Monday, August 31, 2015


Lady with Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci

This postcard featuring one of only four known paintings by da Vinci of women subjects is housed in Krakow's Wawel Royal Castle while it's normal location at another museum in the city is renovated.  

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Jewish Women with Oranges

This art postcard features the painting Jewish Woman with Oranges [or as wikipedia calls it Jewess With Oranges] is by the Polish painter Aleksander Gierymski (30 January 1850 - 6th or 8th March 1901).  Today the painting is on exhibit at the National Museum of Warsaw.  

The painting  is an example of art which was looted by the Germans during World War II along with literally countless other art and cultural objects.  According to Wikipedia, the painting was found at an art market in Northern Germany and was thankfully returned to Poland only in 2011.

Saturday, August 29, 2015



Stare Miasto (Old Town) - Świętojańska (St. John) Street looking towards the clock tower of the Royal Castle

Thursday, August 27, 2015



Another Folk card, this one featuring what appears to be a market scene with various vegetables (apples, cabbage, carrots, eggplant) and fish being sold.  The word Kaszëbë on the card denotes the Kashubia language region in northern Poland.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


August 1944: Bożena Grabowska "Magda" and Antoni Tueja "Niedźwiedź" in the courtyard of a tenement building on Moniuszki 11.  Photo by Eugeniusz Lokajski "Brok"

This is another postcard from the Warsaw Uprising Museum.  In it the two people are smiling and looking at the camera.  

The women in the photo was Bożena Grabowska (June 21, 1925 - March 21, 2013).  She would have been 19 at the time of this photo was taken.  During the Uprising she acted as a liaison.  She escaped the Warsaw to the nearby town of Milanówek and then the village of  Komorowa before getting to Krakow.  After the war she married and would eventually provide an oral history for the Warsaw Uprising.  A copy of the interview can be read (in Polish, though it can be translated by Google Translator) here

Possibly my favorite image of her is this one below where she is casually checking how she looks in a car side mirror during the Uprising.  

Photo credit: Warsaw Uprising Museum
The man in the photo was Cadet Corporal Antoni Tuleja, code name "Niedźwiedź" or "Bear."  His Warsaw Uprising Museum Biography page does not include his date of birth or death but does seem to say that he was friends with Bozena Grabowska's brother.

The photographer, Eugeniusz Lokajski, was formerly a gymnast and javelin thrower and competed in the  1936 Olympics in Berlin.  This photo was taken sometime before September 25, 1944 when Lokajski was killed by an artillery explosion while trying to obtain photograph equipment in a building that housed a camera store before the Uprising.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Sultan and Rosette – the dogs of the Czartoryskis.

This painting by French painter Rosa Bonheur (16 March 1822 – 25 May 1899) is housed in the National Museum, Warsaw.

Monday, August 24, 2015



A very snowy and beautiful image of Wawel Hill in Krakow, Poland

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Wzór 12

This postcard with two roosters, called Design 12, shows beautiful folk artwork.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Yui: The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Highway,  1834 by Utagawa Hiroshige

This woodblock print is housed in the National Museum in Krakow

Friday, August 21, 2015



This is an inset of the famous alter piece of German artist Viet Stoss housed in St. Mary's Basilica in Krakow, just on the main square.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


The High Alter in St. Mary's Basilica by Veit Stoss

This card pictures the famous wooden high alter by German artist Veit Stoss built for St. Mary's Basilica in Krakow, Poland.  The alter piece was constructed between the years 1477 and 1489 and is apparently the largest Gothic altarpiece in the world.  

During World War II, Nazi war criminal Hans Frank took the alter and shipped it to Nazi Germany where it was recovered in Nuremburg Castle at the end of the war.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


August, 1944: Jan Walcuch "Gwido" and Hanna Pruszkowska "Baska" with a dog called Kropka.  Photo by Eugeniusz Lokajski "Brok" 

This card from the Warsaw Uprising (or Warsaw Rising) Museum is another lightly colorized version of a photograph taken during the Uprising of 1944.  

The man in the photo is Jan Walcuch (November 26, 1908 - December 22, 1962) and apparently worked for the headquarters of the AK (Home Army) in the office of information and propaganda and publishing.  He was taken prisoner at the end of the Uprising by the Germans.  

