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There are countless reasons to fall in love with Warsaw

Architecture



Stare MiastoThe shape of modern day Warsaw is ultimately a result of the vast damage it had suffered in the World War II, the subsequent reconstruction, remodelling and the growth of the city in the next decades. Even the Old Town is in fact new. The façades of burgher houses were meticulously reconstructed, but everything behind them was adapted to contemporary standards.
The war didn’t however affect many of the buildings erected in the 20s and the 30s, when Warsaw was booming as the capital of the republic. This resulted in the construction of numerous monumental public ediffices (National Museum, BGK Bank headquarters, SGH college, various ministries), first skyscrapers (Prudential House), ultra-modern sport facilities (AWF sports college in Bielany area and the racing track in Służewiec) and entire new neighbourhoods with luxury villas and apartment houses as well as affordable co-operative housing (Żoliborz, Saska Kępa). All of these represent a wide range of styles – from romantic ‘manor house’-style, evoking Polish country life, to extreme avant-garde.

Plac KonstytucjiImmediately after the war, the city started to fill not only with reconstructed buildings, but also with entirely new ediffices, catering to the needs of the new, communist regime. The Palace of Culture and Science and new housing district MDM (around Plac Konstytucji) conformed strictly to the ‘socialist realist’ style imposed on Polish architects by the Soviets, but the parliament (Sejm) buildings and, somewhat ironically, the communist party headquarters (Dom Partii) managed to escape the formula.
In post-war decades, in spite of insufficient funding, material shortages and substantial amount of red tape, many innovative and attractive structures were erected. Some of them, like Central, Ochota and Powiśle train stations or the French Embassy, were recently restored to their former glory, others (Central Department Store, the Rotunda pavilion, Emilia furniture store) still wait for a revamp.

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