Constitution Square - Warsaw
Piece of socialist realist architecture.
Constitution Square is Best For
Directions to Constitution Square
This area, which stands today as a tribute to social realism in Warsaw's architectural evolution, was once the showpiece of socialist architecture, heralding a new era of grandeur and functionalism, all meant to promote the city as the capital of a working man's paradise. The MDM (Marszalowska Dzielnica Mieszkaniowa) housing development was laid out immediately after the war, with Plac Konstytucji (Constitution Square) being named not for Poland's cherished 1791 constitution, but for the Stalinist constitution that was 'freely' accepted by the Polish people on 22 July 1952. One of the square's major planned roles was to be as the final destination of the all-important communist tradition, First of May (Labour Day) parades.
Constitution Square is unique among Warsaw's many squares in that its architecture is entirely uniform, perhaps the only such central point in the city constructed to create an imposing effect, instead of taking form, gradually and unevenly, through the forces of history. If you look carefully, you will notice many fine details of Stalinist-era architecture, such as friezes showing ideal socialist workers, visible on the buildings leading north along Marszalowska street.
Marszalowska, a wide, imposing avenue that passes beneath the stately gaze of Stalin's Palace of Culture and Science, was actually laid out in 1757, despite its very social-realist looks, and is named after the 18th-century Grand Marshal of the Crown Franciszek Bielinski, not the much more famous World War I hero, Marszal Joef Piludski, as many people think. The complete destrcution of this area after World War II cleared the way for the post-war communist authorities to make it their building playground; and while elegant palaces used to line either side of the wide thoroughfare, much like in the rest of historic Warsaw, the reconstruction that went on after the war employed new, modern visions which also answered problems of practicality, such as where to house the throngs of Varsovians whose homes had been destroyed. Today, you can find many department stores, popular shops, restaurants and cafés along Marszalowska.On the corner of Marszałkowska and Koszykowa street you can taste the delicious pastries and sweets in Batida.