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Palace Of Science and Culture

Palace Of Science and Culture

If you visit the capital city of Poland or even just search the word ‘Warsaw’ on a search engine then you’ll definitely see the Palace of science and culture. As the tallest building it Warsaw and it’s unique unique architecture it is very eye catching when standing in the center of Warsaw.

The palace turns 60 years old in 2015: it was finished 10 years after the end of the second world war, which both destroyed and transformed Poland.

To learn more click the video to the left. If you can’t view the video then in this article we are going to cover the history all the way up to the modern day news surrounding the Palace of science and culture

Its beginnings

The Palace was a ‘gift’ from Joseph Stalin (Former General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union) after World War two.

Started in 1952, the Palace was a cornerstone of the Warsaw to come, planned together with a majestic Parade Square. During construction it was still surrounded by post-war ruins, with people living in tenements cut in half by bomb craters, survivors of Warsaw’s razing by the Nazis in 1944.

The Palace’s chief architect, Lev Rudnev, collaborated with a Polish team of architects, but – as a “gift” from Stalin – it was built by 3,500 Soviet workmen, who were housed in a special estate during the time of construction. It may have been Stalinist folly to build such an opulent palace while the rest of the city barely existed; but one can also imagine this new building bringing hope and inspiration to a city being transformed, not just physically but socially. Thousands of people poured in from across the devastated country to help rebuild the capital.

Moscow State University

The Russian and Polish Influences

The chief architects plan for the palace was influenced by his previous work on the most impressive of the Moscow skyscrapers, the Moscow State University, which served as his blueprint. In Warsaw, The architects grand idea for the palace was an eclectic mix of Russian baroque and gothic details on a steel-framed tower.

Even though the blueprints of the building was to replicate the Moscow State University the chief architect (Lev Rudnev) traveled to key Polish heritage sites in Kraków and Zamość to study Polish renaissance architecture, resulting in the spiky “Polish parapets” that decorate the roof of the building.

The palace’s exterior was also extremely elaborate: it is surrounded by dozens of monumental sculptures in the classical style of Michelangelo’s ignudi, including astronomer and mathematician Copernicus, Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz, pioneering physicist Marie Curie, as well as idealised model workers – the most famous one holding a Ten Commandments-style book inscribed with the names of Marx, Engels and Lenin (Stalin’s name was carefully removed after 1956).

Interior

if you think the exterior is something – well, come inside. The palace shocks equally from the interior, with marble floors and endless staircases and corridors that dazzle with their weighty glass chandeliers and gilded finishings. Like the famous Moscow metro system, this was luxury for the masses.

But what differentiated the palace from the Moscow State University it was based upon was its entirely public use – it was designed to hold several museums, theatres and sports venues. The same congress room with seating for 3,000 guests that for years held the Communist Party’s annual meetings, also hosted legendary gigs by the Rolling Stones and Leonard Cohen.

Today

Today the Palace is very different. Inside you can find a post office, cinema, swimming pool, museums, libraries and theaters. The palace is one of the largest conference facilities in Warsaw, comfortably accommodating more than 4,500 participants at a time, at dozens of meetings and training conferences annually.

The View

As the tallest building in Poland a big attraction for tourists and residents is the ‘trzydziestka’, a large terrace on the 30th floor of the Palace (at a height of 114 m), where you can admire the gorgeous panorama of Warsaw.

The viewing terrace is open from 10:00 until 20:00. The times can change on national holidays such as Easter and Christmas.

Please beware that you must pay to visit terrace.

Adult – 20zl (about 4 euros)
Child and student – 15zl
Group – 15zl (more than 10 people)

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