Transit operator has renumbered Route 666 serving Hel due to complaints from Catholics
The Baltic Sea resort of Hel in Poland’s Pomeranian province will no longer use the 666 bus, local transport operators announced Wednesday. PKS Gdynia cited complaints from the Roman Catholic Church as one of the reasons for the move.
Marcin Szwaczyk, executive officer of the transport company, told news portal Trojmiasto that the route will be renumbered starting June 24.
“We changed the number from 666 to 669, [to be] Less controversial, less conspicuous,” Szwaczyk said. “The most important thing for us is that the buses are running and the routes are serviced. Line numbers are secondary.”
Back in 2006, the company’s predecessor assigned numbers 650 to 664 to bus lines operating during the school year and numbers 665 to 669 to seasonal service.At some point, English-speaking tourists noticed a pun on using route 666 to get there “hell” The line became a tourist attraction.
The meme trail has become so popular with outside visitors that the Hel neighborhood of about 10,000 residents can sometimes become overcrowded during the summer beach season. Some tourists travel to the peninsula just to take the bus.
Although “Satan Bus” It has proven to be good for business, but some in traditionally Catholic countries see it as less benevolent.Christian numerology associates 666 with the devil, based on biblical revelations about “The number of beasts.”
Back in 2018, Catholic newspaper Fronda called the pun “Satan’s Folly” and argue that it frivolously makes fun of “The fear of the death of the soul and the separation from the love of God.” Unless PKS Gdynia changes the route number, it will call on the Polish government to intervene, the outlet said.
“The 666 bus to Hel, in short, strikes at the Christian order of the Polish state and its foundations, and therefore – affects the well-being of all of us,” The document states.
Now that the company has bowed to the pressure, Szwaczyk says it has been inundated with complaints from the other camp. “We’re shocked how many supporters of the old numbers have contacted us,” He told Trojmiasto, adding that there is a possibility that Route 666 will return — maybe not this year, but maybe next year.
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