Startling Warsaw

This is not the city that visitors or even Warsaw residents usually see. It is other than architectonic monuments, modern skyscrapers in the city center or huge residential areas. But it is still very close, albeit often unseen...

 

Railway world   Railway world 1.5 years later
     
 
     
In the very center of Warsaw, ten minutes walk from new skyscrapers and shopping malls, a nowhere land lies... Many thanks to Arturro for showing me this place. Shot on November 8, 2003.  

It was spring of 2005 when I decided to explore this place again. There were more shopping malls and skyscrapers around and more decay inside...

     
   
Warsaw prepares for the EEF   One day before the EU membership
     
 
     
Just a few days before the long-awaited accession to the European Union, in April 2004, Warsaw hosted the European Economic Forum - an event that usually had been accompanied by brutal clashes between so-called alterglobalists and security forces. So, Warsaw decided to prepare properly... But nothing happened.   It was a pure coincidence that I made my bicycle trip through these places on April 30, 2005. It was Praga, a part of Warsaw that lays on the right bank of the Vistula river. Praga itself is somewhat another world, but its part closer to the river, in the very center of the city, is really something special: abandoned and ruined premises, and bushes instead of embankments.
     
   
Próżna Street   CowParade
     
 
     
This street lays at the outskirts of the former Ghetto, also in the very city center (but on the left bank), half kilometer from the Palace of Culture and Science and just a few steps from the nearest metro station. Before the late 90s, it hosted numerous small shops that sold various metal things, fittings, buttons, buckles, etc. In 1997-1998, the houses were bought from the city by a private investor who planned to restore them. Some of the houses are deserted now, but some are still inhabited...   In 2005, Warsaw hosted the CowParade - an artistic and charitable event that takes place in numerous large cities of the world since 1999. The cow sculptures designed by a Swiss-born artist Pascal Knapp are painted and decorated in any possible way by local artists - both professional and amateur. Each CowParade ends with a big auction where each cow gains a new owner. The proceeds benefit children and young people in need.
     
   
United Buddy Bears    
     
   
     
This is a project which promotes living in peace, mutual understanding, and tolerance. It started in Berlin in 2002 (that's why there are bears in all this) and since then has visited twelve cities on four continents. Each of 138 Buddy Bears has been designed by an artist on behalf of their native country. Similarily as in the case of the Cow Parade, bears are sold at auctions; so far, over $2,200,000 have been raised in aid of UNICEF and local child relief organizations.    
     
     

The Four Seasons of Warsaw Outskirts

Spring   Summer
     
 
     
     
Autumn   Winter
     
 
     
     

Walks

End of a Day in Wilanów   Night in Black-and-White
     
 
     
Built as King Jan III Sobieski's residence in the 2nd half of 17th century, it started to change hands already in 1720s, being subsequently owned by such famous noble families as Chartoryskis and Potockis. Finally, it has been nationalized in 1945. Rather modest palace surrounded by a cozy park - everything is small and nice in this would-be Polish Versailles...   A couple of months ago, I made a night bicycle ride across the city centre with a camera and a tripod. The things did not go well, I had no real inspiration, the light was bad etc. At home I looked through the material and didn't liked it. So I decided just to lay it aside. Not so long ago, I found these pics and tried to save them by converting into black-and-white...
     
Wilanów Again - End of October   Warsaw After Christmas
     
 
     
A stunning mixture of Summer with Autumn: golden leaves on green grass, flowers and leafless branches. All the colors the Polish nature could provide...   A few days after Christmas, I decided to have a night walk with my camera and a tripod - to take pictures of all these lamps and decorations. It was very cold and windy, and the streets were almost deserted...
     
     
More walks to come...

 

   
     

Panoramas

 

See also:
Graffiti in Warsaw and other cities

 

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© Piotr Kozarzewski 2003-2009. All rights reserved. Last updated 14.01.2009.