Warsaw – City of Contrasts
When I met Anna in 2007, who was born in Warsaw, I had no clue how much the hometown of my wife-to-be would exert fascination on me. As a German, I knew the history of Poland along general lines as well as a few details of the Warsaw Uprising. When I learned that Warsaw was almost completely destroyed by the Germans, I took a profound interest in the history of the city. The reconstruction was a tremendous achievement, nowadays you can see it if you walk through the city. Some of the several centuries old historic buildings were rebuilt by the Poles as faithfully as possible. Today they are part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
There are also numerous buildings erected in socrealist style in the years 1945 to 1989, the socialist period, as well as houses and skyscrapers built after 1989. The turbulent history of this city is thus reflected in the contrasting buildings from different eras. And it is their interaction that truly fascinates me. It is this contrast that generates this dynamic, currently fast changing city a beautiful look – not in the usual sense, such as Paris or London, but in the sense of a very strong charisma.