Nowa Huta

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Nowa Huta is a very interesting place, today being a district of Krakow. However, once it was going to become an independent city. The intention of its builders was to create a city in the model, of the socialist aspirations. The cost of this project was not important to the designers, what was important was the final effect. That is why it surprises with its modern architectural and technical solutions.

Nowa Huta was built in 1949, as the city of Utopia, which was to meet all the needs of its residents. That is why there is no shortage of schools, hospitals, theaters or green areas. Splendid avenues and squares were designed to impress, so even now you can still feel an atmosphere of PRL, which in itself is a tourist attraction. Just after the 2nd World War the most modern steel mill in the world was built in Nowa Huta. This represented a real hope for people to have a better tomorrow and united them in achieving common goals. Nowa Huta is fundamentally different from the other city districts. The local buildings form a compact, carefully planned system, with an almost geometric symmetry. Nowa Huta was supposed to make a great impression of prosperity and order reigning in the postwar, socialist Poland.

Its location was chosen very carefully, just on the outskirts of Krakow, so it was easy to get to for all those wishing to watch this great enterprise grow. The close proximity of the Vistula River, which would later be used with combine water technology to float finished steel materials out from Nowa Huta, as well as the close proximity of Silesia that could supply the mill with coal, this accounted as an additional, positive strength for this location. Nowa Huta was built on land virtually uninhabited. Less than 25 years later there were more than 40 000 people working there. In 1960, it was calculated that in ten years, 18,000 flats were built, 90 kilometers of streets and permanent roads, 550 kilometers of water supply, sewage and heating, 15 school buildings and a large hospital had been completed.

Within 5 years after the start of the construction of the steel mills (1949r.), pig iron smelting was in full swing. In the 70s the steel works in Nowa Huta was one of the largest steel suppliers in the world. In the days of its glory, annual steel output was 7 million tons. The total factory area covered 1700ha, and within it, there were over 350km of railways lines.

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Unfortunately, this seemingly perfect plan, wailed on the basis of society. Many people were forced to move to Nowa Huta, the farmers who had their land taken in the creation of this district, minority groups such as gypsies and even criminals with time left on their sentences were among the people that the government forced to move here. However even under these circumstances it did not prevent a sense of security and community development.

In despite of promises of good salaries and all their needs being for filled, workers were not paid as they were supposed to be. Assumptions about the city, meeting all the needs of its residents, did not coincide with reality, kilometer-long queues for bread and rationed amounts of food where a common phenomenon, in the socialist Polish Nowa Huta.

When visiting Nowa Huta, a visit to the following places is well worth your time: Central Square, Avenue of Roses, Estate Theatre, Church of the Ark and the steel works. You will not be able to enter the steal works, but you will be able to get an idea of the size of this complex from the outside.




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