Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The five day trip to Warsaw (Day 4 morning) - On the way to the Warsaw Uprising Monument, the Uprising Monument and the All Saints Church - The 27th of June 2015


I soon left the Nowy Swiat having turned onto Swietokrzyska street I would have to walk along till reaching the round about Daszynskiego, which I expected to cover in a thirty to forty minute walk. I could have easily taken the tube, whose colourful entrances I kept on coming across on the way but I felt I hadn't yet seen the modern part of the city and walking could definitely make a difference in terms of the perspective I had of the city I was trying to get to know.

I walked by the city's defining landmark, the 231 metre high Palace of Culture and Cience I had seen from my bedroom window. It is the tallest and largest structure in Poland. Commissioned by Stalin as a gift from the Soviet people the  1955 year building is said to have used forty million bricks.

No matter where I looked I could see skyscrappers and particularly nice looking areas beyond the avenue pavements, which made the long walk a lot more interesting, despite the fact that there wasn't much more to see.
Occupying a former  tram power station the Warsaw Uprising Museum is considered one of Poland's best Museums and said to leave an inevitable mark on its visitors.

I spent the next three to four hours inside its various levels which provide visitors with the chronological story of the uprising. Because one immerses in the replica of certain Warsaw streets, accompanied by the rattling of machine guns and bombers it is  like going back in time and re-living some of the things people had to go through then. 
The ground floor had several halls, each of which focused on a different aspect of the uprising from the role played by radio station operators to the importance of undercover printing press, details on the various people killed during the uprising in the form of calendar pages spread around that visitors could collect despite being written in Polish and even a replica  of  the motorcycle type with a sidecar, mostly used by the Nazis. 

One could also sit in an auditorium like space and watch  a black and white film dating back to that dramatic historical period and its equally dramatic consequences.

A small chapel located right behind the auditorium allowed visitors to have their almost inevitable moments for reflexion and pray.

Just before climbing up the stairs onto the second floor a replica of B24 Allied aircraft, said to have been used to dropping supplies over the besieged city, naturally caught visitor's attention.

The upper floor was equally poignant in its approach to what actually happened then displaying touching images of city cemetries, when space could not be found to bury those who were killed and a few more black and white images which  clearly showed the devastation that took place.  

Wladyslaw Szpilman, pianist and composer who hid since his escape from the ghetto (right).

As I walked back, this time in the direction of the Saski garden I decided to turn onto the Grzybowski  square and briefly visit the Saints church, which during the occupation is said to have been one of the three Christian churches operating in the ghetto. Although it was considerably damaged in 1939 its rectory was shelter to many Jewish families.


The 1880 altar and the 1889 iron-cut pupit were worth a special note. The overall atmosphere was a "peaceful" and soothing one, which I feel could be associated to the white colour and the sober decorative motifs.


Once I left the church I walked into a small café just across the road and was soon treated to a rather special "decorated" coffee with milk and a traditional slice of cake with dried fruits in it.

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