Garden-City Podkowa Leśna
Podkowa Leśna (literal meaning - "Horseshoe Grove", in full: Miasto-ogród Podkowa Leśna - "Garden-City Podkowa Leśna") is a town in central Poland, in Grodzisk Mazowiecki County, (Masovian Voivodeship). The town is located not far from Warsaw in a beautiful setting of the Młochowskie Forests. Forests surround the town from three sides (the east, the south, and the north).
The area where is situated Podkowa Leśna, since 1861 belonged to industrialist and hunter Stanislaw Lilpop. The creation of the town was connected directly to the Electric Railroad. The line was constructed and operated under the original name "Elektryczne Koleje Dojazdowe" (Electric Commuter Rail) by a privately owned electrical power industry consortium "Siła i Światło" (Power and Light) established with the participation of British capital shortly after Poland regained independence after World War I in 1918.
"Garden-City Podkowa Leśna" was based on 19th century Garden City conception designed by Ebenezer Howard. The specific urban plan of Podkowa Leśna was designed by A. Jawornicki and was based on the concentric streets-alleys around the train station. There was also a city park designed. The author of the project was a well-known Warsaw gardener L. Danielewicz. Danielewicz has designed the park with tennis courts, and winter sports grounds and a sports pavilion. The town was developed quickly. Before the Second World War, many beautiful villas were built.
Today the Garden-City of Podkowa Leśna has an interesting collection of villas dating back to the interwar period, along with newly built mansions.
The trademark of Podkowa Leśna is a beautiful building of former Casino in the City Park. It was built in 1928. The Casino is now home to the Podkowa Civic Initiative Center, whose mission is to encourage and energise cultural outreach programs. In the neighbourhood os former casino is located the charming wooden villa named “Aida”. It was built by the Lilpops around the year 1900 when the entire area of today’s Podkowa was still a vast hunting ground. In the 1920s the famous Polish poet and writer Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz spent Summer months here, regularly receiving guests – notable among them literati from that period’s influential group of poets known as “Skamander”.
In Podkowa Lesna there are many other beautiful wooden and masonry villas. In 1981 Podkowa Leśna was registered in the register of monuments. There is a great place to spend one day and to know that beautiful town. It is best to get there by the suburban railway, which today is called the Warsaw Commuter Railway (Polish: Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa)
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