Talk:Palace of Culture and Science

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ÃHow gift can be contraversal?--Nixer 20:16, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps the author meant that the "gift" raised much controversy at the time it was built and is still regarded as such, with lots of people wanting to blow it up and lots of people defending it. AAMoF one can hardly be indifferent towards it in Warsaw. //Halibutt 22:06, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Simple. A gift you are not able to refuse can be controversial. If the Poles build a Catholic church in the Kremlin during their occupation of Moscow in 1612, as a gift of course, you would not see any controversy in that? Balcer 04:55, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Its not a Ortodox church, you see? It is not even Communist Party palace. Do Poles have anything against culture or science? I think it was a part of Sovit help for Poland to restore its economy afret the war. Was it contraversal at the time it was built? Is it contraversal because it was Stalin who built it?--Nixer 12:27, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Obviously Poles hate all science and culture, and that is why they despise the place :). But seriously. My church example simply served to illustrate the fact that it is always controversial if one power forces the construction of just about any building in a foreign city.
The palace has a nice name now, certainly. But the original name was Stalin's Palace, and even you might admit that is just a wee bit controversial. Anyway, the building it totally unsuited to the architectural landscape of Warsaw. It has always been perceived by many Varsovians as a symbol of Soviet domination. That is a simple fact and should be mentioned in the article. On the other hand, not too much should be made of it, as after 1989 there was plenty of opportunity to tear the building down and yet this was not done. Balcer 16:49, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Was Poland able to construct such building after the war itself? So the Poles hate it because it is a Stalin's palace?--Nixer 18:24, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, in terms of a pure possibility - sure. Polish engineers were probably as skilled as those in any other country in the world and the country was not lacking the resources necessary either. What's interesting, the Bureau of Reconstruction of the Capital was also planning to build something similar on the spot of the old Royal Castle. However, the plan was cancelled not only because it was found ugly by most, but also because such a huge building would be simply impractical. Not to mention the consequences for Warsaw's skyline and so on.
Also, many people (not all!) hate it not because of its name, but because of what the palace's existence implied. In addition to the symbol of Soviet domination mentioned by Balcer, the palace was also used by the Commies for their rallies and whatnot. The Congress Hall was in some way more remarkable than the actual seat of the Commie party. And, last but not least, the Commie leaders used the tribune in front of the palace to hold parades and other similar feasts. //Halibutt 20:24, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
So it was contraversal gift because of the Communist party activities took place in the building?--Nixer 03:44, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
God, no. You're apparently looking for an easy answer, while there is none. It is controversial because:
  1. Nobody really wanted it here
  2. Nobody had a say
  3. It was built as a sign of foreign domination
  4. It completely spoiled Warsaw's skyline
  5. It was an architectural nightmare and it wasn't until half a century later that it finally got old enough to be considered "interesting piece of architecture"
  6. It's construction was paired with complete destruction of some parts of the city centre that survived the Warsaw Uprising or were already rebuilt after the war
  7. The commies used it for their parades and rallies
  8. Its construction (with Soviet work force, but with Polish materials) meant huge shortage of resources that could be spent elsewhere in the badly-razed country after the WWII
  9. It was a huge waste of space; even now they have a problem finding enough companies to rent rooms there, eventhough there is still a shortage of offices in Warsaw
  10. It made Warsaw hollow in the centre; in fact the exact city centre of Warsaw, its most vibrant part before the war, is now completely empty because of the palace
  11. It was built for Stalin, so beloved by the Poles
and so on. //Halibutt 06:45, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Looking at a satellite photo at Google Maps illustrates the main problem. The Palace and the vast open space around it is a scar in the middle of Warsaw. The building of the palace elimitnated all traces of previous buildings (even street layouts) on the area of about 1 square kilometer, right in the middle of the city. For many years afterwards the square around the palace was an unplasant, flat surface lined with concrete, good maybe for parades and rallies, but rather unpleasant during daily existence. After 1989 for many years there was a vast, semi-legal outdoor market in the square. It looked rather uncivilized, but nobody had any other ideas as to what else to put there. Balcer 13:02, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
In Russian we say in such case "дарёному коню в зубы не смотрят", and it seems to me all the reasons you counted are sucked from a finger, and the main reason is political anyway. What do you think, should Russia pay a compensation to Poland for such gift?--Nixer 18:34, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
In Polish we say exactly the same thing, but it applies mostly to gifts given at birthday parties, not to giant buildings donated from one state to another. Look, if Stalin decided to build a nice subway system for Warsaw as a gift, I am sure no one would have complained, politics or no. The Palace was something different.
Anyway, the fact the the building was controversial for some people in Poland is simply a plain fact. We can have a long debate whether this controversy was justified, but it most certainly existed. The article should mention it. What else would you suggest? That it is passed over in silence? Balcer 18:41, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I suggest the article should be reworded slightly. It should not say the gift is contraversial because any decision has ots supporters and opponents, and it is not the reason to say about all of them "contraversial". But we should say, the Poles hate the building as a sign of Soviet domination. By the way, here is the Moscow State University [1] and as you can see, the open area is much wider.--Nixer 18:47, 23 April 2006 (UTC)


