The Beatle and the Bear

Posted: 22 August, 2011 in History, Outdoor, Sights
Tags: , , , , ,

What do John Lennon and Winnie-the-Pooh have in common? Well, both of them have left such a legacy in Polish popular culture that they are honoured with having a street named after them in central Warsaw!

The story of the kind-hearted and lovable Pooh Bear, or Kubuś Puchatek as he is called here, offered a generation of Poles a ray of happiness in the midst of hell, smile and hope amid tears during the WW II and its Stalinist aftermath.
So no wonder that this quiet and calm street lined with lime trees bears(!) his name, adorned with marble plaques where Pooh and Piglet walk hand-in-hand.

ul. Johna Lennona on the other hand is a narrow stretch squeezed between the modernistic Embassy of France and Ujazdowski Park. A small estate of thirty rustic dark wooden bungalows, built in 1945, prefabricated in Finland, hence “The Finnish Houses”. They were supposed to be temporary emergency housing for professionals involved in rebuilding the destroyed city but somehow stayed, making up a rural green village hidden in the heart of the city.

How John Lennon gave name to a street in Warsaw in the first place? Well, the story goes that on the first anniversary of Lennon’s death, in 1981, Beatles fans marched down to this then unnamed lane, singing ‘Give Peace a Chance’ and erected a makeshift street sign claiming it in the name of their hero. It took some time for the fans to get their wish, but after a decade they had succeeded in convincing the city’s authorities to dedicate this little street.

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