Stadion Dziesięciolecia Manifestu Lipcowego (Stadion X-lecia) – until 2008
|Inauguration||22.07.1955 (Warsaw - Stalinogrod, 1-2)|
|Construction||08.1954 - 07.1955|
|Record attendance||90 000 (Poland - Finland, 4-0)|
|Design||Jerzy Hryniewiecki, Marek Leykam, Czesław Rajewski|
Stadion Dziesięciolecia – historical stadium description
Often called one of two Polish 100,000 stadiums, Stadion Dziesięciolecia was actually designed for just over 71,000 people, while the formal record stands at 90,000. But with crowd control being close to none, various sources suggest the 100,000 capacity level was exceeded on several occasions.
The ground itself was built on the eastern bank of Vistula and due to high water table rubble from across the city’s western part, destroyed by Nazis in 1944, was used to give it proper basis. With its vast size it was perhaps the most famous building raised literally on the rubble of pre-war Warsaw.
Its full name is Stadion Dziesięciolecia Manifestu Lipcowego, which stands for Stadium of PKWN Manifesto’s 10th Anniversary. However, perhaps ironically, it was opened on the 11th anniversary. From mid 1950s it was centerpiece to numerous political rallies and prestigious events important for the propaganda.
With its position at the core of political activity, it was targeted by philosopher Ryszard Siwiec as site of suicide attempt. Siwiec set himself on fire while the stadium was packed with thousands of people for national harvest celebrations. His action was a protest against Polish aggression on Czechoslovakia. Siwiec died in hospital and his action wasn’t commonly known until after the socialist regime was overthrown.
Despite its primary role of being the nation’s prime spot for all major events, it was abandoned already during the socialist rule. As it never had extensive infrastructure or electronic systems, the stadium was a major burden for all following governments as reviving it for sports was beyond financial capacity.
In 1989 it was leased to Damis, a private company who set up Jarmark Europa, Europe’s largest bazaar that lasted until 2007. As the lease ended, preparatory works began for the new national stadium. The very last event at Stadion Dziesięciolecia, already while under reconstruction, was the X-Fighters motorcycle show.