Monday, 13 February 2012



Warsaw or Warszawa is Poland's capital and largest city. With a high standard of living, the city has all the modern amenities for the 21st Century. The city of Warsaw is truly an unforgettable destination for tourists. Skyscapers shoot upwards as Warsaw's economic status rises and the city continues to gather foreign investors. With a fine location, Warsaw is blessed with the Vistula River flowing through the city.

The first fortified settlements on the site of today's Warsaw were Bródno (9th/10th century) and Jazdów (12th/13th century). After Jazdów was raided, a new similar settlement was established on the site of a small fishing village called Warszowa. The Płock prince Bolesław II of Masovia, established this settlement, the modern Warsaw, about 1300. In the beginning of the 14th century it became one of the seats of the Dukes of Masovia, becoming the capital of Masovia in 1413.14th-century Warsaw's economy rested on crafts and trade. Upon the extinction of the local ducal line, the duchy was reincorporated into the Polish Crown in 1526. 

The scenic Old Town and its Market Square, with its mansard-roofed houses, attract artists and tourists. Here, the wine cellars and elegant restaurants are buzzing, and there is always a table waiting for new guests.  The Old Town Market Place is filled with cafes, restaurants, shops and many other attractions. The new buildings have been renovated and reconstructed with a pseudo-antique façade, based on their original design from the 17th century. The Market Place is made of four sides, Dekert's Sidewhich houses the Warsaw Historical Museum; Barss' Side where the Mickiewicz Museum is located; Kołłątaj's Side which is known for its gothic structure; and the Zakrzewski's Side which features the tower to the Jesuits' church and The Bazyliszek House.

The former Royal Route stretches from Zamkowy Square to Trzech Krzyży Square. Must-see sights on the Route include: St. Anne’s Church (and the view from the church tower), the Polonia House (once the Museum of Industry and Trade, where Maria Skłodowska-Curie worked), the Radziwiłł Palace (the current residence of the President of Poland), the Warsaw University campus with Kazimierzowski Palace, Czapski Palace (Academy of Fine Arts) and elegant stores and restaurants on Nowy Świat Street — an extension of Krakowskie Przedmieście Street.

 Like other major cities in Europe, Warsaw offers a great variety of entertainment, including theatre, cabaret shows, film festivals and concerts by famous opera soloists, pop stars and classical music performers. Warsaw hosts one of the world’s most prestigious cultural events: the Chopin International Piano Competition, which is organised every five years. The city also hosts the International Festival of Contemporary Music, Warsaw Autumn, and the Mozart Festival.

The King's Castle

Warsaw’s Top 5:
Łazienki Palace
  1. The King's Castle.  Located in the Castle Square, at the entrance to the Warsaw Old Town. The personal offices of the king and the administrative offices of the Royal Court of Poland were located there from the 16th century until the Partitions of Poland. In its long history the Royal Castle was repeatedly devastated and plundered by Swedish, Brandenburgian, German, and Russian armies. The Constitution of 3 May 1791 was drafted here by the Four-Year Sejm. In the 19th century, after the collapse of the November Uprising, it was used as an administrative center by the Tsar. Between 1926 and World War II the palace was the seat of the Polish president,Ignacy Mościcki. After the devastation done by Nazis during the Warsaw Uprising, the Castle was rebuilt and reconstructed. In 1980, Royal Castle, together with the Old Town was registry in UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today it is a historical and national monument, and is listed as a national museum.
  2. St John's Archcathedral.   A Catholic church in Warsaw's Old Town, St. John's stands immediately adjacent to Warsaw's Jesuit church, and is one of the oldest churches in the city and the main church of the Warsaw archdiocese. St. John's Archcathedral is one of Poland's national pantheons. Along with the city, the church has been listed by UNESCO as of cultural significance.
  3.  Łazienki Palace .  Constructed before 1683 according to design by Tylman Gamerski. Finished in 1689, it was intended to serve as a bathhouse, habitable pavilion and a garden grotto in the centre of the lake within the Lubomirski palace complex  . Stanisław August Poniatowski decided to convert it into private quarters, and it was remodeled by Domenico Merlini between 1764 to 1795. The palace is built on an artificial island that divides the lake into two parts, a smaller northern lake and a larger southern one. The palace is connected to the surrounding park by two Ionic colonnaded bridges. The façades are unified by an entablature carried by giant Corinthian pilasters that link its two floors and are crowned by a balustrade that bears statues of mythologic figures. The north façade is relieved by a central pedimented portico. On the south front, a deep central recess lies behind a screen of Corinthian columns.
  4. Warsaw Uprising Museum. This is one of the most visited places in Warsaw. It was opened on the 60th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising. A multimedia exhibition, packed with images and sounds, presents the everyday struggles of Warsaw’s citizens before and during the Uprising, the horror of occupation and the post-war Communist terror. One of the museum’s main attractions is a replica of a B-24J Liberator bomber.
  5. The museum cinema plays a 3D movie entitled "The City of Ruins" — a simulation of a Liberator flying over the ruins of Warsaw in 1945. Near the museum is the Freedom Park and its Memorial Wall, which features the names of more than 10,000 insurgents who lost their lives in the battle.
  6. Wilanów Palace
    Wilanów Palace  Wilanów Palace, built for King Jan III Sobieski,  who is remembered for his victory over the Turks at the Battle of Vienna in 1683,  is one of Poland’s greatest Baroque monuments. Many different stylistic eras are represented in the Palace’s many parts. The two-level, mixed-style garden is the frame for Wilanów Palace. It is full of sculptures and fountains. Cascades of water, situated on the southern end of the park, fall into a lake that surrounds the eastern part of the grounds.


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