Whenever I mention the colorful “flying ponies” in Warsaw, my friends and especially newcomers look at me like I’m crazy.
Then, I launch into an explanation.
Located just steps away from one of the many somber Warsaw Uprising memorials, you’ll find five primary-colored flying horses or Pegasus sculptures resting on the lawn in front of the Krasiński Palace (Pałac Krasińskich). Even though you’re close to Old Town, you’ll probably miss seeing my favorite sculptures.
I always smile when I see these flying ponies, as I like to call them. Since I live in the nearby Muranow neighborhood, I make weekly treks through and near the palace and the surrounding Krasiński Park (Ogród Krasińskich).
These winged horses were created by Beata Konarska and Pawel Konarski of Warsaw design studio Konarska-Nokarski in 2008. The brightly-colored metal structures were originally designed for an exhibition at the Polish National Library and was inspired by another library exhibit devoted to Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert, who frequently referenced mythology in his writings.
This summer, the park opened for the first time since we moved here, following a 13.5 million złoty renovation and restoration thanks to some EU funding. The construction fencing was slowly torn down to reveal a park filled with dozens of wooden benches, lovely paved and gravel paths, which are perfect for jogging, outdoor exercise equipment, two playgrounds for children, a pond that’s home to lots of ducks and two fountains. And all of this is about a 15-minute walk away from our apartment.
Since its opening, the park seems to be particularly popular with the locals. Older ladies walk their little dogs in the mornings. Young mothers and grandmothers push babies in strollers through the park. Runners and cyclists also are fond of the park. I haven’t seen many tourists (yet), and that’s fine with me. A hidden piece of peacefulness right in the center of the city!
I haven’t been inside the baroque palace, which is home to a branch of the Biblioteka Narodowa (National Library) and its Special Collections Section of Manuscripts and Old Prints and the Polish Jazz Archive. According to the building’s history, the palace was built for the Krasiński family between 1677 and 1700. In 1765, the palace was purchased by the Polish State and served as a seat of the Crown Treasury. Of course, the palace suffered a fire in 1782, was reconstructed and then was destroyed by the German Army during World War II in 1944. Reconstruction began again in 1948.
With its latest incarnation complete, I’m happy to have the Krasiński Palace in my neighborhood. Be sure to stop by and admire the flying ponies here!
Krasiński Palace (Pałac Krasińskich)
Corner of Bonifraterska and Swietojerksa streets
The southern corner of the park also can be reached by a 5-minute walk from the Metro Ratusz Arsenal stop.