On 29 December 1944, the Germans set off the last explosive charges and razed the Saxon Palace (Pałac Saski) in Warsaw to the ground. The first attempt to blow up the most iconic place of pre-war Warsaw was made by German troops on December 27, 1944. The demolition of the Poland capital’s most important buildings lasted from October 1944 to January 16, 1945. This way, Heinrich Himmler’s order was carried out: “This city is to completely disappear from the face of the earth (…), one stone on another should not remain “

The Palace was originally built in the 17th century and got its name from the Saxon dynasty of Poland’s kings. After being abandoned by Poland’s royalty back in the 18th century, the building served various purposes until WWII, when it was destroyed by Nazi German forces, with only vestiges of the structure being left in its original form. One of those parts would later become the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It serves as an important memorial site during annual national ceremonies.

Many historians and architects hoped the Saxon palace could be reconstructed as a symbolic effort. In the early 2000s, Warsaw’s mayor Lech Kaczyński, who would later serve as Poland’s President, agreed to a reconstruction plan with PLN 200 million being allocated to accomplish the task. The Palace was to be completed by 2010 but Warsaw mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz halted the project explaining it was due to budget constraints.

In 2021, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed an act to reconstruct the Saxon Palace. This plan had been announced earlier in November 2018, on the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence. The project could cost up to EUR 331 mln.

The president of Pałac Saski company, Jan Edmund Kowalski, stated that “such a complex investment can only be implemented if it is made into a project that unites people and the environment.” “That is why we invite the best specialists in each field in which we operate, guided only by the criterion of professionalism and the highest quality of reconstruction. What we do is not the fulfillment of our whim, nor does it have party colors. Rebuilding buildings that are an important part of our heritage is paying off the debt. We owe it not only to past generations, but also to our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren,” he pointed out.

The company’s press release stated that “the architectural competition will be announced at the beginning of 2023, and the winning studio will be announced in the fall”. “After the completion of work on the project, a construction contractor will be selected, who will enter the construction site at the beginning of 2025. In the meantime, the company will continue archaeological and conservation work on the investment site.”

Jan Edmund Kowalski emphasized that the company’s goal is “not only to rebuild the walls but also to recreate the spirit of this place.” “We are aware of the uniqueness of the place where we are conducting our investment, and we approach every aspect of it with the greatest care. In recent months, we have established cooperation with seven Polish art schools. We want artists to take over the reconstruction of numerous sculptures that have decorated the Palace for centuries. This is just one of the communities involved in reconstructing the western frontage of Piłsudski Square. In the field of green management, the company, for example, cooperates with the Warsaw University of Life Sciences and numerous organizations associating dendrologists and arborists. The architectural competition will be run by the Association of Polish Architects SARP” – said Jan Kowalski.



Polish Press Agency https://www.pap.pl























































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