Warsaw Stories and Tips

Learn from the Signs!

I recently discovered that a good way of learning a country's history is through the road signs, whilst the likes of High Street and Low Street aren't going to educate you much - the majority of street names relate to a famous person, battle or date and the first time I really came to this conclusion was when I came across the sign Skwer I Dywizji Pancernej.

The Armoured Division Memorial is not impressive, in fact other than the sign I can't really say I noticed it. The park lying on what used to be the riverbed of the Wisla many years ago (and nearly was again because of flooding) is underneath the New Town and close to the Old Town walls.

It is rather nice but looks slightly forgotten, unfortunately it's the victim of poor city planning, a park running directly down from the imposing buildings of Nowe Miasto and Stare Miasto straight to the river could have put Warsaw into the creme de la creme of good looking European cities, unfortunately someone decided to stick a busy 4 lane highway (the Wislostrada) through it minimising the size of the park and making it ny on impossible to get across to the river banks apart from an underpass at one end of it. This park/square has potential but like the dried up fountain in the centre of it, it gives vibes of what only!

One of the most appropriate things there is some 1944 Warsaw rising graffiti murals on the walls at the top of the park, it kind of reminds me of the Banksy ones on the wall between Jerusalem and Bethlehem marking the West Bank. Although I assumed it was some sort of military division, I can't say I knew what I Dywizji Pancernej was until I checked it out at home. I was surprised that such a small sign denoted such a large amount of history, whilst my WW2 history knowledge is quite good.. there are still quite a lot of parts that I know nothing about, I Dywizji Pancernej is the 1st Polish Armoured Division that was stationed in Duns in Scotland and protected 120 miles of British coastline before transferring to fight in Normandy, Belgium and Netherlands.

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