Inspiring places: Warsaw and back to PRL

As you know few weeks ago I went to see my mum in Warsaw.

Me and mum

The capital city is changing so much, but one of the most iconic, and the highest (237 metres) buildings still stands out in the city’s landscape.
Palace of culture and science Warsaw

Socialist realism
Ironically, the Palace was commissioned by Stalin as a ‘gift from the Soviet people’ (no, thanks) to the communist Poland (The People’s Republic of Poland=PRL 1952-1989).

The structure, however, was inspired by the Empire State Building (some spying was involved), but also incorporated the elements of different Polish architectural styles including art deco, which I love.

The building remains controversial as for many signifies the communism and the oppression associated with the Soviet domination, but, on the other hand, its magnificent structure and décor are worth preserving.

If you happen to visit Warsaw, make sure you go there and explore. I would recommend going to Kinoteka (very impressive cinema based in the building) or to one of many  theatres located there e.g.  Teatr Studio.

I was born and grew up in the PRL, so despite very much enjoying being from a democratic country and living in the other one, I sometimes feel nostalgic (don’t we all) for the things I used as a child.

I found this wonderful website called Spod Lady*, which sells retro home accessories etc. associated with the PRL.

PRL home accessories

I love the cups shown above (images were taken from SpodLady website). They are very funny…Ok, perphaps for Polish people:))
1. It says ‘Do your own sandwiches’. Polish feminism;))

2. Must have for all born in the PRL.

3. ‘Milk bar’  is a mini bistro where you can get a home-made food for the cheap (very popular amongst students). For Londoners, try Bar mleczny Mamuska if you are adventurous enough.

4. The communist propaganda often showed women riding tractors, for example, signifying progress (‘Women on tractors’). In reality, there were few women tractor drivers. But the message was clear: women were vital in the effort to modernise and collectivise agriculture.

Have you been to Warsaw before? Did you like it or not? What do you think of retro accessories? What would you bring back?

Happy Tuesday!




* Spod Lady means ‘from under the counter’. During PRL era there were times when there was nothing in the shops and the rationing was in place, but if you knew someone in the shop you went to, you could get some goods from under the counter.


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