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When I visited Krakow some summers ago, I went to have a look at the Nova Huta suburb. A Stalinist town build in the fifties to provide housing for the workers at the disastrous Nova Huta steelwork that Stalin had placed near Krakow in order to give the academic city a solid proletariat (in spite of the lack of steel and coal near Krakow).

I expected this Stalinist vision of a "town of the future" to be a completely drab and nightmarish zone of socialist concrete blocks, but to my surprise, I found that what I saw actually compared very favorably to the suburban landscapes that exists around Copenhagen.

There was something quite sad about realizing that even Stalinist visions of the future constructed cheaply in a poor country after the world war, looked less hopeless than the functionalistic model neighborhoods constructed by a fairly rich welfare state in the sixties.

Here's a picture of Høje Gladsaxe in Copenhagen, build in 1968:

And one from Nova Huta:

Biilmann Blog

by BobFunk (bobfunk@clanwhiskey.net) on Thu Jan 5th, 2006 at 06:42:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's fifities socreal ('socialist-realist'), not seventies Plattenbau. The latter looks like your Høje Gladsaxe, only made of lower quality materials, larger concrete plates (c. 3m x 3m) and much more of these towers in one group.

On the other hand, I must note that I was once directed to the (now disappeared) homepage of an American family in Budapest, written for other expats, who lived in one of Budapest's Plattenbau buildings (one of the better) - and wrote that they liked the place, and wondered why Budapesters are of such low opinion of them! (They came from Chicago, I wonder if anyone can comment on downtown living space there.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jan 5th, 2006 at 07:26:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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