A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
“Warszawa ma duszę, wyczuwalną dla każdego niemal Polaka i dla niezliczonych cudzoziemców, którzy ją poznali i zakochali się w niej”.
( Warsaw has a soul, noticeable for almost every Pole and countless foreigners who met her and fell in love with her.)
– Leopold Tyrmand
Coming from Kerala in South India the country of Poland has special significance for me. Now one might ask what is the connection between Kerala and Poland. Well as any self-respecting Indian I too am a huge fan of the local movie industry, and in one of the all-time Classic Kerala movies called as Sandesham (which translates to ‘Message’) there is the evergreen scene of two brothers in a political family arguing about the political situation in Poland. Being exposed to such satire at a young age meant that the country of Poland made an indelible impression on my mind.
You can find the movie clip over here, specifically from 4:35 onwards, the discussion about Poland.
So, Yes recently I visited the capital of Poland, Warsaw. This was a dream come true for me. Apart from all the satire I have been exposed to I found that Warsaw is an majestic city, perhaps one of the great cities of the World. There is so much to see over here. Whether it be taking a stroll in the night in old town Warsaw, visiting Lazienki park, tour of the 2012 euro destinations, there is a lot this city has to offer. The city is also extremely calm and the people are really friendly as well.
Of course, the history of Poland means there are certain things that you can’t hide from such as the German occupation of Poland during WWII. These periods of history are well preserved in various museums and memorials in Warsaw. I was particularly impressed by the Warsaw Rising Museum, which has documented extremely well the incidents of the second World War, particularly the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
Warsaw is also home to the little insurgent monument, this is an extremely touching monument which is a commemoration of the child soldiers who fought and died during the Warsaw Uprising, this was located close to the old town of Warsaw.
These are other particularly impressive sights such as The Palace of Culture and Science , this is the tallest building in Poland, and is a gift from the Soviet Union to the people of Poland. It is a quite unique sight as well since this building is built in typical Soviet style and differs widely from the architectural style otherwise prevalent in Poland.
I also became a big fan of the Lazienki Park where I went for my evening strolls. It is quite simply one of the most beautiful parks I have ever visited. This is essentially a park and palace complex which occupies over 70 hectares of the city centre, even described as the lungs of Warsaw. There is a beautiful palace called as the ‘Palace on the Water’ which is situated in the park. The park also houses the Chopin Statue a tribute to the great Romantic Polish composer, Frederic Chopin.
Warsaw is a city which has culture and history in abundance so much so that one has to visit this city several times to absorb everything it has to offer. Whether it be spending some leisure time in the Lazienki park or having some delicious Pierogi and Placki Ziemniaczane in the old town, one is guaranteed to be lured in by the charm of the city.
My fascination with Poland started with watching a less known movie in another part of the world, it now stands with me having discovered so much more this wonderful city has to offer.