European Regional Development Fund
The road connecting the Royal Castle with the Łazienki Park was a perfect place to erect opulent aristocratic palaces, later followed by public buildings, restaurants and legendary hotels. Unsurprisingly, Krakowskie Przedmieście is now one of the most impressive streets in Warsaw, embellished with numerous historic landmarks and listed in its entirety as an urban landscape. The most eye-catching of its palaces, churches and other structures.
Over the years, this important thoroughfare lost its glamour, becoming an ordinary and somewhat neglected street. The beginning of the 21st century saw decisions and actions aiming at restoring it to its original function. The first stage (modernization of the south part of the street) ran from September 2006 to May 2007 and the second one (concentrated on the north section) from August 2007 to July 2008.
The north part of the Royal Way (which becomes Nowy Świat Street as it runs south) was transformed into a wide pedestrianized street with a narrow roadway in the centre, where only public transport and taxis are allowed. In an attempt to recreate the view from Canaletto’s paintings, special yellowish granite was brought from China to imitate the colour of the 18th-century surface, which was combined with Swe-dish (red) and Strzegom (gray) granites. Stylish benches, planters and crozier-like lanterns were added, as were bus shelters, kiosks and poster pillars, all perfectly blending with the historic surroundings. Dozens of trees were planted. The revamped Krakowskie Przedmieście again became the city’s showpiece as well as a venue for crowd-drawing cultural events, festivals and concerts.
Krakowskie Przedmieście has witnessed many historical events, triumphant entries into town and demonstrations, be it patriotic (1861) or student (1968). Here Pope John Paul II met with the young people (1979, outside St. Anna’s Church) and hundreds of thousands of people, calm and self-disciplined, filled the street in an endless queue to pay last tribute to the tragically deceased presidential couple (2010).
The project is a key element of the National Tourist Product Development for the City of Warsaw “The Royal Way”. It triggered a couple of other undertakings: the renovation of Aleje Ujazdowskie and the planned modernization of plac Trzech Krzyży (Three Crosses Square). The project was nominated for the main award in the 3rd contest Poland Even More Beautiful. Seven Miracles of EU Funds in the Revitalization category.