Stalin’s gift and five star decadence

Some love it, some hate it – but every one notices it while in Warsaw; The Palace of Culture and Science was a gift from Joseph Stalin and symbol of the Soviet Union political domination over Poland after WWII.

The Palace was built in three years (between 1952 and 1955) by over 3500 construction workers who laid 40 000 000 bricks. It is 231 m high, there are more than 3200 rooms and halls, a swimming pool, multiplex cinema and a few theatres. However, the interiors are not as glamorous as people assume. Well, the rooms and halls were designed to be functional and multi-purpose; some are bigger, some are smaller but rather simple and plain. With some exceptions… All in all, there are some receipts for 28 000 m3 of marble used for internal decoration.

The biggest attraction is on top… or rather on the 3oth floor – that is in the middle of the main tower. This is where the panoramic balcony is located and you can visit the whole city in less than 20 minutes! But if you are looking for a nice view on the Palace itself – I’d recommend three other spots where you can meditated on the turbulent history of the last century over a sophisticated cocktail or… in a jacuzzi.

From the windows of Loreta Bar on the 7th floor of the Puro Hotel you will see the Palace of Culture framed by the roofs of pre-war still standing building and the modern business district skyscraper we build since the fall of communism.  Panorama Sky bar, on the 40 floor of the Marriott hotel and jacuzzi in the River View Wellness Center on top floors of the Intercontinental Hotel will give you a bird like perspective on the Warsaw’s city centre.

Addresses and opening hoursLoreta Bar (Puro Hotel) 9 Widok St., bar opening hours 9 AM – 1AM; Panorama Sky bar (Marriott Hotel) 65/79 Aleje Jerozolimskie, 6 PM – 2 AM; River View Wellness Centre is located in the Intercontinental Hotel but you can book individual one time entrace with the wellness centre non being a hotel guest.

For more travel tips how to plan your visit in the city or my tours click: Warsaw

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