Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science
The Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki, PKiN) in Warsaw is a controversial gift from the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to the people of Warsaw in Poland, which, at the time (the 1950s), was a satellite state of the USSR. It is a huge concrete Socialist-Realist skyscraper adjacent to Warsaw Central Station , which has a unique beauty of its own, and this ambivalence is reflected in the attitude of the native Varsovians to the building which is the subject of a love-hate relationship. Thanks to its abbreviated name PKiN it is commonly referred to as either Pekin (Peking in Polish) or Pajac (Puppet, name coined after the word Pałac meaning Palace).
The architecture of the building is closely related to many similar skyscrapers built in the Soviet Union at the time (most notably the Moscow State University and the building of State Duma). However, the main architect Lev Rudnev is said to incorporate many genuinely Polish details into the project. The monumental walls are headed with pieces of masonry copied from renaissance houses and palaces of Kraków and Zamość.
The construction started in 1952 and lasted until 1955. It was carried out entirely by Soviet construction workers and with materials brought mostly from the Soviet Union. It is 230,68 metres (757 ft) tall with a spire of 43 metres. There are 3288 rooms on 43 floors, with an overall area of 123,000 m˛, containing cinemas, theatres, museums, bureaus, bookshops and a large conference hall for 3000 guests.
Initially the building was called 'Stalin's Palace' (Pałac imienia Stalina) until it was renamed in the late 1950s. It currently serves as an exhibition centre and as an office park. The terrace on the 35th floor is a well-known tourist attraction giving a nice view of the city.
The Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science is also used for FM- and TV-broadcasting and therefore has transmission aerials on its top.
- Palace of Culture
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