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A new face of Krakowskie Przedmiescie

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Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street, one of Warsaw's most historic thoroughfares was officially reopened July 13 after a painstaking renovation, which took two years.

The renovation of the street was conducted by Krzysztof Domaradzki's Dawos studio. The architects relied heavily on historical sources, especially the photographic precision of paintings presenting Warsaw by Bernardo Belotto (1720-1780), better known as Canaletto, the court painter for Poland's last king Stanislaw August Poniatowski (1732-1798).

The street has been redesigned as a semi-pedestrian mall. It became more quiet, people friendly and attractive for tourists.

Now, it boasts granite road surface and wide sand-granite sidewalks redolent of its 18th-century glory. The architects have paid the same attention to detail on lamp posts, litter boxes, benches and even flower pots. Krakowskie Przedmiescie also features so called Canaletto trail, marked with special "cubes", which show how different parts of the street looked like in the past.

However, there are still things to be done. Krakowskie Przedmiescie, comparing to its neighbouring street Nowy Swiat, has still not enough cafes and restaurants. The City Hall is drafting a bill that would give preferential rentals to this kind of business to set up there.

"Canaletto Cubes"

Krakowskie Przedmiescie is one of the oldest streets in Warsaw dating back to the 15th century. In the 17th century the street, as a major artery of Warsaw, was lined with impressive palaces, churches and manor houses. Today it features the Presidential Palace, the University of Warsaw, the Fine Arts Academy, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and some of the country's most famous churches. It is the first part of the so-called Royal Route that runs between the Royal Castle and Wilanow Palace, the onetime summer residence of King Jan III Sobieski (1629-1696). The route then continues along Nowy Swiat, Ujazdowskie Avenue, Belwederska Street and Sobieskiego Street.


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