Nowa Huta, which literally means “New Steelworks”, was founded in 1949 just to the east of Kraków. It was built as a brand new town to accommodate almost 40,000 steel workers and their families in the most ambitious project of urban planning in post-war Poland. At the heart of this utopian socialist city was the gargantuan “Vladimir Lenin Steelworks”, and Nowa Huta was the shining example that the rest of the nation could model itself after, a new kind of human – no longer a homo-sapiens but a “homo-sovieticus” instead.
We started off at the incredibly impressive and symbolic, “Arka Pana” – Church of The Lord’s Arc (truly a must see from the inside), walking through the central square and boulevards of the city to the steelworks and of course, into some of the 250 nuclear bunkers that lie beneath the city, relics of a time when people were worried about nuclear apocalypse. We stopped for lunch at Skarbnica with its interior full of authentic furniture from the 50s, to warm ourselves up with delicious soup, pierogis and winter tea.
As an unexpected bonus we also got to see the Special Needs Preschool #100 that IWAK supported two years running many years ago, sponsoring through its galas a playground and sensory integration room! What an impressive sight 😊 More information on our website.
It may have taken me 3.5 years to visit but being in Nowa Huta feels a little like stepping back in time and I’m glad I hopped on the time machine for a day!
I recommend the guide Paweł Mrozowicz for this type of tour.