Two photographers engaged in long-distance observations had the opportunity to admire the views from the Varso Tower. What can be seen from it? Of course, a large area of Warsaw. But not only. You can see much further. You can see Łódź, which is almost 114 kilometers away. – This is the farthest terrestrial view from Warsaw and the Mazowieckie Voivodeship that has been photographed – says photographer Paweł Kłak. You can also see the chimneys of the refinery in Płock, blocks of flats in Siedlce, and the castle in Czersk.
Varso Tower measures 310 meters and is the tallest building in Poland and in the European Union. From the beginning of its construction, there were digressions as to what can be seen from it and where it can be seen. Paweł Kłak and his colleague Łukasz Wawrzyszko, dealing with long-distance photography, stood on the roof of the skyscraper – 230 meters above ground level on the observation deck. Although this location is not yet officially released, two photographers were able to make observations from there thanks to the consent of the building owner.
Before leaving for Warsaw, Paweł Kłak and Łukasz Wawrzyszko checked which objects should be visible from the Varso terrace. – We analyzed the map of the so-called air obstacles. It lists the tallest buildings in Poland and before leaving, we verified whether it was mathematically and geometrically observable. So we were aware of what we wanted to observe. It was not a blind search – says Paweł Kłak in an interview with tvnwarszawa.pl.
The photographers made numerous simulations and calculations that gave “hope for record-breaking distant views from Warsaw and the entire Mazowieckie Voivodeship”. They also checked the weather forecast, which was important during the observation. They conducted the observation from the Varso terrace on June 2, between 17:20 and 19:35, and shared their results on Tuesday, August 8.
All of Warsaw at your fingertips
What did they see from the terrace? You can admire the panorama of the city: modern skyscrapers of Śródmieście and Wola, greenery, i.e. the vast Kampinos Forest, as well as the Vistula. To the east you can see the National Stadium, then on the left the K. Heat Plantandwęczyn with the tallest chimney in Warsaw, and Aleje Jerozolimskie on the right. You can also see the green areas of the Filter Station Complex and the Chopin Airport at Okęcie in the distance.
“On the longer focal length of the lens, the Old Town and the Vistula River in the vicinity of the Siekierkowski Bridge look nice. Less than half a kilometer from Varso, there is the Palace of Culture and Science, where, enlarged, we can see people on the observation deck. meters higher than the roof of the Varso Tower, while the terrace on the 30th floor is exactly 116 m lower,” writes Wawrzyszko on the website danewidoki.pl.
In turn, far on the horizon, you can see objects that are even more than 70 kilometers away. There are a dozen of them. “Although the quality of these photos may not be the best, due to the prevailing weather conditions that day, in this type of photography, capturing distant views that once seemed impossible to capture is the essence of it” – noted Paweł Kłak on the website danewidoki.pl.
“The farthest terrestrial view from Warsaw that has been photographed”
It turns out that you can see the city of Łódź from Varso! The farthest object visible in standard atmospheric conditions is the chimney of the EC-4 CHP plant located in Łódź, 113.6 kilometers away. It is 264 meters high and is located in Widzew, in the south-eastern part of the city. It is not only a significant element of the panorama of Łódź, but also the tallest building in the city.
– I’m not hiding, we were going for it. We chose the right day, with good weather and clear air. The weather conditions were not what we expected, but still we managed to observe Łódź – Paweł Kłak tells us.
This view is unique in yet another respect. – Observation of Łódź, 114 kilometers away, from the Varso Tower observation deck is the farthest terrestrial view from Warsaw and the Mazowieckie Voivodeship that has been photographed. So far, the farthest photograph of this type was the observation of the Kozienice Power Plant from about 70 kilometers from the Palace of Culture and Science – explains Kłak. He is echoed by Wawrzyszko, who points out that the chimney of the heat and power plant in Łódź “is currently the farthest terrestrial object seen from Warsaw. In standard atmospheric conditions, it is impossible to see a more distant object from the Varso terrace.”
On the horizon, on the left side of the Łódź chimney, there is the Słupia Wind Farm, in the vicinity of Lipiec Reymontowskie, about 80 kilometers away. In front of it are Grodzisk Mazowiecki and Pruszków. From Varso, you can also see the industrial buildings of Mszczonów, located to the south-west, along with two wind turbines. They are more than 42 kilometers away. In the distance looms a wind farm near Wysokienice, west of Rawa Mazowiecka.
Płock is over 98 kilometers away
– During the observation, we focused primarily on objects that are about 50 kilometers away. We have adopted such a limit, because this horizon is huge. From closer objects, we tried to capture the more famous ones, due to their historical and tourist values - explains Kłak.
