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Mariensztat (Poland)

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Town located in the Warsaw burrough of Śródmieście

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      20.11.2010 09:27
      Very helpful



      Great place for peace and quiet and walking the dog!

      Mariensztat is a an area of Warsaw I really love to visit at any time of the year. There is a tranquility about the place that makes me often return. In a way it has the feeling of grandeur that no longer exists in Warsaw except for in Lazienki Park and Wilanow Palace. Why I should think that I really don't know because the flat blocks painted in pastel shades aren't old or related to the oldest part of Warsaw.

      The first apartments were used and lived in on 22 nd July 1949. This was the new quarter of the post war city and at the time every young person wanted to buy a tiny flat in Mariensztat. Every young Varsovian dreamed of living in this area and it was often the main subject of songs at that time. I wouldn't mind buying a flat now in this part of town as it is really picturesque, well looked after and not far from the Old Town and Bednarska Street.

      I mention Bednarska Street because this is a steep street that leads from Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street (next to the Old Town) into the Mariensztat quarter. Bednarka Street hasn't always bore the same name. Before 1770 it was called Dung Street because all the waste of the city was transported along it until it reached Dung Hill.

      The houses in Mariensztat look a lot older than they are, as mentioned above, and also the street layout does not correspond with the planning system of the oldest part of Warsaw. The market square which now always seems so empty and desolate especially in winter once was a place where festivals were held and the place to visit if you wanted non-stop entertainment.

      Mariensztat's square replaced the city centre at the time which was in ruins. The quarter is named from a historical character Maria Potocka, whose husband owned the land and wanted to honour his wife by naming it after her. This quaint area lies beside the River Vistula and for many years was a place for the local poor.

      Today, people still live in the flats and houses and there are several small offices situated in the old houses in the square. I have never really seen the area as a hive of activity. Most weekends when I have been out for a stroll the square has been very quiet with just the odd couple or two going out for a Sunday walk. Weeping willows and rowan trees surround the square and in spring and summer this is a very pleasant area to sit outside. I believe the Mariensztat quarter is often used for filming and I did actually see movie cameras roll and a piece of film being shot one day when I was out walking the dog. It was interesting and exciting to watch and I later saw the piece of film on Polish TV which made it even more exciting.

      I think this area of Warsaw has great potential and I am surprised that someone official hasn't made it into a visitor's area. It is only a walk away from the Old Town and very easy to reach by foot from the centre or by public transport. Perhaps the residents of Mariensztat want to keep it to themselves - just the way it is. A tranquil and very pretty quarter that feels like it was built in the 18th century but is only just 60 years old


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