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A town of two styles
Golub Dobrzyn (Poland)
Member Name: Praskipark
Golub Dobrzyn (Poland)
Date: 30/09/11, updated on 30/09/11 (59 review reads)
Advantages: Interesting old part with a super Gothic castle
Disadvantages: New side of the town - nondescript
Golub-Dobrzyn is somewhere I found by accident. I was driving back from my holiday on the Baltic Coast and suddenly decided to change the original route home to Warsaw to miss all the traffic around the city of Torun. This small town in Pomerania is split in two and each side of the town has a different character. I don't think we would have stopped to look around if we hadn't ended up stuck in a small traffic jam coming into the town and the fact that high above my head I spotted the most beautiful castle I have ever seen. If I hadn't known I was in Poland I would have thought I was high in the hills in some Spanish town. The sight was truly awesome.
Golub-Dobrzyn was formed in 1951 by joining two settlements on opposite sides of the River Drweca. The new modern side of the town, Dobrzyn, south of the river is nothing special; clean, trendy apartment blocks, wide streets and a plethora of shops. It could be anywhere in Poland but the other side of the town, Golub tells a different story.
The settlement of Golub came together in the 13th century and acted as a border outpost for the Teutonic Knights and this is where the castle comes in - it was their castle and still remains in excellent condition overlooking the town from it's high point on the hill. The base of the castle is substantial and built in the Gothic red brick style. A more refined super structure was added in the 17th century and then the whole structure had to be restored after the Second World War.
Inside there is a small museum housing an ethnographic collection but it isn't stunning. The display is very modest and slightly interesting in the fact that I learnt something about the Pomeranian area of Poland but it would have been nice if the articles had been labelled in different languages apart from Polish and been a bit more colourful. What was more interesting for me was a walk around the castle inside to see the Gothic interiors which are original. The top floor has been transformed into a hotel which is a good idea as this spot is just over half way from the Baltic Coast to Warsaw so if visitors didn't want to do the whole 8-9 hour journey they could break it here and stay over. I should imagine the views are splendid. There is also a small cafe if you fancy a light snack and a cup of tea or soft drink. Even if you don't it's worth peeping in at the cafe as it is situated in the vaulted cellars.
Overall, the Golub part of the town is pleasant with some lovely old houses with arched doors and decorative facades. There are lots of old-fashioned gardens belonging to the houses - plots of land where flowers intermingle with runner beans and potatoes. The town is worth looking at if it is on your route but not worth spending more than a couple of hours there unless you are mad about castles and want to stay overnight in one.
Amazingly, the town does have a bus service which is frequent enough from Torun (39km) and I believe there is a less frequent service from Grudziadz (52km). If you stay overnight in the castle you don't have far to catch a bus - the stop is at the foot of the building. You will find the railway station on the Grudziadz road which is opposite the castle. Here you can catch trains to Bydgoszcz.
I'm glad we changed the route home even though we were only in the town of Golub-Dobrzyn a short time - it was worth it just to see the castle.
Summary: Worth stopping for a couple of hours if it is on your route