A giant palm tree serves as a poignant reminder of the many Jews who once called Warsaw home.
Joanna Rajkowska, a Jewish-Polish artist, designed and constructed the artificial date palm in 2002. After visiting Jerusalem and seeing the palm trees that dotted the landscape, she decided to use that image to honor an often-forgotten fragment of Warsaw’s cultural heritage. The final result is a tree called Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue.
Initially, Rajkowska planned to install a row of palms all along the alley, but financial and political difficulties forced her to stick to just one. Warsaw’s residents had conflicting opinions about her installation. Some wanted it to remain, and others protested against the fact that it would stand in a spot where Christmas trees were traditionally erected.
After the tree was officially installed, it soon became a landmark of the city. Most people grew to like it and the message that it stood for. A year after its debut, 75 percent of polled locals voted in favor of preserving it.
Know Before You Go
The palm is free to see and easily accessible. You can even see it from the train station!