From afar, the Palace of Culture and Science looks like a huge cake and as such, Stalin's gift to the Polish nation perfectly symbolizes their forced marriage. In fact, the people of Warsaw long detested it—to the point of wanting to knock it down after 1989—but it is now protected.
A city within a city, it has 3,288 rooms and contains theatres, museums, a cinema, a swimming pool (for children only), conference rooms, offices... and a few dozen cats in the basement!
Erected between 1952 and 1955 by almost 4,000 Soviet workers, the palace reminds one of the ‘Seven Sisters' of Moscow, the seven skyscrapers built side by side by Stalin. Its interior is an impressive riot of marble, stucco, and chandeliers, the last of which were primarily constructed by the hands of Polish craftsmen. A tour of the building, from the bottom to the top and its 30th-floor panorama, will deliver some secrets—but not all. Just like in Moscow, it probably has some phantom rooms once reserved for espionage… Shhhh!
Palace of Culture and Science
Plac Defilad 1
+48 226 567 600