Kartka z Podróży - bo świat jest piękny.

10 października 2012

Warsaw - Warszawa - Meet My Hometown

You cannot fall in love in this city from the first sight. It looks like everything is under construction since it was totally destroyed during The Second World War. And for sure you will get stuck in traffic jam. But let me tell you a story, let me explain why is that so... Maybe if you understand the city, you will be enchanted.

It is hard to describe the capital of Poland in one short post because you can not touch upon all aspects of its history and society due to its complexity, so do not expect me to go into details.Well... I am not going to show you places you can find in tourist guides or on Wikipedia either. Go for it yourself and visit the most recommended sight seeings, but... be conscious that this is not the spirit of Warszawa (read Warshawa). The real spirit is where old-styled buildings stand next to growing sky scrapers. Where ugliness is mixed with modernity and luxury. Where rust is displayed on the background of glossiness. Where paupers sitting on the pavement are being passed by vigorous businessmen. This is Warszawa. The city I love.

Why is that so? You have to be aware that Warsaw was bombed by German bombers during The Second World War. After the war only the oldest part was rebuilt in the shape as it was before. The architecture of Old Town was known thank to paintings collected by the last king of Polish Kingdom. Yes... We were a kingdom years ago...

The rest of the city was rebuilt according to socialist realism. Heavy and ugly constructions were raised on the ashes of the past. More and more young people from the province were coming to Warszawa to rebuild it, to find job, to educate or to start a new life.

Nowadays you can have an impression that the city is still 'under construction'. Post soviet buildings are being erased from the city-scape and replaced by sky-scrapers or glass-metal constructions. People still move to Warsaw due to better job opportunities and education, so when you ask somebody 'where are you from' you shall not expect that s/he will say 'from here'.

You have to look at the city from the perspective of its history - that's for sure. Some districts are unique not only because you can find it beautiful. No, it's quite opposite. In example...  Old and ruined houses in Jewish Ghetto were witnesses of Jewish Raise during the war. Metal stripe built in the pavement is reminding that here were ghetto walls, which separated two different worlds from each other and now you can just cross it by one step. Just take a look...

One of the oldest tenement house near Grzybowski Square

Próżna Street
The backyard
Próżna Cafe
Próżna Cafe
Grzybowski Square
The old-new
Where will they go?
Mirowska Hall - you can buy some Polish local food here
Mirowska Hall was primarily a sport hall, now it's a food and goods supply hall
"Are you ugly? Go and hide in a secret place" - the arrow is pointing to a hole in the wall..
"Evolution is becoming revolution"
"Okrąglak" means "The Round Building" - primarily a subway station that has never been built
Never built metro station became a place for cultural events
Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Memorial candles on Mordehaj Anielewicz Mound in Muranów - previously Jewish Ghetto
Somewhere in Muranów - Warsaw district, you can find gate walls decorated with quotes... Some of them are really meaningful.
"Do, or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
"If they don't have bread, let them eat cake." - supposedly Marie Antoinette
"Only the unloved hate" - Charlie Chaplin
"Imaginatin rules the world" - Napoelon Bonaparte
"The essence of reality is meaning" - Bruno Schultz
Take a breath in the park... or feed pigeons..

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