Thanks for the Google link. It shows some similarities, but that university is located considerably further away from the very heart of Moscow. Plus a university campus might have a use for open spaces, but the heart of a city does not. The Palace was built directly on the intersection of Marszalkowska street and Jerozolimskie Avenue, which is exactly the center of Warsaw. The proper analogy to this situation would be building Moscow University in the Red Square, next to the Kremlin.
Anyway, please make the necessary changes in the article. But please try to avoid saying that all Poles hated the building, which is not true (and not provable anyway). Presumably at least some of them simply liked having a skyscraper in their city, even if they would not openly admit it. The views from it were certainly nice. Balcer 18:57, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
FWIW, the above phrase exists in English as well: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. I'm not seeing Nixer's point, though; does he mean he wouldn't mind if, say, we erected a giant statue of Pol Pot in the middle of his living room? Absolutely free, of course...  ProhibitOnions  (T) 21:43, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Builders[edit]

A "gift" from the Soviet Union to the people of Poland, the tower was constructed, using Soviet plans, almost entirely by 3500 workers from the Soviet Union, of whom 16 died in accidents during the construction."

Wasn't it build be a German POWs? --HanzoHattori 12:01, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

NoKtoto89 03:10, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

The Palace of Culture was built by workers from the Soviet Union who were housed in a specially-built complex of wooden cabins called "Osiedle Przyjaźni" (Friendship Housing) which as late as the 1970s was still seeing service as dormitories for students of Warsaw Medical School. Nihil novi 22:18, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Gift?[edit]

Who paid for the gift? The People of Poland? --Camptown 21:20, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

The USSR. That's what made it a gift. ProhibitOnions (T) 22:50, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Radio and TV transmissions[edit]

This information should not be here. Frequencies used by assorted radio & TV stations have nothing to do with the building. --Jotel (talk) 10:18, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Choice Subway or Giant Soviet Monolith[edit]

I lived in Warsaw for 2 years and the locals would always tell the story that they were given a choice between a subway and a monument to Stalin. They choose the subway and got this. Is there any credence to this anecdote? 74.174.34.170 (talk) 12:07, 3 September 2008 (UTC) PT

no, we chosed Palace of Culture, Warsaw subway is our work. insanelyapplepie--83.26.214.28 (talk) 11:07, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Elevators[edit]

"... having an elevator operator is a still alive tradition in Russia ..." - it is wrong. Where have you seen such in Russia? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.251.107.22 (talk) 05:34, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Please...[edit]

"As the city's most visible landmark, the building was controversial from its inception. Many Poles initially hated the building because they considered it to be a symbol of Soviet domination, and at least some of that negative feeling persists until today. Some have also argued that, regardless of its political connotations, the building destroyed the aesthetic balance of the old city and imposed dissonance with other buildings.

However, over time, and especially in recent years, Warsaw has acquired a number of other skyscrapers of comparable height, so that the Palace now fits somewhat more harmoniously into the city skyline. Furthermore, since Soviet domination over Poland ended in 1989, the negative symbolism of the building has much diminished." one word: POV :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.196.145.5 (talk) 14:42, 2 September 2011 (UTC)


Clock Tower[edit]

It is my intention, unless there are objections, to remove the reference to this building formally being the tallest clock tower in the world as it does not conform to the definition of clock towers in the article of that name in wikipedia. Robynthehode (talk) 00:43, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Clock tower page says : Many clock towers are freestanding structures but they can also be adjoining or on top of another building. Therefore it conforms the definition. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:19, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
  • You are cherry picking one section of the full definition. It is 'There are many structures which may have clocks or clock faces attached to them and some structures have had clocks added to an existing structure. According to The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat a building is defined as such if at least fifty percent of its height is made up of floor plates containing habitable floor area. Structures that do not meet this criterion, are defined as towers. A clock tower historically fits this definition of a tower and therefore can be defined as any tower specifically built with one or more (often four) clock faces and that can be either freestanding or part of a church or municipal building such as a town hall.' A structure first has to be defined as a 'tower' and then that the tower is specifically built for the purpose of having a clock (mechanism). The Warsaw building had the clock added and it is also a building and not a tower. Doesn't fit into the definitionRobynthehode (talk) 20:51, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
In your zeal of revert war you didn't notice that I changed the phrasing: PoCaS is not a clock tower; it is a building with clock tower. Anyway, tyhe sentence was unreferenced, and I will restore it only when I find a reference. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:57, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Picture[edit]

Can we remove/change the night shot?

The HDR on it is very badly done and I doubt the picture accomplishes anything. — Preceding unsigned comment added by E.byratino (talkcontribs) 18:32, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

I've replaced it. Vieque (talk) 00:43, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Height[edit]

Polish wiki has a source that the building's height is 237 and not 231 (also sourced...) הנדב הנכון (talk) 16:17, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

"Stalin's Penis"[edit]

In the Warsaw episode of Rick Steves' Europe, he states that the people of Warsaw refer to the building as "Stalin's Penis".