09 January 2008

This town's a different town today

It occurred to me that while I have blogging continuously since I got here, I haven't actually really blogged about being here. So tonight I went out for an early bite at Vega (the fantastically cheap vegetarian restaurant in Rynek, the old town square here in Wroclaw), pausing only to take a photo of the massive Christmas tree that dominates one corner of the square. The picture doesn't do enough justice to just how tall it is. Rynek (basically a Polish term for a Market Square) is a really nice old town square mainly filled with bars and restaurants, with a 14th century old town hall in the middle surrounded by similarly aged buildings lovingly maintained.

Only it's not.

It is charming, but it's not real. During the war almost the whole square was reduced to rubble, so during the 1950's the square was carefully reconstructed. In fact it wasn't so much reconstructed, as it was built from scratch to resemble the original 14th century square, as the actual remains and rubble of the buildings were sent to Warsaw to help rebuild there with authentic material. While it's not as bad as the model village suburbs that the Chinese build designed to look like old European towns, it's still a bit disappointing to find out it's all pretend.

Actually to be fair it is very beautiful, and a great place to sit in on a warm summer's day.

I imagine.


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