United Poledom, or Welcome Home

When other reliable sources tell you where to go in Poland – I’ll tell you where to find some familiar spots you probably haven’t expected to find.

A map below (click to enlarge) is supposed to make you feel more at home. [Note: It’s made for people from the UK. Our other readers are asked to state their locations. Our US readers will be aware that Poland used to be divided into 49 states. With Chicago being quite Polish – one might say: we’re even.]

United Poledom

Drafting the map, I followed these simplifications, labels, pigeonholes, dead-end streets. (Suggestions for revisions, exclusions or inclusions are welcome.)

= London

The capital city. During WW2 bombed by Germans. HM the Queen (or King) resides here. In Poland, the name is Warszawa. (Well, duh.)

= Belfast

For Belfast we need a town in Poland that’s Irish. Now, the phrase “lucky load to Lublin” written by one Irishman here seems to be a muddy but acceptable indication. It’s Lublin then. (Not Dublin though, as Dublin has grown too expensive – so it would be, eh, Moscow?)

= Birmingham

I heard it: “For years Birmingham had a reputation as the ugliest and most boring city in the UK. In fact, it’s got a lot better recently and is probably livable in. Brummies have one of the silliest and most mocked accents.”
An ugly place growing livable in? – A conurbation with a dialect? – Must be

= Brighton (and Hove)

Thinking Brighton we’d be looking for a famous sea-sided health resort. The first thing that comes to my map-making mind is Sopot. To get the numbers of inhabitants more in place, Brighton and Hove would be Sopot and Gdynia (two of the Tricity, but Gdańsk taken, being Glasgow). By the way, Sopot herself thinks being the right match for Southend on Sea.

= Bristol

Trip-hop, the sound city. Read: Myslowice. Hear: Myslowitz (youtube).
Flow with Avon, flow with Przemsza.

= Coventry

Britain made Rovers in Coventry. Poland makes cars in Tychy. (And rower in Polish means a bicycle. Close enough.)

= Edinburgh

Former capital. Her cultural guns and some sneer may be directed toward the present capital. With pride and sophistication, Krakow calling.

= Glasgow

Merchants, traders. Shipbuilders. Scotsmen. The place is called Gdansk here: a large city, of trade and shipbuilding. And of Scotsmen, why not.

= Inverness

Highland boys will be Highland boys, wherever they are. In Poland, their centre is called Nowy Targ.

= Isle of Wight

Old, respectable place. The musical capital, one would say, hosting fine festivals. It’s Opole. That is not an isle, technically speaking, but has an isle inside the boundaries. (A nice set of relevant pictures here.)

= Kingston upon Hull

A harbour town, with a long page of history, heavily damaged during WW2.
In other word —

= Leeds

I’m sure Leeds would like to stand on her own, incomparable, not mated, rich in its own time and space. But so would Wrocław! And 700.000 dwellers can’t be wrong. If there’s Leeds, it’s there.

= Liverpool

There, it’s the Beatles (hail Merseybeat), and media or football stars. This side of the Channel, it’s the Radio (Hail Mary-beat), and the star of Copernicus. — Toruń.

= Manchester

The centre of British cottons and textiles. The UK’s third largest conurbation. Would you guess: Łódź? Once the heart of the textile district. Poland’s third largest city. (A tiny youtube: Manchester United vs Widzew Lodz. Not to worry, anyone, the game ended 1:1.)

= Nottinghamshire

Yes, it’s the whole county — twinned with Poznań. Citizens of Poznan are supposedly hard working and thrifty. They don’t steal from the rich as they don’t steal from themselves. Not that they should find the poor enough to grant them the loot, either. So, with Robin Hood twinned with them, this could be the beginning of a beautiful symbiosis.

= Westminster

The Roman Catholic centre of the country. Częstochowa then.


Well, that’s it. I omitted many a place, I know. (Sheffield, for instance, closed its Polish consulate and no one’s able to ask there where they are in Poland.) With the map, however, you are expected to draw some parallels yourself.

