When wandering around town with Zosia the other day we picked at random things to go take a look at. It was only when looking at the photos I realised how we’d managed to combine Warsaw’s dark past and bright future.
I’d noticed the story earlier about workers finding a WWII bunker when working on the tram lines so knowing that little girls are far more interested in war games than they are in Hannah Montanna I took Zosia over to check it out. It is surprising it has taken so long to find as it is only a short depth below the road surface. These bunkers were very popular with the Germans and could be used with either a machine-gunner, flame-thrower, mortar or even with a tank type gun turret on the top. What’s surprising is the amount of hard work that must go into making these concrete boxes only big enough to house one or two soldiers and plenty of ammo. Shows how strategically important it was to be able to lay down fire from a key position for as long as possible. These were often used in a series along a defensive line, in the case of this one apparently it was after the uprising in readiness for the arrival of the Russians.
There’s a lot of information online about these things, proper name is a Ringstand bunker, although mostly from WWII nutters. Here’s a Wikipedia page, with more photos and Italian text.
As for the future of Warsaw, well we got a closer look at the new football stadium, another thing I know little girls are very excited by! With the 2012 European football championships roughly a year away now you can start to feel how important this place will be, for a few weeks at least. I’ve made my application for four tickets for every game to be played in this stadium from the opening ceremony to the semi-final. I should find out in May whether the application was successful. If so I have to immediately part with over 6,000 PLN (and that was only ordering the mid priced seats!).
I love the effect of the red and white panels, obviously following the colours of the Polish flag. So much so that I got a shot of some of them waiting around to be installed.
This last shot shows, behind the builders rubbish tip, what I believe is a replica of the entrance to the old stadium that stood on this site. I have not found a good enough old photo from the right angle but I’m pretty sure this is exactly what was there before and in the same position too. Looking at this design it will not be one of the main entrances to the stadium but as it leads through to the pitch level it might be used as the players entrance, for example?