You will find street sellers everywhere -  clothes, recycling, DVDs and products from the allotment garden are popular trading items.

© Michael Hardenfelt 2012

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Warszawa

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Around Warsaw

When visiting a new town you are normally dragged along to a number of tourist attractions, and you end up visiting the same places, bars and restaurants as all the other tourists. 

That's also quite all right, obviously you should be interested in the things that we have decided are important to you.

Anyway, I often feel that I'm left with a feeling of not really knowing what kind of town I've just visited, even though I have been wandering the city centre in all directions. That's what I'll try to do something about in this chapter. 

We will simply do a tour around most of Warsaw. On the way I shall of course point out the most interesting things, but you will inevitably get a feeling about how the people of the town actually live - something I personally think is important when I visit a new place.

Please click on the hyper link to get to a place you would like to know something about, or follow the whole route and take a break when you find something especially interesting.

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Around Warsaw

Click on the icon to see the video (12 minutes)

 

Not everybody uses the Internet. The ads on the lamp standard offer quick loans and easy credit rating. Below language courses are offered.

A secondhand shop. The clothes you chuck into the container at home might end up in a shop in Poland, where second hand clothes have been trendy for quite a few years. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stefan Starzynski (1893-1943).

Soldier, economist and politician. The President (Mayor) of Warsaw 1934-1939.

Warsaw progressed by leaps and bounds during his leadership. He died in a German concentration camp.

In the picture at the right we see his sculpture, where he is looking at his beloved town hall. The sculpture is made by Andrzej Renes in 1993. Andrzej Renes is the creator of several sculptures in Warsaw, among others the Student, which can be seen in front of the old library at the University of Warsaw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ul. Zelazna Brama. The Lubomirski Palace from the 18th century.

Destroyed in 1944, rebuilt after the war. This building is home to an institution of higher education and a restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

In front of the Lubomirski Palace Tadeusz Kosciuszko is ready to fight.

Tadeusz Kosciuszko (1746-1817) was the leader of the rebellion or war against Russia and Prussia in 1794,where he fought to maintain Poland's independence. He failed, and 1798-1815 he lived in France, where he continuously strived for an independent Poland. .

Kosciuszko started his military career in France, afterwards he fought in the American War of Independence, where he obtained the rank of general. He later also became a general in the Polish army. 

 

 

Left: Mirowski Street. Two identical market halls from 1901, rebuilt 1962. You can still do your shopping in the halls, but mostly in small shops and supermarkets.

Right: Jan Pawel Street. With 193 branches Nordea is a strong brand on the Polish market.

In general this is a business street, with loads of class A offices and headquarters of several international companies.

 

Solidarnosc Street

Left: The blessings of Western civilisation hasn't escaped Warsaw. In the front of this picture we see a McDonalds, and at the other side of the street KFC and Starbucks.

 

Right: Kino Femina - one of Warsaw's oldest and most well-known cinemas. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back at Plac Bankowy. Here the Muranow-Cinema with a fountain from the 19th century, made by one of Warsaw's iconic architects and sculptor, Leonard Marconi.

 

 

 

 

Left: Zamenhofa Street. In this place they are building a Museum of the History of the Polish Jews. The building is monumental and beautiful. The museum is expected to receive half a million visitors yearly.

Right: Okopowa Street. We can see the walls around the Jewish Cemetery.

 

 

Bar Chinczyk - an old Chinese restaurant with a simple, quick and cheap Chinese menu. Next to that Restaurant Rong-Vang, an Asian restaurant offering Chinese & Vietnamese delicacies in pleasant surroundings and at slightly higher prices. 

 

The corner of Wolska Street with a modern apartment block next to an older concrete building. 

 

 

 

 

Left: A memorial plaque to the Poles shot during WWII. The victims were randomly chosen, which was a systematic part of the Nazi oppression. Such stones and plaques can be found all over the town.  

 

Right: An underground pedestrian subway with kiosks and small shops. Pedestrian subways and footbridges were previously a central part of the traffic planning, and you will find loads of them all over Poland.  

 

 

On the left: Mlynarska Street. A Protestant Cemetery from 1792.

On the right: The election place. From 1573 till 1791 the Polish kings were elected by the entire nobility. In principle any Polish nobleman might participate, and as the nobility in Poland constituted 8-10% of the population, elections could attract an enormous crowd. A good deal of the elections took place at this site, where a memorial column with a crown on the top has been raised.

 

 

 

 

 

Ostraroga Street and Tatarska Street. These are the walls surrounding the old Powzkowski Cemetery.

With its 43 hectares it is one of Warsaw's biggest cemeteries. It consists of a civilian part, which has been the place of rest for a number of the town's dignitaries since the opening in 1790. Furthermore there is a separate military part for soldiers, insurgents and important state officials.

Tombstones and sculptures are considered an art in Poland, and this cemetery is considered to be especially distinguished - which means that a walk may be an open air trip dedicated to the history of art.

 

 

 

 

Left: Tatarska Street. Muslim burial place founded in 1867, mainly for Muslim soldiers from the tsarist army. The burial place is still in use. 

Right: Powazkowska Street. The Main Entrance to the Powazkowska Cemetery is called the Holy Honorata.

 

 

 

 

Burials are big business - but competition is fierce. There is an abundance of undertakers, monument masonries and flower shops. 

