The Jerusalem Avenue and the Prozna Street in Warsaw

Prozna Street in Warsaw

Prozna Street in Warsaw ©Ana Paula Hirama/Flick

One of the main streets of Warsaw that crosses the downtown from east to west known as the Jerusalem Avenue (Al Jerozolimskie) connects the western part of the Wola district and the bridge built over the River Vistula and the Prague district across the river.

Located not far from downtown Warsaw, the Prozna Street (Ul Próżna) is the testimony of the Nazi invasion in the capital, when there was established a ghetto for the Jewish population during the period of the Second World War. The street Name means “vanity”. This street connects the Jana Street and the Great Market.

The Jerusalem Avenue of Warsaw

The name of the Jerusalem Avenue in Warsaw comes from the village of Nowa Jerozolima – New Jerusalem, founded in 1774 by Augustus Sulkowski that was made for the Jewish colonies from Mazovia and the road leading to Warsaw was known as “Aleja Jerozolimskie”. Although the village was abandoned shortly after its founding, the Jews moving to the city, the street name remained the same and has been used ever since. This place stands out as the first station that was born in Warsaw.

At the end of the nineteenth century the eastern end of the street has become one of the most representative and most expensive areas in the growing city, as in the early twentieth century, especially after winning the independence of Poland in 1918, the boulevard be elongated to the west, while the district of Wola was incorporated into the city.

Jerusalem Avenue in Warsaw

Jerusalem Avenue in Warsaw ©b1mbo/Flick

Most of the buildings that stretch along the Jerozolimskie boulevard, some of them being real modern art masterpieces, were destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising and after the Second World War, and the communist authorities instead of repairing what was left, prefered to replace them with some gloomy buildings in dark colors, with their specific architecture. The north side of the street is dominated by the mighty Palace of Culture and Science and the Warszawa Centralna station, while in the south we can distinguish some specific traits of the pre-war architecture.

Even if  the Jerusalem Avenue might not be the most beautiful street in Warsaw, a walk in this area will cause some tourists to discover a range of interesting shops, a shopping center, a train station and even some pretty good restaurants

Aleje Jerozolimskie in Warsaw

Aleje Jerozolimskie in Warsaw ©alf.melin/Flick

The Prozna Street in Warsaw

Most of the buildings in the ghetto were totally destroyed, only a few remaining over time. The Uniqueness of the Prozna Street of Warsaw is that this is the only place where on one and the other side of the road you can still find the former houses of the Jewish quarter, where can still be seen stuck along the walls some pictures of those who once lived here.

These buildings, some of them even inhabited, were never been restored after the war. Today they are being in an advanced state of decay, being on the verge of crumbling. However, they impress with their story lived when the nation was torn by war. The Prozna Street hosts every year the Jewish Festival in Warsaw.

Prozna Street in Warsaw

Prozna Street in Warsaw ©Ana Paula Hirama/Flick

 

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