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Unseen is an immersive soundwalk from Culture.pl which reimagines places which have been lost on the map of Warsaw, Poland.

Season 1 concentrates on the Interwar period and the area that is now Defilad Square and the Palace of Science and Culture.

Season 2, made in partnership with the Warsaw Rising Museum, is all about the most daring stories from the Warsaw Uprising, which took place over 63 days from August 1st to October 2nd 1944.

Season 3 is about the most significant locations from the Jewish history of Warsaw, a city that at its peak saw a third of its citizens identify as Jews.

Feb 18, 2019

On 24 October 1956, Władysław Gomułka, the new leader of the Polish communist party, took to the Tribune of Honour to address the Polish nation.

The newly built Parade Square with the domineering Palace of Culture was the perfect backdrop for his speech which marked the beginning of a new era of Polish socialism following the cold years of Stalinism.

The Tribune of Honour is the only piece of architecture in this series of Unseen which still remains, although the system under which it was created no longer exists in Poland.

Further listening about the Palace of Culture:

With thanks to:

  • Czesław Bielecki, an architect, opposition activist in the 1980s, and self-styled ‘political animal’, for telling us about his family history and giving his opinion on the urban layout of Parade Square.
  • The Polish National Digital Archive, for providing the original recording of Władysław Gomułka’s speech on Parade Square on 24 October 1956 (Ref: 33-T-252)
  • Piotr Hummel, a historian and local guide, co-founder of WAWstep city guides.
  • Alicja Baczyńska, your audio guide, for help with acoustic mapping throughout the Unseen project.