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Warsaw - Ancient & Modern

sunny 11 °C

For the past couple of weeks we've visited cities that have Medieval hearts, and the old city centre of Warsaw looks no different. There are magnificent buildings surrounding the market square...
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And this is the extensive Royal Castle...
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The King's throne room is simply sumptuous...
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However, if you are getting weary of looking at medieval architecture you might be surprised to discover that, despite their archaic outward appearances, none of these buildings are older than us. In some ways the whole of 'old' Warsaw is a movie set built after the Germans blew the entire city to smithereens during WW2 in an effort to permanently erase Polish culture and Polish heritage.
Less than 15% of the city remained in 1945 – the rest was just rubble, and most of the inhabitants had either been murdered or had fled. This is a monument to the 3 million Polish Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis in the many concentration camps like Auschwitz and Treblinka...
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We have visited the sites of Nazi concentration camps before and have painful lifelong memories that we would rather not renew. However, we spent a morning at the excellently presented Jewish history museum in Warsaw and discovered that the persecutions, executions and expulsions of Jews began almost a thousand years ago when Jews first settled in this area. Roman Catholicism rules in Poland and has done so since medieval times. There are Christian churches galore – none original; all rebuilt from the 1950s on...
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 To all intents and purposes Warsaw is one of the most modern cities in the world. There are numerous malls and lofty skyscrapers...
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Together with the imposing 'Cultural and Science' Palace'...
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This massive structure was a postwar gift from Stalin: perhaps to atone for the many thousands of Poles that the Russians killed during the war, or to remind Warsaw's residents that the Kremlin was pulling the strings during the Communist era. The views over the city from the tower are spectacular..
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Apart from a short section of Warsaw's old city wall, (probably rebuilt), everything here could have been knocked up on the back lot of MGM. But it wasn't,. And the Polish people should be applauded for putting their capital city back together in such a fine manner.

Posted by Hawkson 11:18 Archived in Poland

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Comments

Great pictures, it confirms, without me being there in person, why I will always give a deep bow to Poland, They epitomize resilience! They had more than their share of adversities, destructions from every corner coming at them. So, thanks you J & S, I'm glad to be back on your blog. You home here is holding up well with high winds etc..
G

by Gottfried Mitteregger

Bezpieczne podroze!
Safe travels!

by Joyce

Beautiful buildings. Ah the people who build are great.

by Janet Vickers

Love the contrast between old and new, Be glad you are not here today as it is blowing up a storm and tomorrow is supposed to be stronger. Keep warm.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Very impressive. Let's hope that cities like Aleppo reduced to rubble in our times can be rebuilt snd shine for future tourists.

by Tom Whalley

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