Rose (Róż) Avenue

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This was the most representational place in Nowa Huta. Little wonder that it was here that a monument to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was built.

The avenue owes its name to the roses that were planted here in such copious quantities. Originally, it was to be the street linking the transportation centre (the Central Square) to the main forum of Nowa Huta: plac Ratuszowy, i.e. the Town Hall Square. The latter was never completed, and aleja Róż became a typical road to nowhere, a promenade serving the leisure and amusement of locals. It also became the most important commercial street of the district. Even in the days of the crisis, the shops operating here would be very well-stocked thanks to the state stocks and reserves, creating an illusion of well-being and plenty that was to be available once Poland became fully communist.

At one one end, the avenue was closed by Wzgórza Krzesławickie Hills, and on the other – the faraway Beskidy Mountains. Perhaps this is why a 7-tonne monument to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, presented as a walker moving towards Mount Babia (which he liked so much during his stay in the region prior to the First World War) was put up here in 1973. The founders were “the people of the steelworks”, whose extra (13th) monthly salary and three months’ bonus were forfeited for the purpose in a decision of the management. Little wonder that not everyone was happy with the monument. On the night of 17/18 April 1979 a failed attempt at blowing Lenin up was conducted. Although the powerful explosion had all the windows in the area knocked out, the revolutionary lost no more than a heel. The monument to Lenin was finally removed on 10 December 1989. Two years later, the figure, which was a work of Marian Konieczny, was sold to a Swedish millionaire, for a sum that was below the price of the material it was made of. Today, the Lenin from Nowa Huta can be admired overseas, in a theme park near Stockholm.

About: disabled-friendly, admission free
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