Around Warsaw

Today we went to the city centre for a stroll around the old parts of Warsaw.  My internet connection at home is not working, beyond annoying, so we went to get the wireless modem from my husbands office.  I thought it might be interesting for those who don’t really know anything about Poland to see what parts of it look like!

We started with a trip to the ice cream store to fuel up for our walk.  It is located in the former Jewish ghetto of Warsaw which was pretty much leveled during the war- but there are some buildings that managed to survive- such as this one:

The front elevation has been redone but it is exactly how it looked before the war.

If any of you have ever seen the film “The Pianist” with Adrian Brody (great film) there is a very famous footbridge in the movie that separates the large ghetto from the small ghetto.  There is a new monument that has just been set up to recognize this part of history.

Here is the bridge during war:

source

This is one side of the bridge(below photo)- there are two on the other side of the street as well and there are wires that span the two sides.  In the evening the wires are lit up, as are the beams and there is a photo viewer where one can look in and see what this area looked like in the 40’s.

In the original photo you will notice the street car.  Those tracks are still there as a monument to the ghetto.  Same with this new plaque that runs in the exact spot on the ground where the wall was.

From here we went to a more touristy part of Warsaw known as the Royal Route.  It starts in the Old Town and ends at Wilanow Palace in the south of the city.

There are some really beautiful buildings and churches that have been restored to their former glory.

This next apartment building is not particularly old- probably built during communism but this is quite typical of Poland- a mix of many different styles and eras.

The above photo is a picture of telamon- they are quite impressive.

Next we veered off the Royal Route and towards Saski Gardens where there is another monument- the tomb of the unkown soldier to be exact.

This is the garrison of Warsaw on the way to the monument.

Here is a picture of the Saski Palace before war: source

The above picture is all that remains from the Palace.  It is guarded 24/7 by soldiers who walk around it every 15 minutes and change every hour- no matter what the weather.

Just behind the monument is the fountain at Saski Gardens.  It is quite lovely.

Directly across the street from the monument and gardens is a new building called “the Metropolitan”, designed by the famous architect Sir Norman Foster- he is also responsible for “the gherkin” in London and the Sony Center in Berlin and Hearst Tower in New York city- his company has a very modern and distinct style.

The building is circular in shape and there is a courtyard in the centre with a fountain and a few shops.  We ended our walk with a trip to the coffee shop for a latte and some hot chocolates for the kids.

This is the outdoor seating of the coffee shop- it has a nice vibe to it.

Just in the back you can make out a photo session of a model- there were also a bride and groom having their photos taken while standing in the fountain.

This photo shows part of the structure of the interior courtyard.

I was able to snap a few more photos while we were driving in the car:

This is the Palace on Ujazdowski and below is a tram on Jerozolimskie St.

So this is a small tour of Warsaw.  It has some beautiful places and some ugly ones.  It has amazing history which allows you to appreciate the ugliness- but I am very happy to be living here.  (my appologies for those of you who subscribe if you received more than one email.  I don’t  exactly know what happened but I lost half the content and had to go back and update it a few times.)

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