Great Polish references

Throughout history there have been many people who have made history worldwide to excel in their work and lead an exemplary life.
Many of them are of Polish origin:

 

In Art:   Stanisław Wyspiański

Stanisław Wyspiański (January 15, 1869, Kraków – November 28, 1907, Kraków), was one of the most versatile and outstanding artists of his time, in Europe, as this painter, architect and cabinetmaker, was also a playwright Polish very influential.

 

Born in Krakow, Stanisław Wyspiański was the son of Franciszek Wyspiański and Maria Rogowska (who died of tuberculosis in 1876). His father was a sculptor without reputation, of bourgeois origin, with problems of alcoholism, and it is not known if he promoted the first steps of his son. Of course, Stanisław, when adopted by Joanna Stankiewiczowa and her husband, who had contacts with artists, was able to study painting, literature and history with important figures of Krakow’s life.

 

Sport: Robert Lewandowski

 

Born in Krakow, Stanisław Wyspiański was the son of Franciszek Wyspiański and Maria Rogowska (who died of tuberculosis in 1876). His father was a sculptor without reputation, of bourgeois origin, with problems of alcoholism, and it is not known if he promoted the first steps of his son. Of course, Stanisław, when adopted by Joanna Stankiewiczowa and her husband, who had contacts with artists, was able to study painting, literature and history with important figures of Krakow’s life.

After being the top scorer of the third and second division of Polish football with the Znicz Pruszków, he moved to the First Division Lech Poznań team, where he won the Ekstraklasa 2009-10 and was also the top scorer of the maximum Polish soccer category .

In 2010, he was transferred to the German Borussia Dortmund run by Jürgen Klopp for 4.5 million euros, where he won several titles including two consecutive Bundesliga. Before the start of the 2014-15 season, he signed for what had been a direct rival for Dortmund in recent seasons, Bayern Munich, with which he won the Bundesliga 2014-15 in his first season.

 

Music: Chopin

 

Frédéric Chopin was born in the village of Żelazowa Wola, in the voivodeship of Mazovia, 60 kilometers from Warsaw in central Poland, on a small estate owned by Count Skarbek, who was part of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. He received the name of Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin.

He was a Polish composer and virtuous considered one of the most important in history and one of the greatest representatives of musical Romanticism. His perfect technique, his stylistic refinement and his harmonic elaboration have been compared historically, for his lasting influence in the music of later times, with those of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms or Franz Liszt.

 

in Religion: Juan Pablo II

John Paul II (in Latin: Ioannes Paulus II), 4 of secular name Karol Józef Wojtyła5 (Wadowice, Poland, May 18, 1920-Vatican City, April 2, 2005), was Pope 264 of the Church Catholic and sovereign of the Vatican City from October 16, 1978 until his death in 2005. He was canonized in 2014, during the pontificate of Francisco.

Having been auxiliary bishop (since 1958) and archbishop of Krakow (since 1962), he became the first Polish pope in history, and in the first non-Italian since 1523. His pontificate of almost 27 years was the third longest in the history of the Catholic Church, after that of St. Peter (it is believed that between 34 and 37 years, although its exact duration is difficult to determine) and that of Pius IX (31 years). John Paul II was hailed as one of the most influential leaders of the twentieth century, remembered especially for being one of the main symbols of anti-communism, 8 and for his fight against the expansion of Marxism in places like Latin America, where he fought energetically to the known movement as the theology of liberation, with the help of his right hand and ultimately his successor, Joseph Ratzinger.

 

 

 

 

 

Polish cinema for expats

Polish cinema for expats

Polish movies took another turn after the end of communism

If we take a closer look at the films, we can notice a sense of liberation from the prejudices and freedom of speech. The film makers were deeply rooted in the historical context, trying to create a strong connection between death, gender, role-models, politics, ethnicity and sexuality. Here’s a look at five of the most appreciated Polish movies in the contemporary period. 


1. Papusza

A movie about gender, ethnicity and how to be alone in a place full of known people wrapped in an artistic cover. This is how the movie can be described in just one sentence. The monochrome tones and the way the elements are situated in the scenario create the impression that the main action is happening at the end of the Second World War, when Poland was on the verge of its maturity, trying to figure out how the society should survive. However, the rhythmical sounds of the Romani orchestra lives up the immensely pensive mood and makes the sharp black and white palette colorful, passing through the melancholic, somber tone.

