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Whenever I do sightseeing in any city or town I try not to walk twice along the same streets. So, in Warsaw, when I saw the seat of Polish parliament (Sejm) I decided to walk back downtown through long green space of the park called Marshal's Edward Rydz-Smigly Park (Park Marszalka Edwarda Rydza-Smiglego). Ufff... what a name, follow the link below to see who was that guy :-). The park itself, established in 1951 - 1964 (under other name, Rysz-Smigly was banned that time), is not interesting at least as for plants and flowers. Its northern part is administered by the National Museum in Warsaw. It's closed for dogs and bicycles and looks neglected. Anyway, I've suprisingly found a few interesting stops on the way described in details in my next tips.
MY WALK IN BRIEF
I went eastwards Gornoslaska St. and turned left (northwards) to the park Map here and continue north. I strolled through the park up to the square viewpoint terrace east of ul. Na Skaroie (On the Rim Street) when I stopped for a beer and small meal in a pub I myself called Pub Na Skarpie (see my restaurants tip).
From the viewpoint terrace I saw the Monument to the Glory of Military Engineers and walked futher north Al. NA Skarpie when I visited the Museum of Earth and temporary exposinion in Pniewski's Villa. I contunued north up to the Museum of Polish Army.
Updated Feb 21, 2006
This interesting building (Al. Na Skarpie 27, map here, marked 2) called Pniewski's Villa and covered by cut pieces of stones reminds me some beautiful large houses I once saw in Andorra and the Pyrenees (France, Spain). To be exact, its style is a bit different :-). Since 1966 the building belongs to the Museum of the Earth located on the opposite side of street. It houses temporary exhibitions showing mainly great photographs of our planet :-).
There is also a lecture hall where, among others, meetings and slides/pictures shows for fans of far travels take place. The schedule is on the museum webpage (in Polish) here (click on "zobacz wiecej" = see more). For example: Tibet, from Bombay to the roof of the world and Niger, tea on the Sahara. I'd love to see such staff next time! For those who can't speak Polish, the young travelers preparing those meetings can speak English, I guess. Why not to meet them in Warsaw?
The building itself (built 1779-81) belonged to prince Kazimierz Poniatowski and served as his Summer Palace, housed the Great Masonic Lodge of the East (fraternal organization) and then under Branickis ownershop - ornithological museum. In 1930' an architect Pniewski converted the little palace into his apartment and stodio and lived there until death in 1965.
Updated Feb 21, 2006
Phone: +48 (22) 829 80 63
Haha, strolling around Warsaw, I surprisingly found this funny car parked along off the beaten path street in 2004. Look for them. They are still alive. They are part of the history of the Soviet block countries and my life as well.
It's the first car of my father and first I ever personally drove (carefully watched by my father) in unused airfield in Krakow when I was, believe or not, 9 years old. Well, I drove it until I made U-turn a bit too fast, maybe a few minutes only. Hmm... my legs were so short that to reach pedals I had to sit on the front edge of the chair and crane my neck to be able to look through the windscreen above the control panel and... betow upper part of the steering wheel. It was a drive! :-)
This almost extinct brand of car called Trabant (or kiddy Trabi) was produced in former East Germany without any significant change from 1963 to 1991. It's smoky (I remember that smell :-) two-stroke engine gave the car top speed - 112 km/h (70 mph). The Trabant's body panels were made of Duroplast, a kind of plastic containing resin strengthened by wool or cotton. We called them cardboard cars or boxes. Once my father used special glue to repair a small hole after that another car slightly hit his lovely Trabi.
With the fall of communism Hungarians opened borders to the West (Austria) in late summer 1989 and some 10,000 East Germans mostly in Trabants invided the West thus the car became a bit known in Western Europe and soon later Trabis could cross falling Berlin War and spread out all over the West Berlin :-).
Written Feb 17, 2006
Powazki cemetery also contains graves of the many famous non-military Poles who have been burried along the "Avenue of the Meritorious" (Aleja Zasluzonych) since 1925. Graves of a few communist criminals burried there in 1945 - 1989 that was during Soviet occupation or influence were later transferred to less important places. Actually there are 3 Avenues of the Meritorious in the cemetery now. They are marked on the map by the entrance.
Jewish, Calvinist, Lutheran, Caucassian and Tatar cemeteries adjacent to the largest one Powazki. Add nearby Orthodox cemetery. At least half a day is needed to visit them all.
