War damaged Warsaw

A couple of months ago, Island1 commented on “Poland’s scars of war”. This was forefront in my mind as I wandered past this Warsaw location the other day. Perhaps the most obvious example of a war damaged building in the city. Fortunately I had my camera with me this time.

It is historically the location of the Reduta Bank Polski and of two palaces prior to that but has been an eyesore for as long as I’ve been here.

Here’s a picture of it before the war….

…and a picture of it today

The majority of what used to be the Bank of Poland is missing completely. In the shot above, the advertising billboards are fixed to the truncated end of what was the “right wing” of the original building (extreme right of the historical photograph after the square, once central, entrance part). By the looks of the hoarding and some flags flying (to the left of my picture), the land on which the missing section was built is now owned by a developer and one assumes a modern office development will be going up at some time.

What is left of the original building has already been the subject of some rather ham-fisted repair works to the upper floors;

The remains (as well as the extent of what is not there at all) give a pretty good idea of the intensity of the fighting at the time with numerous bullet holes and more serious bomb damage


A plaque at the entrance gives some explanation, it reads; “Ruins of the Bank of Poland. Built in 1907-1911 as the Russian Imperial Bank on the site of two 18th and 19th-century palaces used by the State Mint. Neo-Renaissance, designed by Leontij Benois. A Polish stronghold during the 1944 Uprising, it was bombed by German planes.”

There is a monument to the soldiers of the Uprising just outside the building:

Although it is not hidden, the location of this building is not necessarily on the regular path of tourist foot traffic, so you can use the map below to locate it (circled in red). The park at the bottom is Saski Park, you can also see Piłsudski Square, the Metropolitan building and the National Theatre, which roughly in the middle.

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10 thoughts on “War damaged Warsaw

  1. You are right that the site is now owned by a developer and that an office building is planned. :

    http://warszawa.biznespolska.pl/gazeta/article.php?contentid=124599

    At last year’s exhibition “Plany na Przyszłość” for Warsaw there were several potential designs shown. At that time is wasn’t decided which design would be used. One can be seen here (you need to scroll down)

    http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=320796

    The design which was feature in the catalogue of the exhibition is here:

    http://www.apa.com.pl/eng.php?strona=projekt.php&id=71

    Personally I prefer the second one.

    http://www.chlodna20.wordpress.com

  2. Thanks for the links, Anon.

    To be honest, I don’t really like either of those schemes. The first is a bit of a Metropolitan rip-off and the second doesn’t seem to fit the site. In this location I would actually prefer something that tries harder to respect the original façade but with modern space behind it. I would also like to see the developer of the site pay to finish the top half of the old building properly!

  3. I would not compare it to Hiroshima…

    casualties…

    Warsaw ~800.000
    Hiroshima ~100.000

    but you are right, the buildings look like in Hiroshima.

  4. What is that church and where is it. The link states ‘Muranow’ and a church name but I can’t locate it from that. I know these photos and wanted to get a ‘now’ shot but have never been able to find that church!

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