Plac Piłsudskiego

  Plac Piłsudskiego     18 Jan 2024
What is today Warsaw's largest square, used over the centuries for military parades and national celebrations, was a once a square in front of the now non-existent Saski Palace, destroyed during World War II. The only part of the palace that remains today is used to shelter the eternal flame and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The square is named after the legendary inter-war Polish leader, Marshal Józef Piłsudski; you'll find his statue at the far end facing the tomb with a sombre gaze. The square itself has undergone many name changes thanks to the altering political landscape, including during occupation when it was called Adolf Hitler Platz. Renamed Plac Saski following occupation, it was eventually given the communist title Victory Square (Plac Zwycięstwa) in 1946, until it was again changed in 1990 to what we know it as today. On this spot once stood the huge orthodox St. Nevsky Cathedral; considered a symbol of Russian oppression, it was destroyed after Poland regained its independence. It was here too that in June 1979, the newly appointed Polish Pope John Paul II, the first Pope to visit a communist country, gave an open-air holy mass to an estimated 500,000 people, instilling hope in the struggle against the oppressive communist system. On 10 April 2018, eight years after the Smoleńsk air disaster, a new monument to the victims, representing the gangway stairs of a plane, was unveiled in the square. A monument to late president Lech Kaczyński, who died in the crash, was added seven months later.


Nowy Świat-Uniwersytet

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