First impressions of Kielce (kyel-tseh) are not likely to be positive. The town is ringed by postwar housing projects that on a rainy day, or any day, can look downright dispiriting. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find a lively city with a surprisingly elegant core, centred on the cathedral, the remarkable Palace of the Kraków Bishops, and a pretty expanse of parkland surrounding both of them.
Kielce is not resting on its laurels. The city is still in the throes of a multiyear renovation effort that has scrubbed the central areas and restored the Rynek to its former lustre. The main thoroughfare, ul Sienkiewicza, has been spruced up and stretches as far as the eye can see with cafes, shops and bars.