The on-line transmission from the flight2017-10-17 16:02:43
THE MOKOTOWSKIE MILITARY FIELDS
Warsaw’s economic growth was accompanied by its gradual transformation into one of Russia’s border towns, which involved the city’s gradual militarization. Amongst the general reconstruction, large areas of the city and of the foreground were designated and built up for military purposes: as training grounds, warehouses, and parade areas.
The extensive Marsowe Pole (Mars Fields) and called the Plac Broni (Arms Square) appeared in the region of today’s Stawka and Dzika streets – a place where great army parades, for which Grand-Duke Constantine had a predilection, were held. TO the north, in the Żolibord district, the barracks of the Imperial Foot Guards were rebuilt, while to the south of the city, exercise grounds for the Russian cavalry were designated under the name of Mokotów Military Fields.
Military exercise grounds were, for a long time, excluded from parcelling and zoning regulations and constituted a huge capital of undeveloped municipal space, belonging in its entirety to the state. After the restoration of independence, the Mokotowskie Fields (no longer called ‘Military’) were designated as public investment grounds. There was a racetrack at the eastern edge for a certain while. However, in the history of the city and of Poland, the Mokotowskie Fields are chiefly known for their connection with aviation.
In time, the southern fragment of the Mokotowskie Fields was earmarked for the construction of an academic and scientific campus, initiated by the construction of buildings of the Warsaw College of Agriculture (SGGW), the Geological Institute, and Warsaw Business School (SGH). In a certain sense, the current construction on the western boundary of the Mokotowskie Fields of the large multi-institutional Ochota campus, centered on the pre-war building of the pre-WWII Polish University, is a continuation of these plans.
During the period of the 2nd Republic, planned were made to build an exclusive district hereon either side of Piłsudski avenue that had been marked out, along an axis stretching from Plac Na Rozdrożu (on the Stanisław Axis), to a planned monumental Temple of Providence.
The Pole Mokotowskie was primarily the cradle of Polish airplane and balloon flight. Airplanes were taking off from this place a few years after the first flight of the Wright brothers, and the Polish pilot, M. Scipio del Campio, was the first to fly over Warsaw in August 1911.
The Mokotowskie Field were the first sports and communications airport within Poland. The starts of the Challenge races in 1934 and the prestigious balloon races for the Gordon Bennet Cup, which Poland won twice, took place here. The most famous Polish pilots, airplane builders and mechanics, headed by Franciszek Żwirko and Stanisław Wigura, Bolesław Orliński and Leon Kubiak celebrated their triumphs on the site.
That is why today we take off from this particular place: to honor the heritage of Polish aviation and the 110th anniversary of the first Gordon Benett Trophy competition. One of the mission balloons will be piloted by Bazyli Dawidziuk, who took part in this prestigious air race twice. In 2015, together with Krzysztof Zapart, they set the Polish record for the longest flight, covering the distance of 1,971 km in 69 h 4 min, finally beating the 1938 record.
Today, Pole Mokotowskie is one of the largest recreational public parks in the midtown area of Warsaw. It plays the role of Warsaw's Central Park, so to speak.