Monday, 16 January 2012

Palace of Culture in Winter

Two views - below; the Palace of Culture and Science looms out of a snowy morning sky as Warsaw hurries to work...

...and below, illuminated in lavender, the Palace of Culture and Science looks down as Warsaw hurries home.
The first photo was taken from the south side, the second from the east side.

Last week, foreign minister Radek Sikorski suggested knocking down the palace (click to watch interview below) on the grounds that it would be a post-communist act of catharsis - much like like the demolition of the orthodox cathedral on (what is today) Pl. Piłsudskiego in 1920. He also says the building is unecological, wasteful of energy and soon in need of a remont that will cost tens or even hundreds of millions of zlotys. In place of the palace, he suggests a park with grass and a pond, where Varsovians can picnic.

I'd be against knocking it down - but then for me, personally, an occasional visitor to communist Poland, it does not stand as a monument to oppression, rather as a historical curiosity; and socialist realist architecture from the Stalinist era is surprisingly rare in this part of Europe. If it give future generations the shudders - well, maybe it should. A reminder of a time when totalitarianism ruled. May it never rule again.

This time two years ago:
Conquering Warsaw's highest snow mounds

This time three years ago:
Flashback on way to Zielona Góra

This time four years ago:
Ursynów, winter, before sunrise


Anonymous said...

Methinks Mr Sikorski should have a meeting with the public prosecutor.

The Palace is now a listed building, so it cannot legally be demolished. To do so is a criminal offence, and so is to publicly approve such an act or to induce the general public to doing that.

Andrzej K said...

My objection to the building is the fact that it takes up an awful lot of space right in the city centre, cuts a large number of roads in half and serves no real purpose given its size and prominence. It probably has the worst land use to useable space ratio of almost anything ever built.