Wednesday, August 30, 2017
If you have looked at my last two posts showing photos of Warsaw's Old Town, you will see quite a contrast between those photos and the ones here. Before World War II, Warsaw was believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The war left over 85% of the city in ruins. After the war was over, the conquering Soviets set up a communist regime and began rebuilding the city with large housing projects and other typical buildings of an Eastern Bloc city. One of the most prominent buildings built during this era was a gift from the Soviet Union called the Palace of Culture and Science, which is the large older building with the clock tower seen in my first photo. It is the tallest building in Poland and the eighth tallest building in the European Union. It was originally known as the Joseph Stalin Palace of Culture and Science until his name was eventually removed. Notice the modern downtown buildings next to it. These buildings were built after 1989 and the fall of communism. In the second to the last photo, you can see the National Stadium. It has a retractable roof and is home to Poland's national football team. The last photo shows St. Alexander's Church located on Three Crosses Square, which was a few blocks from our hotel. This church was originally built in 1825, but was also destroyed during the war and rebuilt afterwards.