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Post-WWII Ruins on Photography: An Introduction to the Reconstruction of the City of Poznań. Case Study Old Town


[ 1 ] Instytut Architektury, Urbanistyki i Ochrony Dziedzictwa, Wydział Architektury, Politechnika Poznańska | [ 2 ] Instytut Architektury Wnętrz i Wzornictwa Przemysłowego, Wydział Architektury, Politechnika Poznańska | [ P ] employee

Scientific discipline (Law 2.0)

[2.1] Architecture and urban planning

Year of publication


Published in

International Journal of Conservation Science

Journal year: 2024 | Journal volume: vol. 15 | Journal number: special issue

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • ruins
  • context
  • archival photography
  • reconstruction
  • cultural heritage

EN The aftermath of World War II (WWII) left numerous European cities devastated, necessitating extensive reconstruction efforts to restore their urban fabric. The city of Poznań, located in western Poland, was no exception, as it bore witness to widespread destruction during the war. In this abstract, we delve into the role of photography in documenting the ruins of Poznań after WWII and how these visual records have contributed to the city's subsequent reconstruction. This research explores the visual representations of post-war ruins in Poznań through the lens of documentary photography. By examining archival photographs, contemporary accounts, and historical narratives, we aim to analyse the significance of these images in understanding the extent of the destruction and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city. The abstract highlights the inherent power of photography to capture the raw reality of urban devastation, conveying the magnitude of the challenges faced by the city's inhabitants in the aftermath of war. Furthermore, it sheds light on the ways in which photographic documentation played a crucial role in informing reconstruction initiatives, acting as a visual guide for architects, urban planners and policymakers. Drawing from the rich visual archive of post-war Poznań, this study showcases how photographs served as a valuable resource for documenting architectural losses, mapping destroyed areas and preserving cultural heritage. By juxtaposing historical photographs with contemporary images, we examine how the city's landscape has evolved over time, tracing the progression from ruins to reconstruction.

Pages (from - to)

277 - 290




License type

CC BY-NC-ND (attribution - noncommercial - no derivatives)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

Full text of article

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Access level to full text


Ministry points / journal


Impact Factor

0,8 [List 2022]

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