Warsaw

    Warsaw suffered quite a bit during the communist era. It was virtually flattened during the war and the Soviets wouldn't pay for repairs, so other towns in Poland would donate money and building supplies to have it rebuilt.

    This is rather evident in Old Town, which is completely rebuilt. They did not have any detailed plans of the place, so it was rebuilt according to some huge paintings that were made in the late 19th century. Its well done, but just doesn't have that same feel to it that somewhere like Prague has and I think it suffers a bit from that.

    As you walk around, there are snippets and hints of what happened. The cathedral has a section of tank track bricked into the wall. During the war people holed themselves up in the cathedral, the German's couldn't get in, so instead they packed a tank full of explosives and drove it in. When it was in far enough they detonated it, destroying the cathedral and killing the people inside. When it was being rebuilt, they found the section of track and built it into the wall.

    It does have some nice gardens though, we visited Lazienki Park and saw the Chopin statue, which apparently is the thing for tourists to do. We visited the memorial to the Warsaw Getto, they're building a museum there now, I would not mind reading up on that some more, its something I had very little understanding of just how bad it was.

    Overlooking most of the city is the Palace of Culture and Science - a massive building built by the Soviets as a "gift" to the city. It was put up during the Cold War to basically show if the Americans could do something, so could the Soviets. Its big, ugly and very dominating, and now, rather ironically I think, houses a casino.

    Out last stop was Vilanov Palace on the outskirts of town. An interesting place, a packed museum, well worth a visit if you're in that direction


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Palace of Culture and Science (A present from the Soviets in 1967)
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The hotel corridor in Warsaw
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Early morning in Warsaw streets
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Jozef Klemens Pitsudski, seen as responsible for getting Poland's independence
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Chopin in Lazienki Park
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Roses
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Chopin again
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More of Warsaw Streets (Belwedersk Road)
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Palace of Culture and Science again
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Bank of Poland
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More building details
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Monument to the Warsaw Getto
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Other side of the Warsaw Getto monument
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Statue at the monument
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The Great Synagogue use to be here
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Gryphons
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Sigismund's Column in Castle Square
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House of Literature hotel/cafe
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Clock Tower on the Royal Castle
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A very cool gargoyle
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Castle Square - note the pelican
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Close up of the pelican in case you missed it
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Statue outside a jewelers shop in Old Town
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Warsaw's Old Town
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This is a section of tank track which was driven into the cathedral and blown up
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I like the signs
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Old Town - although it was completely flattened during the war and rebuilt
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Clock on a corner building
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Very ornate pharmacy sign
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Another cool sign
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New Town Square (as opposed to Old Town)
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Sapieha Palace, New Town
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St Mary's Church, built 1411, 1518 and 1947
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Sundial
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Building in New Market Square
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Warsaw's Barbician
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Old Town Walls
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Looking down Krzywe Koto street in Old Town
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Old Town
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The Warsaw Mermaid
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Looking from Old Town up to the Palace
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Door to St John's Cathedral
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Doorway at the palace
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A nice little fireplace in the Palace
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Throne room
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Gate to Vilanov Palace
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Vilanov Palace
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Doorway of Vilanov Palace
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Detail of the archway
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Clocktower
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More of the palace
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More building detail
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The main gates
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Monument near Vilanov Palace
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Bells near St Anne's church, just outside Vilanov
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Last modified: May 27 2012 02:24:57.
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