Hala Mirowska is an old market in the centre of Warsaw. There are two market buildings, an open air market between them and a lot of street pedlars everywhere around. It’s the place where I used to shop every day, where I could buy the cheapest fruits in summer and where saleswomen always have a good recipe for some dish for me.
There are a lot of elderly people and you can hear a lot of chats and quarrels. One can buy almost everything there, fix almost everything, get a piece of advice on almost every subject and hear some news and gossip. Just the centre of the universe for me :).
Two halls constructed in 1899-1901 are now one of the oldest buildings in the vicinity. Since then they were silent witnesses of Warsaw’s history. During the Second World War Germans conducted civil executions here. Bullet holes are still visible on the northern wall of one hall.
During the Warsaw Uprising everything except the walls was destroyed. The communists at first were planning to demolish them completely but finally didn’t do it. The halls have been a bus depot and a sports hall with boxing matches for some time. They were rebuilt in the period of 1950s-1960s and started to be a market place again. In 1988 Margaret Thatcher did her shopping there: she bought some vegetables and dried mushrooms.
Hala Mirowska is what I call the real Poland.