Almost 70 years ago Warsaw was wiped off the face of the earth. In a silent cemetery of ruins and rubble lived approximately one thousand people. Today, with population reaching 2 million, skyscrapers rising higher and higher every year, it`s the most dynamic and changing European capital. This contrast shows Warsaw`s unique spirit, making it world`s symbol of freedom and triumph.
Like the mythical bird phoenix, Warsaw rised from the ashes. Following the apocalyptic scale of destruction and massive human carnage unprecedented in history, the city became place of the greatest urban reconstruction effort in the world. From the charming glory of the medieval Old Town, from baroque and neoclassical architecture of dozens of palaces standing around the Royal Route - one of the most beautiful European street - you can learn indomitable and stubborn spirit of people living here. People, whose determination and hard work brought the city back to life.
But the city was not only rebuilt. Destroyed by fascism, the city offered another totalitarism a unique opportunity to realize it`s utopian visions. Warsaw was to become a communist paradise – for more than 40 years after WWII communists tried to make it a perfect socialist city. A real brave, new world, which still stuns tourists from all over the world. The result was a bleak, grey, desolate place with little to its credit.
People who saw Warsaw in that time, don`t recognize it today. In the last 20 years the city changed its face again. With democracy and capitalism back, once again the spirit of Warsaw – the spirit of freedom, indomitability and revolt – was liberated. Dealing with horrible past, Warsaw is creating an international role for itself, becoming a surprisingly cosmopolitan city to rival any other in Europe.
Yet with a history of 700 years and position of financial capital of central Europe, Warsaw continues to be just a promise. Caught somewhere between what could have been and what can be, is still trying to become… a city.
Will it succeed this time? Give it a chance. I can`t promise that you will find here the sex appeal of Paris, charm of Rome or beauty of Prague. Probably not. Warsaw is beautiful in a special way – like a patchwork, with styles of architecture, periods of history, political and economic systems mixing together in the same places, creating a chaotic but extremely interesting space. In this sense, it`s unique, so different from other European capitals.
So… after experiencing the sex appeal of Paris, charm of Rome and beauty of Prague, it`s time to experience the spirit of Warsaw. With its triumph, it inspires even the hardened of travelers.