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At the extension of Aleje Jerozolimskie, i.e. the street where KLUB DIALOGU School is located, a unique bridge takes us across the Vistula River in Warsaw – Poniatowski Bridge.
Did you know that this bridge was built over 109 years ago, in the 20th century, in the years 1904-1914. At that time, Poland was no longer on the map of Europe. Its territory was under Prussian, Austrian, and Russian rule, and Warsaw was ruled by Tsar Nicholas II Romanov of Russia.
The construction of the Poniatowski Bridge was one of the city’s largest investments at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. It was erected on eight steel pillars, and the majestic towers at the entrance to the bridge were to perform defensive functions.
The history of the Poniatowski Bridge is closely connected with the tragic history of Warsaw. Already on 5th August 1915, the Russian army that were retreating from Warsaw demolished 2 pillars of the bridge, rendering it useless.
But much to the joy of Varsovians and visitors alike, the bridge was soon rebuilt (1921–1927).
The storm of World War II saw the bridge once again victim to attack. It was destroyed by the Germans during the Warsaw Uprising on 13th September 1944 at 12.15PM due to the threat of joining the Polish army with the insurgents.
After the war, Warsaw developed rapidly, and buildings were rebuilt. The Poniatowski Bridge was one of the first investments. It was put into use on 22nd July 1946 (the Old Town was only rebuilt in 1953). This gave way for the launch of the first post-war tram across the Vistula River. The Mermaid carved in stone returned to the turret at the Polish Army Museum. And on the Praga side of the bridge, a stone commemorating the fights for the liberation of Warsaw in 1944-1945 was placed.
Currently, the length of the bridge itself is 506 m, and together with the viaduct and access roads, it is over 3.5 km long!
The Poniatowski Bridge is constantly in the center of attention, and its surroundings are teeming with life!
Do you know that:
The official name of the Poniatowski Bridge is the Prince Józef Poniatowski Bridge (as of 1917). Previously, the bridge was called the Mikołajewski Bridge, the Emperor Nicholas II Bridge or the Third Bridge).
Currently, it is commonly simply referred to as the “Poniatoszczak“