The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award is a Prize organized by the European Union and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, “to acknowledge and reward quality architectural production in Europe’.

The Prize was created in 1987 as a partnership between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe. Competition is open to all the works completed in Europe within the two-year period before the granting of the Prize.

383 projects from 38 countries – this is a list of the nominees for the Mies van der Rohe European award 2019. This year, 18 objects from Poland were fighting for the main prize.  All the projects nominated this year are pretty amazing, but we have chosen our favorites. They are not only beautiful in the way they are designed and built, but they are very functional.

You can for example send your kids to this super modern school which looks like straight from Hollywood films. Akademeia High School in Warsaw, designed by Medusa Group is a one of a kind studying area in Poland. It focuses on educating young people in order to help them achieve the highest qualifications and get into the best universities in the world.

“By the way House” is the second of our top favorites. Designed by KWK Promes studio, located in central Poland on a beautiful, huge field above the river bank. The owner’s wish was not only to make the best use of the existing landscape conditions, but also to move the interior from the current apartment. The owners wanted mainly to have a private and intimate leaving area, so the house is in the center of the plot, and the living area is on the first floor.

Building of the District Court in Siedlce is a mix of the seriousness and calmness of ancient buildings. Thanks to the restrained form the building looks enormously majestic. In the interior, architects contrasted architectural concrete with transparent glass details. The harmony effect was obtained by combining empty spaces filled with light and full, simple forms.

Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk is built on a lot at Władysław Bartoszewski Square near the center of the city. It is located in a symbolic architectural space, 200 metres from the historic Polish Post Office in Gdańsk and 3 kilometers across the water from Westerplatte Peninsula, both of which were attacked in September 1939.

NAWA – the sculpture of Oskar Zięta on the Daliowa Island in Wrocław is a part of the events related with the celebration of the European Capital of Culture. It refers to the main slogan – “metamorphosis of culture”. Its form is an artistic interpretation of the constant transformation of the city. NAWA is an ultra-light, but solid construction consisting of 35 steel arches forming a gate through which you can walk.

The lucky nominees were 18 objects, but we have chosen (subjectively) 5 of them. Polish architects and architecture companies grow rapidly showing that our country represent the world level.

 

picture source: EUMiesAward website

Just before May started in a beautiful castle located about 80 km from Poznań and Wrocław (village called Rydzyna) took place an unusual event – a rally of antique vehicles. The location is very important, because this castle is the home for The Association of Polish Engineers and Mechanics.

The rally is an annual event carried out jointly with the Leszno Automobile Club. Both collectors associated in various automobile clubs and private collectors take part in it. As part of the Rally program, participants have to overcome a route of around 60km, on which there are checkpoints. There they have to solve a task, answer questions or perform complicated maneuvers with a vehicle. Everything is scored separately. Vehicles are classified in the following criteria:

  • 1,2,3 place in the Car classification
  • 1,2,3 place in the Motorcycle Classification
  • 1,2,3 place in the Classification Military vehicle
  • The best-kept car
  • The best-kept motorcycle

The second day is all about the fans. At the Market Square in Leszno audience choose the most beautiful vehicle and there is an official award ceremony.  This year the favorites were: motorcycles: D-RAD R04 from 1927 and D-RAD R06 from 1929, and cars: MB TA from 1936, Chevrolet Impala from 1958 and Plymooth Valiant from 1960.

The Caste SIMP in Rydzyna is well-known for various of interesting events like elegant balls that will take you back in time. It has been built at the end of XVII century by Italian artist who lived in Poland. Together with the park and all the areas, it was the most magnificent magnate residence in Wielkopolska. The castle collections consist of, among others, sets of furniture, antique engravings, souvenirs of the Sułkowski family and natural collections (including a collection of tropical butterflies, hunting trophies). It is daily open for visitors and it also exists as a hotel containing 47 luxurious rooms. Feel free to contact our office, if you are interested in experiencing a true royal holiday with a lot of activities.

Redbull is very well-known for making the impossible possible and also this time they managed to shock us! How? One of the best racing pilots in the world, Łukasz Czepiela, landed on a pier in Sopot.

Just imagine having an ordinary Saturday walk and suddenly seeing a plane land just next to you on an extremely narrow, short and wooden area. Sounds insane? Well, it really did happen! But, don’t worry it wasn’t any accident or breakdown. It was supposed to be an inauguration of the season at Sopot pier. Thanks to the amazing skills of the pilot, the whole situation was very secure and there was no danger that something bad could happen to the famous spot in Sopot.

