A more intimate view of Poland from a talented traveller and award winning writer, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim.
Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is a city that has seen many wars and has earned the name “The Phoenix city”, having risen from the ashes of so many invasions. The legend goes that it was founded by a hunter who discovered a mermaid in the Vistula River and fell in love with her. Because she could not leave the river, the hunter settled by the shores and from there, the city sprouted, straddling the Vistula, its name an amalgam of the name of the hunter and his mermaid, Warszawa (pronounced ([varˈʂava] in Polish).
Today, the mermaid makes her appearance as the city’s symbol, on its coat of arms and in statues and reliefs, bearing a shield and a sword. Creative, yes. But the legend of the warrior mermaid protecting this city has not kept away Poland’s more powerful neighbours from sweeping into the country, almost at will.
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