2. Golasy

The movie is an intriguing experiment for the viewers’ eyes, as it does not show an astonishing plot, full of action and breathtaking moments, but has a linear narration, without any culminant point. At a first glance, one can say that the movie is dull and unworthy, depending on one’s experiences in life.
The movie reveals the metaphor used by Charles Baudelaire as well in his poems, especially in Fleurs du mal, aesthetics of ugliness. The human body is used to create a world in which the canons of beauty don’t exist and every part of the human body is a remark which can help the spectator to know better the character.
3. My Nikifor


My Nikifor is a spare yet affecting cinematic portrait of the Polish “outsider” artist Nikifor Krynicki, who’s played in a remarkable piece of trans-gender acting by the late female thespian Krystyna Feldman. Writer/director Krzysztof Krauze sensibly concentrates on just the last few years of his illiterate subject’s impoverished existence in 1960s Communist Poland, focussing on his unlikely friendship with the party-funded painter Marian Wlosinski, who becomes his devoted protector.

4. The double life of Veronika

Unique. This is the word that comes to my mind when I am thinking about Kieślowski’s movie. The lights, the music, the story itself unfolds in front of the spectators a masterpiece, where every scene is a hint that help us reveal the scenarios. Why using the word scenarios and not the singular form of it? In my opinion, looking at other Kieślowski’s works and comparing them, I can say that there is never just one side of the story, but just little elements that can be used in different combinations depending on the spectator experiences in life to give a personal significance to the movie.

5. Wolyn



The movie shows an excessive cruelty of the people, who think that every human being is their enemy. They believe that through torture, they can conquer the lands. The director wants its spectators to feel the pain of the victims, by showing the acts in their primary state. In the central picture, it is Zosia, a young Polish girl, from  Volhynia’s village, settled by Ukrainians, Poles and Jews.

4 contemporary buildings in Wroclaw for Instagram addicted.

Check this 4 contemporary buildings in Wroclaw to make outstanding Instagram photo profile.

NAWA pavilion

This architectural installation actually makes more sense if you take a closer look. NAWA pavilion was created by an innovative process of production – FIDU – based on air blowing of metal layers from two-dimensional to a three-dimensional object. The charming arch fits perfectly into its surroundings.

“The sculpture does not alter the wild character of the island. Quite the contrary: it amplifies the nature’s presence. Polished steel surface is reflecting its green surroundings, the river and historic architecture. Depending on the weather and time of the day, the sculpture looks different each time.”

Oskar Zieta, the architect of NAWA pavilion.

Sci-FI, abstract, fashion styles etc. The properties of NAWA are expending the scope for the photo shoot ideas. The appearance carries an idea emphasizes and complements the beauty of the surrounding nature worthy to be captured in the photo moments.

Hydropolis

Hydropolis is one of the architectural monuments of the water supply system. If you are aiming for a photo shoot in Hydropolis, then prepare to spend there even half of a day.

First of all, the area of the building is 5145.0 m2.

Secondly, the unique background for photography is in almost every corner of the interior and exterior of the building. Outside there is a 3D water performance. And the inner part – visualization immersing in the sciences studying water, its properties and significance in the life of the planet.

 

Silver Tower

Another contemporary building is rather less appear to be that universal but still potentially brings the difference. Furthermore, the building is located next to the railway station – the place which you also can combine with Silver Tower while picking a foreshortening.

Nanan the patisserie 

This minimalistic miracle looks much like the sweet dream world. Delicate shining brass details, rosa aurora marble table tops, natural oak veneers and oak parquet floor. The deliberately minimalist interior provide a subtle setting for the protagonists: finely decorated sophisticated cakes and éclairs made with meticulous care.

And finally, the place in which you definitely wouldn’t feel mediocre while decide to make a food photo 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First time in Wrocław – Krzysztof Gonciarz

Krzysztof Gonciarz first time in Wrocław

First time in Wrocław? Check how travellers doing it!