Łukasz Czepiela is definitely a pro when it comes to air acrobatics. He has the title of world best pilot in Challenger class from the Red Bull Air Race. Even for him such a landing wasn’t easy, he was preparing himself for many months.

The plane used for this show was also very special. Carbon Club EX2 is a machine categorized as STOL, “which stands for short take off and landing”. To make the landing possible there was a minimal amount of fuel in the tanks.

Czepiela shows his amazing skills for example during the Red Bull Air Race where he has to face much more difficult quests, like chasing between narrow walls. His famous flight under the bridges for the National Flag Day has been admired by whole Warsaw.

Sopot is one of the most visited and charming Polish cities throughout whole year. The clean air, especially on the pier, where the concentration of iodine is twice as high as on land, what makes it the best place for a get away from the polluted cities.

Picture source: https://www.redbull.com/pl-pl/czepiela-wyladowal-samolotem-na-molo-w-sopocie

 

Easter is a very special period of the year in Poland. It combines tradition, religion, food and various Slavic customs.

The list of Polish traditions and customs celebrated during spring holidays contains a number of interesting and surprising events. We suggest you which places to visit in April to experience a real Easter adventure.

The funeral of sour soup and herring

It sounds super weird, but it’s a real folk tradition from Kujawy, which used to be a way of summary after a period of Lent. The dishes allowed to be eaten through this time were mainly sour soup and herring, other products like meat, dairy or sugar was supposed to be excluded from the menu. While the Lent was coming to an end local people prepared a little “revenge” – they would bury the pots with the food deep in their gardens.

Painting eggs

            It takes its roots from old Slavic beliefs, where eggs had a very crucial meaning.It symbolized vital energy and the beginning of a new life. It was believed that it is a connection between the human world and the spirits and gods. Easter eggs are colored eggs, but we can distinguish them by the way of creation: Kraszanki – are colored by boiling eggs in colored water, in the past it was made only with natural ingredients like beet juice or oak bark; Nalepianki – mostly known in Cracow, are eggs decorated with colorful paper cutouts; Oklejanki – made in Mazovian Voivodeship, are covered with colored yarn, which creates very pretty patterns.

Hanging Judas
This tradition is connected with another one, known much better and very popular in Poland – drowning Marzanna. The puppets are made of straw, decorated with colorful ribbons and materials. Drowning or burning Marzanna has a symbolic meaning of saying goodbye to Winter and welcoming Spring. Hanging Judas refers to the story of betrayal of Chris by Judas. Initially, the puppet was hung on a church tower, and later on a tree or pole. It was knocked down, wandered around the village and finally burned and thrown into a pond or river. This performance was played in the 18thcentury, but lately, because of the pretty excessive aggression of the nature of the event, the church authorities prohibited it. However, today – locally, in a bit changed form – this custom is cultivated in Podkarpacie.

Rękawka
This Easter custom is known in Cracow, it is celebrated after Easter, on Tuesday. The name comes from the Krak mound, which, as the legend claims, was built with ground brought in hands. On the slope of this mound, eggs, apples, gingerbreads and a lot of other food products were rolled down straight to the hands of the poorer community. After the hill being destroyed, the custom was moved to the top of St. Benedict.

Poland is full of diversity as it comes to tradition. There are interesting and sometimes weird customs, that through all this year are still being cultivated.. Visit Poland on Easter to feel the amazing atmosphere of holidays combined with local culture.

Mszczonów is about to become the most popular in the whole world thanks to the swimming pool that is being build in this small town located 50 km from Warsaw. There would be nothing extraordinary about it, if it were not for the fact that it is going to be the deepest pool ever built.

It will beat the current record by 5 meters, surpassing the swimming pool placed in Montegrotto Terme. It will be available for use already this autumn.

DeepSpot, as it will be called, is a new project of the company responsible for the very popular FlySpot tunnels, which are used for indoor skydiving.

Before Mszczonów we could have envied other European countries with such great facilities as NEMO33 near Brussels, or the Italian Y-40 pool, which are the destination of frequent trips by divers from around the world. They offer great infrastructure and are tailored from the beginning to the end to the needs of the underwater enthusiasts. In Poland we have a huge diving community, so the idea to create a project like that was just a matter of time. To fill the pool 8,000. cubic meters of water are needed, that is, as much as it is used to fill 27 pools with a length of 25 meters.

