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Park Sowińskiego (Warsaw, Poland)

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A city park located in Warsaw named after Józefa Sowińskiego

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      29.03.2011 17:03
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      A good old fashioned urban park

      Park Sowinskiego is situated in the area of Wola, the area which I live in. It is quite a long walk from my apartment but an interesting walk along the main thoroughfare known as Wolska. I came across the park the other day when I was looking for the Orthodox Church of John Climacus and the cemetery which backs on to the park.

      At the moment, as we still don't have any sign of buds on the trees or flowers shooting up out of the ground, the park looks very bleak. The area covers just over 8 acres and is set out in a formal way with lawns and flower beds. The park was originally built in 1936 for the workers of the area so children could have somewhere to play.

      Wola suffered greatly in the Second World War and many thousands of people were killed by the Nazis. In 1944 the park was a place of great sadness as 1,500 people were killed and their bodies burnt. There is a plaque to commemorate their deaths and this incident.

      The grounds of the park were extended in 1964. There are two main paths which are concreted and these lead to a huge covered amphitheatre which was built the same year as the extension. I didn't know it was an amphitheatre at first - I assumed it was possibly a covered swimming pool. Even though I live in this district I still don't know it that well. Now, I know where all the music comes from in the summer months when the wind is blowing in my direction. It is from this park as punk and rock bands play here. Apparently the theatre holds up to 2,000 people.

      On both paths wooden benches with matching litter bins are circulated and I did notice a kiosk which was closed but I guess in the summer it will sell soft drinks and ice cream. I saw signs stating that alcohol wasn't allowed so you won't be able to get a beer here. In fact drinking alcohol in public areas isn't allowed in Warsaw.

      The monument at the entrance of the park is dedicated to General Joseph Sowinski which was placed in the park in 1937. The figure is quite attractive but has seen better days. His jade tunic and sword has been blackened by every day pollution. Although sometimes these monuments look better with a bit of dirt on this one doesn't. The dirt covers nearly all the intricate details of the figure which is a shame. The only thing I know about General Sowinski is that he was a defender of the Free Will.

      Park Sowinskiego is a nice place to visit on a weekday. I think I only saw 4 other people walking around. It has a feeling of space and I particular liked all the trees together at the entrance, like a small wood. There is a brick wall separating the cemetery from the park but you are able to see some of the tall headstones of graves as they rise above the wall. It isn't a fancy park, like Saski Park or Lazienki which are the most beautiful parks in Warsaw. It is just an every day urban park and reminds me of the park in Lancashire I used to visit as a kid with my grandparents. It has a very 60s feel about it.

      So there you go another very interesting part of Wola and Warsaw. It's a bit of a way out from the city but if you were going to visit the Orthodox Church and cemetery then it's worth a peep and a stroll. Also in this area there are more war cemeteries which are interesting and very peaceful to walk through. You can take any of these buses; 106, 125, 167 or trams 8, 10, 26, 27. Get off on ul. Elective 17 which is between streets Wolska and Górczewska.

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