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10 Architectural masterpieces in Poland you cannot miss

1.       The Palace of Culture and Science

A “gift from the Soviet nation to the Polish nation”, the palace is by all means the most controversial building in Poland.  Considered by many a despicable symbol of the Communist oppression,  the 237-metre-high palace remains Poland’s tallest building.

2.       Centennial Hall in Wrocław

The Centennial Hall, a symmetrical quatrefoil with a vast circular central space is an example of early Modernism and the innovative use of reinforced concrete structures in the building industry. At the time of its construction, 1911-1913 it was the largest ever reinforced concrete dome in the world.

3.       Spodek

Spodek, or “The Flying Saucer”, is a multipurpose arena in Katowice which brings to mind a flying saucer. Regularly used for large events such as concerts, international volleyball matches or video game tournaments, it is a widely-recognized symbol of Katowice.

4.       Gdansk Crane

One of the world’s oldest port cranes, the Gdansk Crane with its impressive human-powered machinery is a symbolic landmark of the city’s trading heritage. Destroyed in 1945, it was carefully put back together and is now the only fully restored relic of its kind in the world.

5.       The Grunwaldzi Bridge

The Grunwaldzki Bridge is the only road-tram suspension bridge in Poland. It was constructed in 1908-10, using original construction solutions, with the span attached with steel straps to 20-metre brick pylons standing at the river banks, so that construction did not cover the view of Ostrow Tumski.

6.       Wang Temple

Located in Karpacz Gorny at 885 metres, the late 12th century Wang Temple is rare surviving example of Scandinavian folk architecture, built without using nails. Originally erected in the town of Vang in Southern Norway, in the 19th century it was moved to Poland.

7.       Sukiennice

A 14th-century architectural marvel in the middle of Cracow market square. Sukiennice is the oldest shopping centre with stalls selling cloth handicrafts, amber jewellery, lacework, wood carvings, sheepskin rugs and all sorts of Polish souvenirs and trinkets.

8.       Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork

With an area of approximately 21 hectares, this 13th-century fortified monastery complex is one of the largest in the world. Castle of Teutonic Order has been restored several times, the castle is a fine example of medieval brick architecture.

9.       Historic centre of Warsaw

Warsaw's Old Town, nearly completely destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, has made its way to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites as "an outstanding example of a near-total reconstruction of a span of history covering the 13th to the 20th century”.

10.       Warsaw University Library

Warsaw University Library is one of the greatest architectural and tourist attractions of Warsaw with one of the largest roof gardens in Europe. The new facilities house state-of-the-art laboratories, comfortable work and study areas, and interestingly arranged recreational spaces.

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