A memorial district. A rupture in a heart of Warsaw. A place where the Nazi during the WWII established borders of the Jewish ghetto quarter and after a deportation of nearly 300,000 Jews to the Nazi camps they leveled all the district.
There is an archive photo depicting ruins amongst which you can only see the Church of St Augustine (the church tower was a vantage point and German machine gun nest). No words could describe better Muranów and Nowolipki than this photo. Living in Muranów or sightseeing one cannot simply forget about this tragedy. However, the district lives on. All in all, it is a city centre, a wound had to heal.
We will show you places which apart from POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews are worth seeing in Muranów. It is of course not an administrative district, we treat it contractually. We are taking you for a one day trip in Muranów.
One more thing about the district’s name. In 1686 Józef Szymon Belotti, an Italian court architect of Polish kings, built here a palace, which he called Murano, commemorating a place of his origin. The palace was deconstructed in 1900. But if you are looking for the monuments from that period, which were rebuilt after the WWII, visit the KRASIŃSKI GARDEN and the KRASIŃSKI PALACE from the 17th century designed by one of the most renowned Warsaw architects Tylman Gamerski. The garden became available to the public in 1766 and has recently been revitalised. Today it is a part of the Polish National Library’s Special Collections Section.
An interesting fact is also the post-war socialist modernism in housing architecture designed by Bogdan Lachert. The architect, rebuilding the neighbourhood claimed that it should serve as a monument, constructed on the debris and from the debris. He left the irregular terrain and for construction of buildings he used crushed-brick. Lachert’s project was more minimalistic than the outcome. The authorities demanded from him more flamboyant socrealistic ornamental style.
In short, Muranów is a perfect place to feel the climate of Warsaw – its war drama, socrealistic architecture and its modern face.
– POLIN MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF POLISH JEWS – Anielewicza St 6, www.polin.pl – a modern building designed by Rainer Mahlamäki, with a permanent exhibition of “1000-year long history of Polish Jews” (opened in 2014) and temporary exhibitions.
– THE GHETTO HEROES MONUMENT – next to the main entrance of the museum.
– THE UMSCHLAGPLATZ – Stawki St – a former loading yard, where from 1942 to 1943 Germans transported Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to the death camp in Treblinka.
– JEWISH CEMETERY – Okopowa St 49/51
– AVANT-GARDE INSTITUTE – located on the roof of one of the block of flats on Solidarności Street 64/118, www.instytutawangardy.com.
A studio of Henryk Stażewski and Edward Krasiński (the interior has been preserved after the death of the latter). The Foksal Gallery Foundation takes care of the place. Hence if you want to pay a visit contact the Foundation directly. You can also keep track of temporary exhibitions and meetings in the Institute.
– LETO GALLERY – Dzielna St 5, www.leto.pl – one of the best galleries in Warsaw presenting modern art.
– MURANÓW CINEMA – Andersa St 5, www.kinomuranow.pl – the best art house cinema in Warsaw.
– STACJA MURANÓW – Andersa St 13 – a small, local cultural centre. Check their activities here…
– RADIO TELEWIZJA BOOKSHOP – Andersa St 29, www.radiotelewizja.org.
FOOD AND EVENING BEER:
– BAR GDAŃSKI – Andersa St 33 – a milk bar with traditional Polish meals. Reasonable prices. Recently modernized.
– KOOPERATYWA DOBRZE SHOP – Andersa 27, www.dobrze.waw.pl – you will buy here bioproducts from over 30 Polish producers.
– “POD GRUBĄ KAŚKĄ” PUB – Solidarności 68 St – it is rather a relict from the past. A cafe from the 60s where time stopped. Drop by for an evening beer or Wuzetka (a popular Polish chocolate cream pie).
– FAT WHITE – Andersa 6 St – excellent coffee, even better atmosphere. One of the best barbershops in town is located next to the cafe. FERAJNA, www.ferajna.pro.
– MINISTERSTWO DOBREGO MYDŁA – Dzielna St 15, www.ministerstwodobregomydla.pl – a shop of one of the best Polish brands manufacturing natural cosmetics.
– BIOORGANIKA – ul. Nowolipki 15, www.bioorganika.pl – a place with a wide
range of natural cosmetics and cleaning products from the Polish producers.
text: Agnieszka Kowalska
photos: Aga Bilska (and Filip Klimaszewski – Radio Telewizja Bookshop and press materials – Bar Gdański)