The New “square of concord” – remodelling of the Heroes of Ghetto Square

  • location: Kraków, plac Bohaterów Getta
  • outside sightseeing: yes
  • inside sightseeing: no
  • outside photographing: yes
  • interior photographing: no
  • authors: Biuro Projektów Lewicki Łatak
  • authors' website: http://www.lewicki-latak.com.pl
  • construction: 2005
  • authors of photos: Paweł Kubisztal, Juliusz Sokołowski (C) Biuro Projektów Lewicki Łatak

The Heroes of Ghetto Square holds tragic memories from the time of World War II. The former plac Zgody (meaning: the square of concord, or agreement) lay within the area of Kraków’s ghetto. After the Jews were removed to the concentration camp in 1943, their belongings were dumped here in heaps. The architects chose a chair for the symbol of those events. They treat it as both a commemorative statue, and an element of street furniture. In this context, the design is reminiscent of Peter Eisenman’s monument in Berlin. In Kraków, however, an abstract form is replaced with a concrete object – a piece of everyday furniture, physically close to human body. Visitors to the square may rest on the monument-chairs, while those waiting for a bus or a tram may sit down. Only their knowledge, sensitivity and inventiveness will determine whether they will treat those chairs as practical objects only, or as something beyond that. Certainly, the architects have left sufficient clues, which help discover the history of the place.

When visiting the square, in its northern end one should note the building of the former “Kapaty” (“Carpathians”) bus station. Inaugurated in 1931, it was designed by a Jewish architect Adolf Siódmak.