Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw, Poland, 200…

11 Dec 2007 166
These shots are a little bit out of order, but I think that if I put them in this order, rather than their correct chronological order, my story will make more sense. :-) This is the Palace of Culture and Science, or "Pałac Kultury i Nauki," in Warsaw, Poland. It was built in 1952-1955, and originally dedicated to Joseph Stalin, as Soviet money financed it, although this was quickly revoked with the Destalinisation reforms in the Communist Party during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The building has long been exactly what its name indicates, having a theatre, a cinema, a science and technology museum, and many other things having to do with history, the arts, culture, science, and technology. One of the odder footnotes in its history was that it was the first ever Communist venue to host a Western rock band, the Rolling Stones, in 1967.

Palace of Culture and Science, Picture 2, Warsaw,…

11 Dec 2007 125
The Palace of Culture and Science, in spite of its name, is surrounded by the kind of cheesy and bizarre commercial development that sprung up throughout the Eastern Bloc post-1989, and you can find just about anything there. This photo helps to illustrate the point. They even have an obelisk!!! The obelisk isn't commercial, though.

Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw, Poland, 200…

11 Dec 2007 140
To give an even stranger perspective on the development around the Palace of Culture and Science, I decided to tilt the Nikon like so, sort of like what I did with the Lomo by Kavarna Slavia in Prague. What do you think? :-)

Fiat 126P, Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw,…

11 Dec 2007 381
This is a sectioned, but real, Fiat 126P, on display in the science and technology museum in the Palace of Culture and Science. As you might have guessed, "P," stands for "Poland," as Fiat had an agreement with Lada of the Soviet Union to produce cars in the East, in exchange for access to Soviet steel. Lada in turn got the rights to produce the Fiat 124, which became the classic Lada 1500 sedan that you can see elsewhere in my photos.

NSU 200 and Other Motorbikes, Palace of Culture an…

11 Dec 2007 243
The science and technology museum at the Palace of Culture and Science has a substantial motorcycle collection, even if it isn't anywhere close to being the world's largest. One of the displays is this NSU 200, a German make that also produced cars. A fascinating Wiki can be found here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSU_Motorenwerke_AG

NSU 200 Plaque, Palace of Culture and Science, War…

11 Dec 2007 206
Here's the data plaque for the NSU 200 motorbike.

BMW R42 At The Palace of Culture and Science, Wars…

11 Dec 2007 302
This BMW was also among the motorcycles displayed at the Palace of Culture and Science, but being a BMW it's naturally a lot less exotic, even if it is very old.

BMW R42 Plaque, Palace of Culture and Science, War…

11 Dec 2007 225
Here's the data plaque for the BMW R42 motorcycle at the Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw.

DSU BR 5A6 ROM

11 Dec 2007 281
This immense hard drive, or actually ROM they say it is, helps to illustrate not only how far computers have come, but also how the countries of Eastern Europe were quite sophisticated for their time, as this machine was not vastly inferior to what was available in the West.

DSU BR 5A6 Plaque, Palace of Culture and Science,…

11 Dec 2007 324
Here's the data plaque for the ROM.

Stationary Steam Engine(?), Palace of Culture and…

11 Dec 2007 204
Here's what looks like a stationary steam engine, or possibly air compressor, that was on display on the steps of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw.

Shops By Palace Of Culture and Science, Warsaw, Po…

11 Dec 2007 116
As I said in earlier captions, while the Palace of Culture and Science is cultivated and interesting, the surroundings are a bizarre mix of big and small business, both cheesy and not so cheesy. All in all, the effect is a little bit hard to grasp.

Church, Nowy Swiat, Warsaw, Poland, 2007

11 Dec 2007 335
I'd really like to know more about this building. It appears to be a church, and is located on Nowy Swiat, the most famous street in Warsaw. It's very hard to miss, and because it's taller than the other buildings on the street it can be spotted from almost anywhere. Does anybody have info on it?

Cafe Blikle, Nowy Swiat, Warsaw, Poland, 2007

11 Dec 2007 154
Cafe Blikle is very well known, and as such it was mobbed when I was there. I sat down and paid the high price for a dessert, though, as it seemed like a must-do thing for a tourist in Warsaw. I had actually read about it in one of the textbooks that I use to teach English.

Royal Castle, Warsaw, Poland, 2007

11 Dec 2007 165
Built in 1589-1619, the Royal Castle was originally intended for King Sigmund III Vasa, who was not actually a Polish king, but the Swedish king, who controlled Poland at that time. It was also used by Polish kings, of course, as well as by the short-lived 1918-1939 democratic government which was ultimately destroyed by the Nazi invasion. The Nazis first bombed, then dynamited, the castle, leaving nothing by 1944, and the site remained vacant until 1971, when a reconstruction was started, being completed in 1988.

Royal Castle, Picture 2, Warsaw, Poland, 2007

11 Dec 2007 158
Here's a better view of the castle's rear.

Royal Castle, Picture 2 B&W Version, Warsaw, Polan…

11 Dec 2007 140
I could resist turning this shot into a black and white, so here it is.

Front Entrance of the Royal Castle, Picture 2, War…

11 Dec 2007 118
The front of the Royal Castle looks entirely different from the rear, and given its reserved styling it could just as easily be a city hall as a Royal Castle for an entire country.

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