a13 October 2014

A Bit of History: the Warsaw Citadel

Warsaw Citadel

Warsaw Citadel, a pentagon-shaped building rising over the Vistual river, is a beautiful fortress built in 19th century by the Russian Empire. But as beautiful as it is, its history is a bit grim.

First of all you must understand one thing - Poland lost its indepence due to so called Partitions of Poland that took place in the very end of 18th century and were performed by the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and Austria of Habsburgs. And from political perspective Poland didn't existed from 1795 to 1918 that is for 123 years. Warsaw during that time was part of Russian Empire. However, Poles never accepted that state and thought for their freedom in a number of uprisings. After the first big of them, known as November Uprising which began in late November 1830, Tzar Nicholas made an order to build the Citadel - fortress to control the city and prevent other fights in the future.

During peacetime around 5000 Russian soldiers were stationed there; during war (eg. January Uprising of 1863) number of troops could be increased to more than 15.000! Citadel was also housed with a number of artillery pieces that were able to cover with fire most of the city that existed by that time!

However, Citadel is something more. It was also a political prison and place of execution of many Polish patriots and those who fought for freedom including Romuald Traugutt who was leader of January Uprising of 1863. A lot of others were imprisoned there including Jozef Pilsudski (leader of Second Polish Republic).

After 1918, when Poland regained its independence, the Citadel was taken over by Polish Army and converted into a garisson and infrantry training centre. Warsaw Citadel survived World War II (during which it was in hands of German troops), fortunately as most other buildings in Warsaw didn't, and is now once again a property of Polish Army (museum and house of Polish Land Forces).

Daily photo - Wall of the Citadel

Today photo shows walls and surroundings of the Citadel in autumn this year (in fact I captured this photo just a few days ago). It's a HDR image created by merging 5 exposures and then tone-mapped using Contrast Optimizer in Photomatix Pro 5.

Warsaw Citadel is really beautiful and it's a shame to admit that it was the first time ever that I was taking photos of it. But I will definitely visit the site more often now. I hope to capture a few more autumn shots there and then I hope to revisit it in winter as it might look really picturesque then.
Wall of the Citadel

Camera Info

Finally some EXIF info:
Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK III (read my review here)
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 28 mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure time: 1/200 s ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 400
Number of exposures: 5
E.V. Step: 1.0 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: circular polarizer
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, luminosity masks
Software: Magic Lantern, Photomatix Pro 5 (Contrast Optimizer), Lightroom 5.4, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity, Topaz Detail

Where was this photo taken:

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