Marszalkowska Street starts at the Plac Bankowy and runs
parallel with the Royal Route (Krakowskie Przedmiescie, Nowy Swiat, Ujazdowskie).
After the Plac Konstytucji it narrows substantially, before ending at Plac Unii
Marszalkowska Street is interesting for several reasons. The street was
devastated during WWII, and after the war the street was reconstructed as a
socialist prestige project. Most of the street was thus reconstructed in a
so-called Socialist Realism style, where monumental buildings show the
omnipotence of society. The style is best expressed around Plac Konstytucji,
which appears in the picture above.
This street is undoubtedly a
part of Warsaw's centre, but appears to be much more "real" than the streets
around the Old Town. This is a place where people work, with less tourists and
most passer-bys stick to a rapid, big city gait.
But real life starts in the side streets, and I'm
also going to deal with them in this chapter. Especially the parallel streets ul.
Poznanska and ul. Mokotowska, where the style of the shops and bars bear
evidence of a growing avant-garde culture. The streets crossing these such as ul.
Hoza or ul. Wilcza also have a special atmosphere. Around Plac Konstytucji and Plac
Zbawiciela the Marszalkowska is characterized by the nearby Technical University
and its enormous army of students demanding cheap food and action.
The first part of Marszalkowska - running from plac Bankowy till Aleja
Jerozolimskie - is mentioned in
Around Warsaw page 3, and this part of the road is closer connected to the
outskirts of the Old Town. This chapter therefore starts at Aleje Jerozolimskie,
right next to the Palace of Culture, the Central Station and the Metro Centrum
a lot of busy people on their way to their daily chores.
The corner of
Marszalkowska Street and Jerusalem Avenue. New
skyscrapers are being built all the time.
A huge sign second by
second displays the amount of public debts. At the moment when I took the
photo it amounted to 838 billion 190 million zloty. That is well below 60%
of GDP, and that indicates that the Polish economy is rather strong - as one
of the few in the the EU.
A look down Marszalkowska
Street. A broad boulevard with solid buildings, shops, bars and loads of
Click on the picture to see an enlarged
Left: The Warsaw City Court,
City Section. Among frequent dwellers often referred to as the judgement
Klatka bar - a new cellar-pub for gays, lesbians and kinky people, standing
slightly back from the actual Marszalkowska Street.
Left: Neo-gothic building from 1898. The
Italian Cultural Institute operates from here.
Poznanska Street is a narrow street with older apartment
blocks. It runs parallel with Marszzalkowska - on the right hand side if you
come from the Palace of Culture.
Poznanska has always been well known for its avant-garde
nightlife, but during the last couple of years the amount of new bars and
restaurants has exploded. The atmosphere is turning quite Mediterranean, with
people wandering from one bar to the next through the evening.
Also you will find a lot of elegant pre-war buildings, some
of them in a better condition than others.
Chef's School with conjoined restaurant. Here you can have an excellent, hot
meal every day at lunchtime for next to nothing.
Lazy Brute at the corner - cafe and bar for those who like to look and be looked
at. A stone's throw further the Kwadrat-bar.
In front of Lazy Brute: Ganesh Indian restaurant and
further back Jazzarium Cafe. In front of the restaurant you may notice one of
the many public water pumps providing water from the under ground.
Another few steps,
right in front of Restaurant Tel-Aviv we find Beirut Humus Bar, Bar Tektura and
Plac Konstytucji (Constitution
Square) was established after WWII as a part of the newly renovated prestigious
boulevard - Marszalkowska. The Polish parliament and a number of important state
institutions are situated 5-10 minutes walk from the Square. The name was
originally attributed to the new communist Constitution from 1952, but few
people remember this, so the name may as well pay tribute to the Constitution
Left: Colonnades with shops and flower ladies. The
high ceilings make you feel the omnipotence of architecture.
U Szwejka - A popular meeting place for beer drinking and traditional Polish
food. In the evening there is often a several metres long queue in order to get inside.
Socialist Realism - admired and detested, but has now been
accepted as one of the coherent architectonical expressions of Warsaw.
Even the street lighting
becomes almost sacred as it strives for the sky.
is being used for big public events like concerts, New Years Eve and
The straight and strong working people have been
immortalized in the fronts of the buildings and on the roofs. Communist Poland
was (rightly) proud of the reconstruction of Poland - and it took care no one
would forget who carried out the effort.
The colonnades continue to Plac Zbawiciela - here
and there someone has succeeded to open a few restaurants.
The Methodists have been teaching English here for
a generation. Besides from the preaching premises the Square hosts a pharmacy, a
catholic church, a sewing machine repair shop and 12 unique bars and
Left: A combination of a French bakery and a bistro
has within a very short time become one of the hottest places in Warsaw.
The slogan of the bistro "chleb i wino" (bread and wine) invoke established and
traditional catholic values. Next door the club Plan B has chosen to
adapt the slogan to no less established Polish values: "Wodka i piwo" (vodka and
Zbawiciela Church (The
Saviour's Church) has given its name to the square, so obviously it should be
listed among the points of interest on the Square. Besides from this it is a
beautiful church (more special from the outside than from the inside). It also
distinguishes itself by a limited use of the church bells.
In front of the church we find a stretch with
Bastylia (pancakes, beer, champagne and lesbians), a flower woman, Izumi Sushi
(sushi), Karma (coffee, actors and theatre spectators) and a huge, extremely
cheap Chinese restaurant on three levels.