Warsaw’s Vistula, but also a national river.

Autor: dr Joanna Angiel    

Irrespective from which area in Warsaw you look at the Vistula, you don’t see ‘ just an ordinary river’, but a river whose significance in Polish history and culture, including for its capital, is huge. Awareness of this fact among Warsaw inhabitants and many others is very small.

And yet, we sing about the Vistula in our national anthem and in patriotic songs. Important battles took place on its banks, events that determined our nation’s fate. Historians, including Norman Davies, have listed one such event – the “Miracle on the Vistula”- to be one of the most important in the history of the world.

The most beautiful views of Warsaw were recorded (Canaletto) from the right bank of the Vistula, just above its waters, thanks to the wide-angled perspective of the river’s expanse. Today, photographs of the Old Town from the Śląsko-Dąbrowski Bridge and the panorama of the city centre from the Siekierkowski Bridge make up some of the nicest postcards of Warsaw.

Thanks to the river we have the Vistula nesting areas, which is a natural treasure little known by Varsovians; we have walking places, a 60 km track along the Vistula which makes for an unforgettable experience. The Vistula also gives us drinking water, provides fresh air to the city, etc.

You should also look at the Vistula as a national asset – geographic, historical, cultural, environmental, and at the same time see it as Warsaw’s treasure, which is still not appreciated enough.
Do you realise how much Warsaw would lose had it not been located by the banks of this beautiful river?

The project ‘Protecting the habitats of priority bird species of the Vistula Valley under conditions of intensive pressure of the Warsaw agglomeration’ (wislawarszawska.pl) has received a grant from the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+) and from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.