Donated to Warsaw by Stalin it’s not completely surprising that this “gift” wasn’t particularly welcomed by many Poles who saw it as a symbol of Soviet dominance (which was possibly it’s intention).
This sense of rejection was heightened by the fact that the building was constructed entirely by Soviet workers with most of the materials coming from the Soviet Union. Also, right after it’s completion only visitors with an authorised pass could enter the building which only served to detach the general public from the area.
However, the negative feelings towards the building has diminished somewhat and with other skyscrapers now sharing the skyline the Palace of Culture has become an accepted part of Warsaw.
Originally intended as a Communist party HQ the Palace became a multi functional building with museums, restaurants, conference halls, theatres and libraries. Marlene Dietrich, Pavarotti, Eric Clapton and Pavarotti have all performed here. There is a viewing terrace on the 30th floor with excellent views of the city.
For comprehensive information on the Palace please visit their own website here. You may have to select the HTML option in order to access the English language version.