This week in Warszaw was not only work but also a chance to discover the capital of Poland. Arrived in Dworeć Centralny we took the bus and to give us the “Witamy” there was the Palace of culture and science.
This majestic building is ispired by Seven sisters skyscrapers that you can find in Moscow and around east Europe like: in Riga, the Latvian Academy of Sciences (that I visited three months ago), in Kiev ,Hotel Moscow – Hotel Ukraina, in Bucharest: Casa Presei Libere and in Prague: Hotel Družba. You have to remind this building because it became your point of point of reference in this city. We hosted in Agrikola youth hostel The activities of the On-arrival training help us to understand better Poland and this city. The first day we walked around the Łaienki Królewiskie during an icebreaking activity. Originally designed in the 17th century as a baths park (hence the name) for nobleman Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski, in the 18th century Łazienki was transformed by Poland’s King Stanisław August into a setting for palaces, villas, and monuments.
There is the palace on the water, expression of classical architecture in Poland. The building looks like floating on the water. This walking was gladden by our talkinga and after one hour we were a team thanks to the squirrels. We found in each other the best fellow-traveller. We spend the night in this park, drinking beer and continuing to talk about us and our project. Marta and Krzysiek organized for us an old city evening tour with a special guide an ex EVS volunteer. He led us among the street and history of Old Town “Stare Miasto”. The Main square surprised me for the open space it is like a balcony on the riverside of Wisła. But it was a shock compare the picture of warszaw before 1944 after 1944. The old city was totally destroyed by nazi army and only one build was safe for its strategic importance. This church at the left of the Royal Castle was used by nazi like lookout during the war. The old city was surrounded by wall after the war you can find only Barbacane (name gived by its Italian architect). He tell us the legend of Singumund and his sword and how the capital of Poland moved from Krakow to Warszaw.
It was a long but in the same time fast trip. And how he said Warszaw is like Disneyland, everything was rebuilding in thirty years after the WWII, but this is what make special this city. The rebuilding was expression of volunteer work, no grant for this rebuilding in large scale only voluntary work of intellectuals, architects, and normal people to restore its old beauty. It is World Heritage of Unesco to reward the pledge of volunteers.
Antoher important historical event, related to WWII, was the Warszaw Umprising. It is very common find on the wall or monuments the anchor “Kotwica” that is the symbol of umprising. It was first painted on walls in Warsaw, as a psychological-warfare tactic against the occupying Germans, and after during the year also against the soviet control. Polish people fight a lot to have her political independence but I understand they were always free, dreamers and fighters.
… To be continued in the next article.