[post re-edited on 24 Feb 2008]

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13 thoughts on “United Poledom, or Welcome Home

  1. baduin says:

    An unimportant but historic city, seat of the primate. Canterbury, Gniezno


  2. darthsida says:

    In RCC terms, I twinned Westminster with Częstochowa. But when we think historically enough, Canterbury / Gniezno looks fine. The pair will be included in the update. Thanks, baduin!

  3. darthsida says:

    Note to myself or elsewho:
    1) Rethink Leeds / Wrocław.
    2) Where’s Cardiff in Poland? The map should not omit too much of Wales.
    3) “Coals to Newcastle”. Find the most coal-memed city in Poland to match.
    4) Where Poland pulls jokes about Wąchock, England pushes jokes about…
    5) Need a Polish Cheshire for the zone of the vanishing creatures. Any site with junk-Satanic masses, perhaps?
    6) Remember the colonies.

  4. scatts says:

    I don’t think Leeds/Wroclaw is a good match either. Wroclaw might go better with Chester or Bristol…?

    We don’t want any Cardiff in Poland, thank you very much!

    Newcastle has to in with Birmingham – Katowice but I suppose you could slip to somewhere close by. Would need to be a town with fanatical loony football supporters.

    England also has jokes about Wąchock. Especially when he played at West Ham. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulo_Wanchope

    Where is the Polish version of York?

    Legionowo = Slough (come friendly bombs)

  5. Pawel says:

    PS. What about Brighton?

  6. scatts says:

    Is there a Polish seaside town that has a Royal Pavilion, used to be host of Right Wing (Thatcher) party conferences, was bombed by the IRA and is full of gays?

  7. darthsida says:

    => Paweł
    Thanks, Brighton’s mapped in, its description — and one of Bristol — must have flown away in edit.

    => scatts
    1. Loony footballligans? No problemo!
    2. Right Wing in Poland? Problemo!
    3. You may not like Cardiff but I like leeks. More than cwrw.
    4. Leeds and Wroclaw: each a major city with no peer. Their solitude standing is what they share.

    => Anybody
    More suggestions, please!

  8. guest says:

    3) “Coals to Newcastle”. Find the most coal-memed city in Poland to match


  9. guest says:

    Is there a Polish seaside town that has a Royal Pavilion, used to be host of Right Wing (Thatcher) party conferences, was bombed by the IRA and is full of gays?

    …the westerplatte monument. !

    …bombed ,host of right wing ceremonies and now a quiet place for ****

  10. Datblog says:

    Guest – coals to Newcastle, has to be Opole. Although it is hard for any city anywhere in the world (except maybe New Orleans) to compete with Newcastle. BTW the Newcastle Evening Chronicle newspaper have started a blog ‘Poles to Newcastle’ – http://polestonewcastle.chroniclelive.co.uk/

  11. darthsida says:

    => Re: Ruda Slaska

    Yes, that could be fine, to carry coals to Ruda. But then I wanted more than coal, so I think GLIWICE would be better. And the that’s whies are:

    1) coal mining alright,
    2) a port [something to suit Newcastle shipbuilding], Odra/Channel = Tyne
    3) a cathedral [and a beautiful one] to stand for St Nicholas cathedral
    4) some potent academic centre as Newcastle has universities etc.
    5) there’s a castle in Gliwice. We need a place with one to match Newcastle, right?
    6) population numbers nearly the same

    GKS Piast Gliwice will have to do for Newcastle Utd FC, but you can’t have everything. Newcastle, on the other hand, would have to figure out what her equivalent of the (pre-)war incident could be.

    => Dat,
    Opole’s got little to do with coal. To carry songs (or theatres) (or Germans) to Opole, the saying would have to say. Besides, it’s Isle of Wight already :)

  12. […] United Poledom, or Welcome Home Trip-hop, the sound city. Read: Myslowice. Hear: Myslowitz (youtube). Flow with Avon, flow with Przemsza. […]

  13. gorg says:

    Rethink Toruń. There is no big industry in Toruń, mostly the University and tourism

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