The cen­tury of Warsaw ruins began with the destruc­tion wreaked by the Rus­sians with­drawing from the city in the summer of 1915, and ends with con­tem­porary demolitions resul­ting from dynamic real estate develop­ment proces­ses. It is ruins trium­phal, traumatic and sen­timen­tal, as well as images that con­tribute to the critical debate over cur­rent urban policy. The obses­sively recur­ring views of ruins have become familiar over the years in numerous aspects—a natural, everyday life func­tion of the city, deter­mining proces­ses of trans­for­mation and development.

Ruins of Warsaw is the story of their photographic images. The photographers inc­lude out­stan­ding artists and photojour­nalists like Bułhak, Capa, Dłubak and Seymour, but also lesser known but distin­guished documen­talists such as Henryk Poddębski. Most of the photographs are published here for the first time, revealing unk­nown or for­got­ten views of the city in a state of collapse.



Project co-​financed by the City of Warsaw


Henryk Poddębski, burnt-down railway infrastructure in Praga district, August 1915

 Jan Kisieliński (?), dismantling of the Orthodox Cathedral on pl. Saski, March 1926

 Marta Leśniakowska, Supersam store on pl. Unii Lubelskiej during demolition, December 2006

Franciszek Buchner, RUCH building (headquarters of the Institute of National Remembrance) on ul. Towarowa during demolition, November 2013



Edited by: Łukasz Gorczyca i Michał Kaczyński

Texts: Łukasz Gorczyca, Piotr Jamski, Elżbieta Kamińska, Adam Mazur, Magdalena Wróblewska

Design: Michał Kaczyński

Publisher: Raster, Warszawa 2016

240 x 240 mm, hardcover

Print run: 800

ISBN 978-83-946849-0-7


The book was published in collaboration with the Museum of Warsaw