Poland suffered greatly under the Nazi's and Soviets. Hitler ordered Warsaw to be bombed to the ground so that it would be only a spot on the map. The damage was horrible. Throughout Warsaw, there are pictures of what Warsaw looked like after the war. The Polish people rebuilt the rubble brick by brick, restoring the city, modernizing, and planning. Warsaw reminded us of Berlin in the early 90's with all the cranes. One word, fantastic!, describes this city!
Between the magnificent Old Town, the beautiful New Town, a modern and vibrant city center, and their energetic, HARD WORKING, and kind people, Warsaw is truly a gem. Both Rich and I have no idea how Polish jokes developed, considering how much respect we developed for the Polish people and the incredible and meticulous rebuilding of the Old Town as well as the modern city we experienced on this trip.
The old town at night was just incredible, with everything lit up beautifully!
|Main Square at night|
|old town wall at night|
|Another view of the old town square at night. There are restaurants everywhere!|
|Castle square in the morning light. On the right is the royal palace- |
the clock tower was under scaffolding, unfortunately
|King Sigismund's column. He holds a sword and cross|
|the spires of the old town church's with the wall|
|tribute to the child soldiers of the "Polish Uprising"|
|Gate into the city|
|another view of the Castle Square|
|Main square- mermaid fountain.|
|The old town was flattened rubble- the people rebuilt it brick by brick. |
It is known as the newest old town on the planet
|Building decorations are everywhere|
|Typical church in Warsaw- they are all decorated so beautifully!|
|Rich's yoga pose atop the bell tower|
The Soviet Union gave Poland a gift of this building. Across the street is a very cool mall, including a Hard Rock Cafe!
|The atrium of the mall|
Very large mermaid statue on the river front.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Located in a giant square, the Polish flag at one end, a Cross with a line of lights leading to the Tomb. The Tomb is located in ruins, has an eternal flame, and is guarded by two soldiers. Very moving, very impressive!
|Statue to Marie Curie, one of the scientists who discovered radium|
|fantastic building decorations!|
The museum of the Polish Uprising ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Uprising_Museum). Huge museum that documents the stru ggle of the Polish people as they defended themselves from Nazi occupation. Their militia was huge! 400,000 foot soldiers. The allies didn't recognize them as an army, so didn't officially work with them to fight the Nazi's. This museum documents the home made grenades, uniforms, weapons, public support, living conditions of these brave people!
|Nazi knife- the words "Blood and Honor" are inscribed. We photo'd this because the Charlottsville white supremecists chanted this slogan:-(|
In some areas of Warsaw, Soviet architecture and decorative building relief's are available for viewing:
The Vistula River has several very cool bridges, and an incredibly well developed walk way, with sand "beaches and beach chairs", restaurants and bars, sitting areas, bike paths, fountains, and views of the castle. Possibly one of the best developed river walk ways we have seen.
|PW is the symbol of the Polish Uprising, a people's underground militia that hid in the forests and fought the Nazi's.|
The Museum of Jewish History in Poland (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POLIN_Museum_of_the_History_of_Polish_Jews). This is truly an incredible museum documenting Jewish history in the country of Poland. At a time when Jews were being expelled, Poland welcomed them.
|Monument to the Holocaust|
|The Museum itself- the entry is like a giant gash in the side of the building|
|The entry is holographic forests, where the Jews hid prior to being welcomed to Poland. It has many historical sayings scrolling across|
|One interesting thing you can do in the museum- create a coin with your name and a Jewish blessing. The Jews minted their own money in Poland. This is my name in Hebrew and a blessing for safety. Sadly, they don't print out.|
The Memorial to the Polish Uprising. This is an enormous monument, very expressive!
Everywhere in Warsaw, great views and statuary
The University Library is fantastic! It is the greenest building in Poland, with a park on top, with gardens, trees, a park, bridges to walk over the sky lights!
|interior atrium- enty|
|We watched sunset from the top|
|view of the city from atop the library garden|
|library interior atrium- really fantastic! leading to the student study area|
|balloon seller- castle square|
|photo of the palace after world war 2|
|One of the tapestry's|
|frescoe on the ceiling|
|detail of the throne|
|final scene of the castle square before we left:-(|