Most cities sustained big damage during the war. Some were reconstructed, some had only their parts reconstructed, some weren`t reconstructed at all but new houses were built on the bulldozer-cleaned area.
Examples of a city which wasn`t reconstructed: Lubin
Before the war Lubin was a Paradise.....Lüben war das Paradies, von dem meine Großeltern bis an ihr Lebensende träumten. Es war die Stadt, in der sie ihr Leben viele Jahre nach ihren Vorstellungen gelebt hatten: die Liebe und Freunde gefunden, eine Familie gegründet, den Laden eröffnet... Krisen, Diktatur und Krieg hatten sie ihren Lebenswillen entgegengesetzt.
A city partly reconstructed: Elbląg. You can see these seperate blocks of houses. It looks quite strange.
The rest of the city was filled with socialist blocks of flats.
In 10-12 century Germans designed a clever arrangement and organization of town settlements. Their idea spread to many parts of Europe with christian civilization. Most old Polish cities and towns were settled on German town rights and even up tp 50% of their initial population were German colonists. The German town law continued till 19 century. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_town_law Cities with German city rights often had similar layouts. Somewhat isolated was part of the city contained the residence and castle of the regional ruler, along with a cathedral. The city proper was centered around a market square which featured a church for wealthy merchants and artisans. Streets led out from the market in a planned grid system or concentric circles in which less wealthy citizens lived; riverfront sections of a city were designed with semicircles. The perimeter of the city was guarded by defensive walls, gates, and moats. If the city had already existed as a settlement, pre-existing defenses were sometimes incorporated into the fortifications. Cities whose layouts depict this type of urban planning include Wroc³aw, Kraków, Vienna, Brno, and Prague.
However, there are exceptions:
Zamość - a famous town in Poland. Built from the scratch as an ideal reneissance town in 16 century. A very unusual shape - the historically precious Old Town is completely isolated from the rest. Best seen in the last picture. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamo%C5%9B%C4%87
The heritage of communism - blocks of flats. They spoiled the landscape for centuries.
Yes, blocks of flats were built by the state to aleviate the problem of housing after WW2 when some cities and most villages were burnt to the ground. In the communist system people were too poor to build their own houses so the "caring" state lent a hand.
Unfortunately, the baby boom which started in 50s and continued till late 80s complicated things a lot. There were never enough flats although in the peak 70s they built 300.000 flats a year. The average waiting time to get a state flat was about 20 (twenty!) years in crisis years of 80s. It didn`t help much that on average people had to pay only about 25% of the real value for their flats.
The shortage has gradually decreased but still about 1.5 million people today have to live with their parents because there aren`t enough houses or flats. Mind, it isn`t the problem of money which can be borrowed but the insufficient amount of flats available on the market. Lublin
It has the New Town - estates of blocks built in communism
And it has the newest estate of detached houses built shortly before or after the fall of communism
Overall view Old Town in the foreground, New Town in the middle, detached houses in the background
The orange or red roofs suggest ceramic (clay) tiling. But one has to be careful because there are fake ceramic tiles too. The dark grey surfaces mean asphalt roll covering. There is never bare concrete on the roof, it must be insulated against the elements.
I can say that about 99% of these houses are privately owned by people. The cost of rent are still too high for average Poles. If they have to rent, they prefer flats.
WARSAW Livio, I am sure you have never seen such photos of your beloved city.
I haven't till now ;D ;D ;D Great photos indeed. The light is 'low', almost horizontal, winter time, so the air is more transparent and there're no leafs to interefere and so on. The pics are very fresh btw,made this winter probably: inn the 7th picture there's a huge empty concrete covered space almost in the middle. The first 'self-service' shop in Poland stood there - it's name was 'Supersam'. I liked it - as a little girl I often went there with my parents to do the shopping. It was destroyed last year and now some high building is being built there... panta rei.... ;D ;D ;D
You see, it must be a guy from Krakow to show you the beauty of Warsaw. What a paradox! hahahahaha
The light is 'low', almost horizontal, winter time, so the air is more transparent and there're no leafs to interefere and so on. The pics are very fresh btw,made this winter probably:
They are from this website which is visible on the photos. The photographer is a pilot, he breaks beaurocratic barriers, gets permissions and flies over Polish cities. I am going to show more of his photos.
inn the 7th picture there's a huge empty concrete covered space almost in the middle. The first 'self-service' shop in Poland stood there - it's name was 'Supersam'. I liked it - as a little girl I often went there with my parents to do the shopping. It was destroyed last year and now some high building is being built there... panta rei.... ;D ;D ;D
And they pulled down such a cult store...... It`s amusing but the contemporary architects were against it, they wanted to preserve the original design of the building which, in communist times, was something unusual.
The cult Supersam is dying
But, filling the space after Supersam, they are going to return to pre-war architectonic concept: Plans then