Monday, October 2, 2017

Poland


Warszawa - Saxon Palace / Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Today I return to the Warsaw Uprising.  I started talking about it this year on August 1st, however the Uprising would last from August 1, 1944 through October 2, 1944 when the Poles surrendered and the city (both civilians and military) were evacuated.  The Germans then spent from then until January 1945 destroying what was left of the city while the Soviets sat on the other side of the river letting them.

The top photo shows part of the pre-war Saxon Palace (Palac Saski) a large palace built to honor the Saxon Kings of Poland (Poland, unlike most of Europe, had elected kings instead of a hereditary monarchy).

The Palace, like 80% to 90% of Warsaw, was destroyed by the Germans during the occupation.  There still are the massive Saxon Gardens, however, the palace has not been rebuilt. 

The only remaining part of the Saxon Palace that remains is the small archway in the bottom photo which has become the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  The tomb houses the body of a young, unknown soldier from the Defense of Lwow (present day Lviv, Ukraine) during 1918-1919.  The sides of the columns list various battles that Poland fought dating back to the 900s including the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.

As the photo on the postcard doesn't necessarily give the idea of how large the Saxon Palace was, the Palace is the large building on both sides of the colonnade in this photo located below the large, Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.  Below the colonnade you can see the Saxon Gardens and the large fountain in the circle.



Monday, August 7, 2017

Poland


Torun, Poland

This card features The Leaning Tower, The Old City Town Hall, The Raftsman's Fountain, and the Panorama of the city.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Poland


Warszawa Centrum

Various images of buildings showing damage from the Warsaw Uprising.  From left to right on the top: Swietokrzyska Street, The Palace of Culture (not existing at the time of the Uprising), The Prudential Building (the pre-war tallest building in the city and later known as Hotel Warszawa), Kierbedzia bridge, the central railway station, and Nowy Swiat Street.

The Prudential Building/Hotel Warsawa is still in existence; however, it is undergoing a rebuild to become a four-star hotel.  On August 28, 1944 the building was stuck with a two-ton German shell during the Warsaw Uprising.  The event was the subject of one of the famous photographs of the Uprising taken by Sylwester Braun, code name "Kris."

The Prudential Building hit by a shell, August 28, 1944 (Photolink)


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Poland


Warszawa - Zamek Krolewski

The Royal Castle of Warsaw.  Originally constructed from 1598 through 1619, the Royal Palace or Zamek, The castle was a prominent target of the Germans during the 1939 invasion for its symbolism.  The roof was removed to help decompensation of the building and after the 1944 Uprising the remains of the building were dynamited by the Germans leaving little more than a pile of rubble as they evacuated the city in January 1945. 

The building was rebuilt with donations from the US in between 1971 through 1984.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Poland


Warszawa - Archcathedral Basilica of Saint John the Baptist.

Located in the heart of Old Town, the Cathedral of Saint John was heavily damaged after the Uprisin.  The Germans had detonated a tank in the building and then drilled holes and dynamited the rest of the building after the Uprising in their attempt to totally destroy the city. 

As one can see, it was rebuilt after the war, but in the style believed of it's 14th century appearance, not it's pre-war appearance.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Poland


Warszawa - Rynek Starego Miasta

Warsaw, Old Town Marketplace

Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising.  Lasting from August 1, 1944 through October 2, 1944, the inhabitants of Warsaw fought to free Warsaw by the occupying German forces while the Soviet allies waited on the other side of the river giving no assistance. 

After the Uprising, the Germans forced everyone to leave the city while they stayed there until the end of January 1945 purposefully burning and destroying every building they could.  An estimated 80-90% of the city was destroyed during the war. 

This card shows the destruction to one side of the Old Town Market Square and what the buildings look like today. 




Thursday, July 20, 2017

Spain


One of seventeen bedrooms of the Palacio de los Chaves Mendoza has a terrace that gives a view of the rose garden and the medieval town of Trujillo. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Spain


Painted ceilings and walls, trompe l'oeil niches, and sculpted accessories in the dining room add to the surrealistic look of an apartment in Barcelona.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Spain


Lined with painted benches and myriad plants in terracotta posts, the covered patio looks out onto the inner courtyard, the oldest part of Hacienda de Bujalmoro outside of Seville.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Spain


All over Spain, but especially in the south, courtyards filled with orange and palm trees are one of the strongest reminders of the influence of Moorish architecture.  All rooms open onto the courtyard, making it the center of the house.

Thus with today and the next three days we bring the packet of postcards that my friend Mark gave me of Spanish images to a conclusion.  I hope you've enjoyed them.