Chmielna 73

by

The last remains of the Warsaw – Vienna Railway, Warszawa Centralna in the background.
Photo Tomasz D.

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The building would appear to have once extended further to the North. Photo Tomasz D.

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The richness of detail betrays the building’s illustrious origins. Photo Tomasz D.

(Click image to enlarge.)

This rather modest building in a Warsaw back street is the only architectural remains in the capital of the Warsaw – Vienna Railway. The railway was built between 1840 and 1848 and its construction was at that time the most ambitious railway project in Europe.

A magnificent terminus was built in Warsaw at the location presently occupied by the Centrum station on the Warsaw metro. Sadly nothing remains of the main station building, but this little hut close to the station throat provides a direct link to the past.

Recently the site on which the building stands was acquired from PKP by a Czech development company. The Warsaw City Conservator of Monuments has declared that the building has no architectural merit. And another priceless piece of Poland’s railway history will shortly be bulldozed into rubble.

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2 Responses to “Chmielna 73”

  1. Trevor Christopher Butcher Says:

    When I describe to Poles their capital as the most boring I have ever visited, they generally get upset or even angry. To them the city is what the government/media/teachers have always been telling them it is – a grand European, no, a grand CENTRAL European capital. It isn’t. It is a poorly grouped bunch of buildings that not enough people care about.

    For example – I love my wife, so I take care of her, do the things that give her confidence and look the best she can. And all without throwing large amounts of money at her. I have yet to meet one Pole who loves their capital the same way.

    So yes, this building has little architectural merit in an elegancka way, but what about historical merit?

  2. Gavin Whitelaw Says:

    I agree that the building has no architectural merit but it has (perhaps not immesureable) historic interest and although it is not in the same category as the lost Penn Station in New York, once it has gone it has gone.

    I thought that Warszawa of all places WOULD be recognisant of their heritage given all that they lost in WW2, but money is money and it talks to Politicians.

    They spent what must have been millions rebuilding a replica of the centre of Warszawa that was destroyed during the war and that is something to applaud given to what OUR planners here in Britain did to ancient buildings barely damaged and saveable, yet will not save a building that is part of their REAL history and not some pretend Disneyfied replica.

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