idzioreks in warsaw!

March 27, 2008

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the third and final stop on my trip was warsaw, where i was able to meet some distant idziorek relatives. they kindly invited me into their home for the holiday and fed me wonderful food. i stayed with jerzy and anya (in the foreground) and was able to meet their son, daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. they also showed me around warsaw and were able to share many stories about the city and about poland. i had a fantastic time, and can’t thank them enough for their hospitality. my dad says that i’m the first idziorek to return to poland since his great-grandfather emigrated to america in the late 1800s, so i’m glad that i had this opportunity to meet the polish idzioreks. the photo above is of delicious easter breakfast with the whole family in jerzy and anya’s home.

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antosch passes the bread at breakfast/”the idzioreks” in polish (“owie” makes it plural)

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the first stop on my tour of warsaw was the wilanów palace, which was built for king john iii sobieski, a great ruler of poland who stabilized the polish-lithuanian commonwealth and defeated the turkish army in the battle of vienna. it was modeled after an italian villa, and is a blending of baroque and renaissance elements. after sobieski’s death, the building was owned by many great polish families, and has also functioned both as a museum and as a temporary residence for important guests of state.

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jerzy took this photo of me in front of the monument to polish composer frederic chopin. this was in lazienkowski park, which had beautiful trees and a few early crocuses.

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a reconstruction of warsaw’s old city walls in the stare miasto (or “old town”). warsaw’s historic center is also a unesco world heritage site (yes, i saw three such designated city centers on my brief easter vacation!). although it was originally established in the 13th century, the stare miasto was almost completely destroyed (more or less leveled) during the german invasion of 1939. the city made the decision after the end of wwii to completely reconstruct the old town just as it had been before the war, using surviving architectural drawings of what had existed there before. there’s lots more to this story (and a great chapter devoted to it in anthony m. tung’s book, “preserving the world’s great cities”), but for now i’ll leave it at this – it was a controversial decision that has caused a lot of discussion about the authenticity of the city center and the quality of the workmanship used in the reconstruction. however, it is today a lovely area and i think that the city would feel very empty without this physical reminder of its pre-wwii past. but i digress.

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the barbakan, built in 1548, that used to control entrance through the city’s double walls/colorful buildings on plac zamkowy, or “castle square”

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rynek starego miasta, the old town market square – colorful buildings with beautiful decoration/me with the polish idzioreks in rynek starego miasta

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another view of plac zamkowy – the column on the left of the photo holds the statue of sigismund iii wasa (a native swede), and was erected by his son, founder and king wladyslaw iv/view of the statue from below – it’s the oldest secular statue in poland

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st. anne’s church in the stare miasto, where jerzy and anya were married

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the monument to the warsaw uprising on krasinski square. the polish resistance against german occupation began on august 1, 1944 and lasted for 63 days. there is disagreement about the number of deaths that occurred, but likely more than 200,000 polish civilians and soldiers were killed during the fighting.

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monument to the little insurgent, another tribute to the 1944 uprising and the many children that were actively involved in the fighting/monument to józef piłsudski, marshall and key figure in the regaining of poland’s independence in 1918 (after having been partitioned for more 123 years)

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the presidential palace, home of the republic’s leaders since 1994 (also the location of the signing of the warsaw pact in 1955, during the cold war)

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church of the visitation sisters, and a monument to great polish poet adam mickiewicz

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view from the stare miasto toward’s warsaw’s downtown – the tower in the center of the photograph is the “palace of culture and science,” a 760-foot-tall gift from stalin to the city of warsaw/st. anne’s church in wilanow, near the palace

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3 Responses to “idzioreks in warsaw!”

  1. iwka Says:

    wonderful story…

  2. emma nowinski Says:

    warsaw is so beautiful! (especially with your photos, of course) i should go find myself some polish nowinskis one of these days…

  3. kidzi Says:

    thanks!! i would definitely recommend warsaw as a city to visit (especially if you have relatives there) – i just wish i’d had more time, as always. 😉


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