Twin City since 1988
The ancient Płock, situated in the middle of the country on the river Vistula north of Warsaw, had once been the residency of the Maszovian princes and the Polish rulers. The broad history of Płock can hardly be presented in a short text. History, people, monuments, culture and the many greater or smaller secrets and attractions should be given much more space.
Numerous historical buildings recall the rich thousand-year-old history of Płock, and thanks to organised functions like the History Days at Płock one may get to know and follow closely those traditional local customs. Colourful dances, the show of knight's struggles, crossbow contests, handicraft shops on the cathedral hill, are characteristic events on the Płock History Days.
The original Romanesque cathedral Ascension of Our Holy Mother Mary from the 12th century is one of the five oldest cathedrals in Poland. It was reconstructed by Italian masters in the Renaissance epoch and presents a copy of the famous Płock Bronze Gate and the Royal Chapel. Music performances of high repute take place here the whole year over.
The former royal town offers a variety of art treasures and cultural monuments. A place of interest is the castle of the Maszow Dukes, as well as the richly endowed museums and libraries.
The Maszow Museum belongs to the oldest museums in Poland. Its origins date back to the year 1821. At present, the museum possesses the richest collection of Jugendstil to be found in Poland: paintings, graphics, posters and handicrafts.
The museum of the Diocese with its collections of ancient paintings, carvings and handicrafts, and with inestimable sacred art from the Cathedral Treasury was founded in 1903.
The foundations for the economic upswing of the city, counting today 130,000 inhabitants, were laid by the biggest oil refinery and the largest inland shipyard of Poland. Both are the main employers here.
Płock has two universities: there is on the one hand the Polytechnic University – a department of the university of Warsaw for technology and social sciences –, and on the other hand a university for management, pedagogics, political science and informatics.
The Płock European Picnic in May every year is a meeting with friends from the partner towns. The talks together led to an animated sharing of culture and experience. Musicians, other artists and stand workers are invited for the supporting program, and culinary specialties from the twin towns are presented.
In summer time, the old part of Płock is very lively. There is the Festival of Organ Music in the cathedral, and the Płock symphonic orchestra organises concerts on the Old Market Place in the course of the Summer Music Festival. The historic Town Hall is also located there.
The twinning between Darmstadt and Płock exists since 1988, and since that time it has developed in a very positive and interesting way. The activities range from youth exchanges over professional or sportive meetings up to cultural projects.