Cammin in Pommern - Kamien Pomorski

   Kamien Pomorski is now primarily a resort town.  Under the Polish Communist government workers were sent there to enjoy the boating, camping, swimming, etc.  Unfortunately, the government gutted much of the city's downtown and erected ugly concrete housing blocks for all the visiting workers.  Some historical structures were spared and the landscape remains, but Kamien is nowhere near as pretty as Cammin was.  The Poles have been extremely efficient at removing all traces of the city's German past. And, like any resort in the off-season, Kamien in November has a sad, gray, empty look to it.  What I'm getting at is that I won't be posting many pictures of Kamien here.  There are plenty of pictures on the internet of the Rathaus, the Dom, the Bautor, etc.  However, I haven't seen many of St. Nicolai's Church, the church most of my ancestors and family attended, so that's what I'll put up here.

   The church is a lovely little building, set in a park filled with large hardwood trees on the highest point in the town.  (Unfortunately, that park used to be the Alt Friedhof).  It's built of plastered brick, with a timber and tile roof.   The exterior side of the front doors has been sheathed with sheet bronze reliefs showing the seals of the various Polish provinces.  In the entry vestibule an oaken stairway leads up to the steeple and the attic.  Inside, the lower eight feet of the walls are exposed brick arches.  In some of them you can still see where the old German memorial plaques were once mounted.  The floor is made of composite marble tiles, probably installed early in the twentieth century.  At the same time radiator pipes were installed in the floor, under grates.  On the right is a small room labeled "SPOWIEDZ SWIETA", which appeared to contain some sort of shrine.  On the left, another room where the priest and altar boy change.  There are thirteen pews and five chairs, and the church must have been extremely crowded in the old days.  Like everywhere else in Kamien, all traces of the church's German past have been removed .

   A museum after the war, since the change in the Polish 'monument' laws St. Nicolai's has been reconsecrated as a Roman Catholic church and mass is held there every evening: Sundays at 1700 and all other days except religious holidays at 1800.  That's the only time you can visit now.  If you want to take pictures, be sure and get there before they unlock the doors (about thirty minutes before the service).  Within five minutes of the doors opening the parishioners are going to be deep into it, and taking pictures then would require more brass than I have.  

Click on any image to see it full size

St. Nicolai's Church, from the South.

The rear of St. Nicolai's Church, looking West.

The stairway up the steeple

Opposite the church entry, the old city water cistern, built to look like a medieval watchtower, and now the base for cell phone antennae.

The altar, looking from the entrance. The parishioners are already starting their chants. This was still half an hour before the mass.

Interior view of the front door

TOC Return to Table of Contents