The city is located in the western part of the Pomorskie Voivodeship on the Bytow Stream. The wooden stronghold existed already in the 12th century and belonged to the duchy of Slupsk and Slawno. Mentioned as Butow (1321) and Bytow (1335). From 1329, the property of the Teutonic Order, which granted the town a location privilege in 1346. The location of the city on the Bytowa River, among hills, forests and lakes is a place for leisurely and active sightseeing.
The Gothic castle was built at the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries. It was not connected to the city and its fortifications. This is one of the most impressive preserved Teutonic castles, rebuilt many times due to its use – it served administrative and judicial functions, was a widow’s residence, a warehouse and a prison. In the 1930s, it was handed over to youth organizations, which began its general renovation.
The war interrupted the renovation works, which were resumed in the 1970s. The last renovation was completed in 1992. The building consisted of the following castles: Order (15th century), Ducal, Widows and Court (16th century). There are 4 towers in the corners: the Powder Tower, Field, Rose and Mill towers. In front of the castle, in the place of the current court building, there was a Gate Tower with a drawbridge.
West Kashubian Museum
Built in 1972, it occupies almost the entire northern wing of the building. It presents temporary exhibitions and a permanent exhibition devoted to the monuments of the material culture of Kashubians from Bytow area. The museum also supervises two branches – in the tower of the former St. Catherine and the Museum of the Polish School in Plotowo.
Church of St. George
The chapel dates from 1346, it was called the church on the hill. Kashubian sermons were preached here by Szymon Krofey, the author of the Kashubian print of “Duchowe Piesni” (1586). The present church was built in the years 1675-1685, rebuilt in 1743, called the Kashubian church because of the Kashubian services were held there until 1859. Destroyed during the Second World War.
Currently, there is a Ukrainian-Byzantine church here. In 1982, the Greek Catholic community purchased the ruined post-Evangelical church of St. Jerzy and then renovated it, adapting the interior to the liturgical requirements of the Eastern Rite. The church was consecrated in 1989.
Church of Saints Catherine of Alexandria and John the Baptist
The Neo-Romanesque, three-nave church is modelled on the Berlin church of St. St. Matthew and was built in the years 1847-1854. Until 1945 it was called St. Elizabeth and served the Protestants. After the Catholic temple was burnt down (of which only the tower remained), masses were celebrated in the church and over time the Catholics took over the entire building (although in the times of the Polish People’s Republic the church was used by both Evangelicals and Uniates). The decor is largely pre-war.
Church of St. Catherine
A brick Gothic tower covered with a simple hipped roof is a remnant of the first temple in Bytow – the church of St. Catherine, which burned down in 1945. The brick church was built in 1329. In the years 1614-1640, the temple served Protestants, and during the Swedish wars it was burnt down (1657). In the 17th and 18th centuries, the church was plundered and burned many times. Rebuilt for the last time in 1716. In 1945, the church burnt down, in the years 1964-1966 the walls of the nave were demolished and the tower was reconstructed, which serves as a museum.
The Market Square
Since autumn 2011, in front of the church of St. Catharine, there is a market square referring to the pre-war character of the city. It took the shape of a square surrounded by buildings with the south-western part decorated with a fountain, where performances are played in the evenings. The water spurting to the rhythm of the music shimmers with a palette of colours and encourages you to stop and admire the old town of Bytow. On the opposite side of the square there is a statue of Christ looking towards the church of St. Catherine. The official name of the Bytow market square is Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski. Square.
Bytow’s downtown gained charm after the reconstruction of John Paul II Street adjacent to the market square. It became a paved promenade decorated with stylistic benches and lanterns.
The section from Bytów to Lake Głębokie is considered easy. One day should be allotted for kayaking. The river route is devoid of obstacles. The river is ideal for beginners in kayaking.
The beginning of the trail starts in Bytów at ul. Tartaczna and Prosta (almost outside the city). Behind the urbanized area, the river flows around meadows and then enters the forest.
Bridge over Boruja
Made of stone and brick, modelled on Roman aqueducts, the railway bridge from around 1884 is located over the Boruja River. It was built for the needs of the emerging railway line to Miastko, but for unknown reasons, the railway line was built differently and no train has ever passed over the bridge. On the supports of the bridge there are coats of arms and emblems of Bytow, Pomorskie, Prussia, the German Empire and German railways.
In Bytow, the tourist information is located on the market square at John Paul II 14 Street. Contacts in the Bytow region for the Tourist Information.