Katowice Spodek (Saucer)

 

The Katowice Saucer (Spodek) is the city’s icon and one of the most recognizable architectural buildings in Poland. The main hall is similar to a UFO in its shape. In the Saucer people are organizing matches of volleyball, basketball, ice hockey, musical concerts, conferences, circus acts, revues and trading events. How do you get there? How big is it? The Saucer in a nutshell


The concept of building an entertainment house in Katowice was created in 1955, back when the city was called Stalinogrod. The building was meant to be set in the city’s outskirts, but in the end, when four years later the competition revealed its winner, the location was moved to the centre replacing the former metallurgical pile.

The construction works began in 1964, but they were held up for a year and a half because of the suspicion for construction problems – they constructors were worried that after shutting down the supports the Saucer might get destroyed when the audience gets filled up with people. But the building passed the incredibly difficult test – over 4000 soldiers sat on the stands and started to stomp and jump at the same time. The building survived.

The complex’s first building - the Saucer’s ice skating area – was officially open for business in 1969. The entire complex itself was finished in spring 1971 and open for business the same year on may 9th – the festive concert of the “Silesia” band, Anna German and Ewa Decowna was seen by 12 000 people. The investment was supposed to cost 200 million PLN, but the whole cost turned out be 800 million PLN.

The saucer’s main hall looks like a UFO. According to the designers’ calculations, this was the only shape that would allow such a construction survive the mining operations.

The saucer was a worldwide championship arena in many sports, including men’s volleyball, ice hockey, women’s handball, body building, weight lifting. This was the place of World Volleyball Finale League – in 2001 the record of the games’ frequency was broken, when during the 1st finale’s eliminations there were nearly 50 000 fans – not to mention the European championships in wrestling, athletics, men’s handball and women’s volleyball.

In the Saucer there were many concerts hosted by such superstars, as: Sting, Jean Michael Jarre, Chris Rea, Cliff Richard, Joe Cocker, Tina Turner, Elton John, Deep Purple, Metallica, The Cure, Genesis, Black Sabbath, Saxon, Robbie Williams, Depeche Mode and Iron Maiden.





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