TIME FOR LUBUSZ REGION – "Kostrzyn Pompeii"


The Kostrzyn Fortress Museum is a unique museum complex. It consists of a unique surface monument – the Old Town of Kostrzyn, destroyed in 1945 and not rebuilt, along with the buildings of the 16th century fortress and the museum exhibition in its casemates.


The Old Town, a district of Kostrzyn on the Odra River, is located on the right bank of the Odra, near the border bridges. It is hidden from the sight of travelers by buildings of the former border crossing and high brick walls of the fortress fortifications. For centuries this was the heart of Kostrzyn. The fortress was a masterpiece of fortification art. It is the oldest bastion fortress in Poland. Built from the first half of the 16th century on the pattern of Italian fortresses and consistently rebuilt, it was the scene of many important events. It was here that the future Great Elector of Brandenburg Friedrich Wilhelm took refuge as a young man during the 30-year war; it was here that the young heir to the throne, later King Frederick II the Great of Prussia, was imprisoned; it was here that his best friend Lieutenant Hermann von Katte was executed. This is where the Polish troops of the Duchy of Warsaw were stationed during the Napoleonic occupation. Finally, it was here that the German army under the command of the infamous "executioner of Warsaw" SS General Heinz Reinefarth offered fierce yet futile resistance to the Red Army storming Berlin in 1945.

Surrounded by fortress walls, the Old Town with its castle, town hall, parish church and market square had a unique charm. The war made the city disappear for almost 50 years. The ruins of the city, the so-called "Kostrzyn Pompeii,” are a unique tourist attraction. Not so long ago the site of the former Old Town could only evoke longing for what had ceased to exist. Today, the ruins of old houses, cobblestone streets and sidewalks have emerged from under the heaps of earth, and some of the fortress buildings have been restored. A walk through this unusual park, among the remains of buildings marked with bullet trails and shrapnel, is a unique experience. In some places it is still possible to see what the buildings were, of which only the basements are left, sometimes only remnants of the peripheral walls.

The best way to tour the Old Town is a walk with a museum guide, during which the ruins come alive in the stories of guided tours, and then visit the exhibition, where you can further expand your knowledge and learn about the turbulent history of the fortress city.



The public task is co-financed from the funds received from the Marshal's Office of the Lubuskie Voivodeship