Sep 132009
 

I’m back from Poland. We drove back all day, without any problem. Now it is Sunday night, well, actually it’s past midnight, and again I have no more than one post today. I will try to catch up tomorrow. These are two of the images that I made on Friday.

Friday we mainly visited Tarnów, a city about 100km east of Kraków, the warmest place in Poland, a city that had about 50,000 inhabitants before World War II, half of them Jews, the highest percentage in any Polish city.

Tarnów is another place where Amon Göth committed his crimes, the very same man whom you most likely know from “Schindler’s List”, a man who delighted in the fear of his victims, a man who liked to play God, a man who played games by randomly killing people. Göth was the leader of the troupe that “cleared” the Ghetto in 1943, Göth, another Nazi criminal from Austria, maybe the worst, at least there is not much more bestiality imaginable in a man.

The Image of the Day shows the entrance to the old town hall in the middle of the central square, the “Rynek”.

The second image was taken on our way back, already near Kraków. It was one of these gloomy evenings, the sun had vanished in smokey fog, long before it had had a chance to set. It doesn’t completely catch the atmosphere, but I think it is not completely wrong either.

Other than that we drove through Nova Huta, the former “ideal town” of socialism, built as a place for the workers in the big steel mills to the east, built as a revolutionary counter-weight to the traditionally conservative Kraków. In the end the experiment failed, Nova Huta became one center of resistance under the flag of Solidarno??. But not that is interesting here.

What fascinated me, is the fact that I absolutely like that place. I had imagined it as ugly, utilitarian, a typical case of cheap and bad architecture, but quite the opposite is true. Of course, today Nova Huta is plagued by unemployment, many of the shops are closed, but I think that from its basic architecture, this is a fine place to live. I suppose at one day in the not so far future it will become fashionable to live in Nova Huta, new shops will open, the town (which is really the most eastern district of Kraków) will boom. I may be wrong, I have been in the past, but I can’t imagine I will be wrong this time.

South of Nova Huta there is also an old Cistercian monastery in Mogi?a. Poland is certainly the most catholic country that I’ve ever been to (no, I’ve never been to Ireland), and it is amazing to see, how much money the Polish put into restoration of old churches and into building new ones. Mogi?a is an old one, but it has been restored in a very beautiful way. They may have taken liberties, as a priest said, to whom we talked when we visited the cloister, the fresco paintings may be far from how the originals had looked, but the whole place radiates a very healthy aura of being used.

The Song of the Day is “Songs of Rejoicing” from Giora Feidman’s 1992 album “Magic of the Klezmer”. Hear it on YouTube.

Well, that’s it for today. I could go on, I could and probably should post more images, but it is well past 2am and I really must go to sleep now. Good night, and see you tomorrow!

EDIT: It’s morning now, and I have replaced the Image of the Day with a slightly tighter crop. It’s much better balanced now.

  One Response to “1064 – Tarnów”

  1. Sorry, I missed this originally. It's a wonderful example of how a photographic visual artist can employ tools to enhance my feelings and communicate an emotion. The glam-filter reveals an aura… a spirit which the eons surely have left hovering about this place. And since "surely" they are there, you have revealed them through this wedding of place and technique.

    This is more a song than a visual… or at least a stanza in a poem…

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