|Coordinates: 53°16′N 16°28′E / 53.267°N 16.467°E|
|Gmina||Wałcz (urban gmina)|
|• Mayor||Bogusława Towalewska|
|• Total||38.16 km2 (14.73 sq mi)|
|Elevation||109 m (358 ft)|
|• Density||690/km2 (1,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code(s)||+48 67|
Wałcz ([vau̯t͡ʂ]; German: Deutsch Krone; Kashubian: Wôłcz) is a county town in Wałcz County of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in northwestern Poland. During the years 1975 to 1998, the city was administratively part of the Piła Voivodeship. From 1772 to 1945 it was part of Prussia and, from 1871 to 1945, it was also part of Germany.
Granted city rights in 1303, Wałcz has become the administrative, industrial and cultural center of the Wałcz Lake District with the city itself situated on the banks of the Raduń and Zamkowe lakes. Wałcz is located in the southwestern portion of West Pomeranian Voivodeship. The closest cities are Szczecin 130 km (81 mi), Bydgoszcz 115 km (71 mi), Piła 26 km (16 mi), Poznań 120 km (75 mi), Gorzów Wielkopolski 107 km (66 mi) and Koszalin 120 km (75 mi).
According to a report from 2002, Wałcz has an area of 38.16 square kilometres (14.73 square miles) of which 41% is used for agriculture and 17% is forest.
The city occupies 2.17% of the total area of Wałcz county.
In the High Middle Ages the region of modern Wałcz lied in a boundary territory of Pomerania and Greater Poland. It was eventually annexed by Poland in the early 12th century and except a brief Brandenburg rule, it remained as part of Poland until the first partition in 1772. During Prussian and German rule, it was part of Westprussen as Deutsch Krone. After First World War Deutsch Krone remained part of Weimar Germany and for the most part of the interbellum it was part of the Grenzmark Posen–Westpreussen till 1938 and then Pommern, and in 1919-39 was just inside the German border with Poland. It was occupied by Red Army on 12 February 1945. After the end of World War II, the town was put under Polish administration according to the Potsdam Conference and renamed Wałcz. Its German inhabitants were expelled.
Numerous pre-war ruins of German fortifications and bunkers are found in woods surrounding Wałcz, especially in proximity to the lakes. Most of them however are inaccessible — blown up or filled with soil, to prevent accidents with careless tourists.
The lack of heavy industry in Wałcz and the surrounding areas has helped the city to maintain relative ecological cleanliness and is an excellent location for rest and relaxation. It has a post office that was built during the reign of Napoleon in Europe
There are two large lakes within city limits: Raduń (area - 227.10 hectares (2.27 km2; 0.88 sq mi), length - 6,050 m (19,850 ft), shoreline - over 19,000 m (62,000 ft), maximum depth - 25.6 m (84 ft), average depth - 10.4 m (34 ft)) and Zamkowe (area - 129.57 hectares (1.30 km2; 0.50 sq mi), length - 3,350 m (10,990 ft), shoreline - over 10,950 m (35,930 ft), maximum depth - 41 m (135 ft), average depth - 12.9 m (42 ft)). Lake Raduń is spanned by a suspension bridge. Next to the bridge in a beechwood forest is an Olympic Training Facility, the 'Bukowina'. Immediately after World War II, Winand Osiński and Olympic coach Jan Mulak founded the training centre and began training with the Polish track and field teams who represented Poland during the 50s and 60s. Poland's Olympic kayak team trains here to this day.
On this lake is also the City Centre for Sport and Recreation (MOSiR - Miejski Ośrodek Sportu i Rekreacji) which makes a wide range of sporting equipment available, including motor boats, kayaks, water bikes and the leisure boat Delfin. The centre also serves as a starting point for numerous walking and biking trails as well as kayak excursions. The so-called Pętla Wałecka, a kayaking route that traverses six lakes begins here and ends at Lake Bytyń Wielki.
Situated on the shores of the lakes are numerous beaches, swimming areas, camping spots and sporting equipment rentals.
Within a short distance of the city are several equally attractive lakes including Chmiel Duży, Chmiel Mały, Raduń Mały, Ostrowiec Wielki, Łubianka, Łabędzie.
Among the more important architectural sites in Wałcz:
- From the Middle Ages: market center, city hall in neo-Renaissance style.
- Court in classical style from the early 19th century next to the Wałcz Regional Museum (Muzeum Ziemi Wałeckiej)
From the 2004 census:
In 2002, the average income per person was PZL 1,268.39.
- Godela Habel (* 18 September 1929), an abstract painter and artist
- Walter Mix (1917–2004), Wehrmacht officer
- Ludwig Riess (1861–1928) historian
- Friedrich-Carl von Steinkeller (1896–1981), Wehrmacht general
- Krzysztof Głowacki
- Marian Matłoka
- Michał Kubiak
- Myroslav Chekh
Twin towns — sister cities
Wałcz is twinned with:
Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb". (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).
Several national roads go through Wałcz: 10 from Lubieszyn to Płońsk and 22 from Kostrzyn nad Odrą to Braniewo. Regional roads 163 from Kołobrzeg and 178 to Oborniki also pass through. Rail service from Piła was renewed in 2007, while 3 other rail lines previously serving Wałcz have been discontinued. Bus service in the Wałcz region is provided by PKS Wałcz which also provides connections to Poznań, Szczecin, Bydgoszcz, Kołobrzeg i Gorzów Wielkopolski. Express bus services, KomfortBus, KSK Poznań, PKS Piła, PKS Szczecin, PKS Kołobrzeg and others also stop in Wałcz.
Local bus service
Local bus services are provided by ZKM (Zakład Komunikacji Miejskiej). There are 18 ZKM bus routes serving the city as well as several nearby towns and villages. Some of the bus lines are school-related and only run on school days.
- Dane o powiatach i gminach (Regioset)
- Oficjalna strona Urzędu Miasta
- Oficjalna strona Liceum Ogólnoksztącego im. Kazimierza Wielkiego w Wałczu
- Oficjalana strona Kolarskiego Klubu Krossiaki Wałcz
- Strona Zespołu Szkół Miejskich nr1 w Wałczu
- Website of School nr2 in Wałcz