Warsaw is the capital of Poland, and its largest city. It stands on the banks of the Vistula River. Warsaw is a city that has risen from the rubble of the Second World War with 85% of the city being destroyed during this fierce period. However, now the city gives you so much and you can now take to the Old Town without being able to tell what happened all those decades ago. There is so much architectural beauty on offer and with monuments, museums and parks, you can be sure that Warsaw will leave you wanting more.
The architecture of Warsaw is varied and borrows styles from many other European cities. There are new buildings and skyscrapers too. You can see the variations for yourself on one of the popular guided tours available. A tour of the government buildings around the city will show the variations. These range from the Presidential Palace with its more traditional appearance, to the Supreme Administrative Court, which has a far more modern appearance. There are not many older buildings remaining. However, one that does is the Barbican, a historic fort near the centre of Warsaw.
There are many attractions and things to do and see in Warsaw. These include palaces such as Jablonowski Palace and the Wilanow Palace. A visit can be paid to some of the many Roman Catholic Churches dotted around the city. The Carmelite Church is one such of these and situated at the centre of Warsaw. Multiple art galleries and museums are waiting to be discovered in Warsaw. Galleries range from the National Museum to the Zacheta National Gallery. Museums include the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews on the original site of the Jewish ghetto.
While this is called the Old Town, much of what it used to be was destroyed during the Second World War. Therefore, much of this area was reconstructed after the 1960s but this is an incredible feat of determination and it now has UNESCO World Heritage Status. There are alleyways and passageways for you to wander through along with churches, squares and a triangular plaza that gives this area of the city a desirable character and likeability.
This is the largest park in Warsaw and is a main part of the Royal Route, making it popular with the locals on weekends. The park began life as the Royal baths but covering 76 hectares of trees and grass, you will come across palaces, pavilions, orangeries, an amphitheatre and much more. As you move from villa to villa, you can take in the amazing Laziekni Palace and then move onto the museums or if you prefer, you can simply spend time relaxing in the beauty of the natural surroundings.
Old Town Market Place
This Old Town Market Place was the centre for commercial activity in Warsaw. It is the most historic part of the Old Town and is flanked by Merchants houses in a wide range of colours and a renaissance and Baroque design. Every building is a post-war replica of what stood before it before the square was decimated by bombing during the war before being finally bombed by the Germans at the end of the Warsaw uprising in 1944. Straight after the war, the square was rebuilt and that includes the strange yet alluring vertical extensions that are positioned on top of the houses. In the centre, you will find a fountain with a mermaid figure that means something to Warsaw but in summer is the time where you can embrace the square in all its glory as you can grab a seat outside at one of the restaurants and watch the world go by.
To the south of the Old Town, you will find the Royal Castle that comes with its 90-metre facade in its Mannerist and Baroque design. This is the seat of the Polish monarchs and has been for hundreds of years but over its 700 years of existence, it has been through a lot including demolitions by the Swedes in the 17th century and the Germans during the Second World War. The last reconstructions took place in the 1980s and since, it has been a museum where you can browse the apartments of the 16th-century King Sigismund II Augustus as well as visit the House of Parliament. There are also paintings on display from the likes of van Dyck, Joos van Cleve and Rembrandt.
Warsaw Uprising Museum
This spectacular museum pays tribute to the Warsaw Uprising of August to October 1944 and is located in the old tramway power station in the Wola district. When you enter you can try out the pre-war telephone receivers and listen to the stories of those who were involved in the uprising. There are many smart installations including the Kino palladium where you can watch footage that comes from the insurgents and was screened at the Warsaw Palladium while the uprising was taking place. You can explore replicas of the sewers that the fighters used to move around while you can also take a look at photographs of the city before and after the attack from the Germans.
Palace of Culture and Science
Every bit impressive and like something from an American movie, this can be seen from most of Warsaw as it stands at vertigo-inducing 237 metres. It is no surprise that this is the tallest building in Poland, with 42 floors, a cinema, museum, government offices, a 3,000 seater congress hall and private companies. The Art Deco design of the building is awe inspiring but the building that came as a gift from the Soviet Union to the people of Poland in 1955 certainly divides feelings and emotions. Head to the observation terrace on the 30th floor for spectacular views of the city.
Map of Warsaw
Events In Warsaw
Many events take place through the year, ranging from exhibitions to music festivals. Take in a concert at one of the many theatres which can be found. There is also a large selection of bars and clubs, and Warsaw can be enjoyed by those looking for a city with a great nightlife.
Pictures of Warsaw
Hotels In Warsaw
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