Saturday, 8 February 2014


The warm days are gone and forgotten now. But I still encourage you to take a walk outside, even if it will be a shorter one this time. Why not trying the Warsaw Citadel?

It was built in the first half of the nineteenth century, on a hill facing the Vistula river (yes, yes, you remember it right, it is the escarpment that we admired amoung others in Królikarnia and Arkadia Park last winter).

At that time, Warsaw was part of the Russian Empire. Unlike most fortresses, it was not designed to protect the city from an enemy attack. It was built to control a city that did not want to subordinate to the official government. So these walls were not meant to bring security to the inhabitants, quite the opposite.

The Citadel included a prison and a place where the Russian government was executing political prisoners. Here stood the gallows.

The executed prisoners were buried directly inside the hill. At that time, it was done in secret. Today they are commemorated by these crosses.

When you walk down the hill you will immediately notice this big structure up there. Let's take the stairs.

 This is an entrance to the Citadel, called "Execution gate".

Just behind it you will find a table with the names of those who perished here.

And a flame to commemorate them. It was not burning today, I wonder why.

Alright, I found a notice that the Citadel is undergoing some construction works and refurbishment so we will not be able to enter inside the walls and visit the museum. All I can show you is a glimpse through the fence.

So let's get down and try to walk around the Citadel.

Today the Citadel houses also the Command of the Polish Army. Obviously it is not possible to visit these premises, so all we can see are the gates.

We can still try to sneak a bit inside.

The other gates are closed unfortunately so no chance to get an idea what is behind.

One interesting element is this moat-like structure. It was meant to stop any attackers who would like to enter the fortress. The assumption was that these would probably be civilians inhabiting Warsaw.

I hope that you have liked this walk and a little insight into the sad history of Warsaw.

No comments:

Post a Comment