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Jul 03 2015

The Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw

I’ve been to Warsaw a few times and one building that is impossible to miss is today’s Foto Friday, The Palace of Culture and Science.  It has dominated Warsaw’s skyline for the past sixty years.
The Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw

I knew pretty much nothing about this building until I was looking through a book about Poland with a Polish colleague.  There was a photo of this building, and I was surprised when she said she hated the building.  When I asked why, she told me that it represented communism.  This building was originally called the Joseph Stalin Palace of Culture and Science and was a present from the Soviets to the Poles.  Until that conversation, I really had no idea of its history and how, at least, some Poles feel about this iconic building which is internationally recognised as a symbol of Warsaw.

I know very little about architecture, but I like what I like.  Apparently, the inspiration for this building came from American Art Deco skyscrapers.  That’s probably what I like about it – the Art Deco design.

The building was completed in 1955, but the clock faces weren’t added until much later for the millennial celebrations.  Then, in 2010, the lighting was modernised, so now, as you can see in the photo, the building changes colour, as does the one next to it.  I, personally, think it looks rather pretty set against the night sky.

One thing I still haven’t done is set foot inside it.  When I do, I will go up to the very top to get a panoramic view of the city.  I have no idea why I have been to Warsaw three times and still haven’t been up it.  That is so unlike me!


The Palace of Culture and Science is right by the main train station in Warsaw.  There is no way you can miss it if you arrive at that station.

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About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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