Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw 

 Standing in the very heart of Warsaw the Palace of Culture and Science (Polish: Pałac Kultury i Nauki) is the tallest building in Poland and one of the most recognizable symbols of the country’s capital.

 
The Palace was built between 1952 and 1955 and presented to the Polish people as a gift from Stalin’s Soviet Union. A ’non returnable’ gift of friendship, in fact a symbol of Russian occupation. Since its opening numerous important political figures have visited the Palace, including Nikita Khrushchev, ShahReza Pahlavi and Ho Chi Minh.
 
The building’s biggest hall Kongresowa was the meeting place of the Polish Communist Party but its stage also hosted the first major rock
concert behind the Iron Curtain (Rolling Stones, 1967). Finally, it was here where the former Communist Party of Poland was dissolved during its last Congress in 1990 and the communist flag was ‘ordered to be got out’.
 
After the end of communism some Warsowians wanted to tear down the Palace as it persistently reminded them of the times of Soviet hegemony and Stalinist terror in the region. However, a practical approach to the venue won and the building remained untouched and became a symbol of the downfall of communism and Polish turbulent history.
 
As in 2009 Europe will commemorate the 20 years of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening of the Iron Curtain and Poland will celebrate 20 years of its first free elections, the Palace of Culture and Science is the most symbolic venue for EPP to hold its 2009 European Election Congress.

 

Address:

 

Pałac Kultury i Nauki

Pl. Defilad 1

01 - 110 Warszawa