Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Dawna Street, Warsaw, Poland

I can't really understand why they seem to publish so many rather boring viewcards in Poland, when there are lots of beautiful places and little details to use in cards instead. ..although I have to say they do that in a lot of other countries as well, in England too. Do the majority of people really want ugly postcards instead of nice ones? Or do they just not care? Anyway... A while ago I received two truly gorgeous postcards from Poland, makes me wonder why there aren't more like them available.

This is one of the cards, showing Dawna Street (Ulica Dawna) in the capital of Poland, Warsaw. It's so cute and colourful! It seems like this place is located in the Warsaw Old Town, which is also a Unesco site. Dawna Street seems to be the shortest street in Warsaw. This terrace is called Gnojna Mount (gnoj in Polish means dung) as till the 1774 gigantic dumping functioned here. (info)

Warsaw's Old Town is the oldest historic district of the city. It is bounded by Wybrzeże Gdańskie, along the bank of the Vistula, and by Grodzka, Mostowa and Podwale Streets. It is one of Warsaw's most prominent tourist attractions. The heart of the area is the Old Town Market Place, with its restaurants, cafés and shops. Surrounding streets feature medieval architecture such as the city walls, the Barbican and St. John's Cathedral.

Warsaw's Old Town was established in the 13th century. Initially surrounded by an earthwork rampart, prior to 1339 it was fortified with brick city walls. The town originally grew up around the castle of the Dukes of Mazovia that later became the Royal Castle. The Market Square (Rynek Starego Miasta) was laid out sometime in the late 13th or early 14th century, along the main road linking the castle with the New Town to the north.

During the Invasion of Poland (1939), much of the district was badly damaged by the German Luftwaffe, which targeted the city's residential areas and historic landmarks in a campaign of terror bombing. Following the Siege of Warsaw, parts of the Old Town were rebuilt, but immediately after the Warsaw Uprising (August-October 1944) what had been left standing was systematically blown up by the German Army. A statue commemorating the Uprising, "the Little Insurgent," now stands on the Old Town's medieval city wall.

After World War II, the Old Town was meticulously rebuilt. As many of the original bricks were reused as possible. The rubble was sifted for reusable decorative elements, which were reinserted into their original places. Bernardo Bellotto's 18th-century vedute, as well as pre-World-War II architecture students' drawings, were used as essential sources in the reconstruction effort.

The stamps on the envelope were wonderful. They are from a set of 4 stamps issued in 2003, depicting Birds of Prey, more specifically ospreys.

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