Perełki Turystyczne
E. Lasker Trail
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Town Path Named After World Chess Master Emanuel Lasker Print E-mail

On 24th December 1868, Emanuel Lasker, son of a Jewish chanter, world chess master 1894 -1921, mathematician and philosopher, was born in Barlinek. He kept his chess master title continuously for 27 years, which makes it a feat never challenged so far.

Old Town Market Square, situated in the very heart of Barlinek, is the old part of the town. It constitutes the most characteristic element of the town landscape with elements of town walls and spires of its gothic church. It is also the centre of culture and entertainment. A beautiful fountain erected in 1912 in the place of the former Town Hall is really beautiful. It is crowned with a sculpture of a girl attacked by a gander, “The Gooseherd” as she is affectionately known, a work by Akaberg.

The Gothic Church of Holy Virgin Mary crowns the highest spot of the old town, the area of a former Slavic fortification. Its first brick church was erected as early as XIII c. and what remains of it are granite blocks embedded into the lower parts of the tower and its ground course. There is also the XV c. main portal in Gothic style with mysterious, richly ornamented “bowls”. They are a trace of the old custom of kindling fire with the help of a wooden drill on Easter Sunday. The  church assumed its ultimate shape of a three – aisle basilica after the fire of 1852. Then a 52 – meter tower, covered with black slate, was erected on it, with a 2 – meter gilt cross on the top. There are bricks with dates engraved in the outer walls of the church.

Elements of town walls of the total length of 1,700 meters are what remains after town fortifications raised in the first half of XIV c. The whole fortification system of Barlinek consisted of moats, embankments, 7-metre high walls as well as turrets and watchtowers which extended over the crown and front of the walls, allowing for front and side protection.
There were two opposite gates in the walls: Mill Gate and Myślibórz Gate and over the lake there were Dua and Maa Watergates. On your journey following the footsteps of E. Lasker, you are now at the turn of XIX and XX cc., when Barlinek becomes a popular resort, which is still evident in the town itself, the nearby hotels, restaurants and holiday houses for visitors.

At that time (1927) a swimming pool was built which is preserved until this very day. Contemporary swimming pool with its changing rooms and the adjoining holiday house constitutes a precious monument of alpine health resort architecture, rare in the western part of Poland. Walking down Strzelecka Street you walk past the Onion Palace – a very interesting house with two towers crowned with onion – shaped  domes built in 1908.

Town houses from XVIII and XIX cc., arranged mostly in continuous building structures, give Barlinek its specific atmosphere, where houses and streets are not only everyday facilities but also examples of architectural skill from long ago. Walking past Lasker Square you can see a site which was once the very first sight of Barlinek – the Old Railway Station.

The place of warm welcomes and farewells of young Lasker with Barlinek when he was leaving to obtain education and then win his chess master titles. Unfortunately the station was damaged during the war. You can only see its miniature model and photographs in the Barlinek Regional Museum. The next attraction on the path is the sightseeing spot on the town and Barlinek Lake called Golgotha – from the name of its restorer and a renowned builder, Goldowski. You can find “Panorama” Cultural Centre there, the cultural heart of Barlinek. It is the place where annual Emanuel Lasker International Chess Festivals take place. Following this route it is impossible to miss the building at 7 Chmielna Street in which your outstanding chess master was born and raised. Walking on, in the direction of the lake, you reach Barlinek Lake promenade and stop in front of the Chinese House erected in XIX c. to commemorate the watergate that was once there, another element of town fortifications.

From there a  breathtaking view of the lake and Barlinek Primaeval Forest may be taken. This is how you reach the last stop on your path, the town hall with Gutenberg’s bust in which you could once find a printing house and a bookshop as well as the editorial staff of “Kurier Generalny dla Barlinka, Pełczyc i okolic” (“General Courier for Barlinek, Pełczyce and the Vicinity”).

Today you can find the Regional Museum with an exhibition devoted to E. Lasker, the town history and disappearing occupations there. In the tourist Information Centre next door a commemorative stamp and publicity materials may be obtained. 

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