1. - 3. Grave of Jacek Kaczmarski for whom this page is dedicated.
4. -5. Grave of Wladyslaw Szpilman (1911 - 2000). Do you know the famous drama "The Pianist" (2002) by Polanski? The movie was awarded 3 Academy Awards in Hollywood in 2003 (Best Actor, Best Director and Best adapted screenplay), won top prize (Palme d`Or) at Cannes International Film Festival and seven Cesars in Paris (incl. best picture and director). The movie tells the story of Szpilman, a Polish Jewish musician struggling to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.
Enter the cemetery, its military section by Gate I (Brama I; ul. Powazkowska 43/45; parking for, say, 20 cars only; open April-September 7 am - 8 pm, then 8 am till dusk). The map displayed by the entrance is in Polish language. You have an ugly funeral house to the left. The first main street right is "Avenue of the Meritorious" (Aleja Zasluzonych) with the latest graves. Keep straight the main avenue and see first the military graves on both sides then next famous Poles.
Updated Feb 6, 2006
Roman catholic Powazki Cemetery is the oldest (founded 1790) and the most beuatiful cemetery in Warsaw. It has a very large military section (Cmentarz Wojskowy). Powazki is a great place for a longer walk in green space full of trees and beautiful tombstones which were often created by some of the most renowned sculptors of the era, both Polish and foreign. Some of them are excellent examples of various styles in architecture and art.
1. Single graves of Polish soldiers who died in Polish - Soviet War 1919-1921.
2. Memorial to heroes of the January Uprising 1863 - 1864; it was unsuccesful anti-tzar uprising in the territory of occupied by Russia parts of what is now central and western Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and partly Ukraine.
3 - 4. Graves and memorial with the writing: "To memory of the Polish Eaglets (children) who died in defence of Warsaw during Bolshevik invasion in 1920, grateful compatriots". That is to the Polish victims of the Battle of Warsaw (sometimes referred to as the Miracle at the Vistula, Polish: Cud nad Wisla) was the decisive battle of the Polish-Soviet War, fought from 13 to 25 August 1920 and unexpectadly won by Polish troops. 15th August is celebrated as a anniversary of the battle and is a national holiday in Poland, now.
5. Writing fixed to a birchen cross: Late Jerzy Oleszczuk, cadet "Tomek", soldier of Szare Szeregi (the Grey Ranks) lived 15 years, died a hero on August, 12, 1944. He fought in Warsaw Uprising 1944.
Updated Feb 6, 2006
I put this tip under the "Off The Beaten Path" category because I walked from the Old Town to the park and it took quite awhile walking down the former Royal Way. If this park were only a little closer to the center, I'd put it among the great city parks that I've seen. Fortunately, it's easy to get here by bus and once you arrive, it's a beautiful spot. It's pronounced "Wah- zhen-kee" and here you'll find plenty of paths to stroll. It was once the hunting grounds of royalty and the summer home of the king, but today it's a beautiful public park.
If you enter from Al Ujazdowskie as I did, you can just follow the path downward and you'll eventually end up at the Palace on the Water (click on the photo to the left for more photos), where the king used to live. It can be toured today, however, I arrived too late to go inside. You'll see a few strutting peacocks around the palace which is situated right on a lake. There is an ampitheater along the edge of the lake that was modelled after the Roman theater at Herculaneum.
There are a few other notable buildings and monuments in the park, but I'll let you discover those for yourself.
Updated Nov 20, 2005
Called Pawiak prison museum is located in the city center outskirts on the street Jana Pawla more or less 10 minutes on walk from the old town
Looks "nice" with a huge tree with no leafs and some badge from people died there
Written Nov 6, 2005
Looks really scary just outside i cant say nothing about indoors because monday and tuesday its close and by our misfortune was monday..so we just took pics from outside
this pic is the yard that you can see cos there isnt the former wire fence and the wall beneath it
Written Nov 6, 2005
I thought originally that this was part of a military reserve base. It was pretty and interesting to look at, but nothing a tourist would really want to go and seek out. The grounds seemed really neat and smartly kept. That doesn't mean it is a park and you can walk around. The area is ringed by a seven foot fence along the perimeter.
Updated Jul 1, 2005
The Polonez cars entered in production in 1978 and they are still under assembly nowdays with not too many significant changes.
But they survive all and still serving taxi drivers, policemen and lots of other people as well! :)
You won't really see this cars outside Poland though...
Updated Jan 4, 2005
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