Sunday, 20 May 2012

Noc Muzeów: night of pride of being Polish

Noc Muzeów rolls around once more, a wonderful institution. The trick is to see those places you normally can't, rather than save a few zlotys and waste a few hours to queue for those places you can easily pop into during the year. Eddie's choice this year was the Presidential Palace on Krakowskie Przedmieście.

Above: we join the queue at half past six, half an hour before the palace opens its doors to visitors. Eddie looks on as behind us, the queue rapidly gains length.

compared to last year's rather dull six-hour queue to get into Warsaw's Filtry, standing on Krakowskie Przedmieście was far more enjoyable. An endless throng of people of all ages, many foreigners too, heading up the thoroughfare, there's much to look at, like a Spanish paseo. The queue's good-natured; no political comments, a general sense of contentment in the warm evening air. A cavalcade of veteran cyclists passes, in 19th Century dress; every few minutes something of interest happens.

at nine o'clock, we're almost there; 20 minutes later, we're through the metal detectors and in the palace.

Below: the Round Table, at which in April 1989, Poland's communist rulers accepted the framework for handing over power to a democratically elected government. The papers with black diagonal stripes indicate those participants of the round table talks who are no longer alive.

Right: Eddie in the ante-chamber before the hall of columns, in which the main presidential receptions are held. The ultrawide lens has been corrected for parallels, but in doing so, the sofa on which Eddie is sitting appears massively stretched! The lens has proved very useful in capturing the interiors of the palace.

the tour continues into a vaulted room that looks like it should be underground, but is actually on the first floor. In it are replicas of flags and standards representing key moments in Poland's history.

Below: three of the flags. From the left - King Jan III Sobieski's standard at the Battle of Vienna (1683). The eagle looks like a hatchling! Middle - Insurgents' flag, Battle of Olszynka Grochowska, 1831 November Uprising; motto: In God's name For Our Freedom and Yours. Right - standard of Józef Piłsudski's 1st Brigade, Płock, 16 August 1915; motto: A Free Person in a Free Poland.

Below: we leave the palace from the front entrance. It is beautifully illuminated; for me this has been a night of pride of being Polish.

This time three years ago:
Why Poland can no longer afford to keep the grosz

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And a nice noc muzeów movie...