visiting the steam locomotive shed, we must call in at the Exhibition Room – a paradise for heritage railway enthusiasts. The first railway line reached Wolsztyn as early as in 1886 (from Zbąszynek). Soon the town became an important rail junction. In 1907, a steam locomotive shed was built to house eight trains. Nothing has changed since then: Wolsztyn continues to be an important rail junction.
Wolsztyn Steam Locomotive Shed
ul. Fabryczna 1
64-200 Wolsztyn
tel. 68 347 84 93

At Koch's and Rożek's
The steam locomotives are not the only attraction of the town. Tourists interested in the medical world could visit the house where Robert Koch lived and worked. It was in Wolsztyn where this Prussian physician subdued the anthrax bacillus. Koch worked as the poviat's doctor in years 1972 – 1880. In the building where he lived (housing also a hospital) Koch began research into wound infections and experiments with the anthrax-causing bacteria. On moving to Berlin, he announced the results of his work on tuberculosis, which brought him a Noble Prize. Wolsztyn's residents are proud with the fact that such a great medical career of a Nobile Prize winner was started in their town.
Another famous resident was Marcin Rożek. The sculptor left his home town for a taste of the Parisian fame to return to Wolsztyn in 1934. There is an exhibition dedicated to the artist at the place where he lived. In the garden we can look at the copies of some of his sculptures. Two rooms house temporary exhibitions. The museum boasts also a collection of memorabilia dedicated to another famous resident: Józef Maria Hoene-Wroński, a philosopher and mathematician born in Wolsztyn in 1776.

Marcin Rożek Museum
ul. 5 stycznia 34
64-200 Wolsztyn
tel. 68 384 26 48

Robert Koch Museum
ul. Roberta Kocha 12
64 – 200 Wolsztyn
tel. 68 384 27 36

Under thatched roofs
The Ethnographic Museum of the West-Wielkopolska Folk Buildings Heritage Park stretches on 3.5 hectares along the south-west shore of Wolsztyńskie Lake. This open air heritage park comprises, among others, a homestead with a log tavern from Nowy Solec (1706), a log barn from Solec (the end of the 18th century), a stable with a carriage house from Szarki (19th century), an octagonal wooden well from Jastrzębsko (18th century) and a farm-hand's house from Nowa Tuchorza (19th century). As was usual in such settlements, a smithy and a chapel can also be found there. The place gives us an impression of a genuine living village – a feeling reinforced with the presence of live animals and exhibitions inside the particular buildings. When we get tired walking round the heritage park, we can rest on the nearby beach, where we can also hire water sports equipment.   

West-Wielkopolska Folk Buildings Heritage Park
ul. Bohaterów Bielinka 26
64-200 Wolsztyn
tel. 68 384 26 19

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