Mszczonów is not the only one going for the win. At the same time there is another swimming being build on the outskirts of London – called the Blue Abyss, which will be offering a depth of 50 meters, while the one in Mszczonów is planned for about 45 meters. Completion and commissioning of both facilities is planned for the next year.

However, regardless of the title of the deepest pool on the world, we are proud to see that the investment in Mszczonów has entered the implementation phase and work has already begun. If everything goes as planned, in the autumn of 2019, we will be able to enjoy the charms of this facility, and Poland will once again emphasize its strong position on the diving and freediving map of Europe.

It will be a complex open for all, professional divers will be able to dive in it, as well as complete amateurs, there will be attractions even for people who aren’t really diving fans. The investor has planned the construction of an underwater tunnel for visitors, as well as hotel rooms, a restaurant and conference rooms.

Picture source: https://flyspot.com/pl/deepspot/

The most important part of every holiday celebration is of course food! Especially Easter in Poland has a lot of cuisine traditions, that are being upgraded almost every year.

Only one thing never changes – the whole day starts with a big “Easter Breakfast”, where families get together, eat, talk and make wishes. Poland is getting more and more modern and it concerns every aspect of our lives. Poles are mixing tradition with modernity also in kitchen. That’s why you can taste in polish homes more and more fusion cuisine.

There are lots of traditional dishes on Easter, but most known are: stuffed eggs, Mazurek (kind of a cake), Żurek (sour soup) or Vegetable Salad. The fun part is, when we can give it an interesting twist. For example stuffed eggs are very simple to change, just put on the top a spoon of home-made guacamole instead of classic mayo. Vegetable Salad can be changed just by some beets which will give as a beautiful light pink color. Traditional Mazurek seems a bit boring for you? Try making a gluten-free version, by using millet flour, add some coconut cream, few pomegranate seeds and tadaaam! Spectacular! With a little bit creativity, you can transform every Easter meal into something extraordinary.

As I have already mentioned: food is important, but it’s only a part of the whole celebration. Through this few days whole families get together to spend some quality time. The key part of each polish traditional holiday is family – and nothing can compete with just being together.

Visit Poland this Easter to taste some good local cuisine with a bit of worldwide flavors.

Palm Sunday is a Christian celebration held on a Sunday before Easter, its’ historical meaning was to remember the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

This religious holiday is a start of the Holy Week and ends the Lent, it’s movable and it can take place from 15thMarch till 18thApril.

People have thrown palm branches in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem and that is where this name came from. Poland, however, is 4000 km away from Jerusalem, so the climate is completely different and hence there is a major “palm issue”. That’s why, palms changed into branches of other trees. Easter palms are now willow branches with boxwood and other colored reeds, bound with a red ribbon for good luck. It was believed that the palm dedicated to Palm Sunday protects against misfortunes and that is why it was stored throughout the year. The celebration of this day, beside the religious part is very festive and colorful.

Many polish towns and villages organize unofficial palm competitions – the bigger the better. In 2008 the highest palm was almost 34 meters. Especially known for their amazing tradition is a small village called Łyse. People there take Palm Sunday very serious, and it’s an absolute must for everyone to make a palm composition on his own and show it off at the local church. The competition takes place there already for over 47 years and yearly there are thousands of people from whole Poland who come and watch this color parade.

Visit Poland to explore the beauty of tradition.

Poland is the homeland of many great artists from various fields.

In Spring lots of cultural festivals take place and we have to say, it is very difficult to choose the best one, because they are all greatly organized and amazingly interesting. Through a tough selection, we chose 3 events from 3 areas – Film, music and art. Everyone will find something special for them, all of the festivals are an adventure to remember and an great opportunity to get to know polish culture in a fun and different way.

Millenium Docs Against Gravity

The Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival is the biggest documentary film festival in Poland. This year will be already its 16thedition and through all other ones it came out to be a major success. Last time almost 65 thousand people in five different cities took part in the festival. Beside the main competition there is also a tour of “Weekend with Millenium Docs Against Gravity” which visits 19 cities with a selection of best polish documentaries. The slogan of this year edition is “FREE YOUR MIND” – from stereotypes and habits. We are being encouraged to open ourselves up to the amazing world presented by the documentary cinema. The 16th Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival will take place May 10-19 in Warsaw, Wrocław and Lublin, in Gdynia the audience will have the opportunity to watch the film on May 15-24, and in Bydgoszcz May 11-18 2019.

