A History of Poland Through Architecture with Joanna Baczewska - Context Travel

A History of Poland Through Architecture with Joanna Baczewska


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The history of every nation is reflected by its architecture; if buildings could talk they would tell us fascinating stories. This seminar will explore defining moments in the history of Poland illustrated by grandiose castles, palaces, cathedrals, market squares, and unique urban design. In order to provide the best learning experience, we will use the architecture as a pretext to get a more in-depth understanding of Poland and Poles.

We will travel throughout the centuries starting from the tenth-century when Poland came into existence as a political entity up to modern times. Our seminar will cover an array of topics as we answer questions on everything from why there are so many spectacular brick gothic structures in the north of Poland to why the biggest medieval castle in the world was occupied by Teutonic knights. We’ll cover how the ‘ideal town’ is designed as well as the (relatively new) UNESCO World Heritage Site in Warsaw. We’ll see examples of classical Polish manor houses, using the birthplace of Frederic Chopin as a focus point. We’ll learn about how communist ideas were implemented into architecture, why the buildings remained after the collapse of the regime, and how the anti-communist movements affected the urban space. We’ll also explore a gem of contemporary architecture that houses the museum of Polish Jews.

Led by an expert on the cultural heritage of Poland, Joanna Baczewska, this interactive seminar will enable its participants to better understand the turbulent Polish history. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with increased knowledge of the most prominent sights of Poland and defining moments in its history.

Joanna Baczewska holds a degree in applied linguistics from Warsaw University with a pedagogical specialty. For several years she worked in the field of education as a university lecturer and cross-cultural communication educator. Born and raised in Poland, she is also involved in promoting the country’s heritage and contributes to projects related to sustainable tourism. Passionate about architecture and urban design, she actively expands and shares her knowledge with local media outlets. She is also a tour guide with a specialty in the former Eastern Prussia territory.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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