The women holding the dog in the photo was Hanna Irena Pruszkowska aka "Baśka" or "Murmańska".  Born on August 17, 1921, she would have been about 23 years old when this photo was taken.   She also worked in the same office as Walcuch and appears to have had a degree "of plutonium" according to the translation of her Uprising Museum biography page.  She was taken captive by the Germans at the end of the Uprising and died on January 23, 1995 in Argentina, 

Numerous photos of her and the dog appear on her biography page.  

The photographer was Eugeniusz Lokajski, code name"Brok", born December 14, 1908 .   Before the war he was an athlete and even competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin for Poland.  According to his Uprising Museum biography page, on September 25, 1944 he was assigned to take photos for troops to make fake papers.  Out of supplies, he attempted to get some at a camera store located at Marszałkowska 129 in Warsaw when he was caught in an artillery blast and killed.  Many of his photographs can be found here on his bio page.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


The Throne Room

This card shows the Throne Room in the Zamek or Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland.  The silver and gold eagles were plundered and almost all of them destroyed by the Germans when they invaded the city at the beginning of World War II in 1939.  

Monday, August 17, 2015


Tapestry with the heraldic arms of Poland and Lithuania.  Brussels c. 1560.

This tapestry housed in Wawel, Krakow is of the time when the nations of Poland and Lithuania were combined as one country, commonly known as the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth.  The Commonwealth was a multi-religious and multi-ethnic state from 1569-1795 when Poland's neighbors (the empires of Prussia, Russia, and Austria) partitioned the nation out of existence, each taking part of the country for themselves.

The land that would make up the Commonwealth today is part of the following ten modern countries: Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine.

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Polish Folklore

This card is part of an informal set of cards featuring Polish folkart drawing, including a man and a women in traditional costumes.  

Saturday, August 15, 2015



A bright and colorful image of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland

Friday, August 14, 2015


Polish hussar's armor, second half of the 17th century.  Wawel Collections, Krakow.

The hussar's were the famed "winged horsemen".  The two wings coming out from the back of the armor piece were designed to make a terrifying sound to frighten an opposing army as the soldiers rode into battle.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015


In the Orangery - Olga Boznańska (1865-1940)

This painting, by Polish painter  Olga Boznańska, is housed in the National Museum, Warsaw.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


August, 1944: Stanislaw Sasinowski "Zbik" on a barricade at Bracka street.  Photo by : Marian Grabski "Wyrwa" 

This card, one of a set of old photos from the time of the Warsaw Uprising (August-early October 1944) is colorized to show the uniform and one can also see a bit of red in the red and white armband which showed that he was in the A.K. or Home Army.  

The soldier pictured was Stanislaw Sasinowski, code named "Zbik"(in English "Wildcat").  Born on December 12, 1910, he would have been 34 years old when this photo was taken.  He was taken prisoner by the Germans after the uprising war and the Warsaw Rising Museum's website did not have information on a date of death or what happened to him after the war.  

The person who took this photo was Marian Grabski, code named"Wyrwa."  According to his Uprising website biography, he was born on October 2, 1897 in Łódź, Poland and worked as a lawyer before the war.  He would survive the war, leaving with the civilian population of Warsaw and died on January 9, 1965. 

A collection of his photographs from the uprising is avaliable for view on the Warsaw Rising Museum's website here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015



This card of Krakow's market square is the largest medieval public square in Europe, dating back to the 1200s.    

In this photo you can see three of the major monuments of the square.  In the right hand side is the Town Hall Tower, the only part of the town hall remaining after the rest was demolished under Partition in 1820.  

The long, yellow structure is the Cloth Hall or Sukiennice.  Dating back to the Renaissance, the massive structure is the focal point of the square and houses a museum.  The downstairs area features a myriad of shops today selling trinkets and souvenirs from wood-carved boxes to amber jewelry, to even furs one can take home to make their own clothing.    

In the far left hand side behind the Sukienniece is St. Mary's Basilica.  The church, completed in 1347 features two towers.  Each hour a trumpeter comes out of the taller of the two and plays the hejnał, a shot trumpet call which breaks off abruptly in memory of a trumpeter killed in the 1300s while trying to warn the city of an impending invasion when an arrow pieced his throat mid-playing.   A short video of the playing of the song is in the video below.

