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    PAP Exhibition: unique pre-war photographs of the Saxon Palace

    Unique and previously unpublished pre-war photographs of the Saxon Palace were presented by the Polish Press Agency (PAP) at an exhibition organized on the occasion of the passing by the Parliament of a bill to rebuild this historic Warsaw building. The PZU Group is a patron of the exhibition.

    The first show of the archival photos – from the collection of Marian Leśniewski, acquired by PAP – took place during the October 590 Congress in Warsaw.


    The photographs document not only the architecture of the Palace itself and the neighbouring buildings, but also the events taking place around the Saxon Palace, and even the style of clothing worn by Warsaw residents walking around the Saxon Garden. 


    “The photographs, presented both in print and projected on the screen in electronic format, show the Saxon Palace in all its glory at the time and demonstrate what an important place it was on the map of pre-war Warsaw,” said Katarzyna Liebrecht, curator of the exhibition and head of the PAP Photo Archive Team.


    The presented pictures illustrate the history of Poland and Warsaw. The oldest photographs come from before World War I and show, among others, Saxon Palace after the invasion of the army of the German Empire (August 5th, 1915).


    The 40 photographs of the Saxon Palace presented at the exhibition are part of the PAP’s archive of 18 million photographs from the last 100 years, documenting the most important events in Poland’s recent history – not only historical and cultural but also political, social, economic, scientific and sporting.


    Saxon Palace was built as a result of an extension to the seventeenth-century palace of Jan Andrzej Morsztyn.


    In the interwar period, the Palace was the seat of the General Staff of the Polish Army. The building was completely destroyed by the Germans in late December 1944. Its only trace remains a fragment of the three central arcades, where the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located – a symbolic grave commemorating nameless soldiers who died defending Poland.


    The reconstruction of the western frontage of Piłsudski Square is both a reminder of the scale of Warsaw’s destruction and a demonstration of the state’s care for its cultural heritage. The new buildings will combine representative and utilitarian functions. It is also planned to create educational, cultural, and entertainment spaces for Warsaw inhabitants and tourists.

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