 

Arkadia - a shopping mecca or life style centre. These kinds of centres may be found all over town. They all have a gigantic hypermarket, shops with branded goods, a number of chain restaurants and cafes, bowling alleys and cinemas. Nothing like a good shopping trip bringing the family together on a Sunday afternoon. 

 

 

 

Popieluszki Street - that's where Zoliborz begins. Warszawa has been separated into self-governing quarters with their own Council, and Zoliborz is the smallest of these. Until 1918 the area was dominated by the Citadel, which controlled the town.  Zoliborz did not begin to develop until after independence in 1918. Today it is one of the more exclusive areas of Warsaw, with a number of villas and modern apartment blocks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krasinski Street

St Stanislaw's Church. This is where Father Popieluszki operated (that's the guy who has given the name to the street we just left). In the 1980s he actively supported the Polish opposition, the Solidarity Movement.

Popieluszki is known for the fact that he was abducted by members of the Security Police in 1984. Later his dead body was found with clear signs of torture. 

The circumstances around his abduction and death caused consternation and political manifestations in the Polish society, and Father Popieluszki has today become the symbol of a pure and unselfish Catholicism. The Parish Church is one of the more hardcore supporters of the fundamentalist Catholic movement. 

Plac Bankowy (Bank Square). One of the few places in Warsaw where there are no banks. At the left in the picture we see the old stock exchange and former National Bank (with the dome). The palace in the middle is home to the town hall and the regional state administration. 

Free hand drawing of the route - not exact, but it gives an idea about where we are going. Click on the map to see an enlargement.

 

 

 

Plac Wilsona. Modernist square from 1923, including the most beautiful metro station in Warsaw, the Zeromski Park with the  Siergieja fort and several small cafes.

 

 

Click at the pictures to see an enlargement!

 

After a drive through Krasinski Street  offering low-rise residential housing on the one side and the Zeromski Park on the other, we end up at Wislostrada - the main north-south artery. The entire route is called Wislostrada all the way through (26 kms), but at the stretch on the left we see Wybrzeze Gdynskie.

Right: The footpath along Wislostrada; here towards the Citadel.

 

 

 

Between the footpath and Wislostrada there are steep slopes with crosses in remembrance of the political prisoners, who died at the Citadel during the Russian supremacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What's left of the original gallows. This is where the more militant opponents of the Russian supremacy ended their days with a view towards the river and the Praga district on the opposite side of the river.

The remainder of the gallows has been encircled by a stone monument and is protected by glass, but when you take a close look it is quite well preserved, considering how old it is.

 

The fortification was built after the November Rising in 1831, where the insurgents for a short period succeeded in shaking the Russian position in Poland.

 

 

 

 

Sanguszki Street

Left: Brama Stracen (Execution Gate) is the name of one of the main entrances to the Citadel. The name refers to the footpath from the prison to the gallows and through the gate - the convict's last walk. 

Right: A number of fortresses reinforced the Citadel. This is Fort Wladimira from 1853, with underground tunnels to Warsaw city and surrounded by Park Traugutta. Today it is the home of a restaurant. 

 

Left: The Polish Security Printing Works, issuing bank notes and ID-cards. 

Right: Hotel Ibis. The hotel guests can look at the  voluminous monument to Poles who died on the battlefield or were murdered in the East from 1995, made by Maksimilian Biskupski. The monument displaces a Russian goods wagon. The platform is packed with crosses symbolising the dead. 

 

 

 

Left: Bonifraterska Street 1. The Chinese Embassy.

 

Right: Plac Krasinskich. The Supreme Court; a new building from 1999. Roman law has been put into 76 columns, summarizing essential legal sentences in Polish and Latin.  A magnificent building, meant to herald a new era of justice in Poland.

 

 

In front of the Supreme Court stands an enormous monument of the Warsaw Rising in 1944. In the background they are ready for attack. The monument was finished in  1989.

In the front we see the insurgents climbing up from a manhole, after being evacuated from the Old Town through the sewers on September 2nd. 

From the end of the war, and until a milder ideological wind blew into Eastern and Central Europe it wasn't politically acceptable to glorify the participants in the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. In the beginning of the 1980s a popular movement caused the plans for a monument go ahead, and in the 10 years following funds were collected to  implement the project.

 

 

 

The Garrison Church - or the Field Cathedral of the armed forces of Poland  - the most sacred Virgin Maria, the Queen of Poland.  .

The first church was built here in 1642. During Russian supremacy it was changed into an Orthodox church. Now it's a Cathedral of the Armed Forces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: Miodowa Street. Filled with palaces and historical buildings. Worth a walk on a nice summers day. 

Right: Irish Pub at the corner. A walk down the charming Kozia Street will take you to Krakowskie Przedmiescie.

 

 

 

 

On the left. A look down Krakowskie Przedmiescie, a few minutes from the Palace Square. Krakowskie Przedmiescie, Nowy Swiat and Rondo de Gaulle are mentioned in the Royal Route.

 

On the right: We jump to right after Rondo de Gaulle. Jerozolim Street. The National Museum in the picture, seen from the opposite side of the road. 

 

 

Left: A few hundred metres from the National Museum lies the Polish Army Museum with a lot of interesting things for lovers of aircrafts and tanks. Uniforms from different ages and a view into the history of Poland. 

Right: Jerozolimski Street rises here before becoming a bridge across the river. A look down the suburban railway station   Warszawa Powisle shows that you can wait for the train without stress. 

 

 

 

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Tourist guide in Gdansk, Warszawa and the rest of Poland