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Hidden gems and stories of Warsaw downtown

Let’s walk around the gems hidden in the northern part of Warsaw Śródmieście district.

We start at Plac Bankowy 1 (1 Bankowy Square) – it is a building that in its history was already an outbuilding of a palace, tenement house or hotel, and finally turned into an elegant office building. But it is in its courtyard that a unique space resembling a film decoration in an industrial atmosphere is hidden. It was designed by Oscar-winner Allan Starski.

We go down Senatorska Street towards Plac Teatralny (Theatre Square). At the back of the Jabłonowski Palace gate, there is a symbolic grave of Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński, the author of, among others, touching the heart – also in the context of his death – “Elegy about a Polish boy”. The poet was killed by a German sniper during the Warsaw Uprising. After his death, he was buried in the courtyard of the palace, and after the war in the Powązki Military Cemetery.

We go through Plac Teatralny and between the buildings at 6 and 8 Moliera Street to the courtyard. A gem of modernism is hidden there – a residential building from the 1970s by Jerzy Kuźmienko and Piotr Sembrat. The cascaded façade gives the impression of developing horizontally and vertically.

From here it is a stone’s throw to the rear of Krakowskie Przedmieście, near Bednarska Street. There are the remains of the Kazanowski Palace. On one of the walls there is a plaque with the inscription: “Here, at the foot of the Kazanowski Palace, Mr. Zagłoba fought the monkeys”. This is a reference to the events of Henryk Sienkiewicz’s “The Deluge” novel. More precisely, the scenes when Zagłoba faced monkeys, to the delight of those around him.

Route proposal and photos by: Andrzej Rejnson
Dziedziniec budynku na Placu Bankowym. Budynek z lewej strony - trzykondygnacyjny, ceglany z zewnętrzną, metalową klatką schodową. Budynek z prawej biały, bogato zdobiony z dużymi oknami. Przed nami białe i szare ławki i stoliki oraz niskie drzewka. Słoneczny dzień.
Dziedziniec Plac Bankowy, fot. Andrzej Rejnson