Warsaw

Gnojna Góra

  ul. Brzozowa ,   Old Town         11 Dec 2021
Demonstrating how every word sounds exotic when you don't know the language, Gnojna Góra may sound to the uneducated ear like an intriguing and potentially charming place for a stroll in Warsaw's Old Town. And, in fact, it is, with picturesque of the Wisła River and the Praga district beyond. What's less charming, of course, is that name, which literally translates as 'Dung Hill' (or Shit Hill, Excrement Hill, Poop Hill, etc., depending on how polite you wish to be). For centuries, this was the dumping ground for all of the Old Town’s waste - chamber pots, food scraps, everyday rubbish, you-name-it. As you can imagine, it grew over time and its distinctive shape can best be seen from the bottom. At one stage this enormous urban compost pile was actually renowned for its healing properties - people with obscene amounts of money would come here to be buried up to their necks in rubbish in a supposed cure for syphilis (doesn’t work, we tried). Today its a top piece of trivia and an enduring monument made of literal crap in the midst of Warsaw's UNESCO-listed Old Town.

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