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Nowa Huta Route

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Nowa Huta – a huge industrial complex and steelworks – is a symbol of industrial Poland and resistance to communist rule. According to a project, Nowa Huta was intended to be the first real Socialist town. In order to achieve it, 1000s of workers were brought in from small towns and the countryside in the 50s.

For those people, helping to build that communist dream was a chance of social advance. It was not coincidental that that socialist ideal was built in the vicinity of Krakow. According to the plans of communist rulers, the ideals of the working class were expected to eliminate clerical and conservative elements still present in the minds of the inhabitants of Poland's former capital. History, however, took a different course. The first confrontations between workers and the communist rulers ocurred in the 60s resulting from demands for permission to build a church in Nowa Huta. In the 80s Huta became the centre of the uprising against the communist rulers. At the same time an understanding was reached between the intellectual elite of Krakow and the workers of Nowa Huta. Removing of monument to Lenin in 1989 became a symbol of communism’s fall.

- Nowa Huta Communism Tour -

Places worth seeing:

Administrative centre of T. Sendzimir Steelworks
– the northern building (1 Ujastek Street)

This architectural complex is most characteristic for Nowa Huta Socialist Realist constructions. Two twin structures designed by J. Ballenstedt and J. Ingarden, and raised in the years 1952 - 1955, frame the main entrance to the steelworks. The northern building closes the perspective of Aleja Solidarnosci Street.

Krzeslawice – The Church of St John the Baptist and Our Lady of the Scapular,
Jan Matejko's House (25 Wankowicza Street)

The Church of St John the Baptist and Our Lady of the Scapular. Originally built in Jawornik near Myalenice in the years 1633 - 1648 and expanded several times. It is a good example of typical Polish wooden church architecture. Preserved inside are parts of the original wall paintings from the time of construction, including a Baroque pulpit, and late - Gothic crucifix.

Aleja Solidarnosci – the buildings of Stalowe residential district
Designed in the year 1949 as one of the five main axes in the urban composition of Nowa Huta in accordance with the urban design concept by T. Ptaszycki. It connects the city with the steelworks; in its ideological assumption, it was to become the "axis of labour". In the middle of the street, there is the oldest tram line in Nowa Huta, opened on 7th November, 1952.

Wandy and Willowe residential districts – the buildings of Willowe residential district
The first new style residential district built in Nowa Huta in the years 1949 - 1951, and divided by S. Mierzawy Street. The oldest square of Nowa Huta is situated near the crossroad with G. Danilowskiego Street. These residential districts were built in the convention of a garden - city with standard two - storey and three - storey steep - roofed houses, designed by F. Adamski.

Mogila – The Cistercian Monastery and Church (the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and St. Venceslas, the Church of St. Bartholomew) (11 Klasztorna Street)
The northern part of the village of Mogi≥a continued to develop along Klasztorna Street until the year 1951 when the village was incorporated into Krakow. In the year 1222, the Bishop of Krakow, Iwo Odrowaz handed the village over to the Cistercians who raised a Gothic - Romanesque Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and St Wenceslas. The construction of the church, consecrated in 1266, continued with interruptions till 1350. In the garden, there is the so - called Square of John Paul II, with an altar for open - air religious ceremonies and the statue the Way of the Cross.

Stefan Zeromski Specialist Hospital – main building of the hospital
(os. Na Skarpie 66)

Initially Municipal, the hospital changed its name to Stefan Zeromski Specialist Hospital in the year 1974. Built from 1951 to 1954, the hospital complex had been designed by S. Porebowicz and S. Skrzynski. It is a complex of 17 buildings; the major one, with an imposing façade and projecting stairs, has all the features of Socialist Realism and makes reference to Baroque palace architecture.

Centralny Square – buildings of Centralny Square
The centre of the urban complex of Nowa Huta was designed in the years 1949 - 1952 by T. Ptaszycki and his team: B. Skrzybalski, A. Foltyn, J. Ingarden, T. Janowski, S. Juchnowicz, and T. Rembiesa. The goal to make the new city reflect grand European urban centres became one of the prime objectives of Polish Socialist Realism. The Square remains unfinished: the central obelisk has never been raised, nor has the Square been closed with a monumental Culture Centre as was planned.

Aleja Roz, Aleja Przyjazni streets – Aleja Roz Street closed by the design of city hall
In the centre of a spacious square, in its northern side, the City Hall of the city of Nowa Huta was to be built: this four - wing construction was to be crowned with a pseudo - Renaissance attic wall designed by T. Janowski. The tower of the City Hall, making a direct reference to that of Krakow, was to be the element shooting up over the Nowa Huta skyline and thus becoming its most important landmark.

Aleja gen. W. Andersa and Ludzmierska streets – the Swit cinema (os. Teatralne 10)
This is where urban complexes from the three periods of construction of Nowa Huta meet. The Teatralne residential district (built in the years 1950 - 1955) was the first to implement fully all the assumptions of Socialist Realism: construction on the perimeters, long spans of residential buildings connected with passages, monumentalized architecture decorated with historical motives.

Teatralne residential district and Ludowy Theatre (os. Tetralne 34)
On both sides of Obroncow Krzyza Street, some of the oldest Nowa Huta constructions following the canons of Socialist Realism (1950 - 1953). Teatralne residential district, designed as the "culture quarter", houses the Swit Cinema and the Ludowy Theatre (1954 - 1955, by J. Ingarden and J. Dabrowski). The construction of the theatre followed the decision not to built the Culture Centre in the southern part of Centralny Square.

B. Wlosik Square – Arka Pana (the Ark of the Lord) Church
A cross commemorating the death of B. Wlosik shot by state security during the demonstration of 13th October, 1982 in the centre of the square. The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary Queen of Poland, so - called Arka Pana (Church of the Lord's Ark) was built in the years 1967 - 1977 following the design by W. Pietrzyk. It was the first new church to be constructed in Nowa Huta.