Enea Spring Break

            Enea Spring Break Showcase Festival & Conference is a pioneering event in Polish music industry. This festival aims to present young polish artist at the beginning of their carrier to influential people from the music industry to help them evolve. The presence of the biggest Polish record labels and cultural institutions makes it one of the best places to launch a carrier. Many bands that begun at this festival ended up playing at most important music festivals in Poland (for example Open’er). The festival opens up doors for young artists as well as brings lots of joy, fun and “fresh sounds” to the audience. Beside stunning music experience, there are also English spoken panels and interviews. Sixth edition will take place in Poznań between 25th and 27th of April 2019.

KRAKERS Cracow Art Week

            This project started in 2012 with the idea of promoting contemporary art in Kraków by creating a platform for communication, education and promotion between the artistic community and the citizens. It evolved into a weeklong event and the main slogan became “JUMP”, which meaning underlines the dynamics and changes of the event. This whole week will be full of exhibition opening, performances, meetings, panel discussions and many more. All the exhibitions presented during the Cracow Art Week are prepared specially for this occasion. It will take place in various locations, well known galleries as well as new inspiring spots. Participant can take part in gallery walks, enroll in workshops, meetings and panel discussions with artists and market experts.

Spring has a lot to offer in the cultural fields, but Summer is a real boom of festivals, concerts, exhibitions and many more, so stay tuned!

As we speak about this important holiday, it is worth mentioning how Polish women changed the world.

We all know who runs the world – Girls! In Poland this holiday became very popular in the communism period and there was even a “standard gift set” which women received at work. It included a flower – first carnation and through the years it changed into tulips – and a pair of stockings. Nowadays instead of stockings women receive chocolates and candy. Apart from the gifts, feminist manifestations and happenings yearly take place in big cities.

First of all, there are many women who we can thank and admire until today: Maria Skłodowska – Curie, physicist and chemist who made major discovery is in the area of radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences.  Wisława Szymborska was a Polish poet who received in 1996 the Nobel Prize in Literature. To honor her legacy and reward talented poets, in 2013 the Wisława Szymborska Award was established. Irena Sendlerowa – social worker, humanitarian, nurse and a real-life super hero. She saved lives of many Jewish children during the World War 2 and despite torture she never revealed the names of the survivors to Gestapo.

The world is changing and so are women. We are evolving, breaking the “glass ceiling” and overcoming barriers. Women become more and more successful. In sport disciplines, we have the most know tennis player Agnieszka Radwańska. She won twenty career singles titles and achieved a career-high singles ranking of world No. 2 in 2012. Her achievements include winning the Women’s Tennis Association Fan Favorite Award six times, Shot of the Year five times, and Shot of the Month on a regular basis. The other sport star is Justyna Kowalczyk. She is a double Olympic Champion and a double World Champion. She is also the only skier to win the Tour de Ski four times in a row. Kowalczyk holds the all-time record for the most wins in Tour de Ski with 14 competitions won and 29 podiums in total.

Polish women are conquering Hollywood. Agnieszka Holland, one of the most outstanding polish filmmakers. She is well known for her political input in Polish cinematography. 2 years ago she won the Silver Bear award for her film Spoor at the Berlin International Film Festival. Joanna Kulig is a polish actress. She received the Best Actress Award at the 31st European Film Awards for her performance in Cold War, a film which was nominated in 3 categories for the Oscars.

Last year, in Poland, we were celebrating 100th anniversary of Women’s right to vote. The female history wasn’t easy at all, nothing was just given to us, we had to fight for every right and for every change. We should be thankful to thousands of brave females all around the world. We have to admire and appreciate women not only ones a year, but daily. If you want to meet other brave, smart and succesfull women just Visit Poland.

Have you been wandering what to see while visiting Poland?

In the north of Poland it is a perfect spot for summer and offers stunning beaches of the Baltic Sea and is famous of its ‘treasured gift from the sea,’ amber. At the bottom of the country you can enjoy mountains, which are an excellent base for hiking in summer and skiing in winter. In between the sea and mountains there are stunning cities and little towns, which will leave you with a lasting impression.

Poland has got so much to offer and is unique in many ways. There is so much to see and do that, you would need to stay for a long time to be able to see it all.

Read about 11 most beautiful places in Poland here: https://cnn.it/2RGCx6h