Krzysztof Gonciarz is a polish journalist, traveller and books writer. He is also one of the most popular polish vloger. His main channel on Youtube has more than 700 000 subscribers. At November 2016 he Was for the first time in Wrocław and in this article we can reconstruct his path.

At the begining Krzysztof went to the city centre. He visited market square and university buildings. He was really charmed about architecture in Wrocław, especially the old churches and historical monuments like Hala Targowa, National Museum or Public Library.

National Museum in Wrocław

In Wrocław next to old buildings stands fresh ones like for example National Forum of Music. Krzysztof also noticed this. It’s a consequence of tragic flood in 1997 year which destroyed bigger part of the city. This is why in Wrocław old and new buildings neighbouring.

He didin’t miss cult places like Wrocław’s neons or Ostrów Tumski – historical complex of Christian buildings with traditional lamp which the lightkeeper light up every evening by hand. Unfortunately he was late to bought tickets to see Panorama Racławicka which is the biggest (15 × 114 meter) cycloramic painting in Poland and mandatory object to visit when you are first time in Wrocław.

One thing always attract attention of tourists visiting Wrocław. The Wrocław’s Dwarfs which more than three hundreds are scattered around the city. Try to find each of them and then you can tell you know this city. Maybe some day Krzysztof will accept challenge like this, but he didin’t for his first time in Wrocław. Enjoy the video and necessarily visit Wrocław city!

Jewish culture and community in Wroclaw

Jewish culture and community in Wroclaw

Jewish culture and community in Wroclaw- what is there to see?

Revival of the Jewish culture and community in Wroclaw can be observed since the beginning of the transformation in 1989. After the painful events of World War II and the years of negligence during the communism time, finally the Jewish communities are again becoming a part of city life.

White Stork Synagogue in Wroclaw

The White Stork Synagogue

The beating heart of the Jewish culture and community in Wroclaw is around the White Stork Synagogue, on Włodkowica street. Synagogue is situated in the city center, in the Quarter of Four Temples. It is the place of religious worship and cultural events. Thanks to the efforts of Jewish Community and Foundation Bente Kahan synagogue was rebuilt after the years of neglect and destruction. The effects of that process can be seen in the film below.

In 2005 the Center of Jewish Culture and Education was established. First of all it significantly impacted the cultural life of the community and the city as well. There are a lot of cultural  events, concerts, workshops open to general public. Simcha- Festival of the Jewish Culture is one of the most important events organised by the community. Synagogue welcomes visitors and tours are free of charge, in addition it also offers guided tours of old Jewish Wroclaw

Senior Club and Jewish Primary School are among the institution working for the community.  For those interested in the Jewish cuisine, there is CIŻ Cafe nearby, where you can try amazing coffee and especially tasty kosher food. There is also a Kosher Canteen, serving traditional Polish and Jewish kosher food.  Between 12 and 13.30  Monday to Friday there is a possibility to eat two course meal for around 15 PLN.

  • ul. Włodkowica 7
  • www.wroclaw.jewish.org.pl
  • Opening hours: Mon – Thurs: 10-17; Fri: 10 – 16; Sat: closed; Sun: 11 -16
  • Tickets: Free admission

Jewish Cemeteries

There are two Jewish cemeteries in Wroclaw, the Old and the New one.

Old Jewish Cemetery (Museum of Cemetery Art) on Ślężna Street, is the part of the City Museum Of Wroclaw. Place is yet the only graveside from the turn of the 19th and 20th century, preserved in Wroclaw.  Cemetery is also a beautiful testament of the strength of the pre- war Wroclaw’s (Breslau) Jewish community. The place is a unique and original composition of the grave sculptures and small architecture, influenced by the middle ages, art nouveau, modernism and religious symbols. There are 12 thousand tombstones located in the museum, some of the famous people. Most noteworthy names are Ferdinand Lassalle, Ferdinand Cohn, wife of Fritz Haber or parents of Edith Stein. The cemetery is a beautiful place for a walk, especially thanks to the greenery surrounding the tombstones.

