Stalowa is a particularly atmospheric place where art takes on an historic dimension. Truly authentic, it shapes the unique identity of the whole neighbourhood.
Murals and little angels, or the street art of Praga
Warsaw would seem somehow bare, soulless and devoid of character without its murals; they also seem to form an indispensable element of the landscape of Praga. Large, colourful images bring its old walls back to life. Some are huge, some only cover parts of the wall.
Art in Praga can also be found in small details. The local store signs and windows continue to be of unique value to local artists and artisans. Every now and then, they are renovated or redesigned. The signboards of small family-run businesses have been given a new lease of life by Polish designers and the municipal architecture office.
Wrocław has its dwarfs, which continually delight and entertain tourists and residents alike. Praga, in turn, has its little angels. The figures allude to the old local tradition of the guardian angel and the backyard shrines.
Their creator, Marek Sułek, proposed that each street in Praga should have its own angel. They are hidden away in gates, wall recesses, window sills, and map out an itinerary that allows visitors to discover the district’s most interesting sites.
An inspiration for directors
With its original urban architecture, which dates back to over a century ago, Praga is often dubbed as “the closest to Hollywood that Warsaw will ever get”. It has been the setting for movies such as The Pianist and Warsaw 44, as well as TV series such as Kolumbowie [The Columbus Generation] and Days of Honour. After many years of stagnation, the place is now experiencing a revival, bringing the atmosphere of old Warsaw back to life.
A Mecca for artists
Artists and culture lovers are opening more and more art galleries in Stalowa. The pre-war tenement spaces of northern Praga serve as an excellent venue for art exhibitions.
Almost opposite our apartment block, at Stalowa 26, you can admire the Galeria Stalowa. Walk to Stalowa 3, and you will stumble into Pragaleria. Żywa Galeria Stalowa 52 opens its doors a few blocks down the street, and on the corner with Konopacka Street, you can visit the Galeria Po Prawej Stronie Wisły. David Pataraia, a Georgian-born painter, is but one of the artists who work in studios along the street. Come over to take a close look at the work of contemporary young artists, beginners and household names alike.
You will find digital and traditional prints, street art, figurative and abstract painting, as well as photography and sculpture.
(material created in cooperation with Elżbieta Przybylska, Head of the Cultural Heritage Team for the Praga-Północ District)