In this Polish city, the biggest tourist attraction is… a cat | Poland

Gacek is a chubby cat, with black and white fur, who has lived for more than ten years on Kaszubska Street, in Szczecin, Poland, in a wooden house built by the owner on the sidewalk, next to a shop where suitcases and bags are sold with the pussy face. That’s where he spends most of his days, lying on blankets.

Of the most famous cat on the street, Gacek became an Internet sensation. So much that the location of the shelter Kot Gacek” (Cat Gacekin Portuguese is the best rated tourist attraction in the city in the Google Maps (which has already been withdrawn, but it returns…), with several five-star reviews, dethroning icons such as the Renaissance castle.

Gacek is the Kim Kardashian of the world of cats”, compares Karolina Nowak, manager of the official TikTok account in the Western Pomerania region (@pomorzezachodnie), where Szczecin is located, speaking to Reuters. On Instagram, the account detailing the day-to-day Gacek has more than 20 thousand followers. “Tourists only started looking for it because it gained popularity on the Internet.”

Szymon Maksymiuk works at a tourist office in Szczecin and says the stories of people traveling to see the city’s most famous cat are “mind-boggling”. “There was a guy from Norway who took a flight. Said he had been Gacek to make him decide to come here,” he says. “Because of the Gacektourism has increased enormously, far beyond my expectation or imagination.”

Some fans attribute the feline’s fame to its confidence and cute face, others say it’s its celebrity status that is attracting visitors to a city already known for the castle of the Dukes of Pomerania, parks and riverside scenery. picturesque.

“I’m looking for the cat named Gacek“, tells Reuters one of the tourists in the city, Kherlen, a history student, originally from Mongolia but living in Germany. “I hope to meet him, maybe today or tomorrow.”

However, some Szczecin residents are getting worried. Marta Gluchowska, a nurse at the Society of Szczecin for the Care of Animals, says people are feeding her inappropriate food.

Gacek it is not the first animal to attract tourists to a Polish city. In 2021, one Golden retriever has become the top rated tourist attraction in Gdańsk on Google.

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