Warsaw offers a wealth of surprises, brimming as it does with playful clashes between its different identities. One of our favourite examples of this is in the area of Mokotow, where the city’s pre-war refinement mixes within a short distance of a forgotten relic of the city’s military history.

Walk through the gates of a thick non-descript wall on Pulawska Street, the longest road in the city, and you’ll enter the park of the Krolikarnia – a super-posh gallery originally built as a hunting lodge in the 18th century, and later rebuilt after the second world war.

Looking east over the building’s rear balcony, you’ll find Arkadia Park, a pleasant green space at the edge of the Stegny neighbourhood. If you follow the road parallel to Arkadia, Idzikowskiego Street, you’ll soon come across the Krolikarnia’s complete opposite: the abandoned Fort Pilsudski.

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The Krolikarnia, or “Rabbit house”, is a swish retreat featuring art within its classical walls as well as throughout its well-kept gardens. The park features a selection of sculptures from the National Museum in Warsaw’s collection, and exhibitions inside the Krolikarnia itself cost a mere 8 zloty, but are pleasingly free on Thursdays.







Fort Pilsudski

A few minutes walk down Idzikowskiego Street is the entrance to the Krolikarnia’s antithesis. Head through a dismal looking corrugated gate on your right, barely held together and certainly uninviting, and you’ll find Fort Pilsudski

Fort Pilsudski was built in the 19th century by the occupying Russian empire, along with the other remaining forts in Warsaw. Having had several names and been used for all sorts of purposes throughout the years, you can find remnants of it all if you look hard enough amongst the overgrowth and rubble. In recent years, it’s been a playground for scouts, paintballers and street artists, but Mother Nature has been the fort’s true occupant.










A bird’s eye video of the fort, made using a drone:

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About the author

Adam ZulawskiAdam is a freelance writer and Polish-to-English translator. He blogs passionately about travel for Cheapflights and runs Download his free e-book about Poland's capital after it was almost completely destroyed by the Nazis: 'In the Shadow of the Mechanised Apocalypse: Warsaw 1946'

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