Saturday, 6 April 2013

Polish Parliament and its surroundings

Today I will show you the surroundings of the Polish Parliament or to be more precise, of its lower chamber called Sejm.

This is quite a big complex, its construction started in 1918 and actually continues until today. The Sejm building is very characteristic because of its round shape. You can see it by the top roof.

In the lower part there are 18 reliefs that represent different topics, like education, culture, liberation, art, handcraft, etc.

It is possible to visit the building inside but as a rule only as part of an organised group. Maybe one day I will be lucky to join one.

Next to the Sejm building you can see a monument dedicated to the Home Army (Armia Krajowa). It was the Polish Army fighting with German nazi occupation during World War II - it formed the armed wing of what became known as the "Polish Underground State".

You can see there the the list of those commemorated. Unfortunately, many of them were persecuted after the war by their own homeland, the same they risked their lives for. The communist government treated them as traitors and agents of Western powers.

It is only after 1989 that the soldiers of Armia Krajowa received the full honours they deserved. You may imagine however that most of them did not live long enough to enjoy it.

Next to the buildings of the Parliament you can also find the Chancellery of the Polish President. This is where the support staff of the President works. The official part of the Presidential duties takes place in the Presidential Palace. I have shown it to you last time we were watching the Illumination of the Royal Route.

The fact is that this part of Warsaw is a real place of power. You have here the parliament, the staff of the president and within a few yards you will find many embassies, like the Canadian Embassy ...

... the Swiss Embassy (I like a lot this small building) ...

... and the US embassy.

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