Monday, August 10, 2015


Ogród w hotelu Pacyfik - Andrzej Wajda

This artwork was done by Polish artist and director Andrzej Wajda (6 March 1926 - present) in the Japanese style.  The Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology in Krakow, Poland had an exhibit of his work at the time I was there.  

The museum is just across the river from Wawel Hill and offers wonderful views of.  The Museum also features a small cafe with Japanese tea and is a personally highly recommended place to visit in Krakow.

Sunday, August 9, 2015


This card of Polish folk art features a man and a women in traditional costumes using their well to get water.  

Saturday, August 8, 2015


Storks - Józef Chełmoński

This painting entitled Storks by Polish painter Józef Marian Chełmoński features a man and child looking up to the sky as a flock of storks pass overhead.  In the distance to the left of the humans, you can make out a tall tree with a stork nest in the up at the top.  

Friday, August 7, 2015


Warszawa - Stadion Narodowy

Opened in 2012, the National Stadium in Warsaw features a red and white color scheme reminiscent to the Polish flag.  The Polish national football team plays their home matches here.

Thursday, August 6, 2015



This is an aerial photo postcard of Wawel Hill in Krakow.  The hill contains both Wawel Castle (on the right hand side) and Wawel Cathedral (the mostly-green-topped towers in the center of the photo.) 

Krakow was the capital city of Poland until the 1596.  It is telling that the royal castle is just a very short walk to the Cathedral.  Unlike Warsaw, Krakow was not destroyed during World War II.

A map with each of the places listed of Wawel can be found on Wikipedia here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Maria Skłodowska-Curie, Discoverer of the chemical elements Polonium and Radium, winner of the Nobel Prize 1903, 1911)

Nobel-winning scientist Marie Curie (7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934)'s birthplace in Warsaw (the large picture) houses a small museum dedicated to her.  She remains the only women to win two Nobel Prizes and was the first women to do so.  She is also the only person to win Nobels in two scientific disciplines: Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


This Wycinanki-inspired card features a man and women picking apples as the women greats a horse. 

Wycinanki is a Polish folk art of paper cutting and the cards in this series, done by Ewa Jałoszyńska, are among my favorite kinds of postcards to receive.  Her cards can be found in Warsaw's Old Town and also online at

Monday, August 3, 2015


Battle of Grunwald, 1878 (fragment) by Jan Matekjko 

This is a small portion of the massive work Battle of Grunwald by Polish artist Jan Matekjko (1838-1893).  Matekjo often chose topics for his paintings of notable moments in Polish history.  This painting depicts the victory of Poland-Lithuania over the Germanic Teutonic Order on 15 July 1410.

The painting was one of the top items wanted by the Nazis for destruction, both because of its depiction of a famous Polish victory over the Germanic Order and because the Nazis attempted to destroy all aspects of Polish culture after invading the country during World War II.  The canvas was hidden in Poland until the end of the War despite a 10,000,000 ReichMark bounty.  

The full painting can be viewed at the National Museum in Warsaw and on the painting's Wikipedia page.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Polska - Poland

This beautiful card features a drawing of a pair of white storks with their two babies in a nest.  Often, in the countryside, you can see where people have built nests for storks atop trees, on posts, or on top of their houses.  Storks are said to bring luck if one nests near your home.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Place of Remembrance and Monument with a "Fighting Poland" Symbol 

This card comes from the Warsaw Uprising Museum (or sometimes Warsaw Rising Museum).  It is of a permanent exhibit featuring three mock-graves similar to those that would have been used during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 when the city of Warsaw rose against the Nazi occupiers from 1 August – 2 October 1944 in an attempt to free the city.  

The exhibit features  a large number of back-lit photos (seen in this card as the specks of light) representing the 10,000 plus fighters and the 150,000–200,000 citizens killed trying to free the city.

Special Post: Announcement of Poland Postcard Extravaganza


This card features a young girl wearing a traditional Polish costume from the Silesian region.

This card begins a month-plus run of cards from Poland.  I purchased most of these cards while on a trip to Poland.  As postcards are often better than photographs to help keep memories, this collection of cards represents some awesome souvenirs I was able to bring home with me.    

The Poland Postcard Extravaganza will run from August 1, 2015 through September 15, 2015 (or so)
and will feature cards mostly from Warsaw and Krakow and starts out with a double posting today.