Poland in 1965. Architektura polska pięćdziesiąt lat temu.

For Narodowe Święto Niepodległości

Poland Fifty Years Ago ……..Poland 50 Years Ago

Poznań (BBC TV costume drama on the telly), Gniezno, Trzemeszno, Kruszwica, Łęczyca, Tum (the isolated cathedral), Sulejów, Płock, Toruń (a battered but mighty town), Chełmźa, Chełmno, Gdańsk, Oliwa (where the organist was playing in the church), Gdynia, Kwidźyn, Pelplin, Dobre Miasto, Lidzbark Warmiński, Olsztyn, Reszel, Święta Lipka (a pilgrim’s approach, on foot), Ketrzyn, Gyźycko, a Mazurian village, Warszawa (much-changed vistas), Szydłowiec, Kielce, Karczówka, Chęciny, Kurozwęki (dilapidated but with a proud custodian), Szydlow, Sandomierz (kidnapped by a girl), Zamość, Lublin (visited a youth club), Kraków and, of course, the salt mines (and market place) at Wieliczka

are among the places in Poland that I visited as a very amateur student of architecture 50 years ago (“HOW long ago?” FIFTY years ago!), having been inspired by family connections with the post-war Polish community at Pitsford Convent and School in England. (Studying architecture (and Polish) hastened the end of my attempt to become a mathematical physicist.)

I took both black-and-white roll-film and colour-slide photographs. For technical reasons I did not label each colour slide but made a separate list of the locations and subjects. Following a recent spillage, the 135 slides are now out of order and my memory of which caption on the list goes with which photograph is incomplete.

Perhaps a reader of this page can help me match slides and captions and meanwhile enjoy the look back to a time maybe before  you were born and when Poland was still working to rule enigmatically and sullenly “behind the Iron Curtain”. I met only one American and one Briton in six weeks. Alas, I was too shy to photograph people outright, so these pictures are perhaps rather aridly architectural, some being of historic monuments which will have changed little. Nevertheless, many may show scenes more “real” than today’s tidied up version. The definition is not as good as on the original slides , but if anyone is interested I can probably get particular images scanned with greater precision.

But first, to pay tribute with a tessellation or two, here are lattice labyrinths based on Narodowe Święto Niepodległości, Polish National Independence Day, the 11th of November. As I need two or three colours to distinguish supertiles and the Polish flag is a deep red and white only, I’ve struggled a bit, but the sky-blue background to each helps. First of all, here are a few supertiles of Serpentine lattice Labyrinth (11,11) There are two families of supertiles, each of identical shape, but a right-angles to one another. Each supertile is made up of 11² = 121 tiles and you need a repeat unit/fundamental domain of one in each orientation and totalling 242 squares to speciofy the infinitely extendable tessellation or tiling of the infinite Euclidean plane – die unbeschränkte Ebene.

Serpentine (11,11)PolandImprovedSwitching to equilateral triangular tiles to make up a tessellation, we can construct Honeycomb Lattice Labyrinth (11,11) with a supertile area  and repeat unit/fundamental domain of 2(11² + 11×11 + 11²) = 726 triangles. Here it is. Like the (10,10) for Taiwan, it compells the eye/brain to see a three-dimensional construct.

Honeycomb (11,11) PolandFinalNow here are the images of Poland in 1965 that I would like help in identifying. I’ve captioned a few of those I can place. You can contact me via latticelabyrinths.net .

Some of the above are famous and even I still know where they are – others (the views across the plain, for instance) almost impossible to locate precisely. I’ll straighten up the leaning towers when I get time.

An inexpensive how-to-do-it  Lattice Labyrinths workbook  is available from the publisher or you-know-who , or from a good independent bookshop or via Google.