Today I visited a truly special place – top terrace of the famous PASTa building in the very middle of Warsaw. Unique history of this place, its role during the Warsaw’s Uprising in 1944, its location, the weather and the company of the new Yelp’s Community Manager for Warsaw – are all very special. Have a look at the interactive panoramas – you need to click them in order to make them work. Enjoy the view of the very heart of Warsaw during the truly sunny day.
This is where those panoramas were shot from:
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There’s more below!
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I came here first in 1992, as far as I can remember, when all the underground defence system was closed and the so-called “bar war” was full on. “Bar” from the steel bars that prevented anyone from entering, not from the place where you drink. Till today I was here like dozens of times, but still can’t get enough – this place is magic, has some special magnetism that calls me over and over again.
What you see on the pictures below – I my another trip to the Festungsfront Oder-Warthe-Bogen (Międzyrzecki Rejon Umocniony) where I follow the organised trip for the usual tourists with the guide. I criss-crossed the entire system too many times to remember, I know a lot about it, its history, strategic importance, reasons why it failed, what Russian Army did to it after the war – and I still like to come here, to feel its cold and infinite silence.
Programme of this trip:
We start with the Panzerwerk 717 (Pz.W. 717), tour the first level of the Panzerwerk, then we go down the stairs next to non-existent elevator shaft, then we go to the Heinrich train station on the main train line, then we return to towards the Werkgruppe Scharnhorst and we leave the system via the Pz.W. 716.
BRE Bank offices in Bydgoszcz are considered as on of the most beautiful and successful examples of modern Polish architecture. Completed in 1996, these beautiful buildings designed by Andrzej Bulanda and Włodzimierz Mucha won several awards for great architecture. What’s really interesting here is not only the beauty of those buildings that resemble the granary – but the integration of those buildings into the area where they sit is just fantastic. Bank of the river Brda, very centre of Bydgoszcz (since the restoration that completed last year, Bydgoszcz is one of the most beautiful towns in Poland), right at the port, where the barges park – just excellent. More, in Polish, here.
Włochy, small town near Warsaw, was built with the “garden city” idea in mind at the beginning of the 20th century. It is really beautiful, with lots of green spaces, like english parks and ponds. Below you can see the evening scene from one of the ponds, with nice, lit fountains that not only look great but also feed the fish with oxygen.
Ancient city of Kotor in Montenegro has one of the most amazing mountain fortifications I have ever came across. I will write about them later, meanwhile check the wiki page, few pictures and the interactive panorama from the top of the St. John mountain, there the top of the fortress sits. Stunning place, 40 minutes of really fast climb over really steep stairs with over 40 degrees of Celsius full sunshine day. It was well worth it.
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More often I visit Wrocław, the more I like it. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Poland, old German city with fantastic pieces of architecture, both German and Polish. City full of friendly people, students, with lots of bicycle paths and thousands and thousands of bicycles. Really, really worth visiting, especially now, when the summer is so great. What you see on the picture below, is the mix of old and new Wrocław – old and famous Ostrów Tumski with Wrocław City Cathedral and brand new City Library – both great pieces of architecture.
Church in Trzęsacz – there’s a very interesting and rather dramatic story of the ruins of this church. First church was built in 1124 as a wooden construction placed over 2 kilometers away from the sea. Then rebuilt around 1270 and then, the last one was built somewhere between 14th and 15th century. Over the years, the sea slowly ate the coast and got right next to the church. On August 2, 1874, the last service took place and the church got closed for safety reasons – and on the night of April 8–9 1901, the northern wall of the church collapsed to the sea. Then, bit by bit the church was eaten by the sea – last bit dropped on February 1, 1994, when part of the southern wall collapsed. What you see on the pictures, is the remnants of the southern wall. This is the only place like this in Europe – there is a lot of effort put into saving of this place. Will it be successful? On average, 40 cm of land is lost year by year, so probably it is only the matter of time.
More pictures and description below.
The Centennial Hall (German: Jahrhunderthalle, Polish: Hala Stulecia (formerly Hala Ludowa – People’s Hall)) is a prime example of the early use of reinforced concrete in architecture. Designed and built in 1911 – 1913 under the supervision of the brilliant German architect, Max Berg, it was a ground braking building with the largest dome at the time. One of the stories says, that the builders, that were building the dome, at the end of the work refused to dismantle the scaffolding – it was the first time when the reinforced concrete was used for the building of that scale and the workers were afraid that the material simply will not support the dome and the whole construction will collapse.
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The Royal Castle in Warsaw (Polish: Zamek Królewski w Warszawie) is called, for some reason, a castle residency and was the official residence of the late Polish monarchs. Since it is not a castle (building prepared for active defence, usually armed) I think it is rather a palace. Designed by Italian architect Giovanni Battista Trevano, construction started in 1598. During the WWII, on Hitler’s orders the Castle was blown to pieces and the reconstruction works in early Mannerist Baroque style started in 1971. After long and difficult reconstruction, works completed in 1984, when the interiors were opened to the public.
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