  • ul. Ślężna 37/39
  • Opening hours: Mon- Sun: 10-18;
  • Tickets: 7- 20 PLN

The New Cemetery is on Lotnicza street and the Jewish Community in Wroclaw takes care about it. Established in 1902 to fulfill the needs of the growing community, the place is not so new as the name would suggest. Paul Erlich, a rather famous architect from Breslau, designed the cemetery.  Most of the cemetery undergoes the restoration at the moment, as large parts of it are a safety hazard. Therefore the state of the cemetery today is a chilling reminder of what the Jewish community had once been before the time of persecution by Nazi and then years of neglect in PRL.  Nevertheless the visitors can still enjoy the beauty of this place.

  • ul. Lotnicza 52
  • Opening hours: Wed: 14 – 17; Sun: 9 – 13;
  • Tickets: 8 PLN

To conclude…

Although small in numbers, Jewish community plays significant role in the city spectrum. Getting to know history and culture of Jewish community, makes it consequently easier to learn and understand the city’s history and culture. So enjoy!

 

Wroclaw it is a place for everyone

Wroclaw it is a place for everyone

Wroclaw is one of the most beautiful cities in Poland.

During World War II he was turned into ruins. Thanks to the efforts of conservators, many monuments have managed to restore the former splendor. No wonder that today the capital of Lower Silesia is visited by a lot of tourists not only from the country, but also from abroad.

Wroclaw is a city that is very friendly to memories. It is here that you can find a museum almost completely covered with ivy, here you can leave the house on a Sunday morning and come across people full of passion. Suffice it to say that something is always happening here. With such a market structure, with so many pubs, clubs, galleries and corners – you will always find something for yourself. Wroclaw in which a variety of attractions awaits tourists. It also has an excellent accommodation base, which includes not only expensive and luxurious hotels, but also comfortably furnished rooms in hostels.

Everyone will find something for themselves in Wroclaw

Wrocław is vibrant and is definitely a city of young people. Reserve yourself with three hours to enter each side street and for coffee in a few places, because it’s really worth it to give a look and maybe even get lost in it. Once you look at the market, you can go for a walk along the moat, which is able to calm down the city noise for you. If you want a bit of peace, Park Południowy or the Japanese Garden are perfect for you, where you can rest and regenerate after a hard party. And if you want to have more fun, then in the evening, look at the Niepolda Passage, where the night will certainly consume you. Wroclaw it is a place for everyone.
Places which you must see:
  • Wroclaw market square,
  • Cathedral Island,
  • Grunwald bridge, 
  • National museum,
  • Ossolineum,
  • Wroclaw puppet theater,
  • Cathedral of St. Vincent and St. James
  • Centennial Hall.

Bridges in Wroclaw city

Bridges in Wroclaw

Wroclaw is forth largest city in Poland. Wroclaw is also one of the most stunning place in Poland. A thriving multicultural centre, Wroclaw is home to a growing student with a student population of over 130.000. Wrocław is a university city  making it one of the most youthful cities in the country. Main focus of this article is to point that bridges in Wroclaw are most characteristic to the city.

Before World War II, there were 303 footbridges and bridges in Wroclaw. Now there is much less but still the city have the larger number bridges in Poland. Wroclaw is situated on 12 islands connected by 112 bridges – is often referred to as ‘’Lower Silesian Venice.’’ Nowadays taking into account modern criteria i.e. all the river bridges, canal bridges, footbridges over the railway tracks and the streets, there are about 220 of them. In this post I would like to bring it closer three bridges which are interesting for me.

Będziński – one of the bridges in Wroclaw

Rędziński bridge is longest and highest bridge in Wroclaw and also in Poland. The bridge is 612 meters long and 122 meters high. Prof. Jan Biliszczuk was the main constructor of the bridge – lecturer at the Wrocław University of Technology. The first cars crossed the bridge in the summer 2011.

Grunwaldzki Bridge in Wroclaw

most Grunwaldzki
photo of Most Grunwaldzki by Peter Balcerzak

The Grunwaldzki bridge is the most famous bridge in Wroclaw. The bridge was created in the years 1908-1910 and was designed by Richard Pluddemann. The bridge is 112,5 meters long and 18 meters wide. A new technology was used in its construction. The ceremonial opening of the bridge took place in 1910.

Milenijny Bridge in Wroclaw

The bridge was build in 2002-2004. The author of the bridge design is Piotr Wanecki and the leading designer Marek Jagiełło. The Bridge is 25,12 meters wide and 923,5 meters long.