Sunday, March 28, 2010

86/365: Cranes on the river

86/365: Cranes on the river
86/365: Cranes on the river, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 27th

Across the river in Praga there used to be a football stadium. It was called the 10 Year Anniversary Stadium and had been built in 1955 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Poland's post-WW2 rebirth as the People's Republic. It was built from the rubble of destroyed Warsaw, rubble brought from the Western bank as the Eastern city of Praga had not been razed to the ground by retreating Germans- the Soviets were already there.

The Stadium was used well for its times, but by 1983 the upkeep was impossible. In 1989 the city decided to rent the disused stadium to vendors, and thus was born the Jarmark Europa. For years it was the place where you could get anything- from pirated films to smuggled cigarettes, moonshine, weapons...and clothes, lots and lots of clothes. It was dirty, dodgy, creepy, and absolutely wonderful.

In 2008 it was decided that the Stadium would be torn down and a new one built in its place, this time as a true national center for sports and not a black market. We will need a proper football stadium to host the UEFA Euro 2012.

People are skeptical as to whether it will be as functional as promised, or whether it will even be finished on time, but in any case the cranes look impressive, looming over Praga like that.


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