I have been planning for a long time to get down the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and take some photos for the blog. The first time I went there was late in the evening right after I got to Warsaw. Gina and I had been to supper, and were just walking around that part of town. Since I was still tired from my travels, I didn’t bother to take photos that night. I really should have the light would have been nice.
On my way, I saw a building which incorporated the ruins of the original build into its structure in a way, to indicate that they didn’t want to forget what was done to this city. The graffiti, which you will see often around the city is the Kotwica. Wikipedia has a great article.
When I first took a good look at the monument, I thought that the form it had, with the broken off columns, was just an allegory for the unfinished live. I have since learned that the Tomb is all that remains of the Saxon Palace, which was destroyed in WWII.
Seeing the crowds around the Tomb, I decided that I would head over to the hotel in the sort of nearby to use their restroom. I had hoped that the crowds around the monument would lessen before I came back. It was quite a hike over to the hotel. The public spaces here are so wide.
From the hotel I saw that my plan wasn’t working. The crowds were getting denser. Notice the line of people approaching from both directions above. After I crossed back over to Piłsudski Square, I went to inspect the monument below. It is memory of The 2010 Smoleńsk Air Disaster. It is built to look like the stairway leading up into a plane. The names of the dead are arranged in Alphabetical order.
Lech Kaczyński, the fourth President of the Republic of Poland, died on 10 April 2010, after a Polish Air Force Tu-154 crashed outside of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 aboard, including his wife, economist Maria Kaczyńska.
As I approached the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier I saw that the folks were lining up to make a passageway for the changing of the guard. I hadn’t planned to be there just at the time, but I was glad I happened to be there. I have since learned that the guard changes every hour on the hour.
After watching the ceremony, and taking a few photos, I headed back through Saxon Park. I had been right a few days before in identifying the fountain, as I was walking past way on the other side of the park.
As I wandered around looking for good photo angles in the park, I smugly watched two backpackers trudging past, with what looked like 60 liter packs. What caught my eye even more was a crow bathing in the top of the fountain. You might think your city is badly overrun by pigeons, but consider yourself lucky that they are not crows. I am really getting tired of being woke by the growling, squawking, squealing, cooing, and rattling, of the crows outside my window.
Lining the major route of the park are lines of nearly identical statues, each representing some concept or subject. The one above is for astronomy. Being an ex-navigator, I had to feature that one.
As I was heading out of the park towards home, I spotted a building that looked interesting. Despite being defaced by un-artistic graffiti, the water tower is still beautiful. There must be a cistern under the tower since the mound has a cluster of ventilation vents. (below)
On my way home I saw a poster at a travel agency, which caught my eye. It reminded me of the mural on the wall of the cafe in Cuenca, Ecuador (below). Sort of made me homesick for Cuenca.