In the north-west, above the forests of the Kampinos Forest, you can see two chimneys of the refinery in Płock. – The Warsaw Spire skyscraper with two characteristic spiers serves as a landmark. Płock is located on the right side of this skyscraper, the photographer suggests. To the right of the chimney in Płock there is a condensation cloud coming from another, lower chimney, which is hidden behind trees. This distance reaches 98.7 kilometers.
A little further to the right, there are two wind turbines in Małoszewo, 77.7 kilometers away. On the left you can see the chimney of the former sugar factory in Mała Wieś. Its distance from Varso is 66.2 kilometers.
Between Łódź and Płock, you can also see the highest point of Łowicz, which is the radio tower at Seminariczna Street, over 73 kilometers away.
It is 70 kilometers away, visible to the naked eye
In turn, the Kozienice power plant is the most conspicuous distant object. It is nearly 70 kilometers away and, as Paweł Kłak assures, it is visible to the naked eye from the Varso Tower observation deck. It is distinguished by a huge cooling tower with an impressive height of 185 meters and a base width of 146 meters.
“Several neighboring chimneys can be seen next to it, and their majesty is emphasized by condensation clouds hovering above them. The farthest chimney visible in this scenic photo is 69.9 kilometers away” – we read on the website danewidoki.pl. About 400 meters away, the highest chimney of the power plant rises, reaching 200 meters in height. However, it was not visible, because it is located directly behind the cooling tower and was obscured by a cloud of condensed steam.
On the left side of the Kozienice power plant, you can see the three towers of the Czersk castle, more than 34 kilometers away, and a little closer to the buildings of Góra Kalwaria.
In the south-eastern direction, the chimney in Karczew stands out, 24.9 kilometers away. On its right side, a fragment of the Vistula River appears in the area of the mouth of Świder, and further in the distance we can see the church in Osieck, located 40.8 kilometers away. As explained by Paweł Kłak, the RTCN Ryki mast should be visible right next to the church, more than 94 kilometers away, but it was not visible on that day. To the right of Osieck, far on the horizon, there was a wind turbine in Sokole, 70 kilometers away and located in the vicinity of Garwolin and Dęblin, already in the Lublin Voivodship.
Skierniewice Housing Estate
– Skierniewice, more than 60 kilometers away, seems to be an interesting observation. Even the local estates can be seen from Varso. They are visible to the right of the Łódź chimney – says Kłak. You can also see objects such as the chimneys of OSM and EC Skierniewice. “It is probably the farthest city from which you can see Warsaw in typical daylight conditions” – says Wawrzyszko.
You can also see Żyrardów and the Church of Our Lady of Consolation located in it, about 43 kilometers away. – We focused on it because we thought that it might interest the residents, that from their blocks you can see the skyscrapers of Warsaw – explains Kłak. You can also see Grodzisk Mazowiecki, about 30 kilometers away, and Pruszków, about 15 kilometers away. – This means that Warsaw’s skyscrapers can be seen from the buildings in these cities – assures Paweł Kłak.
A view of 150 kilometers
The photographers traced the horizon from Varso. What’s their favorite view? – When it comes to passion, it will be Łódź, but when it comes to aesthetic values, Warsaw impressed me from above. The Vistula River and the old town are fantastically visible. The skyscrapers of Śródmieście and Wola also made an interesting impression, they from Varso are small. The Marriott always looks big from the street, but not from Varso’s perspective. Even the Palace of Culture and Science seemed smaller, recalls Paweł Kłak.
According to the photographer, you can see even more from Varso. However, this requires specific conditions. – It is possible to see radio and television masts in Ryki, more than 94 kilometers away, and in Kozłowiec near Przysucha, more than 101 kilometers away. In night conditions and non-standard refraction and strong inversion, it should be possible to see RTCN Święty Krzyż, over 150 kilometers away, along with the outline of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, says Kłak.
What is this refraction? According to Kłak, this is the refraction of light in the atmosphere, which is a natural phenomenon. However, sometimes the atmospheric refraction takes an unnatural, extreme value, making it possible to observe distant objects. – We are able to see something that mathematically, in standard conditions, should not be visible, something “beyond the horizon” – he describes. He explains that strong light refraction usually occurs at night and in the morning, when it is cloudless, and the day before it was clear.
– I must admit that we want to visit Varso again. We are in constant contact with the building owner. We would like to come back at night. We feel there is still work to be done. We are also waiting for better weather conditions – sums up Kłak.
Main photo source: Pawel Klak